If you’re looking for a greener way to run your furnace and home appliances, look no further than propane. Environmentally-friendly propane is powering more family homes than ever before. Far from just camping or grilling fuel, propane is more efficient and affordable than alternatives such as oil or natural gas over the long term.
Because of the nature of propane, it must be handled with care. An expert-installed propane system makes an excellent addition to your home, but it’s important to know the facts about propane safety so you can avoid any issues.
Want to learn more about how handling propane safely? Read on to find out everything a homeowner needs to know.
How to Detect Leaks
Odorless and colorless, propane is a type of petroleum gas that is compressed into a liquid for storage and delivery. Propane is a clean energy source, but it takes care to store and use.
Propane leaks, like natural gas leaks, can have serious consequences. Savvy homeowners who follow safety procedures and know warning signs to look for will have a better grasp on how to deal with any possible problems.
A chemical compound that smells sulfurous, like rotten eggs, is added by manufacturers to help users detect leaks. If you use propane in your home, make sure your family is familiar with the smell of propane. Even the smallest whiff of propane’s smell can signal a leak, so it’s important to act if you do smell anything.
Propane gas detectors that identify leaks are a great supplement to home safety. They can be especially helpful for those with a poor sense of smell. Propane’s scent can also diminish in certain situations, such as air or water permeating the gas tank or an underground leak dispersing through the soil.
Detectors register propane concentration, not scent, in the air. Install multiple detectors near appliances such as laundry machines, furnaces, and in infrequently used areas for the best coverage.
How to React To Potential Gas Leaks
Should you detect even a faint smell of propane, acting immediately is crucial.
Extinguish any sources of flame, such as smoking materials or open flame. Leave the lights and appliances off. Avoid any activities that can static shock, sparks, or flame.
Only if it is safe, shut off the valve to your gas line. Usher everyone, including pets, out of the house until a professional has determined you are safe to return. Notify the fire department, and your propane utility company, of a potential leak.
Allow emergency personnel to investigate your leak and inform you once your home is secure. A professional technician should inspect your appliances before you return and use them.
Prevent Propane Leaks
Keeping your tank from running empty is the most important thing you can do to prevent leaks. An empty tank with an open gas line can be cause for a leak once you replenish your propane supply. Water or air seeping into your empty tank can cause it to rust, and can reduce the odor used to identify propane leaks in the first place.
Keep your tank free of rust or corrosion by properly maintaining it. Any propane appliances should be used only as directed. Scheduled inspections of your propane systems can also ward off issues before they become serious problems.
An empty tank can also lead to your pilot lights going out. If this happens, they need to be re-ignited immediately. Turn off any heat sources and allow gas to disperse, so the air nearby will not be ignited.
Always light the pilot burner first. Don’t turn off pilot lights to conserve energy, as they are designed to be on at all times. Any pilot light that goes out often needs to be serviced by a technician as soon as possible.
Handling Propane The Right Way
To prevent issues in the first place, you must know how to handle propane. To keep everything operating correctly, make sure you know the procedures to follow.
Never attempt propane system repairs yourself. Mistakes could cause serious consequences, so contact a technician to service any issues. Have your system serviced regularly to keep equipment working as intended for years to come.
Keep your range clean and free of debris. Messy ranges can be the cause of flash fires. Store a fire extinguisher designed for propane fires in your kitchen.
Notice the flame your propane burners give off. Natural gas flame should always be blue, but other colors can signify danger. If you see a flame color such as yellow, contact a technician to check for carbon monoxide or other issues.
Be mindful of severe weather, and always check your system after storms. In case of flooding, turn your main gas valve off until your home is cleared by a technician after flooding subsides. For heavy snow, always make sure accumulation is cleared off of valves, tanks, pipes, flues, and any other parts of your propane system.
Test your system often for leaks. Soapy water poured on connection points should reveal any leaks. If you see bubbling as you open your valves, that means gas is escaping from your seals.
Be Proactive About Propane Safety
Efficient and cost-saving propane is an ideal choice for your family’s energy needs. If you follow propane safety protocols, your propane system should take care of you for years to come.
Annual check-ups and a working knowledge of your propane system will help you avoid any major issues with propane use. While propane is flammable, it is safe and effective when serviced by professionals.
An expert propane company like Kauffman Gas can help you keep your propane system in excellent condition. Whether you’re trying to choose the perfect furnace for your home or just need help knowing when to top off your propane tank, the family of professionals at Kauffman can help.
Reach out to us today to find out how we can make propane work for you and your family!