How to Fix Underground Propane Tank Problems [An Ultimate Guide]

Underground propane tanks have always been a reliable source to power the house. But malfunctions can occur due to many natural causes. As the propane tank is buried deep in the ground, detecting a problem can be hard.

Wondering how to detect and fix underground propane tank problems?

Yes, problems are detectable, and in most cases, fixable as well. You can detect 3 potential hazards: gas leaks, broken gas lines, and frozen regulators. You must follow some safety precautions. You can fix the broken gas line by replacing it and preventing regulators from freezing, avoiding fire hazards. 

In case you have a couple of minutes we can explore our step-by-step guide to fix your problem.

So, without further ado, let’s get started-

3 Propane Tank Problems That Might Occur

There are many underground propane tank problems such as gas leaks, frozen regulators, etc.

3 of them are frequent. Read the following guide to get solutions to fix them.

Before troubleshooting, we highly recommend inspecting the appliances working on propane gas for problems like monitor heater problems, stove not working, and others.

Problem 1: Tank is Leaking Gas

A gas leak is a common but dangerous problem. A gas leak can cause explosions and a large fire to spread.

As an underground tank is not visible, the gas leak often stays unnoticed. If a gas leak is detected it should be soon fixed before it’s too late.

Here are various methods for detecting a gas leak. 

How to Detect a Gas Leak

If you hear a hissing sound coming from your tank, try to detect an odor with your nose.

Propane is an odorless gas by nature, but propane firms add a harmless chemical called mercaptan. This is what gives it its unique “rotten egg” odor.

If you notice the odor, use soapy water or a leak detection solution. Right at the point where the propane tank’s cylinder valve and regulator output meet.

After then, slowly open the cylinder valve. If there is a leak, bubbles will form.

If you detect a gas leak, you must take the following safety measures.

Safety Measures to take:

As you have confirmed your underground propane tank leakage, you need to take some safety measures to avoid the potential fire.

  • Sometimes the bleeder valve doesn’t close properly after refilling. If so, simply turn the valve clockwise to stop the gas flow.
  • Put out any open flames once a gas leak has been detected. DO NOT turn on all switches and devices, even phones.
  • To prevent more propane gas from leaking, turn off the main gas supply valve.
  • Open as many windows as you can to allow the gas to escape the house. Don’t stop to pick any possessions. Inhaling the gas can cause health difficulties like choking.
  • Call your local emergency services. Seek shelter immediately in a nearby house at safe distance and don’t return before the professionals are done repairing.
  • To prevent leaks like these, try scheduling routine propane gas tank inspections.

If it’s not a gas leak, you can move on to the next possibility and fix it as well.

Problem 2: Gas Line Has Broken

Gas lines can hardly be broken. But if it does, fix it immediately following these steps. Otherwise, gas will leak out and start a fire.

Step 1 – Shut Off the Tank

Before working on it, confirm that your underground tank is off. Otherwise, the gas might leak out entirely creating a dangerous situation.

Step 2 – Find the Line that Leaks

You may smell the odor and listen for a hissing sound. A hiss typically indicates that gas is escaping from the line or tank.

Step 3 – Tighten the Valve of the Leaking Pipe

Tighten the valve on the hose’s connection to the tank. If required, use a wrench. 

Step 4 – Replace the Leaking Propane Pipe

If the strong gas odor persists despite tightening the valve, it may be time to replace the line. Purchase a new line from your local hardware shop and replace the old one.

While replacing the gas line you need to check if you have ½ or ¾  gas line range.

Attach the appropriate line and seal it with the tape. Check again for any indicators of gas.

Step 5 – Have the Propane Device Checked by a Professional

The measures outlined above are frequently simply a band-aid solution. The thread tape does not protect against gas leakage.

As a result, contact a skilled professional as soon as possible. They will conduct a thorough inspection and will undertake all necessary repairs. Notice the sign that your gas line needs maintenance.

Problem 3: Freezing Regulator

Regulators can sometimes freeze up due to weather or liquid propane passing through it. For a properly functioning gas supply, you have to fix the frozen regulator.

Cause 1: Condensation & Moisture

Condensation produced by a significant temperature differential is a common cause of moisture in propane tanks.

The tank feels colder than the surrounding, causing a freeze-up.

Solution 1: Remove Moisture

If you notice moisture, drain the water by removing the valve using a pipe wrench. Then fill the tank if you’re sure it’s completely dry.

Add 2 or 3 ounces of methanol inside the tank for more effect. Repeat the technique once a year and notify your provider.

Cause 2: Tank’s Position

Cylinders and tanks should always be situated and positioned according to their intended usage. As a result, liquid propane is kept away from the regulator and downstream equipment.

Otherwise, the liquid propane can freeze the regulator.

Solution 2: Place the Tank Correctly

Align The Tank Upright With The Service Valve. Use wedge or sleeve anchors to keep the tank in place and upright.

Cause 3: Overfilled Tank

Liquid propane can be overfilled in tanks without OPD valves. The liquid flows through the service valve and into the regulator as a result.

This can also lead to liquid spillage and explosions.

Solution 3: 

If you open the bleeder valve and find ice on the regulator, you have a problem. It’s best to contact your propane company right away.

And hopefully, you will now be able to fix any underground propane tank-related problems.

FAQ

Does my buried propane tank need maintenance?

Yes, every two years. Subterranean propane tanks must be installed and maintained by licensed propane specialists.

What are some ways to turn on a propane tank safely?

We propose that you connect your propane tank to your propane supply company. Despite the task’s simplicity, there may be some considerable problems.

How often do buried propane tanks need to be replaced?

Underground propane tanks have a life span of 20 to 30 years on average. It is determined by the property factors.

Take away

Underground propane tanks can provide vast amounts of benefits to your home appliances. But it must be addressed.

Underground propane tank issues might endanger your life and the lives of your loved ones. Hope we could help with our article to fix your problem.

So be careful and stay safe!

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