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Can Propane Freeze or Gel?

How Cold Weather Effects Propane and How You Can Prevent Problems

propane freezing point vermont If you’re used to heating your home with oil here in Northern Vermont, you know that it can often dip below 16°F. That’s cold enough for your heating oil to gel, and result in problems keeping your home warm. But, if you have an aboveground propane tank, you might still be wondering if your propane supply can freeze or gel in similar fashion when temperatures plummet.

The good news is that the freezing point for propane is -44°F which is well below our average low in northern Vermont, which tends to be around 9°F in January. Suffice it to say, you don’t need to worry about your propane freezing.

Nevertheless, cold weather can still cause problems for the propane in your tank.

Like most substances, propane contracts in cold temperatures. If your propane tank is buried, you don’t need to worry. Temperatures need to get extremely cold for an extended period to affect the propane in an underground tank.

It’s a different situation with an aboveground propane tank. When it’s extremely cold outside, the volume of propane inside your aboveground propane tank will shrink, resulting in a loss of pressure. The problem is, if the pressure becomes too low, the propane inside your tank will not be able to reach your gas burner. That means you may not be able to run your propane appliances, including your furnace or boiler. In addition to no heat, you need to worry about pipes freezing.

3 Ways to Avoid Low Pressure Problems

  1. Keep your tank full. The best way to prevent pressure problems in your propane tank is to keep your tank at least 30% full. The more propane is in your tank, the more positive pressure there will be. When the forecast is predicting a stretch of low temperatures, check the gauge on your tank, and call us for a propane delivery if you’re getting too low.

    To make things easier, you can sign up for our convenient automatic delivery service. We factor the weather into our deliveries and scheduling without you ever having to call. We’ll make sure you never run low! (We do ask that you factor in the weather too—please keep driveways plowed and sanded, and clear a path to your tank so we can deliver your fuel safely at all times.)

  2. Keep the snow off your tank. If you notice snow accumulating on your propane tank, brush it off. When sunlight can reach your tank, it keeps the propane inside warmer and slows contraction.
  3. Turn down the heat. It may seem counterintuitive, but another way to reduce pressure problems is to turn down your thermostat. Your propane-fueled furnace or boiler won’t run as often, so it won’t try to draw propane from the tank, allowing the pressure inside your propane tank to rebuild.

Looking for Reliable Propane Services? Call Corse Fuels Today!

There’s a reason folks in Lamoille and Franklin Counties trust Corse Fuels for dependable propane deliveries, as well as tank installations, maintenance and more! We’ve got the knowledge, skills, and resources and can answer all your questions about the benefits of propane for your home. Contact us today to learn more.