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Will My Propane Go Bad?

It’s the Fuel Without a Shelf-life

propane expiration Lamoille, vt Other fuel sources can degrade over time. Kerosene, diesel, heating oil and gasoline will all be negatively impacted by long-term storage, affecting how well they perform. You may have noticed the problems with the gas in a car that’s been sitting for a few months. It can impact the engine, and with heating oil, it can affect your boiler or furnace.

Unlike those other types of fuel, propane never “goes bad.” It makes propane a smart choice for all kinds of appliances and equipment in your home, like water heaters, which you use all the time, but also for those you use sporadically, like space heaters and fireplaces. It’s one of the reasons propane is particularly smart for whole-house generators. Hopefully, you don’t need to use it often, but you don’t want to worry about the fuel not working in an emergency.

Propane Storage

While propane can’t expire, it’s important that the tank used for storage is maintained properly. That goes for large storage tanks as well as for the portable tanks used for grills and RVs. Tanks need to be inspected and recertified every 10 years or so, depending on the size and type of tank. Inspections ensure that valves are working correctly and there’s no corrosion that can lead to leaks.

Can Propane Freeze?

People often ask us if they need to worry about their propane freezing. If you’ve lived in northern Vermont for a while, you know winters can serve up some frigid temperatures. Average lows in the area can run into the teens in January.
Fortunately, the freezing point of propane is -44 degrees Fahrenheit, so you don’t need to worry about your propane freezing.

While it’s unlikely your propane will freeze, it can still be affected by very cold temperatures, particularly in an above-ground tank. Propane contracts when it’s cold. When it’s extremely cold outside, the volume of propane inside your aboveground propane tank will shrink, which creates 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, which can be very problematic in the winter.

How to Avoid Low-Pressure Problems

  1. Keep your propane tank at least 30% full to maintain positive pressure. If very cold weather is in the forecast, check your propane tank gauge and call us to schedule a delivery. (If you’re on automatic delivery, we’ll take the weather into account and there’s no need to call.)
  2. Don’t let snow build up on your propane tank. Clear it so sunlight can reach your tank and keep it warmer.
  3. If you use propane to heat your home, turn down your thermostat so your heating system doesn’t run as often, giving the pressure inside your propane tank a chance to rebuild.

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.