Posted: January 4, 2016
Posted by: SOS Xtreme Comfort
Propane is heavier gas than natural gas. It is used for outdoor cooking on gas grills, for heating and cooling in RVs and motor homes, and in some cases, can be used for cooking and heating in some homes. While some people may not be able to stay warm or cook without it, some precautions are necessary when using propane.
If you use propane for cooking or heating your home, then there are a few things to keep in mind. Be aware of the fact that it has great potential to do harm if you do not take the proper precautions. A leaking furnace or stove top can allow the gas to quickly fill an enclosed space. However, this gas is not odorless and in most cases, the occupants of a home can smell it. The manufacturers of propane add an odor to it so that if it were to leak, homeowners would be able to smell it. There are some situations, however, where you may not be able to smell it because it has been exposed to air, water, or rust. In the event that you may not be able to smell it, some backup precautions are necessary and could keep you and your household members safe.
An explosive gas and carbon monoxide alarm can be used in homes. It can warn occupants if levels of propane or natural gas reach a dangerous level. It can also warn occupants of carbon monoxide build up. Alarms cost from $40 to $80 and typically last several years. Many manufacturers provide a free replacement, should the device malfunction in any way. One thing to look for is the quality of the alarm that you would like to purchase. It should have the Underwriters Laboratories or UL on the label. Make sure to follow the instructions closely when installing these devices so that it guarantees that it works properly. Investing in one of these alarms can really keep your household members safe and will create peace of mind if you are concerned about not being able to smell the propane if you were to have a leak in your home.
Always using an approved tank is another way to prevent explosions from propane. When used to heat the home or for cooking, an outdoor tank that holds several hundred gallons is typically used. The tank should be free from rust and holes. It should be easy to access, so proper levels can be checked. Valves or lines to the home should be checked, to ensure the gas does not back up in the lines. Have a professional come out and inspect your tank regularly.
Propane tanks should be inspected regularly for holes, rust, and potential leaks, to prevent the gas from losing its odor. This can happen when propane is mixed with water or air, such as with a rust hole in the bottom of the outdoor tank.
Appliances that use propane should be properly maintained. If anything doesn’t seem right, such as low flame or low pressure, the appliance should be repaired by a certified technician right away. Lines going to the appliance should be inspected when routine maintenance or repairs to the appliance are done.
Every propane tank should have a proper shut off valve. This valve is necessary, in the event of a leak or repair issue, to shut off the supply of propane gas. Appliances should have their own shut off valves as well, for repairs and routine service.
Propane is efficient for cooking and heating, when used properly. It should be stored and handled with care, using the proper valves, lines, and fittings. This applies to home use or anything that might utilize propane such as RVs, gas grills, and cook stoves.