What happens When Your Propane System Fails and How do You Prevent It?



My old friend Freezedryguy https://www.freezedryguy.com/, the well-known food supplier who deals in Mountain house and other products called me this morning.  He is visiting friends at an undisclosed location in one of our cold states.  The people that he is visiting are preppers and are in pretty good shape.  But this morning they ran out of propane.  It appears that their system has developed a leak.

Now because there are well prepared, this was a mere inconvenience, they fired up the old Earth stove and soon had heat.  But he was telling me that because they believe in the old saying, one is none, two is one that they are now ordering a second propane tank.  This one will be connected to the system, but will stay turned off until needed.  That will prevent both tanks from being emptied in case of another leak.

Because the life of propane is indefinite, you don’t need to worry about it going bad.  I would still rotate the tanks on a regular basis just to make sure that the valves and everything is working.

One big mistake that they made was not checking their tank on a regular schedule to see how full they were. If you only have one, check it often so that you can always count on it.  Fortunately, they keep their wood stove in good condition, the chimney cleaned and a good supply of wood.

Propane Safety Guidelines for the Home

  • Examine the valves and other fittings for signs of corrosion or rust.  If you suspect a leak, spray the fitting with soapy water and water for bubbles.  If you find a leak, shut the system down and get help.
  • Propane leaks smell like rotten eggs.  Educate your family so they may recognize the smell.
  • If you smell a leak, evacuate the premises, and contact your local fire department. When leaving the premises, do not alter any electrical outlets or light switches.
  • Propane leak detectors are available at your local hardware stores.
  • Know the layout of your gas services lines, especially if you are doing any type of landscaping or renovations.
  • If you suspect your gas appliance has been damaged by water or flooding, have a trained technician come out and service your system.
  • In case of sediment buildup in your propane fueled water heater, drain your tank until water runs clean.
  • Have your range serviced if the flames are not blue.  Yellow flames indicate blockage to the air inlets, or an adjustment may be need to the burner.  Contact a technician to service.
  • Never use a gas range or grill to heat your home.
  • Propane is heavier than air and will flow to the low areas.
  • Make sure everyone in your family or group knows how to turn the propane off.
  • Be sure you know how to turn your system back on safely.  This means knowing how to relight the pilot lights


2 thoughts on “What happens When Your Propane System Fails and How do You Prevent It?”

  1. Another tip is to have separate propane tank and plumbing to power the backup genset, from that used to power the stove, gas grill, water heater, etc. You don’t want to be running down the reserve capacity of your generator by powering your household equipment from the same supply.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top