How To Identify Leaks In Your Commercial Propane Tank Using A Simple And Safe Method

If your place of business uses propane, then you probably know there is a large outdoor tank that holds the propane. However, if that's all you know, then you may be costing yourself money; propane tanks frequently leak, and while most leaks are not particularly dangerous, they can be expensive depending on the amount of lost fuel. Professional tank technicians handle repairs, but you can save money by checking for propane leaks yourself. Below is what you will need to conduct a quick propane tank leak inspection:

Testing for propane leaks - Materials and tools needed

  • Clean, empty spray bottle
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • Stick of chalk

Testing for propane leaks - A step-by-step procedure

1. Mix your leak-finder solution - combine one ounce of dish washing detergent with ten ounces of clean tap water. Stir the solution carefully, but don't shake it vigorously, so you can avoid making a foamy solution. Instead you want your water bottle solution to remain transparent for easy viewing.

2. Inspect the propane tank and its related equipment - before you begin using the spray method for inspection, you need to conduct a visual and auditory survey of the tank and other connections. Look for signs of rust or corrosion and listen for hissing or rushing sounds.

3. Identify leaking propane - after conducting your survey of the tank, it's time to start testing for leaks. Adjust the spray bottle setting so that it shoots a narrow stream when pumped; a fine mist spray is too light to cover leaks and permit bubbles to form.

Begin by spraying your tank at the top and work your way around the side toward the ground. Pay special attention to areas around joints between sections, pipes, connections, and gauges. If you see bubbles continuously forming in one spot, then you have identified a likely leak. When you find leaks, use a piece of chalk and mark an "X" over the location. 

4. Contact the gas company for assistance - your local gas provider should have a website that lists contact information for various situations; unless it is a violent leak, don't contact the emergency hotline, but instead call the number for routine maintenance and repair requests.

5. Don't panic - even if you discover a leak in your propane tank, there is almost never any reason to panic. Most leaks are tiny in scope and permit an insignificant amount of gas to escape. For more serious leaks, the gas company will send a technician immediately to make repairs.

For more information about propane tank maintenance, contact a company like L P Gas Services Inc.