Written on: January 21, 2022
Today’s propane tanks are designed for safety, sturdiness and longevity.
Even so, you still have to be well informed about the features of your propane tank so that it will function safely, and so that you’ll be aware if something is wrong. You must also understand how and where to properly turn it off.
The safety features on your propane tank are put in place to safeguard you and your property from fire, storms or other calamities.
Go out to your propane tank and familiarize yourself with these features:
Take a look at your propane tank’s shutoff valve, located at the base of the tank. The round, capped safety relief valve is nearby.
The safety relief valve is a vital component of your propane tank’s safety system. It works on its own to keep your tank safe from dangerous pressure buildup. Propane expands in heat. If the expansion reaches a hazardous level, whether it’s due to extremely hot weather or a fire, the safety relief valve opens on its own to relieve some of the pressure. It shuts off automatically once the tank’s pressure has returned to normal.
Make sure to keep your face and hands well out of the way of the safety relief valve.
The regulator is located beneath the protective tank cover on top of the tank. It’s a flat, circular device with a knob that connects to the shutoff valve via a tube.
It’s named the regulator because it regulates the flow and pressure of propane moving from the tank to your home’s appliances. It prevents damage to your appliances if the pressure within the tank becomes too high.
This is sometimes called the service valve. It is also located under the tank cover on the top of your tank. The shutoff valve is a dial that looks like a metal spigot and is plumbed to the top of the propane tank.
You’ll need to know how to operate the shutoff valve in order to properly turn off the propane gas supply at the tank during an emergency or a leak, or if you need to evacuate your home. Follow the “lefty loosy, righty tighty” rule and turn the valve clockwise to fully shut off the gas.
Learn about the safe use of propane on our Propane Safety page, which has learning modules on a variety of propane-safety topics from the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC).