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  1. #1

    Smelling gas near LP tank is normal?

    I usually smell gas near my LP tank outside. Typically I can begin to smell it when I am 5-10 feet away, and I always smell it when I am standing at the tank. I have lived in this house for 3 years and have asked the gas company on several occasions about this. I am always told that it is normal to smell gas near the tank. I have very high heating bills despite keeping the thermostat below 64 degrees and have done everything to minimize air leaks in my house. Is this leak near the tank normal?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,855
    Smell it all the time? No. Need to isolate where and repair. If you are a smoker, don't around the tank. Because of its specific gravity, LP sinks when exposed to natural atmosphere so the smell will normally be stronger closer to the ground unless there is a strong breeze. I'm kind of surprised your gas supplier is so cavalier about a leak, normally they get real busy real quick. Maybe you need a new one (supplier that is).
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  3. #3
    I've been told it's normal by the woman who answers the phone at their office, as well as by the guys that come fill the tank up on at least 3 occassions in the past 3 years. Meanwhile, I've lived bundled up all these winters because I can't afford the gas bills, which are high despite keeping the house cool. Any suggestions as to dealing with my current provider? Any way I can recoup some of the money I've paid?

    I don't smoke. And I have never had to be near the ground to smell the gas; it's strong enough at nose level. Thanks for your help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,660
    Propane is a rip off. It is very expensive to heat a house with. My advice is too call another propane company out to investigate. We have them all over the place here and you can call who you want out. How big is your house? How much are you paying for propane? Where do you live? What is your bill? From what I've found here in Texas, you can look to be paying $150-$300 a month for propane in the wintertime for an average house of say 1300-2000 sq. ft.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    georgia
    Posts
    562
    dont know anything about propane but I too would either call out another company and have them inspect/address your concerns and/or get your current company to memorialize their stance that nothing is wrong in writing. If they wont, find a new supplier quick!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Princeton Texas
    Posts
    114
    Most propane tanks have a regulator pressure relief valve, or reducer that vents to the atmosphere, same as most natural gas meters. Its normal to get just a hint of gas once in a while if you stand next to the tank long enough, but not a consistant smell. There is also a high pressure pop off on the the tank. If during the summer the tank pressure gets high enough the tank while dump the pressure through this relief valve. Most leaks that I run across are caused by this valve. Either week or they get debree stuck in them. In any case the company should at least come and inspect it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio, United States
    Posts
    12,921
    Twilly says wrap tank in saran wrap and if wrap expands u have leak.
    No Heat No Cool You need Action Fast

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ward, Arkansas, United States
    Posts
    842
    Just a thought but if your in a rural area and have a Volunteer fire dept near by. I'd just go chat one of those guys up and maybe have the Chef come out and take a look if they are willing. If nothing else it might get someone's attention at the Propane company.

    I would say it's probably the relief you are smelling which is pretty normal but if it's excessive it's best to exercise caution.
    "Gentlemen. You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!"-Dr. Strangelove (1964)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,039
    If the gas supplier hasn't done any testing after being informed of your concern about a leak you seriously need to find a different supplier. Call a few different ones, explain the situation and see what they'll do. If you don't own the tank and are only renting or leasing it from the supplier most other companies won't touch it.

    If you own the tank, definitely find a new supplier.

    If you are leasing it then still call and see if other companies will take a look.

    I've been told by more than one LP supplier that the company they purchase their gas from have very specific rules and regulations to what they must do. Responding appropriately to any reported gas leaks is very near the top of the list.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    97
    Go out there with soapy water if you find the leak fix it if you can't fix call em out. sometimes they will spring leaks in the process of filling the tank. I had it happen to me once if i wouldn't have checked to see if they had been there, I would have lost some LP.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    68
    I agree with REECHMAN, soap and water, locate the leak yourself. A very small leak outside may never become dangerous but is obviously costing you money.

    I'd guess chances are a faulty fitting is to blame. Once the leak is located you can point it out to the supplier and have them repair it if necessary.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Caledonia,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    404
    Quote Originally Posted by Twilly View Post
    Twilly says wrap tank in saran wrap and if wrap expands u have leak.
    Too funny !!! Where do you come up with this stuff !!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Caledonia,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    404
    Quote Originally Posted by 612Rob View Post
    I agree with REECHMAN, soap and water, locate the leak yourself. A very small leak outside may never become dangerous but is obviously costing you money.

    I'd guess chances are a faulty fitting is to blame. Once the leak is located you can point it out to the supplier and have them repair it if necessary.
    Are you for real ?? A leak is a leak, espically with propane !! You might as well trail a line of gasoline to the tank....just as safe as propane will pool on the ground !!!

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