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Thread: Propane Tank Empty

  1. #1

    Default Propane Tank Empty

    I have a second home that uses propane for heat and hot water. I went to the property today and found that the propane tank was completely empty. I assume the pilot light on the water heater is out but I didn't think to turn off the propane supply valve.

    Do I need to worry about gas leaking after the tank is filled and before the pilot light is relit ? Or am I OK getting the tank filled and relighting the pilot light a few days later ?

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Don't have experience with propane, but when the gas flow is stopped on a natural gas appliance, the valve closes. To relight the pilot, you must manually hold the valve open, light the pilot, and continue holding the valve open for something like a minute. I'd have to believe propane appliances would have a similar safety feature.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Most propane company's won't fill an empty tank unless someone is home so they can check for pilots that need to be lit.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Propane

    They will fill it but will turn off the tank's valve. The water heater and furnace pilots are 100% safety, and always have been for propane units. The kitchen stove could have pilots and those are the ones the filler would be concerned about, so the user would have to turn the tank on and then light those pilots if he had them.

  5. #5
    DIY Member MarkHash's Avatar
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    With the cost of filling a tank like that approaching $1000, I wonder if theft could be a possiblity? What would be involved in stealing from a tank at an isolated cabin?

  6. #6
    Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek Mikey's Avatar
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    I would sure find a way to secure it somehow, but the more isolated, the more difficult that would be. Given enough isolation, I could defeat almost any security system in under 10 minutes, and the crackheads are doing that in major metro areas in broad daylight. Maybe you could bury the real tank somewhere and keep an above-ground tank with a little propane it in as a diversion.

  7. #7
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    With a full tank no one is going to steal it without a lot of work and some specialized equipment.

    You might get some vandals release the gas into the air.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default tank

    It depends on the size of the tank. A 50 gallon vertical tank can be slid onto a truck even when it is filled.

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