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Propane Tank Safety Relief Valves

Written By: on February 16, 2021

Learn more about an important piece of your tank!

propane tank valve arizonaFolks just like you all over northern Arizona love having propane in their homes because it is so versatile, clean burning, and is incredibly energy efficient.

And if you currently fuel your residence with propane, you should understand how your exactly your propane tank works, along with other propane safety best practices. Specifically, it’s important to get acquainted with the propane tank’s safety relief valve.

All propane tanks, including the cylinders you use for your grill or firepit, are required by law to have pressure relief devices that allow for the release of excess pressure inside the tank. The safety relief valve is designed to protect your propane tank from rupturing in case excess pressure builds up in the tank. Other names for safety relief valves include pop-off valves, relief valves, or pressure venting valves.

A strong spring keeps the safety relief valve closed as long as the pressure inside the tank is at a safe level. If the pressure in the tank reaches the same amount of pressure of the spring, the safety relief valve is opened. If that happens, you’ll hear a hissing sound coming from the tank as pressure is dissipated.

In instances where the pressure in the tank is much higher than that of the spring, the valve will fully open. You’ll hear a pop if that occurs.

Once the pressure is down below the pressure of the spring, the valve closes on its own. If the valve pops open, it may be replaced. Contact us if you have any questions and DO NOT try to replace it or fix it on your own. This is not a do-it-yourself job.

What Causes Pressure Inside A Propane Tank?

Like any other liquid, propane expands in heat. But propane’s expansion is over 17 times greater than that of water.

With that kind of expansion, there needs to be room inside your propane tank to accommodate it. That is the reason why your propane tank is filled to 80% of its capacity and not to 100%. The 20% of the tank that is empty space allows the propane to safely expand.

Expansion is also the explanation for why propane tanks are painted white or beige. Light colors reflect heat away from your tank, minimizing how much the propane in there will expand. Dark colors, on the other hand, retain heat. That much heat can cause the propane inside your tank to expand to dangerous levels.

So, while a white or beige propane tank may not be your first choice when pairing with your landscaping or siding, please leave it be for your safety.

Superior Propane is committed to the safe delivery of propane and the safe installation of propane tanks. Do you have questions about propane safety? Please get in touch with us. We’re glad to help in any way we can!