Propane Education. July 2014 – Blog Post

Written on July 24, 2014

Propane Education

As you may already know, many food trucks use propane gas to power its appliances. Propane is a great source of clean fuel and it’s used by millions of Americans each day. But, in order to use propane in a safe way, there are a few things we need to know. Information is always our best tool when trying to prevent accidents from happening, so join us to learn a little bit more about this fuel that is almost irreplaceable in the food truck industry.


What is propane?

Propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8) and is sometimes referred to as liquefied petroleum gas. It is a safe and environmentally friendly fuel, as well as nontoxic, colorless, and odorless. Because propane is virtually odorless in its natural state, a commercial odorant, compared to the smell of “rotten eggs,” is added so propane can be detected if it leaks from its container.


Handle propane tanks carefully

  • Properly secure portable propane tanks when transporting.
  • Do not leave portable propane tanks in cars or closed vehicles.
  • Secure temporary tanks when used for building heat, hot water, or cooking.
  • Contact a qualified propane service retailer to connect tanks to appliances. 


Use propane gas appliances with care

  • Do not use propane gas BBQ grills inside.
  • Refrain from using stoves or ovens for space heating.
  • Have a qualified propane service technician connect appliances and perform a leak test.


Serious safety hazards, including fire or explosion, can result. If an appliance valve or a gas line is left open when the propane supply runs out, a leak could occur when the system is recharged with propane. Air and moisture could get into an empty or depleted storage tank, which can cause rust build-up inside the tank. Rust can decrease the concentration of the odor of propane, making it harder to smell. If your propane tank runs out of gas, any pilot lights on your appliances will go out. This can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly.

A leak check is required
In many states, a propane retailer or a qualified service technician must perform a leak check of your propane system before turning on the gas.

Set up regular delivery 
Establish a regular delivery schedule with your propane retailer. Also, periodically check the fuel gauge on your propane tank. If the fuel level drops below 20%, call your propane retailer.

Propane odor loss:
On rare occasions, propane can lose its odor. If you are concerned that you or others in your home may have difficulty smelling propane, consider buying one or more propane gas detectors. Propane gas detectors are designed to sound an alarm if they sense the presence of propane. To be sure propane gas detectors operate properly, install and maintain them as the manufacturer recommends. Even if you install gas detectors, have a qualified service technician inspect your propane system and propane appliances periodically.


If You Smell Gas or Your Propane Detector Goes Off:

  • Immediately extinguish all smoking materials and open flames.
  • Get everyone out of the area where you suspect the gas is leaking.
  • Turn off the gas supply valve of your propane tank if it is safe to do so.
  • Once away from the leak, contact your propane supplier. If you can’t reach them, call 911.
  • Do not return to the area until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or qualified service technician determines it is safe to do so.
  • Get your system checked. Before you attempt to use any of your propane.
  • appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.


DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES try to modify or repair valves, regulators, connectors, controls, or other appliance and cylinder/tank parts. Always rely on a qualified service technician.

Prestige Food Trucks collected the information above from the websites below. Please refer to a qualified service technician if you have any questions about your propane tank. 

Works Cited

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