14 Propane Technical Questions Explained
March 30, 2021 Propane Answers
- Who uses propane?
Propane has both residential and commercial uses. Over 12.6 million U.S. households use propane for home and space heat, appliances like ranges and hot water, and other purposes. It is also popular commercially in construction/building, agriculture, industrial, transportation and other applications.
- What is propane?
Propane, also known as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or LP gas is a hydrocarbon (C3H8). Around 97% of propane used in the U.S. is produced in North America. Propane is produced from both natural gas processing and crude-oil refining, is nontoxic, colorless, and odorless. However, just like with natural gas, an odorant is added to help detect its presence.
- Is propane easy to use and store?
Yes. Readily available throughout the U.S. propane gets delivered directly to you by a propane retailer. Propane tanks come in varying sizes, require little maintenance, have an extremely long shelf life, lasting up to 40 years, and are environmentally friendly. All that plus propane’s portability in liquid forms make it a convenient, versatile fuel for grilling, landscaping (mowers), patio heat, camping and more.
- How do I know if a propane technician is properly trained?
Strict codes, regulations, and the propane industry’s extensive training and safety awareness programs help ensure safety to ALL end-users. All our employees are members of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) which operates the Certified Employee Training Program, mandatory at Paraco to train and certify propane techs in all aspects of propane so they’re trained in the most current procedures.
- What should I do if I have a problem with my propane appliance?
Immediately call your propane provider or a qualified service technician. They have been specially trained and can inspect, evaluate, adjust, repair or replace any propane system component. Never modify or repair a propane appliance’s valves, regulators, connectors, controls, or a propane tank’s cylinder or its parts yourself. Propane systems incorporate special safety components.
- What should I do if my pilot light isn’t working?
Any time your pilot light is out or appears to be malfunctioning, carefully check for any strong odors of gas (smells like sulfur or rotten eggs). If you smell gas, the pilot light frequently goes out, or is hard to light, DO NOT attempt to troubleshoot the problem! A qualified propane service technician should inspect the appliance and pilot light before using it again.
- Can I convert a natural gas furnace to propane?
Yes. Many natural gas furnaces can be converted to propane and a professional propane technician can perform this.
- My propane container has been locked off. Why do I need to have someone home for it to be unlocked if you were able to lock it when no one was home?
We can disconnect service at the propane tank or regulator and install a lock on the tank without entering your home. To resume service, we must remove the lock and perform a leak check, which may require us to access your home to shut off gas flow to an appliance(s). Once the leak check is completed and the propane is turned back on, all appliance pilots must be verified for proper operation.
- My propane container gauge reads 45% but my appliance isn’t working. What should I do?
See if your other gas appliances are working. If they are, call your HVAC service professional to fix the broken appliance. If they are not, contact us as soon as possible.
- Your technician “red-tagged” my propane tank/appliance. What does that mean and what do I do now?
If a technician finds the container or appliance in an unsafe location, leaking or in violation of code, he must turn off the system until a repair, relocation or replacement can be arranged. The technician reports red tags to a local Area Manager who will schedule a follow-up call to remedy the situation as soon as possible.
- Do I need to be home for the installation or can I have someone else there?
Yes, someone 18 or older needs to be present for an installation.
- I received a change-out letter. What does that mean?
To remain in use, DOT propane cylinders must be recertified 12 years after the original manufacture date and then every 5 years thereafter by a visual inspection. We need to schedule an appointment when someone is home to remove your current propane cylinder, install a replacement container, and perform a leak check. You will receive full credit for propane that is in your current cylinder and be billed for the propane needed to fill the new container.
- I don’t want to shut off my propane tank every time I leave for vacation or the season. Is there a way to save money and not heat my hot water when I am not home?
Many hot water heaters have a vacation mode, where the pilot remains on, but the burner does not. When you return, turn the valve on and the hot water heater will work as normal.
- There are propane companies offering partial container filling for customers. Can we expect the same?
Paraco fills your container to its full capacity to reduce the number of deliveries we make so we can be available for you when you need fuel most.
- How is my propane system designed?
Your propane system has four basic parts, a tank or cylinder, one or more regulators, gas piping, and gas appliance(s).
- Can I bury my current aboveground propane tank?
Aboveground containers are not coated or manufactured to be buried. We carry underground propane containers in various sizes. Please contact our Sales Department at 800-647-4427 to learn more.
- Can I connect my barbecue to my main propane tank?
Built-in or stationary units can be connected to the main propane supply. Installation options include quick disconnect and barbecue box models. Please contact us at 800-647-4427 for information.