What Happens If I Let My Tank Run out of Propane?

March 12, 2018 –

Running out of propane is a serious no-no that can cause all kinds of problems — and potential dangers — for you in your propane-powered home.

In fact, one of the best ways to practice propane safety is to make sure you never run out of propane gas!

Consider the following consequences of letting your propane tank run out:

  • If a valve or gas line is open when the propane supply runs out, a leak can occur when the system is recharged with propane.
  • Air and moisture that penetrate an empty propane tank can cause rust build-up inside the tank. Rust decreases the concentration of the odor of propane, making it more difficult to smell.
  • Any pilot lights on your appliances will go out if your propane tank runs out -– a problem that can be extremely dangerous if not handled properly.
  • Any interruption in service, including an out-of-gas call, requires that a qualified technician perform a leak test–paid for by you–to meet federal code requirements (National Fuel Gas Code Section 4.2.1/4.2).

The bottom line: Don’t run out of propane!

The good news is you can avoid all these problems with FREE Automatic Propane Delivery, which uses your historical usage and house size to estimate when you’ll need more propane.

For even more peace of mind, try our fully-monitored Tank Butler Service.

Never run out of propane again! Contact Paraco today to sign up for FREE Automatic Delivery or Tank Butler service!


  1. Anita wright on January 21, 2020 at 2:05 am

    We use propane gas tfor our hot water heater. This is the first time in 33 years that we ran out of gas …..today. We are concerned. We cut off the switch to the tank for the gas coming to the house. How long can you be out of propane gas in your tank before it is considered dangerous. Thanks

    • Isousa on January 22, 2020 at 8:26 am

      Hi Anita! Your supplier will need to do a leak check after filling the tank and turning the system back on.

  2. Mike Sanders on April 29, 2020 at 10:34 am

    I like what you said about your tank developing a leak when you run out of propane. My sister has been telling me about how she wants to start using propane to heat her home soon. I’ll share this information with her so that she can look into her options for propane services that can help her with this.

  3. Alice Carroll on February 10, 2021 at 2:19 am

    It’s helpful that you mentioned that an empty propane tank can be very susceptible to rusting. I’m going to keep that in mind when finding a propane delivery service soon. I’d like to make sure that I wouldn’t have an empty tank for a long amount of time in order to avoid damaging it.

  4. JW on February 16, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    If I left the heat on and propane runs out and then is refilled while valve inside the building is still open, what are the dangers? Will it continue to fill the room with propane gas?

    • Isousa on February 17, 2021 at 9:29 am

      Hi JW! If you experience an interruption of service due to your gas supply running out your propane company, after refilling the container will turn the service valve off until a leak check can be done. During a leak check, the propane company verifies that your gas line holds pressure for 3 minutes with no equipment running to ensure that gas is not escaping into the home. At that point, the container valve can be reopened and regular appliance use resumed.

  5. Debbie Thibault on February 27, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    This is the second time in a row my provider has allowed my propane tank to run empty. They said we may have to wait five days for a refill. Our house only runs on propane for heat. Is this legal for them to leave us without any way to heat our house? We have a sensor on our tank

    • Kristen Anderson on February 28, 2022 at 10:14 am

      We’re so sorry to hear that you’re having trouble. If you’re interested in switching to Paraco, get in touch! We’re happy to help and keep your tank full and happy.

  6. Ross on January 27, 2023 at 11:26 pm

    My landlord supposedly checked my tank about 3 weeks ago. He stated that it was only half empty. This Friday evening I realized that it was getting cold inside the house. And yup, no propane. Do I have to go all weekend in the middle of winter with no gas?

    • Ines on February 1, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Ross! We are sorry to hear about your situation, but we are not in a position to give you advice on how to proceed. 

  7. Gary Gamache on February 24, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    I have a two 120 gal. tanks piped together for a 240 gal. system, owned by the gas company that supplies my propane. One tank has a manufacturer data plate, one does not have a data plate. Is this a problem? They offered to sell me the tanks. Any advice?

    • Ines on February 27, 2023 at 10:53 am

      Hi Gary! There are two types of propane containers built to similar specifications but overseen by two different government bodies. ASME containers are measured in gallons and have a data plate with all the information etched into it. DOT cylinders are measured in pounds and have all the information etched directly into the steel of the outer collar of the container. Based on the description it seems that you have one of each. Both are completely fine to use for residential use.

      • Diane Davis on January 16, 2024 at 8:32 pm

        Checking to see if you service my area… Marshall NC

        • Ines on January 17, 2024 at 7:00 am

          Hi Diane! We don’t serve that area, Paraco currently serves NY, CT, MA, NJ and PA.

  8. Elle Jones on July 21, 2023 at 11:24 am

    I appreciate what you stated about your tank leaking when your gas is out. My sister has been mentioning to me how soon she hopes to start heating her house with gas. I’ll provide her with this information so she may research the propane services that might be of assistance to her.

Leave a Comment