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We often smell propane around the tank or stove. The smell is similar to the smell of rotten eggs. Actually, propane is odorless and colorless. The pungent smell is infused by the manufacturer for ease of detection.
Now, is it normal to smell propane at the tank?
A faint smell of propane in the tank is normal. We smell propane when we light the stove or the fireplace. When you get an intense smell of propane, it is alarming. If you see that the smell is not fading away, leave the house immediately. There can be a hissing sound accompanied by the smell.
This can be a serious problem. Hence needs to be addressed as soon as possible!
Without further delay, let’s get started.
Is It Normal to Smell Propane at the Tank?
We already know that propane is colorless and odorless by nature. A particular chemical is induced in the propane gas so that a distinct smell is created.
Whenever there is a leakage, people can easily detect that by the smell of propane. And you won’t have to worry if you smell it at the tank.
Now, this smell is very similar to that of rotten eggs. If you smell rotten eggs all of a sudden, don’t start to panic.
The chemical that is added to propane to give its distinctive odor has a certain characteristic. It condenses out of propane and remains at the bottom of the cylinder as a liquid.
When propane becomes low in the tank, the liquids at the bottom start to evaporate. That creates an intense smell of propane. This smell is stronger than usual. This chemical will not burn completely with propane.
Therefore you will keep smelling it when the burner is lit. This distinctive smell can come from a gas heater without a vent. So a faint smell of propane at the tank is not something to worry about. But intense smell means there is a leakage.
Propane is flammable. Even a tiny spark can cause ignition. That is why a propane smell should be taken seriously. Any flames or sparks are dangerous during a leakage.
Recognizing the Smell Of Propane
Now how to recognize the smell of propane?
The smell of propane is like that of rotten eggs or dead animals. The smell is very strong and unpleasant. It is done in order to alert the clients in case of any leakage. It’s a precaution taken to the prevention of any safety hazards
Before calling for help make sure that you are not smelling any garbage or sewerage.
A faint smell of propane may be around your heater, stove, fireplace, or other electrical appliances. There is nothing to worry about that.
However, if you’re confident with the smelling ability of your nose it’s better that you get a gas/ propane detector. I’ve included some of Amazon’s best-rated gas leakage detectors.
|GasKnight 2.0 Natural Gas Detector||Check Price from Amazon|
|HSTMYFS Natural Gas Detector||Check Price from Amazon|
|Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Detector & Propane||Check Price from Amazon|
I Hope this suggestion was helpful. Moving on with the propane gas.
Potential leakage will spread an intense smell of propane. The propane smell might come from stove, tank, or sink. That situation is dangerous and should be treated seriously.
Things to Be Done When Propane Leakage Is an Issue
A potential propane leakage requires serious treatment. Everybody should be aware of gas leakage. Below we’ll discuss what you should do when there is a leakage.
1. Checking the Gas Tank:
The first thing you need to do after smelling the odor is to check the tank.
In rare cases, due to rusting inside the tank, the smell of propane gets dissipated. So, you need to do regular tank checking. Use Y201 Propane and Natural Gas Leak Detector to find out where is an intense amount of gas leakage.
There is also another process that’s done with a gas leak detector solution. Or you can simply use soapy water.
Use the solution or soapy water on the tank’s cylinder valve and regulator outlet connect. If there is a leak, bubbles will form.
Or check out this video on how to use leak detector.
2. Minimising the Risk And Damage of a Fire:
Whenever there is a leakage, there is a high chance of fire ignition. Even the smallest spark can trigger a big explosion.
Once you detect a leakage put out all open flames. Don’t turn on any electrical appliances, not even your phone.
3. Turn Off the Main Gas Supply:
If you detect the occurrence of propane leakage, turn the work of the main gas supply clockwise. It will prevent further leakage. Move out of your home to a safe location. After that, call your gas supplier.
4. Immediate Evacuation of the Building:
As soon as you smell propane, increase the ventilation by opening as many windows as possible. It will help the accumulated gas escape the building. The risk of an explosion will decrease.
Don’t waste any second packing any belongings. The accumulated propane will cause breathing distress.
5. Calling Emergency Number:
After sensing gas leakage, immediately take your family to a safe place, away from the building. After reaching a safe location, call for an emergency. You can call your gas supplier or local fire department.
I would say calling the local fire department is the best bet here as their response rate is much higher.
6. Wait Until the Problem is Solved:
We already know that we have to evacuate the building during a leakage. Once you leave, do not return until the fire department has finished its work. They will stop the leakage, get rid of the smell, and say when it’s safe to re-enter.
Do not go inside the building to collect any belongings. Propane gas must not be inhaled.
7. Routine Checking of Gas Tank:
You need to make a schedule for the tank inspection. Once a leak happens, there remains a chance for further leakage.
So, maintain a routine for regular checking of the tank. We recommend you do the scheduled checking of the tank from the start. By doing so you can avoid the unpleasant situation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do I smell gas without leakage?
A faint or faded smell of propane is not alarming. Actually, the smell of propane lingers when you light a stove. Same with the gas in the fireplace and hot water heater. But if there is a potential leakage should be treated seriously. Call a professional if the situation demands.
Is turning on lights safe when a gas leakage?
It is not safe if there is a chance of a spark. We must be very careful so that nothing can create a spark is used. Even a tiny spark can ignite a fire or trigger an explosion. We must not use rotary telephones, light switches, open flames or lighter, or thermostats.
How dangerous is a gas leakage?
For various reasons, propane gas is considered to be safe. First of all,l it is non-toxic. It is not harmful to the soil or underground water. And it is flammable only when the source is 920 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Awareness is the key to protection from any unwanted situation. Our little ignorance can lead to massive accidents. Gas leakage should not be handled carelessly.
If you were wondering- is it normal to spend smell propane of the tank? Now you know the reasons behind and what to do in this situation.
That’s all for today. Take care of yourself and the people around you. Bye-bye!
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.