Can Propane Freeze?

Written on: February 6, 2023

How to protect your propane supply and your propane tank

propane freezing point minnesota We’ve had a doozy of a winter here in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota so far and it looks to stay cold and snowy for a while. This weather may have you wondering about the security of your propane supply. Specifically, can the propane in your tank freeze or gel during extremely cold weather? 

The freezing point for propane is -44˚ Fahrenheit. The record low for our service area is -60˚F. But those extreme temperatures haven’t happened in about almost 30 years, making it very unlikely that the propane in your home’s tank is in danger of freezing.  

Nonetheless, frigid temperatures can bring about other difficulties with regard to your propane supply.

When the temperature dips, propane, like other liquids, contracts. As such, during freezing weather conditions, you may find that the volume of propane in an aboveground tank has decreased. As that volume decreases, so does the pressure inside your propane tank. You could find yourself in a bind if your propane tank’s pressure drops too low, as the gas is unable to get through to the burners of your appliances. This means your heating system, water heater, and other propane-powered appliances will not operate.

Tips for protecting your propane supply in winter

Here are three straightforward steps you can take to ensure that your propane supply is secure throughout the winter season.

Keep your propane tank at least 30% full. When your propane tank is over 30% full, there will be positive pressure in the tank. Lakes Gas’ Automatic Delivery and wireless propane tank monitoring services ensure that you’re not left without fuel; they’ll provide a timely delivery before your tank drops too low!

Turn down the thermostat. Keeping your thermostat lower by a few degrees may not seem like much, but it can help significantly reduce how often you’re using your heating system without making your home uncomfortable. This helps to maintain the pressure in your propane tank and helps prevent the pressure from getting low. A smart or programmable thermostat will help make this easy. 

Don’t let snow pile on your propane tank. To ensure your propane tank remains functioning properly, be sure to regularly sweep off the snow that accumulates on its surface. When there is an accumulation of snow atop the propane tank, it can impede sunlight from entering and heating up the gas inside. This lack of warmth results in a decrease in pressure in the tank. To safeguard your tank from any harm, never use a shovel to remove snow. Instead, try sweeping away the snow with a broom for best results. Additionally, make sure you clear all vents and flues on your home to prevent buildup and keep your ventilation safe and clear.

Maintain access to your propane tank. If the Lakes Gas delivery driver is unable to get down your driveway and to your tank in a safe manner, we will be unable to make a propane delivery. To ensure the safety of our delivery trucks, we ask that you clear your driveway to a width of 10 feet. If your driveway is on an incline, please use sand and/or driveway de-icer as our trucks are heavy. Make sure there’s a path at least one foot wide from your driveway to your propane tank and mark the location of the tank with a tall pole topped with a bright-colored fabric or flag. That way, we can find it easily after heavy snowfalls. 

With the peace of mind that comes from Lakes Gas’ Automatic Delivery and wireless propane tank monitoring services, you can be guaranteed to always have enough propane to keep your home warm and comfortable. Become a customer today!