How to Remove Water From a Propane Tank

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As a non-toxic and clean-burning gas, propane is mostly used for heating homes, cooking and an alternative to gasoline. It's one of the most common energy sources for engine applications and even motor vehicles. From furnaces to outdoor grills and irrigation pumps, propane is used for business and home improvement, as well as agricultural reasons. The storage containers, also known as propane tanks, are filled with the fuel in its liquid form. Moisture in propane tanks is often caused by condensation due to a considerable temperature difference.

How to Remove Water From a Propane Tank
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Using Propane Tanks During Winter

Given that propane is a much colder fuel, it's not unusual for the tank to freeze up during winter. In many cases, especially when hitting below zero temperatures, propane tanks will fail to keep your appliance or system working properly. At propane freezing point, which is -306.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the gas output drops completely. However, this is only possible in a laboratory and will most probably not happen if you live in a snowy climate. The best thing you can do is keep your propane tank away from the snow so that it can get as much sunlight as possible.

Avoid Moisture in Propane Tanks

Condensation forms when there is a temperature imbalance between the interior of the tank and the air outside. When exposed to a significantly different temperature, the liquid turns to vapor, which in turn renders the tank to feel colder than the surrounding temperature. This happens because propane uses the tank's steel walls to "boil" into gas vapor. At higher temperatures, sunlight can cause condensation inside the propane tank, leading to possible regulator freeze ups. Make sure you drain the water from the tank as soon as you notice any moisture, then proceed to refill the tank accordingly.

Removing Water from a Propane Tank

When there is water in the propane tank, this can also affect the performance of your propane-fueled appliances. You can eliminate the excess moisture by taking the valve out of the cylinder with a pipe wrench, then drain the water out through the remaining hole. If you want to make sure all the water has been soaked, add 2 or 3 ounces of anhydrous methyl alcohol, also known as methanol, inside the tank. Repeat the process on an annual basis and make sure you contact your fuel provider if you need additional assistance.


Heather Burdo is a seasoned writer with six years of experience, including home improvement topics. Her passion is helping homeowners with tips and tricks through content.

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