Propane Tank Safety Relief Valves

What Are They And How Do They Work?

propane safety valve marylandIf you use propane in your Southern Maryland home, you need to acquaint yourself with your propane tank and how it works.

One thing you should pay attention to is the propane tank’s safety relief valve. All propane tanks, including the cylinders you use for your BBQ grill, are required by law to have pressure relief devices to allow for the release of excess pressure in the tank.

A safety relief valve is there to protect your propane tank from rupturing if excess pressure builds up inside the tank.

These safety relief valves are also called pop-off valves, relief valves, or pressure venting valves.

A spring keeps the safety relief valve closed as long as the pressure inside the tank is at a safe level. If the pressure in the tank reaches the same amount of pressure of the spring, the safety relief valve is opened. If that happens, you’ll hear a hissing sound coming from the tank. In instances where the pressure in the tank is much higher than that of the spring, the valve will fully open. You’ll hear pop if that occurs.

Once the pressure is down below the pressure of the spring, the valve closes on its own.

What causes pressure inside a propane tank?

Propane, like other liquid, expands in heat. Its expansion is 17 times greater than water.

Your propane tank needs to have room for the propane inside it to expand. That is why your propane tank is filled to 80% of its capacity. The 20% of the tank that is empty space allows the propane to safely expand.

That expansion is why propane tanks are white or beige. Light colors reflect heat to minimize expansion. Dark colors retain heat and can cause the propane inside your tank to expand to dangerous levels. So, even if your propane tank doesn’t go with the color of your siding, leave it alone.

Taylor is committed to safe propane delivery and installation of propane tanks.

If you have questions about your propane tank, please get in touch with us. We’ll help in any way we can.