Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert

Mark Leach

Q: Why do I have to get a leak test when I run out of propane?

A: It’s all about safety, and it’s required by state and federal law, as well as by insurance rules.

All propane piping and fittings are coated with a pipe-joint compound to seal connections and prevent leaks. But if the pressure changes in the lines — as happens when you run out of fuel — there is the possibility that the joint compound could contract and create a leak.

As a result, whenever we install a new tank, or if you have a run-out, we must perform a pressure test. We need to make sure the tank is operating safely. Contrary to what some people may think, we would never perform a leak test just to charge an extra fee.