The P. Gagnon & Son Blog

Can Propane Freeze In Colder Temperatures?

Let’s talk propane and science

propane freezing temperature maineAs you know, it can get pretty cold here in the Seacoast region of Maine and New Hampshire in the winter.

If you have an outdoor aboveground propane tank, our winters may have you wondering if the propane inside of it is damaged or frozen in some of our most bitter cold weather.

This is where science comes in.

First, the freezing point of propane is -44. So it’s highly unlikely you’ll have to worry about your propane gas freezing.

Extremely cold weather can impact your propane, however. Like all liquids, propane contracts when it gets cold. That means the volume of the propane in your tank will shrink when it gets very cold. The shrinking volume leads to a loss of pressure. If that pressure gets to low, the propane in your tank won’t be able to reach your gas burner. If that happens, you may have problems operating the propane appliances in your home, like your heating system, water heater and stove.

Even though this scenario isn’t very likely here in the Seacoast area, it still makes sense to know what to do when the temperature plummets.

Avoid low pressure problems with these tips

  • Don’t let your propane tank gauge level get below 30 percent. When you see it getting close to 30 percent, contact P Gagnon and schedule a propane delivery. By having more propane in your tank, it will help positive pressure inside the tank. This also prevents runouts.
  • That snow on your propane tank is not a blanket. Clear the snow off as soon as possible so sunlight can reach your tank and add warmth.
  • Turn down your thermostat just a bit. This advice may seem off, but lowering the temperature inside your home will lower the time your propane heating system operates, which allows the pressure in your propane tank to build.

More cold-weather tips

  • Clear snow and ice from the propane tank regulators, vents, piping and valves. This prevents damage that could cause a gas leak.
  • Remove snow and ice from vents and flues to make sure your propane appliances vent safely and properly.
  • Snow can get pretty deep around your home. Make sure you keep a safe and clear path to your propane tank, and plant a flag pole or stake tall enough to be seen over snow drifts so you and your P Gagnon delivery driver can find the tank even in heavy snow.

You can learn more about safe propane usage on our Propane Safety page.

Winter is just around the corner! Do you have enough propane to keep your home and family warm, safe and comfortable? Get in touch with P Gagnon today to learn more about our propane delivery services, including automatic delivery!