Posted by: Bonnie Phelps | March 31, 2017

How to avoid running out of Propane – like we did!

propane 3   propane 2

We are on set up with our propane company to keep our tank topped off.  When they are in the area, they fill it up as we don’t ever want to go below 30% and run out of fuel.  So, it was a surprise when the stove wouldn’t light and we had no hot water.

Checking the gauge on the tank we were on empty!  Allstate to the rescue!  Ben brought up some fuel and checked and repaired our gauge.  The tank date is 1979 so the rubber washer had cracked, the screws were rusty and we had a slow leak that emptied our tank!$!

Ben said when they service tanks, they always spray the fittings with a solution to see if any bubbles appear pointing to a leak.  Then they tighten the screws.  All winter the gaskets expand and contract, over time the screws rust and the rubber gaskets break down and cause the propane to leave the tank. He said they have the most repairs in the spring.

I’ve never experience this happening before.  However, I realize some cabins are so rarely used that they could be leaking and you’d not even know.  Ben shared how you can check your propane tank yourself.

propane 1

It is simple to check your tank.  Put a cup of water in a pistol grip sprayer.  Squirt in some of your favorite dish soap.  Give it a shake. Go out with a paper towel to your propane tank and spray around the fittings.  No bubbles?  You’re good.  See any bubbles? Tighten it down if you can and call for repair.  The only way that little gasket and screws can be replaced is to have a totally empty tank.  The company can drain it for you, do the repair and you’ll be all set.

Also, you should always keep dirt and leaves cleared away from the tank.  It shouldn’t have any metal to earth contact as it can rust out.  Spring cleaning project!

You’re welcome!






  1. After the soap test rinse with water . soap has a corrosive effect on metal if not rinsed., David Chavez Gas Foreman SDG&E.

    • Hey David..good to see you here!- Mike from cathodic @ miramar

  2. also to add; Cathodic Protection to the pipes underground to prevent corrosion 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: