Grilling season has officially started. People are starting to order their steaks, and sharpen their knives. It’s getting warmer out, and the sun is shining. There is no better time to head to the backyard, and start up a nice, clean fire. During the winter months, we may have neglected our grill, especially our propane tank Propane tanks do not last forever. They may last for a very long time, but on a certain point they’re going to need some care. When it comes to caring for your propane tank there are a few simple guidelines that you should follow. They are not incredibly difficult, nor are they particularly easy to spot. There’s a few rules of thumb to remember when it comes to caring for your propane tanks.
Here, we are going to explore Everything you need to know about maintaining, replacing, and even cleaning the parts of your tank.
First, let’s talk about maintenance. When it comes to maintaining propane tanks the general look always comes into play. Our experts at Grill Tanks Plus have stated specifically to check for rust. Why? Rust isn’t just an indicator that the outside needs a paint job. Rust is inherently dark in color. That being said, that dark rust absorbs sunlight and heat. That heat eventually acts on the propane inside, creating more pressure than is necessary. This is especially true if you have a full propane tank and it is all rusted up. This pressure buildup may act on the relief valve, causing it to open and thus spring a leak. Nothing is more frustrating than having a plate full of meat to grill and realizing that your supposedly filled propane tank is absolutely empty. Even more frustrating is the reason: rust and the sun. There’s a reason why all propane tanks are painted in a light color.
There are some minor repairs that you can do at home. Most of the time, you’re going to need to empty out the tank, though. Anytime you’re dealing with a component that is in direct contact with the tank itself you’re going to need to empty it out. This includes:
- The float mechanism that attaches to a read out, showing you how much gas is in the tank.
- The main valve that allows you to add more propane into it.
If you’re just tightening the dial on the percent read out, or running maintenance of parts not directly attached to the tank, you don’t need to empty out the tank.
Sometimes, it’s what you do when the tank is not in use that’s more important. Storing a propane tank is a matter of common sense. If you have a cool, dry place to keep it, by all means keep it there. Either way, it’s better than leaving it attached to the grill to rust and absorb heat. Also, it’s a good idea to disconnect the hose-end fittings. After doing so, get a rubber band and a plastic bag, and cover it. Just make sure that there is no dirt and gunk buildup that can either get into the tank, or get into the hose system. All sorts of things can get in there, all of which can affect the performance of your grill.
Creating a System
Like all parts in the system, there comes a time when you need to just replace the thing. So the question is: “when do I replace my propane tank?” Following the Quality Control dates on your propane tank is a good start. You know those weird numbers that nobody pays attention to on the side of your tank? Those are the manufacturing dates and the requalification dates. You need to look at both to make sure you’re not outside the 12 year requalification period. Also, if there’s any physical damage to the tank, it does not qualify for a requalification. If so, once again, you’re just gonna have to get another tank. Any sort of dent compromises the volume in the pressure that has been standardized to the tank via the requalification process.
If you’re going to create your own maintenance system, it’s a good idea to write everything down. Type up a document on your computer with the manufacturing date and the requalification date. Write down the last time you checked the valves and the integrity of the hoses. If you did any repairs, write that down to the points to have a concrete idea of what you did regarding a vital piece of your grill. Once you’ve got that down, you don’t have to worry about anything as you sear a slab after slab of USDA deliciousness.