Many people around the country do not have access to natural gas lines, and this means that alternative forms of energy need to be utilized to create heat inside the home. Electricity is considered expensive when it is used to generate heat, and this means that heating oil and propane are much more economical choices. Propane is often considered more efficient, and a contractor can install a propane heating system for you. This system will come with a propane tank that is secured outside your home. You will need to make sure that this tank is safe so that an accident or incident does not occur. Follow the tips below to make sure this is the case.
Clean Up Around Your Tank
The propane tank that is secured outside your home will need to be filled on occasion. A professional will do the filling, but you need to make sure that all flammable objects are cleared out from around the tank. In general, you should make sure that at least a 10 foot area around the tank is clean and clear. This will allow the propane technician to work in a large area.
Removing flammable objects will prevent the ignition of propane gasses. In some cases, a simple charge from static electricity can ignite propane vapors. Your propane heating professional will wear rubber boots and gloves to make sure that this type of electricity does not come into contact with propane during refueling, but accidents can happen. If the propane vapors do ignite, then the fire can quickly spread to objects near the tank.
Maintain your Lawn
To make sure that there are no flammable materials near your propane tank, make sure that all garbage is disposed of properly. Garbage cans should be placed 20 or 30 feet away from the tank to make sure that they are far away from the area. You also need to make sure that you remove grass and weeds from the space. Use a lawnmower to cut the grass around the tank and leave two or three feet around the base so lawnmower blades do not come close to the container. When you are done mowing, use an electric powered grass whip to clear the rest of the greenery.
Once you have cut the grass, make sure that tree limbs do not hang down near the propane tank. If limbs are within 5 or 10 feet of the container, use a manual pole pruner or a pole saw to release branches. This will help to keep chainsaws and other types of gas powered equipment away from your propane tank.
Check For Rust
Your propane tank will be stored outside your home and this means that it will be subjected to rain, wind, and snow. The outside of your tank will be painted with an enamel or an enamel and acrylic mixture. This type of paint can resist weathering much better than latex paint, but the paint will like chip off after several years. You will need to make sure that you paint over this rust to keep your propane tank in good condition. The rust will mean that the outside layer of steel is starting to deteriorate. This reduces the strength of the container.
When rust forms, the deep brown or orange color of the rust will also absorb more heat from the sun. This can cause pressure to build up in the propane tank, and this can place a great deal of stress on the container. In rare cases, a leak may start to form. Inspect your tank for rust every several months and repaint the container if rust is present.
Paint the Tank
If you see rust on the side of your propane tank, use a wire brush to remove the loose material from the outside of the container. Clean the tank at this time to remove rust flakes, dirt, and debris. Place a small amount of dish soap in a bucket of water and use a sponge to scrub your propane tank. Rinse the tank with water afterwards.
When you are done cleaning the tank, purchase an enamel acrylic paint. This paint is easier to clean up than paint that contains enamel alone. This is the case, because enamel paint is completely oil based. You will need a primer and a top coat of paint, so purchase spray varieties at your local home store. Some stores sell paint that is specifically formulated for placement on propane tanks, so buy this type of product if you see it in the store. Just make sure to purchase a light colored paint. Dark colors will absorb sunlight much like rust.
Apply a thin coat of your spray primer and allow it to dry for two hours. Spray two coats of the top coat paint over the primer after it dries.
If you have a propane heating system installed in your home, one of the most important things you can do is get more information and make sure that your propane tank is kept in great condition. The tips above can help you with this so your tank remains safe.