When on the road, it’s immediately scary when you hear strange noises from your propane tank. It’s especially true when you’re in a remote corner of the world where the tank is the difference between survival or heading back to civilization early. Noises can be tough to distinguish between as well.
It’s normal to hear some noises from RV propane tanks, such as low humming sounds. However, other noises like rattling, thumping, and hissing can stem from a much larger problem, such as a leak or a tank flaw. It’s critical to check on your tank and make sure that it hasn’t started deteriorating.
Some of these problems are much easier to resolve than others. However, it can be challenging to figure out which problem your tank has (if any), how to fix them, and when to call a specialist.
What Type of Noise Is Concerning?
Some noise from a propane tank is normal; it does have compressed gas in it, and that gas is moving around. There can also be noises after long periods of travel that settle over time. For example, if you hear a low humming sound, this is entirely normal.
If you hear rattling, thumping, hissing, or any other sorts of loud, unnatural noises, pull over and examine your propane tank immediately. These are noises that you should never ignore, and they could indicate a significant tank flaw.
The underlying problems behind these noises can lead to severe injury or even death if you let them go long enough or use your tank while the issue remains.
Follow our key to propane tank noises below to ensure that you’re as safe as possible.
My Tank Is Hissing
If your propane tank is hissing, that means that the tank leaks. This is a significant issue that’ll require either replacement or intensive repair of your propane tank. You should take care of this promptly because a leaking tank can become a hazard to those around it, and it’s also a waste of perfectly good gas!
If you can identify where the leak is coming from, take a moment to seal it. Duct tape is one of the better ways to close it. However, you should take it to a specialist as soon as possible. Tape isn’t a complete fix for this issue. The tank needs to be fully resealed.
My Tank Is Rattling
If something inside your propane tank is rattling, that can mean that something has come loose inside the tank. It can also mean that there’s an imbalance of air and gas. This is a significant issue.
If something has come loose, in the process of it rattling around, it could potentially ignite the gas and make the tank explode. An imbalance of air and gas is an increased hazard and can cause issues with flame production.
Take your tank to a local inspection site as soon as possible to prevent injury. Try to avoid shaking or bouncing the tank around until you get there.
You may have to replace the tank and see it safely destroyed, depending on the severity of the issue. Sometimes some parts are easier to replace than others.
My Tank Is Gurgling or Humming
If your tank is gurgling or humming, it can mean that the tank has been overfilled. This can put stress on your regulator and require more intensive repairs if something breaks. It can also cause surges in gas, which can be dangerous when actively lit.
It could also mean that air has been trapped in the tank somewhere in the piping. This is problematic because oxygen is also a flammable gas and can be dangerous if something sparks the wrong way.
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How To Fix Noises From Your Propane Tank
The first thing to do is disconnect your tank from any active hookups and turn off all the power. Ensure all electricity has been cut to the device to which your tank is connected and that everything has been shut off. Then remove your tank and prepare it for transport.
Before going, verify that there isn’t an issue with the propane hook up on the outside that you can fix. This can be anything from a loose screw to a damaged cable. These are all more straightforward fixes than having to go through the tank replacement process.
The best way to fix noises from your propane tank is to take it to a local specialist and ask them to examine your tank. They know what signs to look for and may catch something you haven’t found yet.
The specialist should also be able to repair the tank and get it back in working order. Or, if they can’t fix it, they can advise you on what to do next.
In the most extreme cases, the damaged tank will need to be replaced. Failure to return a fully damaged tank is illegal under United States law. It’s a significant risk to yourself and others.
If you are away from your home supplier, make sure to do thorough research on local specialists. Check their reviews and read up on propane tanks; sometimes, knowing more than the average Joe can help you determine fraudulent specialists.
Above all else, don’t attempt to repair your propane tank yourself. Specialists are carefully trained to repair and handle propane tanks. If you try to improve your propane tank, you could risk injuring yourself or others.
Hearing noise from your RV propane tank isn’t an immediate end of the world. Some noise is normal from tanks! However, several noises signal a much bigger issue or a flaw in your tank that could be very dangerous.
When in doubt, make sure to take your tank to a specialist. It’s better to spend time and money to see that something is nothing instead of being seriously injured in an accident.
Staying on top of how your propane tank is running will give you the tools to keep your RV running smoothly for many years and vacations to come!