Is it normal to smell propane at the tank? DANGEROUS or not?

Do you smell propane at the tank? If so, it is a great idea to examine this further as propane can explode or remove oxygen from the air.

It may be normal to smell propane near some tanks. Some tanks vent or leak some gas when they are almost empty. It is a good idea to examine this in further detail though. Especially if the smell is strong or you notice it often, it is important to check this as propane can explode.

 Let’s discuss this in more detail.

What to do if you smell propane at the tank?

  If you smell propane, but your neighbor does not, you may want to contact your propane company to find out what is causing the smell. 

You can also use a sensor to see if there is a big leak or not. These sensors can determine how many parts of propane there are in the air. Once this is known, you can determine if there is a leak in your propane tank or not. 

You can also monitor the levels of propane in the tank. If this is dropping rapidly, you probably have a leak somewhere. 

You can also inspect the tank to see if something is broken. Sometimes a leak can also make some noise.

Make sure that the valve on the tank isn’t open as this is a common reason why people smell propane. People often forget to close the valve after using the tank.

Most propane tanks leak because of physical damage or corrosion, which causes the gas to escape through tiny, microscopic holes. This can happen if the tank is dropped, old, or exposed to the elements. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to contact a professional immediately. 

It is also possible that the leak isn’t in the tank but in a pipe that is used to transport the propane. Inspect this pipe and make sure that it isn’t damaged.

How to prevent a propane tank explosion

A propane tank explosion occurs when the gas inside the tank expands rapidly and pushes the tank inward. This happens when a leak causes a drop in pressure. The tank can also explode outwards if there is a fire. While propane tanks don’t explode often, an explosion can be dangerous. 

Only buy propane tanks from a certified company. In most cases, a special license is needed to handle these tanks. Most propane companies will replace your tank for free if they delivered it with a defect as they don’t want to lose their license. 

 Make sure that they are stored correctly and that you don’t have too many tanks. 

Don’t smoke or use fire near a propane tank. Follow the safety instructions that are mentioned on the tank or in the manual of your tank. Propane should be stored outside and in the shade. It should be kept upright to make sure that the gas doesn’t shift around too much. Furthermore, the bottles should be stored with enough distance between each other. There are special storage systems for this.

Make sure that your tank isn’t damaged. If you notice a dent or other damage, make sure to contact the company that has delivered the tanks for further instructions.

Preventing future leaks

Propane tanks can last for many years, but they are not indestructible. Over time, tanks can rust, become damaged, or become corroded, causing leaks. To prevent future leaks, all tanks should be inspected at least once every few years, and all tanks should be replaced every 10 years. 

You should also ensure that your tank is fully pressurized by inspecting the valve. This can be accomplished by opening the valve and letting the pressure out until it is completely out. Then, close the valve, and let the pressure back in until it reaches the line on the gauge.

There are also sensors that can alert you if there is a propane leak. These are often used on big installations. The sensors are getting cheaper and are being installed on smaller tanks as well.

Propane tanks shouldn’t be stored inside as a leak can reduce the amount of oxygen in a room. This can be dangerous as well.

Most propane tanks have to be stored upright. Make sure that your tank is properly positioned. Tanks also have a due date. Make sure that your tank still can be used.


At the end of the day, you will likely be able to detect a propane smell at the tank if it is leaking. Once you notice a smell, you can use a propane-specific tool to find out if there is a leak. 

 You can also prevent future leaks by ensuring that your tank is replaced every 10 years. Don’t drop the tank and inspect it often. If there is a problem, it is a great idea to consult an expert and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. 

Propane is a popular way to heat a barbeque or to heat a home. It is available in smaller tanks or bigger ones. While it is cheap gas, it is important that you handle it properly. If you detect a leak, you should fix it asap to avoid problems. 

Heat pumps and natural gas are becoming more popular than propane. Propane will be around for a long time though as it is a cheap gas that is quite easy to handle. The main challenge is avoiding leaks. In this article, we have discussed how to deal with these. 

If you smell natural gas in an apartment or commercial building, you should reach out to the manager of the site. This person generally has been trained on how to deal with this situation.