Is It Normal To Smell Propane At The Tank? (Must Know)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

Propane is not just great for home use but is a wonder fuel. Many homes use propane for heating and powering appliances.

Because propane is an efficient fuel, using propane in your home improves your quality of life and helps you save costs.

Hence, giving you value and more satisfaction than most other heating sources.

Propane is an exceptionally versatile fuel that is more economical when compared to electricity and is also very yielding.

With the cost of general living increasing, you will desire to save on as many home valuables as possible, and indulging in propane appliances will be a wise choice. Consequently, is it normal to smell propane in the tank? 

No, it is not customary to smell propane at the tank because propane is naturally an odorless gas, although propane manufacturing industries add a mercaptan chemical for safety reasons. Mercaptan gives propane a rotten egg smell and aids in alerting you of possible gas leakage.

Is It Normal To Smell A Little Propane At The Tank?

Is It Normal To Smell Propane At The Tank

It is not unusual to smell a little propane in the tank. However, a trivial smell of propane at the tank should not cause panic, as it is customary to smell little propane from your appliances when in use.

For example, when you light a stove, you expect to smell a little propane, which is entirely normal. However, every single gas leakage should alert you of an emergency.

House owners use propane in large heating homes and pools, so it is customary to smell a little propane in the tank when the propane gas of the fireplace or other propane utensils goes out.

Intense propane tank odor is not pleasing, although serious propane gas leaks are usually rare.

There are a lot of propane-powered home appliances such as water heaters, clothes dryers, portable gas drills, whole home generators, and others.

So you would expect to smell propane around your environment once in a while, but you must consider a heavy rotten egg smell to prevent a possible disaster.

While propane comes in handy, not taking care of any gas leak when you smell a gas tank can be disastrous. First, you must familiarise yourself with the propane gas rotten eggs smell.

In the same light, you should get a propane tank gauge and leak detectors for your propane tank, as safety is paramount.

What Does It Mean When You Smell Propane?

Propane is an odorless gas with a boosted chemical that gives the gas a unique smell of rotten eggs.

When you smell propane, your propane gas tank is leaking hence the rotten egg smell.

Propane manufacturers add the unique compound which gives propane a rotten egg smell that is effective for safety measures.

The rotten eggs smell alerts you that there is a gas leak in your environment. You must ensure that you are knowledgeable about the usage and maintenance of propane gas.

Having the critical insight will go a long way in helping you detect when there is a gas leakage and the possible measures you can take to prevent any damage.

In addition, you must know that when your propane tank is rusty, you stand a chance of missing out on the rotten egg smell. 

Although propane gas is not deadly, when you smell a propane tank, you are exposed to inhaling the gas.

When inhaled in high quantities, propane gas will expel the oxygen in your lungs and consequently give you difficulty breathing. Symptoms of propane inhalation depend on exposure and a lack of oxygen supply.

Some of the symptoms include the following:

  • Coughing. 
  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headache 
  • Heart Failure.
  • Convulsions. 
  • Numbness in limbs. 
  • Rapid loss of consciousness.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Drowsiness.

How To Remove Smell Propane At The Tank?

Propane’s rotten eggs smell can last for an extended time if you do nothing to remove the smell.

The stinky smell can make you uncomfortable and irritated, especially if the smell is in an enclosed environment like your home.

And as such, you must find a way to eliminate the propane odor tank. You can do a few things to clear the propane odor tank.

To eliminate the smell of your propane tank, Burn the tank. You can pad the tank with logs of wood or paper and light the tank up with fire.

After which, you can clear the soot. When burning a tank to eradicate the offensive rotten eggs smell, you must be careful, so you don’t distort your propane tank.

Also, you can use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to wash out the smell. You can find many products in the markets designed to help deal with propane odor tanks.

You can use essential oils to cloak the rotten eggs smell of propane tanks. Also, you can use a light bleach mixture to neutralize the rotten egg’s smell.

You should note that mercaptan is flammable and produces highly harmful fumes when heated.

Although propane gas has a variety of uses, there are pros and cons associated with propane gas usage.

The table below contains the advantages and disadvantages associated with propane gas.

Propane is nontoxic and insoluble in water.Propane is highly flammable.
Propane does not spill or leave residues.Propane produces less heat than heating oil.
Propane is less expensive than heating oil.There is a high upfront cost for a switch.
Propane is versatile.Exposure to propane poisoning.

Steps To Take If You Smell Propane At The Tank

To maintain safety, respond fast if you smell propane in the tank.

At the same time, a slightly opened burner valve or a pilot light that has gone out will expose you to a propane rotten eggs smell, which will be faint and an easy fix.

However, if the rotten egg smell is strong, then you must make sure to report it immediately and do not try to figure out the point of the smell yourself. There are steps you must take once you smell propane at the tank.

First, you must step out of the facility or environment immediately and ensure to evacuate every other person in the building or surrounding.

While stepping out, you must ensure not to touch anything that will create a fire. If the situation allows you to get to the propane tank safely, then ensure to turn the supply off.

Once you find yourself in a safe place away from the building or environment, you can call your emergency responders with your phone or your neighbor’s phone for help.

However, there are things you should not do once you smell propane in the tank. Some of which include the following:

  • Do not turn on or off the light.
  • Do not smoke or light a match stick.
  • Do not use a telephone.
  • Do not use the doorbell or elevators.
  • Make sure you don’t adjust any appliances, controls, or electrical devices that will cause a spark in the area of the rotten eggs smell.
  • Do not start your vehicle.

While propane is a safe and clean fuel, there is a need to know that everything concerning your gas leakage should be handled by a professional to minimize the chances of a possible fire outbreak.

You must ensure to indulge in routine maintenance and checks by an expert to guarantee safety.

Final Thoughts 

Propane is a versatile fuel handy for heating homes and other propane appliances.

While propane is harmless if well handled, if you sense a rotten egg smell in your vicinity, ensure to leave the place immediately without initiating any electrical sparks and call emergency services for help.

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