Even though propane is one of the nation’s most versatile, efficient and 'green'
sources of energy, it always pays to know more and get the facts about your home
or business fuel source. You can learn all you need and get answers
to some of the more important questions about propane here:
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- What is propane? Propane is a hydrocarbon (C3H8) and is sometimes
referred to as liquefied petroleum gas, LP-gas, or LPG. Propane is produced from
both natural gas processing and crude-oil refining. Nearly 97 percent of propane
used in the United States is produced in North America. It is nontoxic, colorless,
and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so the
gas can be readily detected.
- Who uses propane? Propane is used by more than 12.6 million U.S.
households for space heating and other purposes and by millions of other Americans
for agricultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation applications.
- What can propane fuel in your home? As a clean, versatile energy
source, propane is frequently used for home heating, water heating, cooking, fireplaces,
and clothes drying. In outdoor spaces, propane is a widely used energy source for
outdoor grills, lighting, and heating for pools and spas. When electric power goes
out, propane is often the energy that powers standby generators.
- How can I recognize a propane leak in my home? Propane has a strong,
unpleasant smell, like rotten eggs, a skunk's spray, or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers
add the smell deliberately to help alert customers to propane leaks, which can create
a safety hazard. You can ask your propane retailer for a demonstration to help everyone
in your home or building identify leaks.
- What should I do if there's a problem with a propane appliance?
Never modify or repair a propane appliance's valves, regulators, connectors, controls,
or a propane tank's cylinder or parts. Instead, immediately call your propane retailer
or a qualified service technician. They can inspect, adjust, repair, or replace
any part of your propane system. Remember, your propane system incorporates special
components to keep them safe for use.
- What is a pilot light? Many propane appliances may have a pilot
light-a small, constantly burning flame inside the appliance (appliances without
a pilot light often have electronic ignition instead.) If your appliance has a pilot
light, it is an important safety feature. The pilot light ignites the main burner
- What should I do if my pilot light goes out? The Propane Education
& Research Council (PERC) recommends that you get in touch with a qualified
propane service technician to evaluate the appliance and relight the pilot light,
which is a small, constantly burning flame inside the appliance that ignites the
main burner. A pilot light that repeatedly goes out — or is difficult to light —
may be signaling that there is a problem with the appliance or your propane system.
Accidents and serious injuries can occur when customers attempt to fix a pilot light
problem on their own.
- What assurance do I have that propane technicians are properly trained?
Propane is used safely by millions of Americans — and stored, handled, and
transported by thousands of professionals — every day. That safety comes from a
combination of stringent codes and regulations and our industry's extensive training
and safety awareness programs. In fact, the Propane Education & Research Council
(PERC) and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) operate the Certified Employee
Training Program (CETP), through which propane technicians train and get certified
in all aspects of delivering propane and installing and servicing propane appliances.
We update our training programs frequently to ensure that our technicians are equipped
with the most current procedures and information available.
- Can we convert a natural gas furnace to propane? Yes. Many furnaces
originally built for natural gas can be converted to propane. If you have more questions
and need more details, please contact us at 1.800.645.4328
- Are there alternatives to having a propane tank in my yard? Yes.
Underground propane storage tanks are a popular option for single-family homes and housing
developments. These large tanks can be buried underground because propane is a nontoxic
fuel that doesn't contaminate aquifers or soil.
- If I use propane as my primary energy source, what size storage tank do
I need? Generally, a 500-gallon tank can hold enough propane to meet the
annual energy needs of an average four-bedroom home. Tanks of 1,000 gallons or more
may be needed for large homes with swimming pools and hot tubs. We can help you
determine exactly which size of tank you need to suit your specific needs.