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Why Does my Propane Tank Freeze Up?

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Why do the sides of my propane tank freeze up?

First you need to know some some details about propane.

  • As you use your appliances, the burning processes draws vapor from your propane tank.  Vapor propane resides in the top of the tank.
  • The liquid propane which will be in the bottom of the tank, then begins to release replacement vapors. The propane liquid actually boils even though not hot.  The liquid propane inside your tank must absorb warmth from the steel walls of your tank in order to convert the liquid to a vapor.Why Does my Propane Tank Freeze Up?

So why does the external steel walls of the tank freeze?

  • If your vapor withdrawal rate is greater than the liquid conversion rate, the steel will begin to freeze.
  • Why?  Because the liquid propane is demanding more and more warmth and it attempts to draw that heat from the steel.  Propane's ability to draw heat is in direct relationship to the ambient temperature out side of the tank.

What is the solution?  

Stop using the propane tank and allow for it to absorb heat from the air until the ice is gone or install a larger tank on the supply gas line to adequately accommodate the demand of all of the appliances on the system.

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