Loading... Please wait...

Why Does Ice Form on the Outside of a Propane Tank?

Posted

Why does ice form on the outside of a propane tank?

First you need to know some facts about propane.

  • When using a propane appliance, the burning processes draws vapor from the top portion of your tank.
  • Liquid propane which sets in the lower portion of the tank, then begins to release replacement vapors.  As the liquid propane absorbs heat from the walls of your tank, the propane vapor is released which rises to the top of the tank, ready for use by your appliance.
  • Why Does my Propane Tank Freeze Up?


So why does the external walls of the tank freeze?

  • If your vapor withdrawal rate for your appliance is greater than the liquid conversion rate, the tank walls will begin to freeze.
  • Why?  Because the liquid propane is demanding more and more warmth and it attempts to draw that heat from the tank walls.  Propane's ability to draw heat is in direct relationship to the ambient temperature out side of the tank and the amount of wet surface (surface in contact with liquid propane) inside 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.  

For applications using small cylinders, simply hook-up a spare tank. For applications that require large tanks, install a larger tank on the supply gas line to adequately accommodate the BTU demand of all of the appliances on the system.

Did you find this interesting?  Why not receive our newsletter so you can be well informed about propane and its safe use.

 

New Propane tank purging is important.

Why does my new propane tank not fill properly? All new propane tanks must be purged of air and moisture before being filled for the first time with propane.  The purging process, which must be done by a trained propane service professional, requires that a small amount of propane vapor gas be injected [...]

Read More »


How long will my propane last?

How Long will my Propane Last? That question can be answered in two different ways.                                                                                   [...]

Read More »


Can I use propane in my cutting torch?

Can propane be used in my cutting torch? Yes - but here are a few facts you might want to consider: Some have chosen to use propane for cutting light weight steel, most professionals find that the cutting tip temperature is considerably lower than commercial cutting gases and therefore undesirable .  Some have found that preheating the steel [...]

Read More »


Propane Tanks - Full or Empty?

How much volume remains in my propane tank? Imagine that propane is in the tank-cut-away shown here. The fuel level in your propane tank is easy to find out!   First, you need to know these [...]

Read More »


Smell of Propane - Bees

Why are insects swarming my propane tank? Bees and flies are attracted to the smell of propane.  A propane smell results only if there is a propane fuel leak somewhere in your propane tank or gas line system. If insects are present, [...]

Read More »