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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.

  • When using a propane appliance, the burning processes draws vapor from the top portion of your tank.
  • Liquid propane which sets in the bottom of the tank, then begins to release replacement vapors. The propane liquid actually boils even though not hot.  The liquid propane absorbs warmth from the 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 walls of the tank freeze?

  • If your vapor withdrawal rate 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 or install a larger tank on the supply gas line to adequately accommodate the BTU demand of all of the appliances on the system.

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