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

Ice Forms on the Outside of My Propane Tank - Why?

Yes ice can form on the outside of your propane tank!  This can happen even on a hot day!  Why?

First you need to know a few facts!

  • Propane in your tank is a liquid under pressure.
  • Propane liquid boils (converts to vapor pressure) at temperatures greater than -44 degrees F .                            That is right ...44 below zero! 
  • When propane vapor pressure is reduced inside of the tank, then the liquid propane boils to replace lost vapor pressure.
  • Propane liquid (when boiling) extracts heat from the steel of the propane tank.

So why does Ice form?

  • If the vapor pressure withdrawal exceeds the capacity of the propane tank's ability to absorb heat, 
  • then ice forms on the outside of the propane tank.