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What Happens If I Run Out Of Propane?

Why a Safety Inspection Is Required When You Run Out of Propane

propane runouts vermontIf you’ve ever run out of propane, you know what a huge hassle it is—especially in the middle of a chilly Vermont winter season. Depending on what you use it for, you may not have hot water, you may not be able to cook or dry your laundry, and you may even lose your home heat. Customers often ask why we need to perform—and charge them for—a safety inspection when they’ve let their propane tank hit empty. It doesn’t seem like it should be a such big deal. Just fill up the tank as you always would, right? Not exactly.

For starters, it’s about safety. All propane piping and fittings are coated with a pipe-joint compound to seal connections and prevent leaks. When you run out of fuel, it causes changes to the pressure in the lines. When the pressure changes, it’s possible that the joint compound could contract and create a leak. While propane is completely safe under most conditions, it can be highly flammable, so leaking propane lines can be dangerous.

Therefore it’s important that we conduct a pressure test to make sure everything us operating safely when we refill your tank after a runout. We also do this test when we install a new tank.

Meeting Safety Requirements

These pressure tests are also required by state and federal law, as well as insurance rules. According to the National Fuel Gas code, “Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be tested for leakage. If leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made.”

According to the code, a licensed professional must perform a leak test:

Eliminate Runouts

The best way to avoid the hassle of a runout is to sign up for our free Automatic Delivery service. Dorr Oil & Propane customers overwhelmingly choose Automatic Delivery for propane and oil deliveries because it’s no work, and no worries! Our sophisticated computerized system monitors the weather and keeps track of your fuel use, so we know when to schedule your deliveries, and you always have propane or heating oil.

If you prefer will-call for propane deliveries, you’re responsible for monitoring your tank levels, and if you run out, we will have to perform and charge you for a test. Keep an eye on your tank, particularly in colder weather, and call when you have about a quarter (25%) tank. That ensures we can get you on the schedule and make a delivery in plenty of time.

Want to learn more about why homeowners and businesses in the greater Manchester area trust Dorr Oil & Propane for top-notch service and fair prices? Contact us for more information today!