Can a BBQ Propane Tank Freeze

  • By: Rob Jones
  • Date: May 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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We all know that when the weather gets cold, we need to take certain precautions to make sure that our homes are warm and comfortable. But what about our BBQ propane tanks? Can a BBQ propane tank freeze? And if so, what should we do to protect them?

A barbecue propane tank can freeze at extremely cold temperatures that you won’t come across. However, if the temperature reaches below -44 degrees Fahrenheit propane will not vaporize. Other issues can present themselves well before freezing becomes an issue.

In this blog post, we’ll answer these questions and provide some tips on how to keep your propane tank safe during winter weather. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about keeping a BBQ propane tank safe through the freezing cold months.

How cold does it have to be for a propane tank to freeze?

Propane will convert into a solid form at -306 degrees Fahrenheit. You may see that number and think you are in the clear because no place on Earth gets that cold. You are correct, our planet never reaches those lows.

10 propane tank in snow

However, the boiling point of propane is -44 degrees. If the temperature gets colder than that, the liquid inside your tank will not vaporize and you will have a very hard time using your barbecue or getting the propane to work at all. And while -306 degrees can only be found on other planets, you can find -44 here on Earth. Worst still, other issues present themselves even before you reach -44 degrees.

Can a propane tank explode in cold weather?

The short answer is yes, a propane tank can explode in cold weather. But there are a few things you need to know in order to understand why and how it can happen.

First of all, you need an ignition source. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that the propane will ignite. There’s a better chance of that happening in the summertime than during winter.

You also need a leak in the vessel or other fuel source. The vessel will have to burn enough fuel to either burst the pressure relief valve or rupture the vessel’s walls.

10 propane tank on its own

So, while it is possible for a propane tank to explode in cold weather, it’s not going to happen simply because it gest cold.

Can BBQ propane tanks be left outside in winter?

Yes, you can leave your BBQ propane tanks outside in winter. In fact, you don’t even have to cover them! Just place them on a sturdy surface, like a piece of wood or slab of concrete, and they’ll be fine.

If you are thinking about storing your BBQ propane tank outside over winter its recommended to store the tank away from your house. You can never be too careful!

You don’t need to worry about it freezing either.

Is it safe to keep the propane tank outside?

The short answer is yes – it’s perfectly safe to keep your propane tank outside. In fact, many people do just that, as it’s a convenient way to store fuel. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you choose to keep your tank outside.

Tips for safe storage of BBQ Propane tanks

When storing your propane tank, just stick to these handy tips to ensure you store your BBQ propane tank safely.

  • Don’t store your propane tank in direct sunlight
  • Keep your tank above −44 °F in the winter
  • Always store upright, never on its side or upside down.
  • Make sure the vale is in the off position when storing the tank
  • Never store tank indoors or in a vehicle
  • If the cold is a real issue, you could consider burying your tanks or getting a Powerblanket (Amazon link) to wrap around the tank.

Be mindful of how much propane is left in your tank. It’s best to keep the tank at least 30% full. This is because the cold weather will affect the volume of propane, which will create a pressure loss.

That means that no matter what propane device you are using – barbecue, heater, furnace – may not work if the propane is lacking pressure.

Related article:

What causes a propane tank to freeze up?

Extreme cold temperatures will cause propane to freeze. When the temperature drops below -44 degrees Fahrenheit then propane will start to freeze.

There are many products on the market that are made specifically for this task. There are heating blankets you can wrap around your tanks that also retain warmth and fight off the cold. One that I like is the Powerblanket (Amazon link), This is perfect for keeping the winter chill away, there are others worth checking out but this is one I recommend.

Conclusion

So, Can a BBQ propane tank freeze in cold weather? Winter can be a harsh and unforgiving time of the year, especially on your BBQ propane tank.

Keeping the propane in an optimal liquid state is essential. With winter, comes the cold, and your propane tank should be taken care of to protect it from the bitter winter nights. 

Unless you live where the temperature drops below -44 degrees Fahrenheit, you shouldn’t need to worry about your propane tank freezing, but you may need to address other problems that come about before tanks freeze.

Rob Jones

Rob is an enthusiast of all backyard DIY projects. He has spent many years researching, learning, and building. From a backyard shed to a garden pond, Rob will have done it!

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