An essential part of owning and using a propane gas grill involves familiarizing yourself with propane safety. PropaneXpress is committed to the well-being of its customers and their loved ones, and invites all your questions and queries regarding the safe operation, maintenance and storage of your propane units and accessories. One of the most common queries PropaneXpress receives is: Is it okay to leave my propane BBQ grill outside? The concern that most users share in asking that question is regarding temperature – how the propane cylinders might be affected by the changes or extremes of heat or cold.
The short answer to that question is ‘yes, but with all the associated precautions put in place.’ However, it is prudent to try to understand the rationale behind the answer for increased peace of mind. Propane cylinders are manufactured from carbon steel in a process that makes them up to 20 times more resistant to puncture than gasoline, ethanol or methanol tanks. In the filling process, liquid propane is filled to 80% of the cylinder’s capacity. Together, these two processes allow for increases in volume due to variances in temperature, and increases in pressure. The cylinders are over-engineered to be safe from rupture caused by the range of temperatures encountered in any normal environment. The liquid propane itself boils at -44 degrees Fahrenheit (-42 degrees Celsius). If the surrounding temperature falls below this, the propane would remain liquid inside the tank if the valve were to be opened.
Propane tanks are best stored outside, and normal winter temperatures will not adversely affect them. In the summer time, it is best to store your propane cylinders in a shaded area, but still outdoors. The cylinders are fitted with release valves that allow some of the gas to escape should the pressure inside increase above a preset limit due to the ambient heat. It is also advisable to spray some cool water on the tanks to ease the pressure inside on particularly hot days.
The temperatures encountered in normal weather conditions in both winter and summer are also within the operational limits of carbon steel. PropaneXpress encourages constant propane safety and recommends that all propane tanks be stored outside in a well-ventilated area and all accessories checked regularly for damages and leaks all year round.