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What Happens When My Propane Tank Hits Empty?

Published on: March 28, 2022

Leak Tests After a Run-out Aren’t Optional—But Here’s how to Avoid Them

propane leak test virginiaIf you’ve never run out of propane, you may not know what a huge hassle it is. Depending on what you use it for, you may not have hot water, you can’t cook or dry your laundry, and you could lose your whole home heating, too. In the instance of a run-out, we’ll often be asked why we need to perform—and charge for—a pressure test when they let their propane tank hit empty. It doesn’t seem like it should be a such big deal—why can’t we just fill up the tank?

It’s all about safety. Propane piping and fittings are coated with a pipe joint compound that seals connections and prevents leaks. When you run out of fuel, the pressure in the lines will change. And when the pressure changes, 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. In fact, pressure tests are required by state and federal law, as well as insurance rules.

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

What’s the Best Way to Eliminate Runouts?

The best way to avoid the hassle of runout is to sign up for our free Automatic Delivery service. SWVA customers overwhelmingly choose Automatic Delivery for propane deliveries because it eliminates all the work and all the worries. Our computerized system monitors the weather conditions and keeps track of your fuel usage patterns so we know when to schedule a delivery for you, and you always have the propane you need.

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 and remember to call when you have about a quarter (25%) tank. That ensures we can get you on the schedule and make delivery in plenty of time!

Want to learn more about why homeowners and businesses in the southwestern Virginia area trust SWVA Gas for top-notch service and fair prices? Contact us for more information today.