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How Long Is a Propane Tank Built To Last?

Published on: January 23, 2023

You Can Make Your Tank Last Decades or Longer!

propane tank service virginia From highly efficient heating to the precision of cooking on a gas range, to the ease and charm of a gas fireplace and the peace of mind of a backup generator, propane helps make your life more comfortable in several ways. And the key to that comfort and convenience starts with your propane tank.

But there’s a chance you may not know much about your propane storage tank. After all, if it came with your home when it was purchased, you might not even know how old it is. Does it need maintenance? When does it need to be replaced?

As a full-service propane provider, SWVA Gas Service is here for you, making sure your propane tank is in good shape, installed safely, and that you always have the propane you need, right when you need it.

Information About Your Propane Tank’s Lifespan

Today’s propane tanks are built to be safe and durable. Aboveground propane tanks are designed to withstand the elements for 30 years or more before they need to be replaced. Some aluminum and composite cylinders can last even longer!

On the other hand, underground propane tanks can have a shorter average life expectancy, between 20 to 30 years. This is heavily dependent on the soil type and the quality of the installation.

How Do I Extend the Life of My Propane Tank?

If your tank has been installed properly, it should require very little maintenance. Just follow a few simple guidelines to keep your tank in good shape:

  • Check for signs of corrosion on the exterior of your tank. A little rust or a few small dings are not a problem, but you should keep an eye on them. Large or deep patches of rust and bigger dents can cause leaks and allow moisture into the tank—two problems you absolutely want to avoid.  
  • Check that your propane tank is always sitting level to the ground.
  • Have your propane appliances serviced and connectors checked with regularity—during an annual system tune-up is the best time!
  • Avoid letting your propane tank hit empty to avoid leaks. Sign up for our FREE automatic delivery service and you can avoid the hassle and expense of propane runouts.

Because you can’t see it, an underground tank requires “sacrificial anodes,” which help prevent corrosion, to be buried near the tank. An underground tank also needs a special anticorrosion coating, and regular maintenance checks. These additionally help to extend the life of your tank.

Remember: Safety First!

We inspect your tank for signs of age every time we deliver fuel, but you should know the telltale signs that there could be a problem with your tank or gas lines:

  • Propane Gas Odor: If you smell this inside your home, it may be a sign of a leak. Propane gas has an additive that makes it smell like rotten eggs, so it’s easy to detect. Know what to do when you smell gas! Immediately get everyone out of the house, including pets, and contact us from a safe distance. Also call 911. Do not return home unless a professional says it is safe to do so. 
  • Pilot Light Problems: Pilot lights on your furnace or other propane appliances that go out frequently or don’t stay lit can indicate a tank problem or a blockage in the gas line. Contact us if your pilot lights keep going out. 
  • Yellow Burner Flames: Propane flames should be blue, not yellow or orange. If your stove burners or pilot light flames are yellow or orange, it could be a sign of a problem with your tank—especially if multiple appliances are affected.

Need a new propane tank? SWVA Gas Service is here for you! Contact us today for more information about becoming a new customer right here in our Southern Virginia service territory.