Friday, March 2, 2012

Changing the Propane Tank

Learning how to change a propane tank is a very useful skill when living in a jungalow. Most jungalows are not equipped with big gas tanks; instead one takes a small or midsize gas tank to a refilling station, fills it with propane, brings it back home, and installs it by hand. The gas company doesn't come out here to refill the tanks - although I imagine if you paid them enough and had a huge tank, they would probably do so.  

You know you're out of gas when the gas stove doesn't light up, or you run out of hot water, or the dryer stops drying the clothes. Or if you smell gas in the air because there was a leak. 

It's a great idea to keep one spare tank of propane. Use it when your regular tank runs out, because frequently your regular gas tank will run out of gas at the very hour the propane refilling station has closed, or on a holiday, or some other inconvenient time. Get your big tank filled up as soon as possible. 

Here's a brief instructional guide to change the big propane tank to the emergency propane tank:

Get the big tank out of the way. Put it to the side, outside, or put it in the back of an open-bed truck. Do NOT put it in a car with sealed windows, because you don't want your car to explode accidentally. 

Prop up the small tank on boards, table, etc, to get the nozzle level
with the fitting. 

The pipe has a threaded screw - there may be a technical name for this, but it'll have to wait till tomorrow. 

Insert the pipe into the fitting, or the fitting into the other fitting.
You know what I mean. 

Get it snug, and you want both pieces to be at roughly the same height, so you're not having to bend the copper pipe all over the place. 

Get a wrench and tighten the fitting. I think it may be a backwards screw.
Anyhow, you have to turn the wrench so that it tightens, until you can't turn it any more, but not so tight that it's really hard to loosen. 

Check for gas leaks or air bubbles. You don't want gas leaking!

Take an old brush, mix up some dish soap and water. 

Brush the watery dish soap all over the connection to make sure
there are no leaks. What does a leak look like?
A big soapy bubble that will inflate pretty quickly.  

When you can go into town, take your big tank to get refilled. Our favorite place is Miyake Concrete in Makawao. Their prices are reasonable. There are plenty of other places, so call around for prices. Be very careful moving any gas tank around - any sudden disruption could make it more prone to exploding. 

When driving, make sure to keep your car windows wide open!  You want to have fresh air while driving your potentially explosive gas tank. Do not do multiple errands while having a full tank - just get it filled and go straight home. You don't want a gas tank sitting in your car all day!


Post a Comment

Comments are important to me, so mahalo for adding a comment! I will try to follow up when I receive one.