What Happens If I Let My Tank Run Out Of Propane?

image of a propane tank that is empty

Millions of households depend on propane for heating, cooking, and energy generation. It’s a great choice if you want an efficient and economical fuel. It is definitely more affordable than electricity in most places around the country. As for safety, you have nothing to worry about as long as you use it correctly. If you encounter odd situations such as an empty propane tank, then take a moment to assess the system and move forward with caution.

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What Causes Sudden Propane Reduction?

1. Improper Propane Management

Propane should never run out since households use it around the clock. In most cases, the root cause of this dilemma is improper management. Maybe the fuel supplier was not able to plan a propane delivery when they should. Perhaps bad weather prevented them from sending out their trucks. It could also be a case of higher than usual consumption because of increased house occupancy or unusually colder temperatures. Maybe you forgot to check your propane tank levels or you forgot to order propane when your tank was at least 30% full. Whatever the cause, having an empty propane tank should be taken seriously.

2. Propane Tank Leak

image of a propane tank gauge

One thing that you must watch out for is the possibility of a leaking propane tank. This is a dangerous situation that could result in fire and explosion. Due to the hazard, this naturally odorless gas is always sold with an additive that makes it smell like rotten eggs. This is to alert people quickly if a leak happens. They can avert disaster by evacuating the area, finding where the leakage occurred, cutting off electricity, and preventing any other sources of sparks to get near the tank.

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Why Is It Bad To Run Out Of Propane?

1. Property Damage

image of a burst water pipe

If you are using propane for household heating, then you cannot afford to run out of it. There will be nothing to prevent your water pipes from freezing and bursting from the expansion of ice. Affected parts of the plumbing system will have to be replaced. The repairs are costly and time-consuming. That is why an empty propane tank must be refilled immediately. There is no time to waste as the house is vulnerable to environmental conditions.

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2. Propane Refill Issues

If you find out that your propane tank is empty and you recently ordered propane, then you need to have it inspected as soon as possible to see whether there was a leak. There is no point in getting more if the contents will continue to ooze out. You should also see to it that the gas lines and valves are closed tightly before having it refilled. This will keep all the contents in the tank and prevent another leak.

3. Rust Build-Up

image of rust inside an empty propane tank

As for the tank, moisture can get in and cause corrosion from the inside. The weakened walls will have holes and resulting leaks can turn into even more property damage. Rust cannot be stopped once it takes hold. The tank will have to be removed for safety. Corrosion can also mask the foul smell of propane so home occupants may not notice a leak right away. By the time it becomes obvious, the gas may have already spread all around the house.

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4. Non-Functional Appliances

With propane running out, you will not be able to fuel all of the appliances and household systems that depend on it. If you use it for your heating, then your house will get cold especially at night. If you use it for cooking, then you will not be able to get flames on your burners. If you use it for your generator, then anything that relies on this for power will not work. Your showers will be icy cold. The contents of your refrigerator will spoil.

5. Propane Tank Inspection

image of a propane tank

Federal law mandates professional propane tank inspection if a propane tank runs out of fuel. A qualified technician must be called in to check for leaks since untrained eyes may not be able to spot problems with the system. This means scheduling an appointment, waiting for the technician, and paying a fee for their services.

6. Emergency Propane Delivery

Tank deliveries are usually scheduled during weekdays. If you happen to need it on a weekend or a holiday, then be prepared to pay extra for emergency propane delivery. The rushed leak check may also cost extra. Despite the additional expense, it may be worth paying to prevent further inconvenience and property damage.

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How Do I Avoid Running Out Of Propane?

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Given all of the headaches that you’ll face after a run-out, it is important to avoid it from happening in the first place. Monitor the contents of your tank periodically so you know exactly what’s going on inside of it. You can do this manually by reading the dial but it may be inaccessible in bad weather. A broken dial will also provide inaccurate numbers.

If you are letting your supplier monitor your tank, then get vital information from them such as usage estimates and projected delivery date. You may also ask them to take proactive steps such as annual tank inspections. For those in southern Connecticut, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy.

Call Wilcox Energy For Reliable Propane Delivery Services


When you need a reliable propane delivery service in the southern shoreline of Connecticut, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. We offer high-quality fuel deliveries that are fast, affordable, and friendly.

You can count on Wilcox Energy to provide you with unbeatable service each and every time.

Give us a call today to discuss our different delivery plans and financing options.

We also offer a full line of HVAC services to enhance your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Some of the services that we offer include heater tune-ups, furnace repairs, HVAC installations, and much, much more. Call now!

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Some of the areas we service include Centerbrook, Clinton, Essex, Westbrook, and these zip codes: 06409, 06413, 06426, 06498 as well as all surrounding areas in Middlesex County, Connecticut.

For more information about our propane deliveries or HVAC services, contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us or you can call us at (860) 399-6218. We offer a full line of affordable and trusted home comfort services.