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Old Gas Grill Propane Tank Myths

Updated on January 25, 2013

Grilling can be done with either charcoal or with gas. When its done with gas, its usually propane, or natural gas. Both can be used, but propane is used more commonly in portable gas grills, while natural gas can be found powering stationary and built in gas grills. The gas that is used, propane or natural gas, is flammable, and because of that, has "sparked" a couple of myths about propane.

Propane is Super Flamable

The myth is that propane is one of the most flammable things around. This is simply not true, as there are other gases and substances that are actually more flammable than propane. Propane is used because it's a good cooking fuel, and burns evenly, and predictably. Propane, when mixed with air, is actually difficult to light. The problem is when you have a gas leak, especially if its inside the gas grill. Gas leaks out, and builds up inside the grill, and can explode if a flame or spark is added. This is why its so important to use quality gas grill parts if your replacing worn out, broken, cracked, rusted out, or loose parts.

Any Propane Tank can be Refilled

While its true that most propane tanks can be refilled, some are either too old to be refilled, or were designed for single use only. The propane tanks that are for single use are usually the small propane tanks that are designed to be used with the portable camp stoves. Larger propane tanks, provided they have the triangle handle, can be filled. If you have the handle on yours that looks like it came on a faucet, then your tank is too old to fill. To find out if your tank can be filled, simply take it to your local gas company. Also, you should have your tanks inspected every so often. These inspections (preformed by your gas company) can detect fractures and weak spots in the tank, that could make the tank useless. You don't want to use a defective tank.

Propane Explosions are Common

This myth comes from the roughly 100 accidents that happen from propane grills exploding. Yes, they can, but if you compare it, there are almost 400 million people that live in America, and roughly 2/3rds of that grill on a regular basis. Now you can see that while it is possible, and does happen, it is very uncommon. The main reason that gas grills do explode is because of undetected gas leaks. You can protect yourself by looking your gas grill over before you light it every time, and especially after changing propane tanks.

The Bigger the Tank, the More the Pressure

This is not true. It is true that the larger tanks can hold more, but no matter the size, too much pressure could cause the tank to explode. The amount of propane in a tank has no correlation on the amount of pressure inside the tank.


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