Propane is an extremely versatile fuel that’s ideal for a wide range of purposes. You can use your propane tank to run pool and spa heaters, portable generators, fireplaces, fire pits, grills, patio heaters, and even insect traps. But what are you supposed to do with your propane tank once the monsoon season comes rolling around? Is it safe to leave out in the rain?
Propane tanks are waterproof and can be stored outside in rainy weather. However, make sure you keep them on a dry, level surface most of the time to prevent rusting. It’s also proactive to use a propane tank cover as an extra precaution. Keeping a propane tank dry maintains it longer.
It’s important to take the proper safety measures to increase the life of your propane tank and ensure the safety of your family and property. Let’s look at whether it’s safe to store propane tanks in the rain, if water can get inside the tank, and how you can protect your tank from the rain.
Are Propane Tanks Safe in the Rain?
Most propane tanks, especially the large ones that supply propane to the entire house, are waterproof and completely safe in the rain. They have a painted coating that provides an additional layer of safety, ensuring they last a long time outdoors.
However, your tank might collect rust after being subject to rain for a long time. If this happens, you can wire-brush the tank down to the bare metal and repaint it.
While propane tanks have special valves that are not affected by the rain, it’s still a good idea to cover them with a loose cloth to prevent corrosion and hold them in place.
Can Water Get Inside a Propane Tank?
It’s important to understand that water inside a propane tank can only be because of evaporation from significant temperature changes. Rain or exterior water can’t get inside the tank.
A temperature imbalance between the exterior and interior of the tank can form condensation inside the tank. Due to the significant temperature difference, the liquid propane transforms into vapor, making the tank colder than its surrounding temperature.
It’s advisable to store the tank away from direct sunlight during summers, as the heat can cause condensation in the propane tank, resulting in potentially dangerous regulator freeze-ups. In this case, a valve would have to fail first, allowing propane out and air in, so that water vapor in the air can be present to condense in the regulator inlet at all.
It’s rare, but covering your tank and keeping it dry can prevent any funny business at all.
Is It Safe for Propane Tanks to Stay in Wet Areas?
It’s not safe to store propane tanks in wet areas. While the occasional rain is fine and unavoidable, you need to keep propane tanks in an area that allows them to dry off. It’s advisable to always store them on a dry, level surface.
Avoid placing the tank in a constantly wet area or in a spot that doesn’t have proper drainage. Doing so can lead to pitting and rusting, which can make the propane tank both useless and potentially dangerous.
Are There Ways to Keep Your Propane Tank Out of the Rain?
You can keep your propane tank out of the rain by using a tank cover, like the BroilPro Cover (on Amazon). Tank covers have several advantages, including preventing rust and protecting the tank from bad weather.
These covers are also great for transporting tanks, as they protect your RV or vehicle from colliding with the tank’s metal walls. They make the exposed propane tank more aesthetically pleasing as well, allowing you to match the color of the cover with the patio decor for a beautiful, more pleasing effect.
You can further use a hideaway propane tank cover (on Amazon) as an end-table and seamlessly integrate it with your outdoor space, transforming a clunky tank into a practical piece of furniture.
What to Look for in a Tank Cover
There are several things to consider before choosing a tank cover, some of which include:
Durable, Thick Fabric
Look for durable, thick fabrics infused with ultra-violet protection, such as heavy polyester or Dacron, so your tank doesn’t fade in direct sunlight.
Polyester does not absorb water, which means you won’t have to worry about mildew or any other issues. The fabric is extremely easy to clean as well — you just need to wipe it down with a damp cloth or blast it using a garden hose.
It’s better to choose a cover with accessory slots. Compartments or pockets are an extremely convenient feature, giving you easy access to a bottle opener, lighter, and other essentials.
An ideal tank cover should allow you to easily access the propane tank. Whether it has velcro at the top, a zipper, or any other opening, you should be able to easily connect the gas hose and adjust the valve without removing the entire cover.
If your cover does not give you easy access to the cylinder valve and connector hose, you’ll be frustrated every time you use the tank.