Why Does My Propane Tank Keep Shutting Off?

Though it may not seem harmful, using a propane cylinder inappropriately can be a hazard to users and their homes or property. If you’re unable to start your gas grill, you may need to drain your propane tank. However, a question might be on your mind: Why does my propane tank keep shutting off?

Your propane tank’s regulator is disrupted easily by changes in pressure, and this can happen if you switch on the burners without opening your propane tank valve first, or in the event of a speedy change in the ambient temperature. To reset the regulator, close everything and try again.

The propane regulator is a mechanism attached to the shutoff valve on your propane tank. Its job is to regulate gas flow into the grill. However, if the pressure is too high, the bypass valve inside the regulator can become fully or partially blocked, preventing gas from flowing out of the tank. So, you should take it very slow when opening the valve on the tank. If you are too fast to open it and the gas lines that are connected to your appliances are not full, the safety valve on your tank may tend to shut off the flow.

What Causes My Propane Tank to Keep Shutting Off?

A large green propane tank on the side of a house

In most cases, the cause is an overflow that releases full, unrestricted gas flow from the tank. Like most tanks, if yours has two valves, it may mean that too much gas is flowing out of both at once, so the tank is forced to shut off as a safety measure.

An internal safety seal or seat operated by a spring is there to partially stop the flow when propane is going out of the tank at a faster-than-normal rate. This is usually the case when the valves of your appliance, such as your outdoor grill, are open when you turn on the valve of your tank and the gas begins to flow from the valve at excess (full) speed.

It is a safety measure to check for a secondary set of control valves to operate the appliance. It’s a good idea to always confirm that you have closed all the valves of your appliance before you open the tank to allow pressure to build up slowly in the system.

As soon as there is pressure on the lines and the gas is not moving quickly out of the tank, you can turn on and light the appliance valves. In the event of an excessive internal flow, the safety valve will be activated to slow or shut down the gas flow, and it will be impossible to light or operate the appliance properly. The appliance will be lit in some cases, but you will not get a full flame.

The excess flow safety valve can be reset for normal operation if you close all the valves on the tank and your appliance and wait for one minute. Listen carefully. If there is no release of gas, you should hear a little “click” when the valve is reset. After that, you can go on to light the burners and use the appliance normally.

How Can I Prevent My Tank From Continually Shutting Off?

It’s important to know the kind of tank that you own, whether it is a 200-gallon tank connected to your house or a smaller tank used to power a three-burner grill. Some tanks, such as those you use for your house, should not be frequently turned on and off. Doing so can damage the regulator and cause the tank to shut off on its own.

In addition, the burners should always be turned off before you close your propane tank valve, to avoid issues later on. This will help keep the pressure balanced for your next grilling session. If your gas grill continues to have problems, it may be a case of a broken propane regulator or a faulty connection, or an obstruction between the grill and your propane tank.

How to Prevent a Propane Tank From Shutting Off Using a Thermocouple

One major reason why your propane heater might be shutting off repeatedly is that the thermocouple and the burner flame are too far apart, leading to the pilot going out. Or the pilot tube could be blocked, preventing an adequate flow of gas from the cylinder that feeds the fire near the thermocouple.

These problems can be resolved easily by setting the thermocouple closer to the flame and wiping the pilot tube feeding the fire. The cylinder that supplies the burner and the pilot with gas may also be drained or the gas cylinder may only be partially open.

Another issue could be the accumulation of debris or rust on the thermocouple, which makes it insufficiently sensitive to the fire, leading to loss of temperature. This can be resolved if you rub it with sandpaper (on Amazon) and wipe it with a cloth. Ensure that there is no leftover fluff from the cloth to prevent sparks from flying.

Why Does My Full Propane Tank Keep Shutting Off?

Gas tank for household in winter at japan

If your full propane tank keeps shutting off, you can try the troubleshooting actions in the list below:

  • Ensure that the hose attachment is well connected to the propane tank. Also double-check to be sure that the screw-on valve is tightly screwed.
  • Check out your connector. If it’s not up to one inch long, it’s too short to depress the check valve in the valve.
  • If you turn on your valve all the way, it may prevent the tank from releasing propane. This feature is for safety. Go again, turn the valve just once and ignite the grill.
  • There’s a possibility that your regulator is faulty, which prevents propane from flowing. The best solution is to try again using a new hose and regulator like this one (on Amazon).

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