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If you have any questions about propane or your tank, please call the experts at Coyne Oil & Propane. Here are some common questions and answers.

Q: Can I paint my tank to match my home or blend in with landscaping?
A: You can paint your tank, but call us before you select a color. Painting a tank a dark color can create a safety problem. Dark colors absorb heat. Propane tanks need to reflect heat. If heat is absorbed, the pressure inside the tank may rise enough to force open the safety relief valve.

Q: I bought a new house with a propane tank. What do I do?
A: Check the tank for a sticker that identifies the company that has serviced it in the past. The sticker should be on the outside of the tank itself or inside the dome. If you can’t find the sticker, call us.

Q: Why does my propane supplier keep running “leak tests?” Is this just a way to make money?
A: Leak tests are required by law whenever there is an interruption of service for any reason. If a homeowner lets the tank run out of gas, that is an interruption of service. Your provider must perform a leak test.

Q: Can I repair my tank myself?
A: No. Owners repairing or modifying propane systems present major safety concerns. Often, owners believe they can save time or money by making seemingly simple repairs or modifications. However, such modifications could render your propane system unsafe and illegal. Please call the licensed gas professionals at Coyne for all repairs and modifications.

Q: Is there a cost to lease a propane tank?
A: No, we do not charge to lease our tanks as long as the recommended amount of gallons purchased per year are met. If you lease a 120-gallon tank and purchase 150 gallons per year or lease a 320-330 gallon tank and purchase 400 gallons a year, leasing the tank is completely free. If you lease a 500-gallon tank and purchase 600 gallons a year, you will also not pay to lease the tank.

Q: I see propane tanks exploding all the time in movies. Are they really safe?
A: Despite what you see in the movies, propane tanks do not explode if they fall over. They do not explode if you hit them with a lawnmower or car. They do not explode if they are shot with a bullet. Safety devices and mechanisms are in place that makes propane tank explosions, accidents, ruptures, and breaches very unusual.

Q: Is my propane cylinder likely to explode? I saw a video online of cylinder explosions.
A: No. LP gas cylinders used and stored in accordance with federal guidelines do not easily explode. You can find internet videos of LP gas cylinder explosions, but most of these are the result of placing a cylinder directly on a fire. Many times these internet videos show the cylinders exploding only after they are shot with a bullet while they are on fire.

Q: I have an old propane tank or cylinder. Can it put it on the curb for the garbage truck?
A: No. Propane tanks and cylinders are considered hazardous waste. They can be disposed of, but this is a task best left to a propane company.

Q: What do I do to secure my propane tank in the event of a natural disaster?
A: Every emergency is different. During an emergency, follow the instructions you get from emergency responders. Before an emergency happens, propane users can take steps to reduce their risk from disasters common to their area. Wildfire damage can be minimized by clearing a 10’ radius around the tank. Remove anything that could fuel a fire. This includes long grass, leaves, trash, and other combustibles. Floods and high water can wash away propane tanks. Do not install tanks in areas prone to flooding, such as next to a dry creek bed. The system also can be anchored to minimize risk during a flood. Call Coyne Oil for advice on locating and anchoring your tank. Tornadoes and severe storms are a fact of life in Michigan. These events are usually highly localized and the odds of your tank sustaining a direct hit is minimal.

Q. How does temperature affect the volume of propane in my tank?
A. The volume of liquid in all containers is directly related to its temperature. For propane, the volume rises as temperature rises and volume falls as temperature falls. That’s because propane becomes denser as the temperature falls. Propane expands as temperature increases.