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Do I Need A Safety Inspection When I Run Out of Propane?

If you use propane appliances in your home, congratulations—you’re using one of the safest sources of home energy around.

A big reason why propane enjoys such a great safety record is because the use, delivery and handling of the fuel is very closely regulated by federal, state, local, and industry rules. Among those regulations are several dealing with propane leak tests.

Why Do Propane Leaks Happen?

To understand why leak tests are needed for your propane system, you first have to understand some basics about how propane equipment works:

Propane systems use plumbing pipes to connect the main supply of propane (your propane tank) to appliances in your home. Propane gas is pushed through these pipes, creating pressure on pipe fittings and the hardening compounds that seal them. As gas pressure rises and falls, pipes joints and seals weaken; over time, this could lead to a gas leak. A leak test checks the integrity of these joints and seals.

When Do I Need An Inspection?

Federal law requires propane leak tests to be performed any time there is an interruption of service—that is, any time the flow of gas has stopped for any reason. As NFPA 54 (2006), 8.2.3 states,

Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be tested for leakage. If leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made.

In other words, this means that a leak test must be performed:

If any of the above applies, then a leak/pressure test—performed by a licensed, qualified professional— is required before a propane delivery can be attempted.

How To Avoid Unnecessary Propane Leak Tests

The most common reason customers why customers need a leak test is because they run out of gas. For this reason, we recommend taking the following steps to reduce the likelihood of a propane run-out:

Need a propane equipment inspection in northern North Carolina or southern Virginia? We can help. Contact Pico Propane today for licensed propane service and propane deliveries in Alamance, Orange, Person & Rockingham counties, NC!