MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The 4th of July is all about Bar-B-Ques. But if you can't spot the signs of a defective propane tank, burnt burgers will be the least of your worries.
Finding a safe propane tank at the store is key.
Propane expert Patrick Galphin can spot the difference between a safe tank and a bad tank.
He can tell when a valve is no longer safe and when it can't prevent over fills.
Gaplhin says that you always have to look for a valve that is triangle shaped and etched with the letters OPD for "Over-fill Protection Device".
These types of tanks have a float inside like the float in your toilet's water tank. Beware of the tanks that have a round or flower-shaped valve. Those types of valves are no longer safe because it can't prevent over-fills.
"When propane fills to the top, it will shut that valve off, preventing that tank from being over-filled", added Gaplhin.
But sometimes, even a good tank comes back bad.
"Unfortunately, these come back from a lot of Meth labs. The ammonia that's used to make methamphetamines reacts with the brass in the valves, causing that corrosion, stated Gaplhin.
So always check for corrosion on the valve and the fittings, dry rot on the fuel lines and a rusted tank.
And, again, only install tanks with a triangle valve with the letters OPD.
Here are some other tips:
- When you're finished grilling, turn off the tank first, then the burners. That way, you prevent gas from building up in your lines.
- When transporting a propane tank, if you don't have a pick-up truck, make sure you open the windows of your car for ventilation.