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COLD WEATHER HAZARDS OF PROPANE FUELED VEHICLES

Propane is a gas that is turned into a liquid when stored in pressurized cylinders. You should be aware that as the temperature of the fuel tank rises, the liquid fuel expands which increases pressure inside the tank. In cold weather this could result in a fire or explosion if a propane-powered vehicle with more than 80% liquid fuel in the fuel tank is brought into a heated building from outside. The increased air temperature in the shop causes increased pressure inside the fuel tank. This will open the safety relief valve if the tank has been overfilled, and the released propane gas can burn if any ignition sources are present.

General Safety Precautions When Servicing Propane Fuel Vehicles In Cold Weather:

  1. Before bringing a propane-fueled vehicle indoors for service be sure the propane system is leak-free. In weather above freezing use a soap and water solution to check connections, valves, and lines. In colder weather use a commercial leak detector solution that is available from safety supply houses, or use a combustible gas indicator that is calibrated for propane.
  2. Be sure the fuel tank is not filled beyond the maximum recommended filling capacity (usually 80%). The level of liquid fuel can be checked as follows:
  3. The fuel lines should be free of fuel when the vehicle is indoors for repairs or servicing. Fuel lines should be charged only when propane is required to operate the engine. The procedure is:
  4. When repair or service work has been completed, recharge the fuel line:
  5. If propane gas is released in an enclosed area (for example, if the relief valve opens), the following actions should be quickly taken:
  6. Be sure to follow all safe operating procedures as recommended by the equipment manufacturer and consult

with them, and/or the distributor if you have questions.

 

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