Can Propane Freeze?
If you are camping in some seriously cold weather you may start to wonder if your propane is going to be ok. Propane gets very cold when it transfers from liquid to gas and that’s why you sometimes see frost forming around your propane tank when a lot of propane is being used and there’s lots of moisture in the air.
Propane can freeze but not in any conditions found here on earth. The pressure in a propane tank gets lower the colder it gets outside and at -40 degrees Fahrenheit the propane can stop converting from liquid to gas and you won’t be able to get any gas to run your appliances. This is a very rare case and most likely won’t be a problem.
If it does get super cold outside and your propane stops flowing it could be because there isn’t enough propane in the tank to built-up pressure to run your appliances correctly. If you are camping in freezing temperatures it’s a good idea to not let your propane tanks get below 10% or be filled over 80%.
If you are having problems with your propane appliances not working properly when it’s cold outside the problem is most likely not the propane itself but rather a symptom of another problem. The most common thing that will freeze up is the propane regulator.
Can RV Propane Regulators or Lines Freeze?
The short answer is yes they can but not because it’s too cold outside. One reason for a propane regulator to freeze is the tank is overfilled and liquid propane is being shot into the regulator. When the liquid propane turns to a gas inside the regulator it gets extremely cold and freezes up.
If this happens, turn off the propane tank and let the regulator thaw. Then slowly open the propane tank and use a little bit at a time until the liquid propane is no longer flowing into the regulator.
See Also: How Does An RV Propane Regulator Work?
Another more common reason for regulators and lines to freeze is moisture built up inside your propane tank. It’s not the propane that is freezing but the water. Most propane suppliers have the ability to add anhydrous methanol to your propane tank. This will absorb the moisture and remove it from your propane tank.
If your RV propane regulator is getting old it may start letting moisture in which can cause it to freeze up as well.
The last problem could be the propane mixture is not cold-weather friendly. If you are going to be staying up north where it’s cold during the winter make sure you fill your propane tanks there so you get the right kind.
Propane regulators can freeze up but it’s not usually the propane’s fault but things like moisture and overfilling. Also if the RV propane regulator is old and letting in moisture that can cause it to freeze up as well. Make sure you replace an old or bad propane regulator.
Propane lines should never freeze and the issue normally lies with the pressure in the propane tank or the regulator.
See Also: Best 2-Stage RV Propane Regulators
If you are going to be camping in below zero weather make sure your propane tanks are filled properly and are moisture-free. Also, check that the regulator is in good condition (click here for how to tell if an RV propane regulator has gone bad), and try not to use a ton of propane all at once. Another tip is to light a burner on your stove for a minute before turning on your furnace to get a little bit of propane flowing before the high demand of the furnace kicks in.
Have any questions about propane when it’s cold? Leave a comment below.