Can I Paint My Propane Tank?

Propane TankIf you are a homeowner, you most likely take pride in the way your home looks and wants it to be appealing visually. If you have a huge, unsightly propane tank in your yard, it can distract from your home’s beauty. Many homeowners think that if they paint the propane tank it will blend into the landscaping or the colors of other buildings. It is certainly possible to paint your propane tank, but you will need to know a few things before you run out and buy paint. It may be your tank in your yard, but there are some restrictions as to the proper propane tank colors.

Additionally, there are restrictions about the types of paint you can use on a propane tank, and if you decide to paint it yourself, you will need to be familiar with these restrictions. These restrictions do not come from propane companies, they are mandated by both state and federal laws, plus they are based on serviceability and safety issues. There is only one time when these restrictions will not apply, or they are somewhat relaxed and that is when the propane tank’s location is in a very cold climate. The serviceability aspect of these restrictions has to do with how easy your tank will be able to be found by a propane service technician.

If you have painted your tank to blend into your property, it may look great and be almost unnoticeable, but this can work against you when it comes time to have your tank filled and/or serviced. If the technician comes when you are not at home, he may not be able to locate your tank causing you to have to be home when he comes. If the tank is painted in a bright, reflective color, the technician can easily find the tank and you will not have to be home during servicing. However, the safety aspect of these restrictions is the most important.

Propane comes in either liquid or gas, is highly flammable, and should be kept away from high heat. Even elementary students learn that when gas is exposed to high heat, it can be disastrous- propane is no exception. When a propane tank is painted a dark color, it will be prone to absorb more heat from the sun, even on days when it is cloudy, and this can lead to a disaster. When the propane inside the tank heats up, it expands and causes the relief valve to open and release propane into the environment.

What is worse is that the propane can get so hot that it will cause an explosion or fire, which can lead to loss of property and even loss of lives. These two very important reasons are why the state and federal agencies put these restrictions in place on the proper way to paint your propane tank. The color you choose should be a very light and reflective color to reflect the heat away from the tank. The most popular color is silver, but you can also use white or another very light color.

Before you start painting your propane tank, it is essential that you take a wire brush or heavy sandpaper and remove any rust that has developed on the outside of the tank. Because rust is dark, it will absorb heat so try to remove as much as possible. If your tank is several years old and has developed rust, or the paint is flaking off, it is recommended that you paint your tank. Also, if your tank is several years old and has seen better days, it may be time to replace the tank and save yourself some time and money on maintenance, such as painting.

When used safely and properly, propane is one of the most efficient and safe fuel sources you can have. It is cost effective, saving you many thousands of energy dollars every year. It is essential, however that you properly handle propane and make certain that the tank is maintained properly. While there is nothing wrong with consumers painting their own propane tank, any other repairs or maintenance that needs to be done, should be taken care of by a certified technician. This way, you can be sure the work is done right and also ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.