Where to Store Propane Tanks? The Best Places

Propane is among the most common clean-burning fuels, widely used in households for cooking, heating, or as backup sources during emergencies and power outages. Unfortunately, some homeowners do not pay attention to proper propane tank storage, putting themselves and their families at severe fire and explosion risks.

We will discuss where to store propane tanks at home in this article to keep everyone safe.

Where Should Propane Tanks Be Stored?

Both portable and large propane tanks should be stored outside in well-ventilated areas away from direct sunlight or heat and ignition sources. Portable tanks must be placed upright on level ground (to avoid tipping over) and disconnected from the gas lines in winter months. 

Meanwhile, large, stationary tanks do not have to be moved around but need frequent inspection to remain in good condition all year. 

1. Portable Tanks

Portable Tanks
Portable Tanks

The following guidelines will help you find the ideal location to store your portable tanks:

  • Avoid Indoor Storage: Smaller propane tanks should never be stored indoors, as this will pose a high risk of gas leaks and other potential hazards. 
  • Winter Preparations: Before winter sets in, shut off the main valve and disconnect the tank from any gas lines on your grill to prevent leakage during colder months.
  • Stable Ground: Choose a flat, even surface so that the tank won’t tip over. 
  • Away from Open Flames: Propane is highly flammable. You should store its tank well away from ignition sources, open flames, or any combustible materials.
  • Avoid Damp Areas: Moisture might lead to premature rusting. We suggest keeping the tank somewhere dry and cool to maintain its integrity.
  • Upright Position: Portable tanks usually come with relief valves that usually activate under high pressure. Therefore, always store your tank upright (especially if it’s more than half full) to keep the propane from contacting and triggering this safety feature. 
  • Frequent Reminder: Depending on usage frequency, consider setting a seasonal reminder for your tank storage to ensure it’s always in optimal condition.

2. Home Tanks

home propane tank
home propane tank

Unlike portable ones, larger home propane tanks are stationary and don’t need to be moved into storage during the off-season. Still, you must ensure they remain in good condition throughout the year.

  • Seasonal Maintenance: Plan for seasonal maintenance, such as checking safety controls or performing visual inspections for damage/rust. Consider carrying out these check-ups along with regular HVAC servicing for your furnace and burner systems.
  • Avoid Overfilling: Propane tanks also feature pressure relief valves to prevent dangerous gas buildup, so do not overfill them or let the propane exceed 80% of the tank’s capacity. Otherwise, it might jeopardize the valve’s functionality, especially when you store the tank for extended periods.

Extra Tips to Transport and Store Propane Tanks

1. Extra Storage Tips

a. Avoid Shed Storage

Never store propane tanks in sheds; possible propane leaks might contaminate the area and put everyone in danger. Even the spark from starting your car or lawnmower might ignite propane leakage and cause hazardous accidents.

Do you live in snowy regions? Then, mark the tank’s location to find it more easily under snow. We also suggest storing the tank under a waterproof cover, in a purpose-built tank box, or under an open-air shelter to minimize damage and rust. 

b. Keep It Above -40°F (or -40°C) in Cold Weather

In colder months, ensure the tank is kept above -40°F/-40°C, or it will lose internal pressure due to lower temperature.

  • Place the propane tank in a sunlit area to allow it to warm up during the day. 
  • Keeping the tank full also helps maintain adequate pressure.
  • Avoid covering the tank, as this may block the sun and further decrease pressure. 
  • Never warm up the tank with heaters or electrical devices.

c. Avoid High Temperatures Above 120°F (49°C)

During hot summer, remember not to expose the tank to temperatures exceeding 120°F (49°C), as high temperatures cause the pressure inside the tank to rise. Instead, store your tank in a shaded area during the hottest months and protect it from direct sunlight. Plus, keep the tank away from rain to prevent rust and damage. 

As mentioned, propane tanks have a relief valve that relieves excess pressure in consistent high-temperature conditions. Make sure your tank remains upright for this safety feature to work properly.

d. Choose Dry Storage Surfaces

On wet ground or surfaces, the metal might corrode, destroying your tank’s structure. Once the rust compromises its integrity, the only choice is to throw the entire tank away.

To prevent such a disaster, always put the tank on a dry, elevated surface with as little moisture as possible.

2. Extra Tips to Transport The Tank

Suppose you must transport a new propane tank home or to a different location; putting it inside your vehicle is the safest, though there are still specific precautions to follow. 

  • Place the tank upright and secure it in place using a rope or strap to prevent sliding or tipping during the trip. Avoid materials that could damage the tank. 
  • What if strapping isn’t an option? Then, place objects around the tank to stabilize it. Keep the tank on the vehicle floor, not the seat, and don’t transport more than 4 tanks (unless you use the open bed on a pickup truck). 
  • For better safety, consider using a stable base, like a milk crate, for the tank during transport. 

Where Should I Store My Propane Tank During A Storm?

During a storm, store your propane tank in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and heat sources, at least 10 feet away from any windows, doors, or other openings. Consider tying it to the house columns or nearby trees for extra security.

Can You Keep A Propane Tank in Your Garage in Winter?

propane tank in winter
propane tank in winter

Propane tanks are flammable and should not be stored in a garage, even in winter

Garages are often poorly ventilated and may contain flammable materials (e.g., gasoline or oil), which explode once there is a leak in the propane tank. And do not forget that propane combustion produces carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal if inhaled in an enclosed space like your garage.

How Long Can A Propane Tank Sit Unused?

Unlike other fuel sources like gasoline, diesel, or kerosene that degrade over time, propane does not expire and can remain potent for decades. However, the tank does have an expiration date of about 12 years.

Should You Close The Propane Tank When Not in Use?

Yes, you should always close the propane tank valve when not in use to prevent gas leakage and other damage (debris, dirt, etc.). 

To close the valve, simply turn it clockwise until it is snug (do not overtighten it, though.)


Our guide has instructed you on how to store the propane tank outside. It is not complicated but requires constant monitoring and inspection, so do not neglect your tank for too long. Most importantly, be extra careful in extreme weather (both hot and cold) to prevent unwanted damage and rust.

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Alex Lewis

Alex Lewis

Petroleum Engineer At Rex Energy

I have worked in a variety of roles and professions, from quality engineering in the automotive industry to production engineer in the oil and gas sector. From a technical point of view, these roles have shown me how to design a process, ensure it is efficient and up to standard, and manage the execution of the said process from start to finish.

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