How to Seal Propane Tank Fittings

hand twisting the control valve on a propane tank

When you are applying propane tank fittings to your tank, you need to exercise a great deal of care. Propane is very volatile and explosive, and poor seals can allow the gas to leak out into the surrounding atmosphere. The fittings, which are usually used to fix the gas lines to the tank, are known as compression fittings. The complete connection of these fittings is necessary to ensure that gas cannot escape through the sides. To do this, it is necessary to ensure that you add a secure seal to the propane tank fittings. Here are some tips to help you through the process.

Step 1 - Add a New Connection

If you have a new propane tank, you will probably have a compression fitting that is associated with the propane tank. If there is not one, you can easily purchase compression propane tank fittings from a hardware store. The fitting should be safely sealed onto the tank. Begin installing the propane tank fittings by wrapping some Teflon tape around the threads of your tank. This should allow you to get a good seal on your fitting, even if the connection is slightly too large. Push the compression fitting firmly onto the tank.

Step 2 - Connect the Hose

You can then take your gas line and connect it into the fitting. Push the hose completely into the fitting, and then hold it in place by turning the fitting seal with your fingers. If you are adding several lines at once, attach the hoses and seal lightly before starting to seal the connection using a wrench. In some types of propane tanks, such as those used in boats, it is necessary to attach an adaptor to complete the seal. This can be in the form of an O-ring or similar connection. Tighten the O-ring first, and then attach the propane tank fitting over the top.

Step 3 - Adjust the Fitting

Propane tank fittings come in a number of different styles, and this may mean that you need to treat the fittings differently. For example, some straight-through compression fittings are sometimes too short to pass from the propane tank (on an RV or boat) through to the internal gas line. You may need to adjust the size of the hole, and then seal it using duct tape or similar. It is important not to use caulk or other seals near to the compression fittings.

Step 4 - Protect the Propane Tank Fittings

As propane tank fittings are designed to prevent gas from leaking, it is vital that you treat them with due care. One of the most important things to avoid is the use of sealants on the surface of the fitting itself. You can use sealing tape, but any kind of caulking, metal seal, or similar chemical device is not advisable. This is due to the chance that the sealant may corrode the propane tank fittings. In addition, you should try to avoid placing the fittings near a very hot surface. This can sometimes cause the compression to loosen. Keep the tank and the fittings as far from any potential sources of heat as possible.