How To Unlock A Locked Propane Tank?

In the keyhole on the front of the lock mechanism, insert the propane lock key. Counterclockwise turn the key until the lock cover comes off and the valve is exposed. If the lock cover won’t come off, turn it clockwise.

On the tip of the propane valve, look for the lock mechanism. It comes out of one side of the valve housing on the top of the tank.

What’s the deal with my propane tank being locked?

We fill propane tanks here at The Country Hearth… after all, it’s a huge part of what we do. Every day, we fill tanks ranging from 5 pounds to 100 pounds, and I thought I’d let you in on a little secret that has a TON of folks coming in for no apparent reason…

The tank is full, but nothing happens when it is connected. The consumer believes the tank is empty and comes to see us to spend time and petrol, only to be told they have a…

So, here’s what it means to “lock out.” All domestic LP tanks must contain a protection device as part of the valve system, as specified by the federal government in 2001. For safety concerns, this will physically lock you out of your propane tank (i.e. propane goes BOOM).

If you do the following, you will give yourself a LOCK OUT:

  • Connect your propane tank and turn on one or more of your grill control valves before turning on the tank.
  • Turn many control valves on at the same time to turn your grill on.
  • Only the propane tank should be turned off when your grill is turned off.
  • Excessive sunshine (overheating) might potentially result in a LOCK OUT.
  • When the propane is exposed to too much sunlight, it heats up and builds tremendous pressure.
  • A LOCK OUT will occur if there is a leak or any problem with the tank.


  • Remove the propane cylinder from the tank and close the valve.
  • Remove the black QCC connection slowly (the black fitting that connects to the propane tank).
  • Make that the valves on the appliance (grill, heater, etc.) are turned off.
  • Connect the tank to the QCC again (black fitting that connects to the propane tank).
  • Restart your appliance, one valve at a time, then light it up… THEN TURN ON THE OTHER VALVES (Scott, you’re next).

You’ll most likely get locked out again if the tank is heated. If this happens, simply follow the steps again.

So don’t get locked out, and if you do, don’t freak out. When dealing with sweet lady propane, safety is paramount, and we don’t want to hear any “BOOMS.”

How do you get a propane tank to release?

You may find instructions on how to empty a propane tank all over the internet, but the advise should be avoided because it is VERY DANGEROUS. This is NOT how propane gas cylinders should be emptied:

  • Do not disconnect the tank from the piping gas line or equipment to which it is connected.
  • Place the tank in an open space area outside (this is not a good idea).
  • Invert the propane cylinder such that the bottom is facing up and the handles are on the ground (this should not be done).
  • (Do not do this.) Open the valve and let the liquid propane go.
  • Close the valve (this is not a good idea).

by Rich Morahan

Green’s Propane Gas, Smiths Station, AL, owner Mike Green, is committed to locking his propane tanks. “Lock America’s filler valve lock will pay for itself by preventing delinquent clients from going to other suppliers and protecting our tanks from tampering,” he says, referring to his investment in tank locks.

A locked tank was previously a relatively new notion in the propane industry, but it has existed in another industry for decades. Even if we learnt about self-storage from Storage Wars, most of us have a basic understanding of how it works. They will lock up your belongings if you do not pay your payment.

That’s why Frank Minnella, CEO of Lock America in Corona, CA, decided to use his experience with self-storage “lock out locks for propane tanks.” “What happens if I don’t pay my bill?” he inquired of his propane dealer. “We stop delivering,” says the answer, “which in most circumstances results in lost income that goes to a rival.”

Frank and his partner, Steve Shiao, along with his propane dealer, developed the Fill Valve Lock and the POLock based on their 30 years of experience inventing security solutions for self-storage. There were several padlocks and “clamshell” devices on the market before, but they were the first locks made expressly for propane tanks. They are still the only ones designed for this application.

Wake-Up Calls and Leased Tanks

POLock and Fill Valve Lock are revenue enhancers and asset protectors, according to Bill Pohlhaus of Tevis Oil, Inc. in Hempstead, MD. The POLock is used by his company to cut off the output valve of overdue customers’ tanks. The lock, according to Bill, is a “wake-up call” that gets consumers up to date on their bills.

Tevis’ investment in leased tanks is protected by the Fill Valve. Propane tanks are owned and maintained by the propane company in almost all states, and propane customers’ contracts prevent other companies from filling the tanks. It is actually against the law in Pohlhaus’s state for any company to fill another company’s propane tanks. The Fill Valve lock enforces the law while also providing two additional benefits: it guarantees that Bill’s customers stay to their agreements to buy fuel from him, and it shields him from any liability if an unqualified outside agent interferes with his tanks.

Steady Growth in Propane

For nearly five years, Ray Murray, Inc. (RMI) of Lee, MA has distributed the Fill Valve Lock and POLock. These novel concept locks designed exclusively for propane tanks have shown steady growth in sales. Other locking products, which typically consist of a regular padlock plus a metal clamp, or “clamshell,” outsell them.

The industry-focused design and unique key code that each Lock America customer receives, according to John Murray, Vice President and LP Product Manager for RMI, are significant benefits. The Fill Valve Lock or POLock can only be opened by an authorized propane driver or corporate representative.

From Lock Out to Roll Out

The locks were put by Mike Svoboda of Axmen Propane in Missoula, Montana, to secure his investment. “Competitors were filling our tanks,” he claims, particularly when properties changed hands. The Lock America Fill Valve and POLock were used to solve the problem. The driver can secure every leased tank on his route with a single registered key code, ensuring that Axmen Propane is the only dealer that fills our leased tanks, safeguarding our business and customers from private dealers and, ultimately, safeguarding our investment.

Initially, propane dealers used the tank lock to disconnect delinquent consumers, but many expanded their usage of it. As Bill Green points out, “I started with my ‘Will Calls,’ then moved on to the automatics, and now I’m implementing the lock on all of my new tanks. When a customer had a past due account or an unethical firm came, the tags on our tanks would occasionally vanish. There are no talks, no disagreements, simply bills completed before delivery with the lock.

A similar scenario is told by Brian Wanner of Silvertip Propane in Billings, Montana. “When people shopped for credit, we were losing business. When they owe us money, we now lock the fill and outflow valves. Profits have increased. We’re installing locks on all of our new tanks and gradually implementing them across the industry.

Protection Against Potential Liability

The POLock can also safeguard a propane supplier from a consumer who tries to enter a locked tank and causes an accident.

Two multimillion-dollar lawsuits show how costly propane tank explosions can be. A jury found a Louisiana gas supplier accountable for damages caused by an explosion, despite the fact that the firm had installed what it thought was a secure outlet plug mechanism on the tank before it detonated.

The consumer allegedly had little trouble removing the device with a wrench, culminating in a catastrophic explosion. The propane firm had made insufficient efforts to secure the disconnected gas connection and protect its consumer, according to the jury. An insecure outlet valve plug and a plain red warning label couldn’t stop the consumer from reconnecting the gas line, and the corporation couldn’t defend itself from the consequent responsibility.

Any mechanism “that may be opened with simple household equipment cannot be termed a locking device,” according to the ruling.

A propane gas dealer in Indiana elected to disconnect a half-full tank and secure it with only a warning notice and an outlet plug device in a second case. Despite tampering with the outlet plug mechanism, the plaintiff in this case sought damages. Following the removal of the device, the plaintiff reconnected the tank on his own, resulting in an explosion that harmed a number of individuals.

Surprisingly, he then sued the propane company for failing to protect him from… himself.

The court found that the corporation owed a “general duty of reasonable care” to everyone who might be hurt by its propane in that situation. Despite the fact that the outlet valve stopper “was suspiciously removed” and the gas line “was mysteriously reconnected,” the court dismissed the company’s summary judgment request.

Both cases demonstrate how reliance on a faulty outlet valve plug and a red warning label can result in a lawsuit. Even if the propane dealer wins, legal fees might add up quickly.

Protect Revenue and Assets

The Fill Valve Lock and The POLock keep the propane dealer in control of their tanks by keeping competitors out and stopping consumers from tampering, preserving both the dealer’s company and the safety of their customers. To control delinquencies and tardy payments, a corporation can start with a “lock out program,” or it can lock all of its tanks to enforce its contracts. Propane tank locks pay for themselves in either case.

When propane won’t come out of the tank, what should you do?

Most propane tanks will not release fuel if the valve is opened all the way. This is for safety reasons. Simply close the valve on your propane tank all the way to check for this problem. You may now re-open the propane tank by turning the valve simply once. Propane should be flowing at this point.

Burping the Propane Tank

To begin, open the hood of your grill to ensure that no gas is accumulating inside. Second, switch off all of the grill’s burners. Make sure that all of the burners are turned off.

Twist the gas tank shutoff valve clockwise until it is completely closed on your propane tank. After that, remove the propane tank hose in the same manner as when you replace the tank. As the excess pressure is released, you’ll probably hear a tiny hiss. Your propane tank just burped like a newborn.

Starting Your Grill Safely

Wait around 30 seconds before reconnecting the hose. The propane regulator will reset itself during this time.

Reconnect the hose once you’ve waited, making sure it’s correctly tightened. Reopen the propane valve a quarter turn once the hose is in place. It’s critical to slowly reopen the valve, as doing so too quickly may cause the regulator to trip again. After you’ve made this initial turn, slowly open it all the way.

Is it permissible for me to release propane into the atmosphere?

Propanegas is a clean-burning alternative fuel made up of light, basic hydrocarbons. Because a propane tank is a pressurized container, it will vaporize and dissipate into the air if it leaks. As a result, propane, unlike alcoholfuel or gasoline, cannot be consumed. Some little-known facts regarding propane and concerns about propane safety:

  • Coal combustion produces more carbon dioxide and pollutants than propane gas combustion.
  • Manufacturers of propane appliances and propane equipment adhere to stringent safety regulations.
  • In comparison to other petroleum products, propane has a narrow flammability range. It will only light when the propane and air mixture has 2.2 percent to 9.6 percent propane vapor. Any mixture with less than 2.2 percent gas is too lean, and any with more than 9.6 percent is too rich.
  • Unless the source reaches a minimum of 940 degrees Fahrenheit, combining air with propane will not cause it to burn. When the source hits 430 degrees Fahrenheit, however, gasoline will ignite.
  • The chances of a person dying in a propane storage or transportation disaster are about the same as having an airplane fall from the sky and land on you.
  • Because it is harmless, propanegas is one of the most environmentally friendly products for the land and water.

Is it safe to breathe propane?

Propane is a colorless, odorless, flammable gas that can turn liquid at extremely low temperatures.

The dangers of inhaling or swallowing propane are discussed in this article. It is dangerous to inhale or consume propane. Propane substitutes for oxygen in the lungs. Breathing becomes difficult or impossible as a result of this.

This article is solely for educational purposes. It should not be used to treat or manage a poisoning. If you or someone you’re with has been exposed to something poisonous, call the local emergency number (such as 911), or call the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.

Are propane tanks prone to exploding?

Propane explosions are the result of a gas leak being exposed to flame or extremely high temperatures. Propane tanks bursting is a rare occurrence, however it can happen: These explosions are a form of BLEVE, or Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion, which occurs when the propane tank’s pressure surpasses the pressure it can safely vent, causing the tank to burst open. To reduce the chance of an explosion, use safe handling and storage procedures and check propane tank relief valves on a regular basis.

When propane is exposed to air, what happens?

If you’re exposed to large amounts of propane, it will displace the oxygen in your lungs, making breathing difficult or impossible. Call 911 if you think you’ve breathed a large amount of propane. Call your propane supplier or 911 right away if you smell propane or suspect a propane leak.

Is propane carcinogenic?

  • Low quantities are not dangerous when inhaled. A high concentration can cause oxygen in the air to be displaced. Symptoms such as fast breathing, quick heart rate, clumsiness, emotional upheavals, and exhaustion might occur when there is less oxygen available to breathe. As oxygen becomes scarcer, nausea and vomiting, collapse, convulsions, coma, and death are all possible outcomes. Physical exertion causes symptoms to appear more quickly. Organs such as the brain and heart can be permanently damaged by a lack of oxygen. When present in excessive amounts, it can be harmful to the nervous system. Headache, nausea, dizziness, sleepiness, and confusion are all possible symptoms. It’s possible that it’ll produce an erratic pulse.
  • Skin Contact: Doesn’t irritate the skin. The skin might be chilled or frozen if it comes into direct touch with the liquid gas (frostbite). Numbness, prickling, and itching are all symptoms of mild frostbite. A burning feeling and stiffness are common symptoms of more severe frostbite. It’s possible that the skin will turn waxy white or yellow. In severe situations, blistering, tissue death, and infection may occur.
  • Contact with the eyes is not a bother. The eye can be frozen if it comes into direct contact with the liquid gas. There is a risk of permanent eye injury or blindness.
  • Ingestion: This isn’t a viable method of exposure (gas).
  • Long-Term Consequences (Chronic) It is not dangerous to be exposed to it.
  • Carcinogenicity: This substance is not a carcinogen.

ACGIH (American Conference for Governmental Industrial Hygienists): Not designated.

  • Teratogenicity / Embryotoxicity: There is no evidence that this product will harm an unborn child.
  • Toxicity to the fetus: There is no evidence that this substance is toxic to the fetus.
  • Mutagenicity: This substance is not known to be a mutagen.