Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if there is a propane leak?

Propane has a very distinctive smell. As a protective measure for your safety, a strong odorant is added to propane so that you will easily be able to detect the smell. Make sure your entire family can recognize the odor of propane gas. It is recommended that you install a propane gas detector in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Carbon monoxide detectors are also recommended.


What should I do if I smell propane or suspect a leak?
If you ever smell propane or suspect a leak, follow these six important steps:

 

  1. Ensure that there are No Flames or Sparks: Immediately put out smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.

  2. Leave the Area Immediately: Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect the gas is leaking.

  3. Shut Off the Gas: Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).

  4. Report the Leak: Call us immediately to report the leak at (320) 634-5290 and we will provide you with further instruction and respond immediately. If you are unable to reach us, call 911 or your local fire department for assistance.

  5. Do not return to the Building or Area: Stay away from the suspected leak until we, an emergency responder, or a qualified service technician determines that it is safe to reenter the area.

  6. Get your System Checked: Before the propane system is turned back on, we will repair any damages and perform a leak/pressure test to ensure that the system is operating properly.


How full can my propane tank be filled?

Propane is delivered and stored in liquid form. Propane liquid expands (becomes a gas) nearly 17 times more quickly than water over the same temperature increase. As a result, propane tanks are filled to a maximum of 80 percent of their capacity. This allows the propane liquid to expand freely with changes in temperature and other weather factors. 

 

How do I check my tank gauge?

If you are a Will Call customer, we recommend that you regularly monitor your tank level. Look for the round dial attached to the tank with numbers from 5 to 95 (typically under the lid). We recommend that you always maintain at least 20% in your propane tank.

 

What exactly is propane?

Propane is an energy-rich gas, C3H8. It is one of the liquefied petroleum gases (LP-Gas or LPGs) that are found mixed with natural gas and oil. Propane and other liquefied gases, including ethane and butane, are separated from natural gas at natural gas processing plants, or from petroleum at refineries. The amount of propane produced from natural gas and from oil is about equal.

Propane naturally occurs as a gas. However, at higher pressure or lower temperatures, it becomes a liquid. Because propane is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, it is transported and stored in its liquid state. Propane becomes a gas again when a valve is opened to release it from its pressurized container. When returned to normal pressure, propane becomes a gas so that we can use it.

 

What is a safety check? Do I need one?

During a safety check we will test your propane system for proper operation and safe installation. We will perform a test on your gas line and tank or cylinder to ensure they are leak free. We will also make sure that both the propane tank and your appliances meet all National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines. Before we make the first propane delivery to your house, we must perform a safety check no matter how recently your former company delivered to you. We also must make sure your system is up to code.


A part of my system has been “red-tagged”. What does that mean and what do I do now?

If we find your tank or an appliance in an unsafe location, leaking or in violation of code, we must turn off the system until a repair, relocation or replacement can be arranged.


Why do I need to have a leak test?

Leak tests are required any time there is an interruption of service—meaning any time the flow of gas in your home is stopped for any reason. NFPA 54 (2006), 8.2.3 states, “Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be tested for leakage. If leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made.”


I found a company that said it doesn’t charge a tank rental fee, why shouldn’t I change companies?

Ask yourself why that company does not charge a fee that most other companies charge. Are you getting the same quality of service? Do they address problems or maintenance issues you may be having with your system now or in the future? How many tanks a year does it change out just for maintenance? Are its service technicians and drivers trained and qualified to handle emergency situations? At McMahon Oil, serving you quickly, safely and properly is our top priority.


Can I purchase my tank?

Yes, give our office a call to get current pricing. It’s important to note, however, that once you purchase your tank any maintenance work, leak repairs, or parts replacement will be a your responsibility.

 

Is propane dangerous to the environment?

No. Propane is an approved, alternative clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane is one of the cleanest burning of all alternative fuels; new propane-fueled vehicles can meet the very tough Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards, and at least one model even meets the Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) standards. Propane is also nontoxic, so it’s not harmful to soil or water.