Propane Won’t Flow In Cold Weather (At What Temperature?)

There is a point where propane won’t flow that well in winter but most areas do not get that cold. Usually, the problem with low-flowing propane at this time is when the RV owner opens the valve too quickly. You need to go slow even if it is cold out.

Propane remains more of a liquid at -44 degrees F and when it is that cold, you will not find a lot of vapor in your tank. That means that when you open the tank, there is not a lot of fuel to run your furnace or other gas appliances.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It briefly explores the issue so you know what to do and expect when camping in cold weather. You can’t insulate the propane tanks either but you should clear off any snow on the tanks.

Does Cold Weather Affect Propane Tanks?


Yes, it can and what happens is that you may lose a lot of pressure and lose a lot of propane. The gas will shrink at colder temperatures and your gauge will register far lower than you would expect to see.

When the tank gauge registers very low, your only course of action will be to refill the tank. If you lose pressure, then none of your gas appliances will work. You will have to wait for the weather to warm up before you can use that gas feature.

At -44 degrees F, propane loses the ability to turn from a liquid to a gas which means inside your tank is nothing but liquid propane. You will not get anything to work at that temperature.

Does Propane Flow In Cold Weather?

Yes, it still can flow in cold weather. But as we just said, when the temperature gets so cold the propane can’t change into a gas then it won’t flow. You have to wait till the outside temperature warms up before you can use it.

Also, you have to be careful about how you open the valve. If you open it too fast the overflow protection device kicks in and stops the flow of propane. If that happens to you, close the valve and wait for roughly 20 seconds.

Then open the valve slowly. If your propane tank is new, it will have an overflow protection device on it. It is a mandatory part that is required to protect customers from putting too much propane in their tanks.

Propane Won't Flow In Cold Weather

Here is what not to do:

- pour hot water over the tank

- submerge the tank in hot water or water with a boiler underneath

- use a blow torch to warm up the tanks and lines

- use a space heater for the same purpose

- wrap the tanks in insulation blankets, etc.

- use a hair dryer to get those tanks warm again

The best option to keep the propane tanks and propane from freezing is to use dry heat applied directly to the tank. There are different power blankets made to work with propane tanks that you can use.

The dry heat source will ensure that your propane tank will stay functional at all times.

At What Temperature Does Propane Not Flow?

That temperature level is -44 degrees F. It may be roughly the same in Celsius as -40 is the same on both temperature gauges. To experience those cold temperatures, you either have to be camping in the midwest or north of the Canadian border.

Most people will not be camping in weather this cold but for those that do, make sure your propane tanks are as protected as they can be. No gas appliance will work when the propane does not flow.

But the propane may not flow at 29 degrees F and the source for that problem will be opening the valve too quickly. If you are camping in cool weather, the drop to below freezing can happen suddenly and catch you by surprise. When it does, open the valve slowly so you can run your furnace.

Can a Propane Regulator Freeze Up In Cold Weather?

This is possible and you should include the propane lines in this as well. Usually, this will happen when there is too much liquid propane in the tank and the lines. All you can do is wait for the regulator to thaw.

Then if there is moisture on, near, or in the regulator or gas lines, then the moisture will freeze and block your gas flow. If it does happen to you, just take the tank to the propane supplier and have them inject some anhydrous methanol.

This chemical absorbs the moisture and removes it from the tank, regulator, and lines. If there is moisture in the system, it may be time to replace the regulator.

How Do You Keep a Propane Regulator From Freezing?

The best and easiest solution to this problem would be to buy a propane regulator cover. They may be on sale at different RV Parts & Supplies outlets and should be found fairly easily.

Or you can adjust the regulator drain hole and have it pointing down. This will drain the moisture and stop it from building up inside the regulator. Another option is to find a safe way to keep the tank and regulator warm.

You can clean the frost off the regulator and tank as well. Also, do not overfill your propane tank.

Some Final Words

Winter is hard on a lot of products. But there are steps you can take to keep the cold weather from interrupting your gas supply. Take the safe routes to make sure you are not putting yourself, your family, or your RV at risk when you try to keep the tanks warm.

A regulator cover would be a safe route as moisture does build up in that part. Then make sure to open the valve slowly.

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