Propane valves are not infallible. One of the ways to look at propane tanks and valves is that they will break down at some point. That way you are not surprised when you can’t open the valve when you want to use that gas. When you are not surprised, you can think of some good solutions to try.
One idea is to wrap some rubber around the valve handle and then give it a good twist. Don’t use a wrench as you may break something. Prior to that use some penetrating oil or WD-40 or similar products to try and loosen the valve up.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can handle this problem without making a sneaky exchange at the propane dealer’s outlet. Take a couple of minutes to see how this information helps you.
One of the main reasons or more common ones we should say, that you would run into is that you left your propane tank out in the cold. Propane tanks are prone to freezing and that includes the valves.
Once they freeze you have to warm them up with a hair dryer or take them inside for a few minutes to thaw them out. Then a change in pressure could cause the gas to freeze up and not flow properly.
This can happen even if it is hot outside. The heat entering the propane tank causes the metal to go cold which in turn freezes and condenses the humidity in that outside air.
As the frost accumulates, it blocks the tank from releasing the gas. That was a simplified explanation of the whole process but in essence, the valve is being frozen by the condensed humidity due to the sudden drop in temperature on the metal tank.
One of the things you do not do is use a wrench to loosen the valve handle. This extra force could easily break the valve and cause some type of injury if you are not fortunate.
The best way is to put a drop of penetrating oil or some other oil lubricant on the valve and then wait a few minutes. The oil should loosen the threads so you can turn the handle again.
This will work for a valve that is stuck in the open or closed positions. If the handle is frozen, take the propane tank inside and let it thaw out. Or if you are not comfortable with that, bring your hair dryer outside and let it warm up the mechanism and thaw it out for you.
The sources for this problem are the same as the ones previously mentioned. That means that the solutions will be the same as well. The best solution we have seen so far is the one that uses rubber to give your hand a better grip.
Wrap a rubber band around the valve handle, a rubber glove, or even a piece of rubber will do the trick. As long as you get a good grip, you should do fine.
Then once the rubber is in place. Grab it and twist it as hard as you can. The handle should turn as the seal is broken and you should be able to operate the handle normally again.
The hair dryer trick works fine as well. If you still cannot move the handle, we suggest that you play it safe and take the tank to a technician. Of course, by the time you get to him, the valve may be unstuck.
About the only two things we can add for this situation is one, make sure you place the tank on a level surface. Two, make sure the area you are working in is dry and cool.
Once in that position, check the propane tank and valve for damage or leaks. If none are there, then apply one of the solutions mentioned earlier. Do not forget to spray some lubricant onto the valve stem and let it penetrate before wrapping the rubber over the handle.
Some people say to use a pair of pliers as you will get a better grip and more leverage but that is not always the best idea. You may get too much leverage and break the valve or hurt yourself.
If you cannot get the valve open, then go to a technician and see what they can do for you.
When you are facing this problem, you need to proceed with caution. The gas inside is still very volatile and the wrong move good end up in a loud explosion.
If you are not comfortable with using any of the solutions above, find a technician who can handle the problem for you. There is no sense in letting your uncomfortable feeling put you at any risk.
Propane is too volatile to work with when you are nervous or feel you cannot do the job properly. You can try to do some research to find other solutions than the ones we reported above.
However, there are basically no other reliable solutions you can try found on the internet. This is a common problem that has a limited number of legitimate answers.
Propane tank valves usually get stuck when the temperature is cold or the drop in air pressure freezes the humidity in the air in the tank. This is a common problem and often it only takes a little muscle and a good grip on the valve handle to solve it.
The key is to work in a cool, dry area that is level. Also, use rubber and not a wrench to loosen the valve. The wrench may apply too much force and break something vital.