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An odor has been added to your propane gas so you can smell it if it escapes - if there is a leak in the system, for example, or if an appliance malfunctions.
But your nose may not always work right. For example, research suggests that...
-Some people have a better sense of smell than others.
-Some ederly people are unable to detect the odorant in gas.
-On rare occasions, some people are unable to smell certain odors.
-Colds, allergies and sinus congestion can all affect your sense of smell.
-Tobacco smoke or stong cooking odors can cover up the odors, too - and remember that the use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs may also affect your sense of smell.
Under certain circumstances, propane gas may lose the distinctive odor that was added. This is sometimes called "odor fade" and it can occur both in new steel containers when first placed into service and in used steel containers left open to the atmosphere for a long time.
For example, air, water, or rust in a propane tank may weaken the gas odor through a chemical process called oxidation. This can occur in any size container but is most likely to occur in small containers, or cylinders, especially if the valves were left open to the atmosphere after the container was emptied.
Therefore, you should keep the service valve closed when the cylinder is empty or not connected for use. Older-style containers without a quick connect or disconnect feature must be plugged with a POL. This will help prevent air and moisture from entering the cylinder.
For obvious safety reasons, we want to be sure you can smell the odor of propane gas-and that the gas in your tank is odorized.
Here's what you can do:
1: Be sure you and all members of your household are familiar with the distinctive odor of propane gas. When the delivery man comes by, ask to smell the gas in your tank.
2: If you think the odor of your propane gas is weak, or if your sense of smell is impaired, call us. We will send a service technician out to verify the odor of the propane gas in your tank. And if your sense of smell is impaired, consider installing an electronic gas detector in your home.
3: If you smell gas, do NOT attempt to light the pilot. Do not cause a spark by turning elcetrical switches on or off or by using the phone. Turn off the gas to the appliances and call us from another location.
4: If your new propane gas tank or cylinder contains gas but hasn't been filled for several months, ask us to check the odor.
5: Close the cylinder valve when the cylinder is empty. Protective caps are availible to keep moisture, air, dirt or other contaminants out of the outlet. Older-style containers must have a POL plug installed.
Be alert to the odor of propane gas whenever you're working around a gas appliance or wherever propane is stored or used.
Before lighting a propane gas appliance, such as a furnace, space heater, or water heater, sniff all around the area. Be sure to sniff at floor level. (Propane gas is heavier than air and may temporarily settle near the floor, although it immediately starts to diffuse when released to the atmosphere.)
-Never tamper with, apply force to, or use tools on the gas control system. If the control knob won't operate by hand, the control unit must be replaced. Repairs must be made only by a trained gas service technician.
-All new containers and used containers not kept closed may be infiltrated by water, air, or other contaminants. These contaminants must be removed or purged, before the container is filled and put into service. The purging process should be done by your propane gas supplier.
-Propane gas leaking from buried gas lines may lose its odor as it passes through the ground, depending on the type of soil and the distance the gas travels. Whenever you suspect a leak - even if you don't smell the odor of gas - you should contact your propane gas supplier.
-Water can damage the internal safety mechanism in the gas control and create a hazardous condition. If your gas control has gotten wet - as a result of flooding, for example - it must be replaced immediately by a trained gas service technician.
-The odor that's been added to your propane gas is an important safety feature.
-Be sure you and all those who share your home know what propane gas smells like.
-If your propane system has been in regualr use (refilled several times), it's highly unlikely that your gas will lose it's distinctive odor.
-If you suspect that your gas has lost its odor - or if your sense of smell has been weakened or otherwise impaired, call us immediately.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to call!