Propane tank hasn't been used for 2 years

I have a propane tank that was given to me, that is full but hasn’t
been used or opened for 2 years. Does anyone see any possible issues
with this or is it still safe to use? Thank you in advance for your
help. It was stored in a ba


take it to a welding gas company ( one that refills all gasses) and
have them inspect it. DO NOT use soapy water as this can cause
problems on its own and is rather unrealible. The threads may need
retapping, the rust may be too permeating, and then there is the
valve. go to a pro. but above all don’t use it unchecked. Propane
can ignite with a ceiling light fixture being turned on and emanating
a spark. rer

Hi Heidi

Just check if there is any rust on the thread, if rust exist just
clean it up and check with soapy water if there is gas licking on the


Clean the fittings with soapy water, dry. Hook your hoses up and then
check the tightness using soapy water. If nothing is leaking. Use as
you normally do.


take it to a welding gas company (one that refills all gasses)
and have them inspect it. DO NOT use soapy water as this can cause
problems on its own and is rather unrealible. 

Thank You for your reply. I was concerned about the threads possibly
needing retapping as well. Doesn’t have any rust. It was stored in
their basement… The basement was a dry atmosphere. I was concerned
with proper fit and leakage. I will take it to a pro for inspection.


Trade it in, or take it to a service center and have it recertified.
Many tanks can sit that long and still be serviceable, but it’s not
worth the possible danger.


You asked if a propane tank stored for two years without use would
present any issues. I would think that the real question is how old
the tank is overall. And what kind of tank is it? Propane comes in
the small disposable cannisters that can be used for camping stoves
and lanterns and used with the appropriate small torch fitting (for
example I use a “Shark” torch with such when I’m camping or
traveling) and also in the large barbeque-sized five gallon
containers, as well as the 200+ gallon-sized containers serving
residences. All of these are built for many years of use under
pressure. The latter two are built for outdoors use and storage. I
have Coleman lantern cannisters stored for five years on a shelf in
my garage and they work fine with both the lantern and the "Shark"
torch after such a lenght of time. If a tank has been stored where
it might come into contact with moisture (floor of a basement,
garage, on a patio), you might take a small brass (not steel) brush
and gently go over the threads of the valve fitting to "shine it up"
a bit. You should get a nice, tight, leakfree join when you attach it
to your regulator (for the larger tanks) or torch (cannisters for
the Shark). However if you see significant rust anywhere on the steel
part of the tank, but especially the bottom if it’s been sitting on
a damp surface, you might take it to a welding supply store and ask
them to look at it. They can empty the tank and do a hydrostatic
test on it to determine if it’s fit for continued service. New
barbeque-sized tanks aren’t too expensive and can be bought at your
local Home Depot or Sears.

check if there is any rust on the thread. 

If there is any rust do not use it. All valves for flammable gasses
are made from non-sparking metal. Rust only forms on ferrous metals
which are prone to sparking under the right conditions, therefore no
tanks containing flammable gas should have any rust on any part of
the valves.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV

Thank you Dennis for your input.

The propane tank is the same as used for a gas grill. They also gave
me a oxygen tank as well. Stored in the same place. Any problems
anyone see with the oxygen tank as well. I am going to take them in
and have them checked. I don’t see any rust on the threads. I have a
little torch propane set up. I have not ever used any older tanks
before, was concerned with safety etc

DONT use either if they have visible problems with the threads.

it’s far better to either exchange the propane bar-b-que tank for a
new one ( any seller usually exchanges the tanks out routinely ) and
as for the O2 tank- there is no way your insurance company would pay
for a claim once they find an old rusted tank at the point of the
explosion’s origin! Just invest in a new tank or rent one ( buying
one is always more economical in the long run) from the company you
will be establishing a relationship with for ongoing refills.

The companies I have dealt with usually will let you apply the
purchase price of an O2 tank to a later upgrade in size when and if
you need a larger capacity tank. One company i use checks with me
when they are in my area to see if I need gas whilst making their
rounds so it’s good to tell them your business right off fthe bat and
establish a long term oriented relationship so you get not only
better service and advice but special handling- for instance, they
know you have an older tank and a new one comes in, they may ask if
you’d like to bring in the one you have for the newer, more unused
looking one.

Thank you again for your help R. E. Rourke. I am taking the tanks
in. I am going to exchange them. The O2 tank is to large for the
volume of work I have. The gentleman at the company said I could
trade them in for a couple smaller tanks. He said they would be happy
to check the threads and condition of the valves etc. I certainly
don’t want any issues with my insurance company.