How to Disconnect Propane Bottles

Written by kurt schanaman
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Propane bottles must be removed from their connections periodically for transportation and refilling. All propane tanks have built-in safety devices which assist the user in connecting and disconnecting the tanks in a safe manner. However, to be safe, you must always disconnect your propane bottle as though you expect the safety mechanisms to fail. This second layer of safety is of utmost importance when using your propane fuel system.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Adjustable crescent wrench

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  1. 1

    Inspect your propane bottle and note where the "on/off" knob or valve is located. Look at the top for the federally mandated arrow markings which indicate to the user in which direction to turn the knob for either the "on" or "off" state. Turn the knob or lever to the "off" position until tight.

  2. 2

    Look closely at the fuel supply line spigot to determine which type of connector your propane bottle is using. There are two types: hand-turnable collar and hex-nut style. If your bottle is of the hand-turnable collar style, grip the collar in a tightly closed fist and turn it in the direction indicated by the arrows for loosening. Generally, this is in a counterclockwise rotation. If your bottle connection uses a hex-nut connector, continue to Step 3.

  3. 3

    Adjust your crescent wrench to fit the hex-nut connector snugly. Look for any indicator arrows near the connector which may show you which direction to turn for loosening, or consult the owner's manual for your particular bottle. Although some connectors must be turned clockwise for loosening, the generally accepted convention for most propane tanks is to turn counterclockwise for loosening. Use caution, however, as some do need a clockwise rotation for removal.

  4. 4

    Pull the appliance-end of the hose out of, or away from, the connector nozzle, and remove your propane bottle from any remaining mounting hardware which pertain to your particular device.

Tips and warnings

  • Never connect or disconnect a propane bottle near sparks or flame. Even though propane bottles and systems are required to have safety valves built-in, small amounts of propane may still leak during the connection or disconnection process, posing a fire or explosion hazard.

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