Propane Tank Making Humming Noise? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Noted for being a cleaner-burning fuel, and a safe option for purposes like heating, propane is a popular fuel choice. Propane also is a considerably longer-lasting fuel compared to alternatives like oil. Propane, however, is still a potentially dangerous substance and like with any fuel needs to be handled with caution. That also means being aware of when a potential problem may exist.

If your propane tank is making a humming noise then the problem is either an overfill issue, trapped air, or with the regulation valve. While these are not uncommon issues, it is advised when dealing with fuels like propane to seek professional assistance. Ignoring these sounds and strange noises can also lead to potentially dangerous situations.

Understanding why your propane tank is making noises will help you know how to deal with those sounds. Most fixes for propane tank issues are fairly simple and relatively inexpensive. Propane tanks are a preferred fuel alternative for many people. And for reasons like those cited above, along with portability, and ease of use, many people rely on propane tanks for their fuel needs.

So when your propane tank starts making humming noises and other strange sounds, that means it is time to get it fixed. Here is a look at some of the common sounds that propane tanks can make, and what those sounds mean.

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Possible Reasons Your Tank is Making Humming Noise

If your propane tank is making sounds, then it is important to understand what those sounds mean. If a humming or gurgling sound is heard during operation, then a few areas need to be checked. The first is the fuel level.

Overfilled Propane Tanks

Those gurgling sounds and humming noises can often be the result of overfilling the tank with fuel. In addition to reducing tank outflow, it can also put the regulator under excessive pressure. Either of these results could produce some of those humming and or gurgling sounds.

This problem will also commonly result in low heat output from the tank. Low flames can also be a telltale sign that the tank is too full. Overfilled propane tanks might also display discoloration in the pilot light. Once the cause of the humming is detected, it is time to get it fixed.

When those humming noises are the result of overfilled propane tanks, the solution is to drain the tank. Draining a propane tank should only be done by a reputable propane tank service contractor. Propane tank installations can range from $500 to $3000, and the good news is that most of these plans include servicing. Options like leases and yearly service contracts are commonly used by homeowners and businesses.

Air Trapped in Hose

Another reason for the humming sounds coming from your propane tank is trapped air. There are many ways air can get trapped inside the hose of your propane tank. Most frequently, this can happen when changing tanks, hoses, or during refills. Air trapped in the hose will also hamper the performance of the propane tank in addition to other possible concerns.

Leaving problems like this unaddressed will eventually lead to other issues too. That is also in addition to the added wear and tear caused by forcing the tank to work harder. The good news is the fix for this problem is relatively simple but will require some professional assistance.

The solution for trapped air in the hose is to bleed the hose. Bleeding the hose of your propane tank is also a job that should be performed by an experienced propane service tech. Contacting the tank manufacturer’s service department should be the first step in fixing this issue.

Regulation Valve Vibrations

The vibrations from the regulation valve diaphragm are another semi-common reason why your propane tank is making a humming noise. These regulator valve seals are made of rubber making them susceptible to vibrations when the fuel flow is higher. And those vibrations can be the culprit for propane tanks making a humming noise.

The good news is that this is often an easy fix and isn’t a problem that poses a risk. Simply, reduce the fuel pressure via tightening the regulator valve. If this doesn’t resolve the vibrations from the regulator valve seal, then the vibrations may be a result of weather conditions.

Rubber is vulnerable and can be affected by a variety of weather conditions (humidity, air temperature, etc.). These result in a less-than-perfect seal from the diaphragm, causing those vibrations. In these cases, take heart, because with better weather should also come a more quiet propane tank too.

Propane Tank is Making a Knocking Noise

One of the few sounds a propane tank can make is knocking. If your propane tank is making a knocking sound during operation then it is likely an improper balance of air and gas. Inspecting the color of the flames will determine if there is an improper mixture of air and propane.

When the flames are white or yellowish, it means the balance between the air and the fuel needs to be adjusted. Blue flames with yellow/white tips mean the air and gas balance is correct. Contacting a propane service technician to adjust you tank will be necessary to fix this issue.

Although knocking sounds don’t generally present any immediate concerns, it is an issue that should not be ignored. Increased risk of more serious problems and more efficient fuel use are just a couple of reasons to answer that knock.

Propane Tank is Making Hissing Sounds

Of all the sounds a propane tank can make, one of the most common is also one of the most dreaded. If your propane tank is making hissing sounds during operation then immediate action should be taken. This is a definitive sign of a potential and potentially serious leak.

If you think this smells like rotten eggs, you would be correct, both literally and figuratively. That is because one of the most distinctive features of a gas leak is a smell akin to that of rotten eggs. And that is also because, at the first sign (or smell?) of a leak, the propane tank needs to be shut down until repaired.

The sound of hissing from propane tanks is also a reminder of just how dangerous propane tanks can be. Contacting a propane service technician immediately to have your tank inspected and the problem fixed.

The Dangers of Propane Tank Noises

Propane is one of the most widely used fuel sources in the world and in the country. According to recent statistics there are more than 14 million propane tanks being used for residential purposes. Another 1 million-plus businesses use propane, and there are more than 200,000 propane tanks being used for industrial purposes.

That also adds up to the potential for gas-related accidents, and in approximately 600,000 propane tank explosions every year. And that should be more than 600,000 reasons to seek professional services when dealing with propane tanks.

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Related Questions

With that many propane tanks being used, there are also a lot of frequently asked propane tank-related questions.

How Common Are Propane Tank Explosions?

Based on data from organizations like the National Fire Protection Association, more than 60 million propane tanks in the United States. Looking purely at percentages, the number of propane tank-related accidents in light of the more than 380 million US residents isn’t alarming. If you are one of the people who have had a propane tank accident, however, the percentages are too high.

Taking precautions is the best way to avoid being a casualty of a propane tank accident or explosion. It is also worth noting that propane tanks are reputed as being one of the strongest available. That includes comparisons to traditional gas and oil tanks.

Some basic safety precautions when working with propane tanks include storing tanks in safe outdoor locations, keeping fuel in the tank, and always ensuring the tank is off when not in use. It is also advisable to not attempt repairs or adjustments and to contact a professional propane service technician.

How do I know What Type of Propane Tank to Get?

There are a vast array of propane tanks and propane tanks are used for countless purposes. Propane tanks can be as small and as portable as those found on your basic backyard gas grill. They can also be large enough to hold hundreds of gallons of fuel. Determining the right propane tank for your needs will depend on those needs.

Any propane tanks outside of those aforementioned small grill-size tanks should be installed by a technician. Installing propane tanks, especially for homes and large facilities or machines requires more than just hooking up a tank. From adjustments to testing, and most importantly for safety, contacting a service technician for your next propane tank installation isn’t optional.

Providing people everywhere with safe, affordable, and practical fuel options, propane tanks are always a good choice. And keeping safety first and knowing how to safely use and handle propane tank issues like the humming noises is always a good idea.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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