Frequently Asked Questions
Q) What is propane?
Propane is a versatile, multi-purpose fuel that is highly portable, clean burning and non-toxic. In Canada, supply is abundant and an expansive infrastructure exists to make it readily available and competitively priced. It is a by-product of natural gas processing and crude oil refining. It is extracted and used as a gas, but stored and transported as a liquid under pressure. It’s non-toxic, colourless and virtually odorless. As with natural gas, an identifying odor is added so the gas can be readily detected.
Q) Where does Propane come from?
A unique feature of propane is that it is not produced for its own sake, but is a by-product of two other processes, natural gas processing and petroleum refining
Q) Is Propane environmentally friendly?
Propane is one of the lightest, simplest hydrocarbons in existence, and, as a result, is one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels.
Burning coal to generate electricity releases more carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Per pound of fuel burned, coal emits more than twice the amount of carbon dioxide as does propane. By using propane gas instead of electricity, consumers can cut emissions and help preserve the environment.
Propane gas is nontoxic, so it's not harmful to soil and water.
Q) How safe is Propane?
The propane industry has developed numerous methods to ensure the safe transport and use of propane:
Propane equipment and appliances are manufactured to rigorous safety standards.
Propane has a narrow range of flammability when compared with other petroleum products. In order for it to ignite, the propane-air mix must contain from 2.2% to 9.6% propane vapor. If the mixture contains less than 2.2% gas, it is too lean to burn. If it contains more than 9.6%, it is too rich to burn.
Propane won't ignite when combined with air unless the source of ignition reaches at least 940° Fahrenheit. In contrast, gasoline will ignite when the source of ignition reaches only 430° to 500° Fahrenheit.
If liquid propane leaks, it doesn't puddle but instead vaporizes and dissipates into the air.
Because it is released from a pressured container as a vapor, propane cannot be ingested like gasoline or alcohol fuels.
Because propane is virtually odorless and colorless in its natural state, a commercial odorant is added so propane can be detected if it leaks from its container. It will smell much like rotten eggs.
Q) How can I recognize a propane leak in my home or cottage?
Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell, like rotten eggs, a skunk's spray, or a dead animal. Propane manufacturers add the smell deliberately to help alert customers to propane leaks, which can create a safety hazard.
Q) What should I do if there's a problem with a propane appliance?
Never modify or try to repair a propane appliance's valves, regulators, connectors, controls, or a propane tank's cylinder or parts. Instead, immediately call your propane supplier. They can inspect, adjust, repair, or replace any part of your propane system. Remember, your propane system incorporates special components to keep them safe for use.
Q) What assurance do I have that propane technicians are properly trained?
Propane is used safely by millions of North Americans — and stored, handled, and transported by thousands of professionals — every day. That safety comes from a combination of stringent codes and regulations enforced by The Technical Standards and Safety Association (TSSA). In fact, the Canadian Propane Association (CPA) operates the Record of Training (ROT) process, through which propane technicians and drivers get trained and certified in all aspects of delivering propane and installing and servicing propane appliances.
Q) Why is there a charge for a "Gas Check"?
The Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) mandates that fuel systems are to be inspected every 10-years. Without a current inspection for the system, it cannot be refuelled. Propane tanks are only a small portion of the entire system. It requires a certified technician to inspect all appliances, fuel lines, regulator(s), and the propane tank(s) to ensure that the system meets all appropriate regulations and compliance requirements. This inspection is not free and the nominal charge ensures your family's safety, as well as the safety of our specialists when refueling your system.
Q) How can I learn more about Propane?
Visit the Canadian Propane Association's website for further details and safety notes.