Leaking Propane Supply Lines

While it may be hot outside, it’s not too early for reviewing winter heating and ventilation details. This past week I was at a sow unit where the original 500 sow facilities were constructed in 1991 and the site has grown to 2500 females over the years. As we went through the site reviewing controller and inlet settings for both summer and winter, we got into a discussion of propane usage.

I asked if the site had ever done a high pressure test of their propane supply lines from the bulk tank. The answer was not as far as anyone knew. The need for this test was then highlighted by severe corrosion noted on one of the copper supply lines entering one of the animal areas from the outside.

Many propane suppliers will high pressure test your lines yearly at no charge. They are interested in your safety as any leaking line has an explosion risk. Any leaking line is also costing you money.

In my experience, the most common point for leaking lines is where the lines cross from the cold to the warm areas. At this point there is often condensation and corrosion of the line.

If you haven’t already made arrangements for a high pressure test, I urge readers of this blog to do it in the next month. If there are leaks this gives you time for repairs that aren’t on an emergency basis.

2 thoughts on “Leaking Propane Supply Lines

  1. Hello, Mike,

    Yours is a wonderful and very insightful blog! I really enjoy and look forward to each of your postings. In regards to the corrosion of propane supply lines, I recently heard of corrosion being an issue inside of swine facilities. Aside from inlet areas, have you found corrosion to be common in the buildings as well?

    Best,

  2. A common corrosion point is where the line passes thru the wall from the exterior to interior. I think the very large temperature difference at this point is leading to surface condensation on the lines. Add to this the corrosive inside environment, especially if the line is copper, and you can see why this is a common problem location.

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