Why Is My Propane Tank Making Tapping Noise?

As a propane tank owner, hearing strange noises from your tank can be alarming.

A commonly heard sound is a gentle tapping or pinging noise, particularly as the tank gradually cools after being used. The tapping sound is a normal occurrence and does not require any concern, despite it being unsettling.

The noise is caused by the expansion and contraction of components inside the tank due to temperature changes, resulting in metal flexing against metal.

Although the tapping isn’t harmful, it’s still smart to have a professional inspect your propane tank annually as part of routine maintenance. Your propane tank should provide years of safe, reliable performance with proper care.

Why Is My Propane Tank Making A Tapping Noise?

If you hear a tapping or knocking sound coming from your propane tank, there are a few potential causes to be aware of. Here are some of the most common reasons a propane tank might make these noises:

1. Low fuel level

As the level of liquid propane fuel gets low in the tank, there is more empty space above it. The tapping or knocking noises could be the sound of the liquid propane sloshing around inside the partially empty tank. This is especially likely if the noises start after you’ve used the tank for a while.

2. Temperature changes

The propane tank is compressed into a liquid state inside the tank. As temperatures fluctuate, the propane liquid can expand and contract, causing it to move around slightly inside the tank. This movement and pressure change can sometimes cause audible tapping or knocking sounds. The sounds will be more noticeable on hot or cold days.

3. Faulty valve

Propane Tank Making A Tapping Noise

If the main tank valve or one of the safety relief valves is not functioning properly, it could intermittently allow pressure to escape from the tank. This escape of gas pressure can cause audible tapping or knocking noises. Faulty valves should be inspected and replaced.

4. Internal tank obstruction

In rare cases, there could be a loose internal component, debris, or obstruction inside the propane tank hitting against the interior walls. This could produce an audible tapping or knocking sound coming from the tank. If this is suspected, a qualified propane technician should inspect the tank.

If your propane tank starts tapping or knocking noises, be sure to have it inspected and serviced promptly by a qualified professional. Identifying and addressing the underlying cause will ensure your propane system’s safe, reliable operation.

What To Do If Your Propane Tank Is Making Tapping Noise?

Hearing strange tapping or knocking noises from your propane tank can be concerning. However, there are a few practical steps you can take to address these sounds and ensure your propane system is operating safely:

1. Check the fuel level

One common cause of propane tank tapping is a low fuel level. Use the gauge on your tank to check if the propane level is running low. If so, schedule a delivery to have your tank refilled.

2. Inspect the tank valves

Faulty tank valves can sometimes cause pressure leaks that produce a tapping sound. Carefully inspect the main tank valve and relief valves for any signs of damage or malfunction. Contact a certified propane technician if you see any issues.

3. Look for debris

Debris, leaves, dirt, or insects around the tank valves can impede proper functioning. Use a soft brush to gently clear away any material on or around the valves.

4. Have a technician inspect

If the noises persist and you can’t find an obvious cause, contact a qualified propane company to come to do a safety inspection. They can check for internal tank obstructions, leaks, or other obscure issues.

5. Replace damaged parts

If a valve, gauge, or other tank component is defective, have the certified technician replace it. Use only authorized replacement parts.

Taking proactive steps to address propane tank noises immediately will help resolve the issue promptly and ensure optimal safety. With simple diligence, you can continue enjoying uninterrupted service from your propane system.

What Kind Of Clicking Is Bad Within A Propane Tank?

Certain clicking or tapping sounds from a propane tank can be signs of potentially hazardous issues. Some specific noises to be concerned about include:

  1. A constant, rapid clicking noise could mean a major propane leak from a faulty valve or fitting. This requires immediate attention, as it indicates propane is escaping quickly.
  2. The intermittent clicking sound during tank refilling may indicate possible problems with the auto-fill valve. Refilling should be stopped until this can be inspected.
  3. Metallic clicking noises inside the tank could mean loose debris is present. The tank interior should be professionally examined.
  4. Clicking noises that occur when the tank level is low may suggest a potential problem with either the valve or gauge. Low fuel levels can cause the valve to suck in the air.
  5. Clicking immediately after opening the tank valve hints at a more serious underlying problem.

If you hear any repeated clicking, tapping, or knocking sounds coming from a propane tank, it is important not to ignore them.The specific nature of the noise can help identify the source in some cases. Always contact a qualified propane professional anytime unusual sounds arise from the tank or connected components. Prompt inspection and repair are crucial for safety.

How Can I Avoid My Propane Tank From Ticking Again?

The best practices to avoid continued ticking noises from your propane tank involve identifying and resolving the root cause and performing proper maintenance:

  1. Have a certified propane technician inspect your tank valves, connectors, gauges, and auto-fill equipment if the ticking relates to any of these components. They can detect flaws, replace damaged parts, and ensure proper functioning.
  2. For ticking caused by low fuel levels allowing air intake, keep your tank from dropping below 30% complete. Schedule timely refills before it near empty.
  3. If debris inside the tank is suspected, have a professional conduct an interior inspection and cleaning to remove any loose material hitting the walls.
  4. Replace old tanks prone to issues with newer, sturdier models built to prevent gas leaks, cracks, and breaks. Choose DOT-certified tanks.
  5. Keep valves, regulators, and lines clear of obstructions like insects, dirt, or ice. Clogs can impair function.
  6. Have an annual inspection by a qualified propane company to proactively identify and address maintenance needs.

Following tank best practices, acting quickly at any signs of trouble, and having regular professional service conducted will help minimize propane tank ticking issues. A well-maintained tank will operate reliably and safely.

3 Propane Tank Noises And What They Mean

Propane tanks can occasionally make audible noises that indicate potential issues. Being able to recognize and interpret these sounds is key for propane safety.

Here are 3 noises to listen for:

  1. Ticking or tapping coming from the tank valves typically signals that a valve is allowing pressure to leak from the tank. The noise results from propane gas escaping through the valve. Sticking valves may need lubrication, adjustment, or replacement.
  2. If a loud hissing noise is heard when the tank valve is opened, it indicates a significant leak where the valve connects to the tank or gas line. It is important to close the tank valve immediately and contact a technician to inspect and repair the source of the leak.
  3. Metallic “pinging” or rattling from inside the tank – This points to loose debris or a broken internal component shaking around the tank walls. The tank must be serviced promptly to evaluate the interior and resolve the issue.

Being attentive to odd sounds from your propane tank and system provides an early warning of potential hazards. The specific noise can give clues to the problem source. But a qualified propane professional should address any recurring noises immediately to ensure optimal safety and function.

How To Ensure Your Propane Tank Remains Silent And In Good Condition

Maintaining your propane tank so it operates quietly and reliably for years is possible. Follow these tips:

  1. Conduct visual inspections of the tank each month. Check the physical condition, valves, connectors, and gauges for any signs of damage, wear, or leaks. Address any issues promptly.
  2. Keep valves and openings clear of debris, dirt, snow, or insects that could impede proper functioning. Gently brush away any buildup.
  3. Have a qualified propane technician perform annual servicing to check for problems and perform necessary maintenance. This can identify issues before they become serious.
  4. Always keep the tank at least 30% complete. Allowing it to be near empty increases the risk of valve problems and debris rattling inside. Schedule timely refills.
  5. Replace old or damaged connectors, valves, and gauges prone to developing leaks or other defects. Use only authorized parts.
  6. When not in use, cover the tank to protect it from UV rays, dirt, and moisture. Keep it properly secured.
  7. Replace aged tanks over 12 years old with new models rated for your usage needs.
  8. With vigilant maintenance and care, your propane tank can work smoothly and silently for many years. Don’t ignore odd noises—have them inspected right away.

Should I Be Worried About My Propane Tank If It’s Ticking?

Any strange ticking or tapping from your propane tank should not be ignored, as it may indicate an underlying issue.

Ticking can signal problems with tank valves allowing pressure to leak out, low fuel levels, loose debris bouncing around inside the tank or other defects.

While not always an emergency, ticking suggests your tank may need servicing and repairs to avoid bigger problems down the line.

If the ticking starts suddenly or is accompanied by the smell of propane, you should call your propane supplier immediately.

Generally, it’s better to be safe than sorry when your propane tank makes odd noises. Schedule a qualified technician to inspect it right away.

They can identify the cause of the ticking and take steps to fix it promptly. With a properly maintained tank, you can avoid potentially hazardous defects.

Should I Replace My Tank Immediately If It Produces A Ticking Sound?

Not necessarily. While ticking from your propane tank is always a concern worth addressing promptly, replacement may not be required right away in every case.

The specific cause of the noise needs to be identified first through inspection by a certified propane technician.

For instance, if the ticking comes from a sticking valve or low fuel level, these issues can often be resolved with repair, maintenance, and keeping the tank fuller.

Likewise, loose debris inside the tank can be removed through professional servicing in some cases.

However, suppose the ticking indicates a crack, leak, or major defect in an older tank. In that case, replacement may be the safest option.

In general, have a qualified expert assess the root problem before deciding if replacement is urgent.

With the correct diagnosis and action, many tanks making noises can be restored to good working order. But don’t delay in having ticking checked out.


As your local propane technician, I want to shed some light on an issue many homeowners experience – strange tapping or knocking sounds from your propane tank.

Suppose you’ve noticed odd ticking, clicking, or rattling noises from your tank recently. In that case, you’re probably wondering what’s causing it and if it’s anything to worry about.

In this article, I’ll discuss the most common reasons propane tanks can make these types of noises, what they typically indicate, and the steps you should take to have the issue properly diagnosed and repaired.

By better understanding why tanks tick and how to address them, you can keep your propane system running safely and silently for years to come.

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