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Propane System Leak Testing

The Railroad Commission of Texas requires that a leak test is to be performed on all propane tanks that are out of gas. A leak test is also required when the flow of propane is interrupted. In other words, if the gas is shut off at the tank for any reason, a leak test is required.

Purpose of a Leak Test

When a propane tank contains gas and the gas system is operating as normal, there is pressure in the tank and in the system piping. The piping is joined together by a series of fittings. These threaded connections are reinforced by pipe joint compound (a glue-like material) which dries after a while. As the system is working, and the propane is flowing through the piping system, the pipe joint compound expands due to the pressure in the line. If the propane tank runs out of gas or the gas flow is interrupted, the tank and the piping lose pressure. The loss of pressure in the propane system causes the pipe joint compound to contract. The contraction causes the compound to be weakened and a leak can form as a result.