Appliances have their unusual problems. A ceiling fan is rotating like a wind turbine and then all of a sudden, it starts making a disgusting noise for no reason at all. A trimmer stops trimming your beard in the middle of a trimming session even after you have charged it for the last 6 hours. Some of the strangest events are associated with appliances to the point of making you believe in ghosts.
The world always has an explanation for anything that is happening in it. It is either within or beyond our understanding. Many use LPG gas cylinders for various gas using purposes. One of these strangest events is related to gas cylinders—they freeze for no reason, at least that’s what folks like us who do not understand initially. Besides being mysterious and haunting, this freezing problem is also quite troublesome. So, before we know how to tackle it, we need to know why this occurs in the first place.
Why does an LPG gas cylinder freeze?
Here’s an interesting fact that you should note down about LPG gas cylinders—LPG is preserved in liquid form even though it is literally stored in “gas” cylinders. However, it is always stored under extreme pressure so that it converts to gas whenever you want to use it.
The freezing process begins when you start using the LPG inside the cylinder. The LPG getting converted to gas is getting used up constantly. A gas cylinder filled up with new LPG contains latent heat due to the pressure but as soon as you start using it, the heat gets dissipated away and becomes the primary reason for the initiation of freezing. Yet, the environment should have helped in any way to prevent the freezing which does not happen since the pressure begins to decrease as well. The extreme pressure getting reduced starts to lower the temperature inside to the point where the LPG liquid reaches its freezing point and beyond. That’s how the gas cylinders start freezing. However, the rate of freezing depends on certain factors such as the temperature of the environment and the consumption rate of LPG gas. The lower the temperature and the higher the consumption, the faster the freezing occurs.
How to unfreeze an LPG gas cylinder
Based on what we have learned so far, the principal reasons for LPG gas freezing are environmental conditions and LPG gas usage. A gas cylinder being frozen also means the pipe through which gas was being supplied to a specific appliance may have frozen too. This is not a major problem until the pipe has been completely blocked off; in other words, when it’s too late.
A frozen pipe is much more brittle than its unfrozen version and therefore carries the risk of unintentional gas leakage. As fast as LPG can freeze, it can burn even more rapidly so leakage should not be an option. Besides, the gas appliance(s) connected to the cylinder can also be affected if the freezing temperature manages to flow into it.
Therefore, the best way to unfreeze the LPG gas cylinder is to turn off the gas supply and the gas appliance that has access to your cylinder. Keep it turned off for a while until the cylinder warms up again. You can feel the cylinder with your hands from time to time to understand the moment when it has completely unfrozen. After that, you can turn everything on and you can resume using LPG from your cylinder.
How to avoid LPG gas cylinder freezing
Now we know how to deal with the unusual problem of LPG gas cylinders. But what if there is a way to avoid the whole problem in the first place?
The most effective way of stopping gas cylinders from freezing is by monitoring them at regular intervals. Observe for build ups of snow near cylinders and regulators and perform the following instructions—
1) Use a heating blanket to maintain warmth inside the LPG gas cylinder.
2) Always keep the cylinders as full as possible. Maintain a minimum of 30% vacancy.
3) Never preserve LPG gas cylinders upside down or sideways. Always keep them upright.
4) Make sure there are no objects or elements around your gas cylinder that can cause freezing externally.
5) Keep the gas cylinder outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
Every modern problem requires a modern solution no matter how unusual the problem may be. In a gas cylinder’s case, when it’s too cold to handle, just let it rest and feel the warmth around it. Because non-living matters crave warmth just as much as we living beings do.