Propane Tank Service Valve

The propane tank service valve is the point at which propane vapor enters the gas plumbing system for use by downstream LP Gas appliances. All ASME propane tanks consist of a service valve that functions as a primary shut-off device when used in vapor service systems. Propane operation of the service valve is crucial for safety reasons and gas utilization. If you smell propane in your house, make sure to turn the service valve off immediately!

Understanding the Propane Service Valve

The propane service valve is the controlling mechanism which allows propane gas to flow into your house or building by way of the gas piping system. While other gas valves may be present throughout the gas plumbing, the service valve, on the propane tank, is the valve that controls 100 percent of the gas flow into the gas system. Simply put, propane service valves function as the “on/off switch” in propane gas systems and is for vapor service only.

Tank Service Valve Operation

Propane tank service valve operation is similar to that of a water faucet. The operational part of the valve has a handwheel that closes and opens gas flow by turning the wheel clockwise and counterclockwise. Inside the valve is a stem and seat that when opened, allows gas to exit the tank and when closed, stops the flow of gas. It may seem that the functionality of a service valve is identical to that of a water faucet, but it has one very distinct difference: The proper use of propane requires an LP Gas regulator which reduces the amount of pressure introduced into the gas service line to a level that is both safe and acceptable for the application requirements. Basically, the service valve is only used for turning the gas on or turning the gas off, not for regulating the flow of gas.

Service Valve and Replacement

Similar to all moving parts, gas service valves are subject to wear and tear. When these essential valves leak, malfunction or fail, they need to be either repaired or replaced. Repairing a service valve is much easier and cheaper than replacing one but this has to be performed by a gas service technician. Depending on the age, type and make of the propane service valve, repair kits are usually available through licensed propane companies and can be used to replace the faulty parts. These repair kits typically consist of several independent parts that may or may not be completely empty. When repair kits are utilized to correct a malfunctioning valve part, the severity of the issue will dictate whether or not a tank needs to be empty when repairing or replacing the faulty part(s) of a propane tank service valve.


These are just the basics of propane service valves. Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Texas Propane with the link below for more information!

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