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What Happens If A Pressurised Gas Tank Is Hissing?

When working with large pressurised tanks such as those used to store volatile chemicals, inspectors use every system they have available to them to ensure that the material is stored as safely as possible, from sensors to pressure relief valves.

The more safety protocols are used, the more information is available to determine whether a tank with a flammable or volatile material is acting in an unusual way that merits further inspection, but sometimes inspectors will notice a strange hissing noise emanating from the tank.

In most cases, a slight hiss or hum coming from the tank is perfectly normal and usually means that gas is flowing normally or the relief valve has opened to relieve pressure within the tank itself.

In both cases, this is relatively normal during typical operation. However, if there is a loud hissing, it is combined with other noises, occurs when any connecting mechanisms are turned off or there is a noticeable smell of sulphur, this could be a sign of dangerous levels of pressure.

This is typically caused by either an overfilled tank or by an increase in the ambient temperature around the tank triggering the relief valve. The valve should close automatically, but if it is not, this requires immediate action.

Ensure that there are no sources of ignition near the valve, which may require disconnection of any appliances that are currently connected to the gas tank.

After this, it is important to diagnose the issue, either caused by an overfilled tank, a pressure increase caused by the temperature around the tank heating, or potentially a combination of both.

Alternatively, if there is a loud hiss but the valve has not activated, this could be a signifier of a leak in your system, which may require a gas detector system to find, and a professional engineer to rectify.