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In India (and probably other parts of the world) there's general advice regarding refrigerator positioning. It is suggested that we keep the refrigerator away from the Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder. Can anyone explain what exactly is the risk if it's kept in close proximity?

Update - This question is not about a LPG refrigerator. The LPG cylinder is connected separately to a hob or burner and the refrigerator is a regular electric one.

Recently at an acquaintance's residence, a suspected gas leak from the cylinder, caused an explosion and ripped off the doors of a 2-door refrigerator. There weren't any other signs of damage or burns as extensive as what happened to the refrigerator. We're trying to figure out how the gas leak outside a sealed refrigerator caused this.

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    In the US the LPG cylinder, if present, is kept outside the house - only a pipe comes inside. I'd speculate that the advice may stem from LPG (ammonia-cycle) refrigeration, where there's a flame in the fridge itself as part of the refrigeration cycle. Then again, perhaps it stems from avoiding an electric compressor switch that might throw sparks. – Ecnerwal Oct 9 '19 at 14:36
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Interesting question: keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Oct 9 '19 at 15:04
  • Could it have anything to do with the fact that as LPG is consumed the bottle can get very cold on the outside? If this was near to the refrigerator coils could they freeze up? – Michael Karas Oct 9 '19 at 15:31
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If you are talking about a Refrigerator that runs on LP gas the tank needs to be away from the fridge because the fridge has an open flame inside, on a hot day it is possible that the LP tank can vent and release some gas, also when filling or changing tanks their is a small loss of gas, the open flame could ignite the gas and this is the reason the fridge should be separated.

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    even "regular" electric refrigerators can cause sparks on relay contacts, creating an ignition source. – dandavis Oct 9 '19 at 16:52
  • My question was more about "regular" electric refrigerators. And the LPG cylinder is connected to a hob or burner for cooking. – Krishter Oct 11 '19 at 5:55
  • In any case the tank should never be located inside a home. As I already mentioned the relief valve in the tank can vent the gas. Refrigerators use open contacts not explosion proof. The compressor is normally sealed, the fan motors are usually TFEC totally enclosed fan cooled, but those contacts arc on closing and opening in the press ace of the gas this could cause an explosion the same as an open flame. – Ed Beal Oct 11 '19 at 20:27
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As Ed touched on, LP gas canisters must be outside because they have a pressure relief valve that will vent petroleum gas. It is designed to protect the tank from exploding from overpressure.

Venting petroleum gas indoors would be Very, Very Bad - and would either cause a gas explosion, demolishing the house and killing everyone inside, or could migrate to the low areas of the house and cause asphyxiation. Or both, one then the other.

There is also the normal risk of a fitting leak when changing the tank, which could happen anytime.

The tank must be outside. Hence, not next to the fridge.

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