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Need propane tank education

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Old 01-15-2010, 11:12:50 AM
pegasuspinto pegasuspinto is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

LP dealers are like the mafia far as I am concerned. First, laws in every state are different. And a lot of LP dealers enforce those laws in ways that financially benefit themselves, and make up a few more to help add to the bottom line. I service generators for several customers, and I can tell you many LP dealers are selling some very crappy LP-full of butane and trash. Tanks are often overfilled as well. If they think they can sell you a new tank, they will-so count on some of them looking hard for the date and any 'non complying' stuff. Read the fine print on the rack at the local gas station! Many of them say the replacement tank you buy may have a special valve that prevents anyone else from filling it. During this recent cold snap, I had a major (multi-state) LP dealer refuse to service a faulty tank that runs a generator that backs up 911 circuits for a major city, and also refuse to fill a LP tank that was running a retail establishment that had lost it's main panel-had to rent a portable to run them. Sadly, every LP dealer in the area was called, and this company seemed to be the best in the area!!! For those of you who have good LP dealers in the area-you have no idea how lucky you are!! Far as I am concerned, the only fuel to be used in a critical needs generator is diesel. So in short, as you can't make a LP set diesel, I would test and 'play' with the small (DOT)tanks, and when you are ready to put in a non DOT tank, call around and find a LP dealer that you believe you can deal with for years to come, even if you own the tank, you may find out other LP dealers won't touch it. Try to go with a dealer who sells "HD95" propane, otherwise you are gonna find yourself one day with a half full tank at zero pressure.

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Old 01-15-2010, 04:00:10 PM
Kevin K Kevin K is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

I agree the propane dealers are like the mafia, and fuel oil dealers are not far behind. I have convinced a few friends that heat with propane to buy their own tank, as around here the price per gallon is about half- actually a bit more than half-of what you would pay if you were filling a dealer owned tank. The more you buy, the better the discount. But, they play a little game. The price break starts at 401 gallons. Since most people have a 500 gallon or less tank, and they only put 400 gallons in a 500 gallon tank, guess discount. I have convinced my friends to buy enough tank capacity so they only need to get one fill per year, in the summer, when the dealers are hungry. There has never been a problem getting someone to fill the tanks at a time when demand is low, and you can work back and forth between dealers to get the price down even more.

I heat with fuel oil, and I bought enough tanks to carry me over a full year with usually a full tank to spare. I can get a much better price when demand is low.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:43:43 AM
SpitzSTP SpitzSTP is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

Planning to mount a 45.0EM-15R propane unit on a trailer so I can move it around. I have never dealt with LP tanks before... can anyone suggest the best way to go about getting a horizontal LP tank mounted to a 4' x 8' trailer ? I am not sure if I should approach an RV shop, a generator repair shop, an LP dealer that sells tanks, or buy a tank through an RV dealer and attempt it myself (scary) .. I can find rather small DOT/ASME tanks sold by RV dealers online, but I really don't know what I am doing here, particularly regarding safety regulations that exist for trailer-mounted LP tanks. Any advice here will be much appreciated.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:45:40 AM
51f1 51f1 is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

For ideas on trailer mounting, I'd check the storage yard at a large LP gas dealer, and at a fertilizer dealer that sells anhydrous ammonia fertilizer to farmers. The fertilizer is delivered/towed to farmers' fields in tanks similar to LP tanks, 250 gallons or so. The tanks are permanently mounted on trailers. LP gas dealers sometimes rent tanksful on trailers to customers with remote jobs. I'm sure there are some DOT and state rules on transporting propane in larger than the usual 20 lb-90 lb portable cylinders. --which is why it is a very good idea to go with what the LP dealers are doing--their insurance companies make sure they're safe and in compliance. I've seen some 100 gallon LP tanks mounted crosswise on roofers' "hot mop" cooker trailers. If space is at a premium, you could mount 2 100 gallon tanks side by side-less length that way.
Obviously, I'm no expert, just observed these setups.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:47:55 PM
David C David C is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

PM me your email address and I will send you some info from Onan on gaseous fuels. The fuel consumption at full load will be about 8 gallons an hour per the Onan bulletin. I would check with your state DOT to see what rules/regs there are on hauling a 100 to 200 gallon tank of LPG. You will need a stout trailer to haul both the genset and a tank big info to get any run time out of the setup.

David C.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:35:42 AM
Jim Rankin Jim Rankin is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

Anyone selling anhydrous ammonia in tanks less than 1000 gallons is catering to the methamphetamine cooking crowd!

In some areas of the country, the dealer owns all the tanks and the farmers come and get one and return or exchange it when it's empty. Others are delivering in the field much like the LP dealers going from house to house. I'm sure it keeps someone hopping to keep up with all the farmers in an area during the busy seasons. Many of the larger applicator rigs would empty a 1000 gallon (~4500#) tank in a very short time.

I heard that the meth cookers have a new process that doesn't require anhydrous. Sure hope they all know about it. The combination of ammonia and drugs and idiots is scary.
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