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Need propane tank education


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  #1  
Old 02-19-2009, 09:28:53 PM
eeleater eeleater is offline
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Default Need propane tank education

I have a generator set up for gasoline or propane, and some others I would like to set up that way. I have about 6 20 lb, 2 30 lb, 2 40 lb and 3 100 lb tanks. These are all portable and I can take them in to be filled.

I would like (eventually) a larger tank and a stationary generator setup.

I ocassionally see propane taks for sale in Craigslist. Today there were two 114 gallon tanks, $75 each.

Anything I need to watch out for with something like this? Do they need to be reinspected or hydrotested? Would they be difficult to get filled?

What is reasonable as far a prices?
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2009, 11:09:29 PM
icarus icarus is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

Since propane tanks need recertification and valves changed every ~10 years,, why not lease a tank from your Propane supplier? We rent a 250gal tank for ~$40/year. They deal with keeping it certified, painted etc.

Icarus
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:15:52 AM
51f1 51f1 is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

I'd go with Icarus' advice. Not all used propane tanks are current, nor tested, and your propane dealer will make sure his/hers is safe. Used propane tanks aren't always used for propane, either. Ask any law enforcement who has recently busted a meth cooker.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:20:23 AM
spfx_dude spfx_dude is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

You also have to watch out if they are liquid or gas feed (in the larger sizes). A lot of roofing companies are using the liquid feed in the 100lb style. The threads are different, however, but I have also seen guys who modify (they are not supposed to without special demarkation)
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:50:24 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Need propane tank education

Go with the 250 tank rental The large tank will give plenty of area to allow vaporization from liquid to gas, without the freeze up problems associated with smaller tanks you can even tee off a second connection and hook up your Barbeque - it would take years to run the tank down!
Andrew
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2009, 10:18:07 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

Yes, technically LP tank should be hydroed. I do not know the time period but my Fire Dept. had to have our air cascade system tanks hydroed last year. Good for 13 years now. That said the logistic of hydroing LP tanks would be impossible. My Father-in-Law owns his LP heating tank. He bought it with the place when they moved here in 1964. The tank has NEVER been hydroed since he bought it. I have bought or was given several LP tanks. I have one 500 gallon, one 250 gallon, 3 80 gallon Motor fuel tank, 2 fork-lift tanks. I have NEVER been ask when was the last time they we hydroed. The tanker truck drivers have filled them. I also have a 100 lb/ 20 gallon tank that the date stamp is sometime in 1950. I have never had a problem getting it filled. I also have several 20 LB LP tanks WITHOUT OFP valves. Those I fill my self from one of my 80 gallon Motor fuel tanks. The last time I ever heard of someone asking /complaining of the date on a tank was a couple of years ago during an ice storm a clerk at a convenience story bounce someone on a tank they were trading in on a full tank.
My Father also owns his 500 gallon tank. It was set some time in 1968 and has NOT been moved since.
You all know that to hydro a tank, it must be emptied, the relief valve removed, filled with water AND submerged into a tank of water. If it passes the test, then the tank must be emptied of water, a pint of methanol added for every 100 gallon of tank capacity and place back into service. The number of large LP tanks in this country make this IMPOSSIBLE.

Kent
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:21:05 PM
icarus icarus is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

Just one more thought,

Many propane dealers will only fill their own supplied tanks,, either rented or owned. Where I live, Brand X won't fill Brand Y tanks and vise versa.

Icarus
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:54:37 PM
Isaac-1 Isaac-1 is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

My understanding of hydro testing is that it is a DOT requirement and their enforcement is limited to tanks that are being transported or stored in the process of transit (in other words when they are on the highway, or at a warehouse in transit somewhere). There are also some new tank/valve requirements that went into effect about 5 years ago, this included the requirement for the new safer OPD valves on portable tanks, also in there somewhere was the requirement that tanks carrying handles be self draining and not hold water, etc.

Ike
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:04:07 PM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

Around here, If you OWN your tank, ANY LP supplier will fill it.

Kent
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Originally Posted by icarus View Post
Just one more thought,

Many propane dealers will only fill their own supplied tanks,, either rented or owned. Where I live, Brand X won't fill Brand Y tanks and vise versa.

Icarus
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:26:42 AM
ddrawz ddrawz is offline
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Default Re: Need propane tank education

The advantage to owning your own tank is you can call around and get the cheapest price per gallon. The larger the tank the cheaper the propane is per gallon. Disadvantages are the fittings on the tank are expensive: relief, service valve,liquid withdrawal valve and high pressure regulator. If you lease a tank from a propane supplier they cover these parts but you can only buy propane from them. My 2 cents worth. Hope it helps.
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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.

Robert
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  #12  
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 what....no 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

SpitzSTP,
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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