Buried propane tanks

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Old 08-18-16, 01:11 PM
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Buried propane tanks

Can I build a small room below grade to house an underground propane tank as opposed
to just burying the tank with dirt?? It would be easier for me to build a small room below grade for a 200 lb vertical tank.....The 500 lb coated tanks typical for burying are too expensive.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 01:16 PM
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Doubt it - propane is heavier than air so creating a low point where it can accumulate in a building is generally to be avoided. Check with your local AHJ, though.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 01:41 PM
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Underground steel piping and tanks requires correctly engineered cathodic protection to avoid rapid corrosion and leaks. That can be especially dangerous with propane.

And putting a propane tank inside a basement or crawl space is an invitation to leaks and an explosion.

Do not screw around with installing this kind of equipment.

The only choice I would make would be an above ground outdoor tank.

If that doesn't work for you, choose a different fuel.

My background included corrosion control for a natural gas utility, not propane.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 01:55 PM
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I'm with the others. NO, NO, NO. You may not put a propane tank inside a underground room. I think you are not considering all the costs if you believe that you can excavate and construct an underground room and buy a 200 gallon tank for less than a 500 gallon burial tank
 
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Old 08-18-16, 05:49 PM
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Sounds pretty complicated . . . . I'm glad that the Propane suppliers here in Vermont take responsibility for the Tanks, regardless of whether they're buried or above grade.

The cost of the Tank (rent?) is embedded in the cost per gallon for the fuel, and provided that the Customer annually consumes enough propane to justify the size tank installed on the Customer's property . . . . and they take care of the insurance and periodic recertification of their Tanks.

Of course, we don't have the freedom to shop around or frequently change suppliers, the way we can with #2 Heating Oil.

PS: Needless to say, our Suppliers would never make deliveries to a Customer owned Tank that was out of Code Compliance or whose Certification had lapsed.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 08-18-16 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Added Post Script
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Old 08-21-16, 08:31 AM
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i guess a small outside box would work aboveground...made to look like a garden box or similar..
 
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Old 08-21-16, 09:02 AM
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Whatever "box" you build will need a method of ventilating heavier gasses. You don't want the possibility of gas collecting in the box.

Vermont, here the cost of the rent is figured in the cost of the gas. I don't use much gas since we are total electric, but I do have a generator, gas logs and an emergency stove in the basement. I don't use enough to warrant them filling the tank regularly, so I used to get zapped with a $75 rental fee. I had them remove the tank and I use twin 100# tanks which I can load on my truck and get filled at their location, cheaper and without the added rental.
 
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Old 08-21-16, 10:37 AM
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So are those 100 pound tanks subject to the same 12 year re-certification as are the 20 pound barbecue tanks ?
 
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Old 08-21-16, 10:51 AM
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Not sure since they do not have OPD's. I guess if they look at the numbers on the tank when they fill it up, they could draw that to the customer's attention.
 
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Old 08-21-16, 11:09 AM
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From what I understand.... all tanks up to 100# are required to be recertified at ten years and then every five years after that.

It's apparently under the jurisdiction of the DOT as anything up to 100# is considered moveable.
 
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