Propane tanks are mainly used alongside stoves, water heaters, grills, generators, and welding equipment. These bottles or metal cylinders contain propane, a type of alkaline gas that has been compressed and transformed into liquid form. Transporting, storing, and using propane safely can only be possible if it is held inside tanks or containers. Since propane has various applications, many types of tanks are used as propane containers. Below are some common types.
1. Single Use
Single-use cylinders contain just enough propane for one use, usually to fuel grills. Since this type of tank is discarded after it is used, it is light but not as durable as all the other types of tanks. Portability is the main feature of this type of container.
2. Refillable Propane Tanks
This is the most common type of tank used in home heating systems and stoves. It is made from a sturdy and thick metal sheet, and it is designed to prevent leaks and withstand frequent use and hauling.
3. Acme Valve
The main feature of propane tanks with Acme valves is the presence of external threads, aptly called Acme threads. This type of valve is bulkier than traditional ones, but it is easier to use and connect to the grill hose. In fact, you can connect it without using a wrench. Acme valves also contain built-in safety features designed to prevent leakage.
4. POL Valve
Propane tanks with POL valves are no longer widely used because safer valves are now available in the market. If you are still using a tank with this type of valve, you need to turn the fitting of the valve counterclockwise after every use to prevent leakage. During transport or when not connected to a grill or heater, the tank will require a plug to be tightly screwed into the POL valve to prevent propane from leaking.
5. OPD Valve
The OPD valve, which is short for overfill prevention device, contains three-lobbed hand wheels. This new type of valve is required for tanks that can hold 4 to 40 pounds of propane. To prevent overfilling, propane tanks with this type of valve have safety features that can monitor the exact amount of liquefied gas inside the container.
6. 20 Pound Cylinders
These propane tanks, along with 30 and 40 pound cylinders, are commonly used for RV travel, grilling, and camping. They contain around 20 pounds or 4 gallons of propane and require the use of OPD valves.
7. 100 Pound Cylinders
This type of cylinder contains about 100 pounds, or approximately 23 gallons, of propane and is widely used for home cooking and heating applications. This tank does not require an OPD valve.
8. 420 Pound Cylinders
These tanks are known as jugs, and they each contain 420 pounds, or about 120 gallons, of propane. Because of their size, these cylinders are not ideal for home use. As a matter of fact, the use and transport of these tanks are highly regulated. They should be stored in a separate building and must not be used indoors.