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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Daniel Island, SC.
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    Default Propane tank placement

    What is the code for a propane tank placement at the rear of a house? Distance from house,etc. And what code year please!

    Thanks Jim

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
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    4,311

    Default Re: Propane tank placement

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    What is the code for a propane tank placement at the rear of a house? Distance from house,etc. And what code year please!

    Thanks Jim
    Too Broad a question Jim tank size dictates distance.
    * fire hazard trumps Code Year.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Dallas, TX
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    24

    Default Re: Propane tank placement

    Quote Originally Posted by JIM MURPHY View Post
    What is the code for a propane tank placement at the rear of a house? Distance from house,etc. And what code year please!

    Thanks Jim
    I don't know the code but I konw it's 10 feet from an ignition source like water heater ignitor, furnace, range, etc.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Propane tank placement

    Contact the local propane tank supplier/installer. They will know what current, local code requirements are.

    An interesting aside regarding propane tanks. When I lived in the forest country of SW Colorado, the local fire department's policy was to never try to save a house with an exposed tank nearby, when threatened by a forest fire. Only the houses with buried tanks were hosed down in an effort to save them from burning to the ground. We replaced our above-ground tank with a buried unit a few months after the Missionary Ridge fire came within 3/4 mile of the house.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
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    149

    Exclamation Re: Propane tank placement

    There are a several factors that have to be known

    first - Size (many distances are specified by this)
    second - is it above ground or underground (note - tank must be designed for underground placement)
    Third - property lines also come into play
    Fourth - Windows to the structure
    Fith - ignition sources

    I suggest that you get NFPA 58 NFPA 58: Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code if you come across this on a regular basis. In many cases , State use this as law when placing of tanks. Also from personal experience Iron piping is far better than copper tubing when running the line underground - even though some states allow for copper tubing (inside and out) the preference for safety is iron. - Also the use of PVC (designed for LPG use) is great for underground installation but must be installed by a fully trained individual (it's a bit tricky if you have never done it) Regular PVC Can Not be used

    I recommend you get the NFPA 58 (or check with your local fire department to see if they have a copy that you can read)


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Propane tank placement

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    Contact the local propane tank supplier/installer. They will know what current, local code requirements are.






    An interesting aside regarding propane tanks. When I lived in the forest country of SW Colorado, the local fire department's policy was to never try to save a house with an exposed tank nearby, when threatened by a forest fire. Only the houses with buried tanks were hosed down in an effort to save them from burning to the ground. We replaced our above-ground tank with a buried unit a few months after the Missionary Ridge fire came within 3/4 mile of the house.
    I worked in the propane industry for ten + years - it is surprising how many idiots do installations - In many cases you need a permit from the fire department prior to installation but when in doubt check the code NFPA 58 NFPA 58: Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code

    Also if it is a current installation you should check the last test date (usually on top of the cylinder , sometimes the hand grab if it is a DOT rated cylinder (usually 100 gal or less) if the date is more than 12 years from original test date or 5 years subsequent testing - the tank needs to be requalified. If it is an underground tank the Anode needs to be checked and possibly replaced (every 5 years recommended {not code})


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    395

    Default Re: Propane tank placement

    Here in Washington State, tanks can be right up against the home and based on where I have seen them installed adjacent but not under windows. I do call out if there is a crawlspace vent adjacent to the tanks as LP is heavier and can fill a crawlspace until it finds an ignition source!

    Here is a good summary of the requirements Propane Tank Distance Rules and Requirements

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
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    149

    Default Re: Propane tank placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bunzel View Post
    Here in Washington State, tanks can be right up against the home and based on where I have seen them installed adjacent but not under windows. I do call out if there is a crawlspace vent adjacent to the tanks as LP is heavier and can fill a crawlspace until it finds an ignition source!

    Here is a good summary of the requirements Propane Tank Distance Rules and Requirements

    //Rick
    As you will see by the chart - the tank size is limited to 125 gal (water capacity) - this will give a maximum size propane tank of 100 gal (about 2.5 feet in dia x 40 in high). The limits are openings , vents and sources of ignition. In addition (not in the code) all tanks need to be raised above grade on a cement platform - many tank's will rust out at the bottom if left on ground especially if the soil has a large amount of organic matter (fyi - leaks are not cool).

    One of the most important issues around these tanks is recertification - DOT (Yes Department of Transportation) Allows 12 years from manufacture for LP tank and 5 years there after. The big problem I have seen is company servicing a home will plant tanks on the property and never check the age or test dates {FYI - it is illegal to refill the tanks past their test dates} what is worse is the delivery people often fail to check this. Sad to say but I suspect this is the real issue when it comes to homes exploding when propane is involved - they have not been re-certified {hydrostatically) nor have their valves and safety relief valves changed (usually combined in the valve for tanks under 2000 gal WC).

    I never really liked to site tanks next to a house (right up against it) but prefer to install horizontal tanks {usually 500 gal + } 20 feet away and pipe in the gas to the house. This allows for good air circulation should a pressure relief go off on a hot day {and it does happen}. The other issue you have to look for is a home owner or contractor who has moved the tanks into an improper location , another common problem.


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