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  1. #1

    Default Propane tank clearances

    Don't see many propane tanks around here... I know there are clearance requirements for the tank to the house. Does anyone know them off hand? I wasn't able to locate a size on the tank (or the plate was facing the house). Any info would be helpful.

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  2. #2
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    That looks like a tiny tank. I know that NFPA 54 and 58 deal with placement of the usually 320 to 500-gallon tanks we see around here. The distance from structures on those is 10 feet. Maybe Peck, with all of his code access, will chime in here.

    Aaron


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    This diagram was posted on another BB by Barry Adair.

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  4. #4
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    Nice diagram. I just realized that NFPA has 58 online for viewing at:

    NFPA 58: Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code

    Aaron


  5. #5
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    Since it's a small tank this diagram may be more applicable.

    Aaron

    Last edited by Aaron Miller; 05-17-2008 at 12:14 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    Based on Aaron's submission of the diagram... Here's the view from the other side of the tank. The vent for the fireplace is well within 5'. I assume that the "Note 1" might apply then to this installation or am I reading that incorrectly?

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    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    So the question is. Is that an intake or exhaust. I think exhaust, from the height and if that's true then not a problem right? What's in there. A prefab fireplace or is that the boiler?


  8. #8

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    So the question is. Is that an intake or exhaust. I think exhaust, from the height and if that's true then not a problem right? What's in there. A prefab fireplace or is that the boiler?
    It is the vent for the prefab fireplace. But, since it's direct vent, doesn't that mean that you've got an intake and exhaust in the same vent? The diagram posted states in note 1 that a 5' min is required in any direction away from any openings into direct-vent appliances.

    Last edited by Reis Pearson; 04-07-2008 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Additionally comment

  9. #9
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    I'm almost certain that this particular tank is site-filled. I would not want to be the one to fill it and bring it back full. It lloked smaller in the first photo with nothing to guage its size. Assuming that is is site-filled then it's too close to the direct vent, unless my perspective vision has failed me.

    Aaron


  10. #10
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    Cool Re: Propane tank clearances

    To know which chart to follow in NFPA 58, you first need to ascertain if this is an ASME container or a DOT cylinder. Look on the ring of the bonnet for all your stampings. Note esp. the WC or water capacity. LP tanks are sized according to the amt. of water in pounds they can hold. The TW is the tare weight or actual weight of the empty tank.

    If you rub a dark lumber crayon over the stampings then wipe, they are not only easier to read but photograph.

    You should note if there is two stage regulation or not as it is required for residential systems except portable grills. The second stage regulator should be on the side of the house as close to the appliances as possible with an approved shutoff upstream and the vent clear of sources of ignition for at least 3 feet.

    Where is the lid for that tank bonnet? Also, is that tank sitting on the ground or are there blocks under it?

    HTh,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  11. #11
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    If you rub a dark lumber crayon over the stampings then wipe, they are not only easier to read but photograph.
    Hadn't thought of that. Good info for several applications.

    Thanks,

    Aaron


  12. #12

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    You should note if there is two stage regulation or not as it is required for residential systems except portable grills. The second stage regulator should be on the side of the house as close to the appliances as possible with an approved shutoff upstream and the vent clear of sources of ignition for at least 3 feet.

    Where is the lid for that tank bonnet? Also, is that tank sitting on the ground or are there blocks under it?

    HTh,
    Bob
    I will assume the regulator was not present, but the shutoff upstream was. The vent clearance was probably 3'. Is that from the DOT? Do you have a photo of a "tank bonnet"? I don't know dink about propane. The tank is sitting on two blocks, but is there a clearance minimum necessary?

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    What kind of vent is that at the ground level behind the tank?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  14. #14
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    Cool Re: Propane tank clearances

    Since there is not a separate second stage regulator on the side of the house, then there had better be a combination first and second stage regulator under the bonnet, which is the hub cap for that ring on top of the tank. Unprotected, it may be getting water into the regulator vent depending upon its orientation. They put lids on them for a reason. Rain, damage, critters, etc. although small birds still nest in them.

    When documenting an LP tank, I would recommend at min. shots of: L&R obliquely and straight on far enough back to see the clearances, open the bonnet and shoot from above showng the arrangement of regulators, piping, and controls, the tank ratings with the stampings enhanced (grease pencil, merler or lumber crayon), the tubing run to the house, any second stage regulators with shutoffs, and the base w/ support blocks for starters. Remember three important points:
    1) cameras are an aid to prevent you from having to make a return trip and
    2) digital film is cheap
    3) cameras help you document conditions, which covers your assets

    Actually, I would add a fourth: cameras add some degree of legitimacy. I know there are a lot of inspectors that don't take 200-300 photos per case, my brother being one. To each his own.

    Some camera adjuncts: make up a measured block 1x2x6 inches. Stage the gauge block in the photo to give perspective like they do in crime scenes. For large dimensions, a simple pole of a known length works great. Then, there is the wide tape rule if the shot is within arms' reach. You could also use a surveyor's idiot stick to measure vertical clearances such as a roof overhang oe ceiling height. If you're lucky, you can find an old yard stick. Steel 36" rules are available but don't photograph well unless you get the yellow ones. You can also get a level with ruled markings. Play with the lighting to learn when to take the flash off and use indirect lighting.


    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Propane tank clearances

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    Since there is not a separate second stage regulator on the side of the house, then there had better be a combination first and second stage regulator under the bonnet, which is the hub cap for that ring on top of the tank.
    HTH,
    Bob
    Thanks for the detail! It will be invaluable I'm certain!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    What kind of vent is that at the ground level behind the tank?
    Yes, that is a crawl space vent and I saw it as I was going through the photos after our first series of clearances came up in discussion. Nice eye...


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