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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default LP Tank - underground installation

    I inspected a home with an underground LP tank yesterday and I was wondering what everyone puts in their report for their clients.

    Is there an inspection process that someone should go through prior to purchase?
    How often does a tank have to be replaced?
    Do you just wait for a leak and then replace? (DUH!)

    What safety devices are required, and what distance should the tank be from the house or other structures?

    Can these thing float when they are empty? Do they need tiedowns?

    Any protocol or verbiage suggestions?

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: LP Tank - underground installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    I inspected a home with an underground LP tank yesterday and I was wondering what everyone puts in their report for their clients.

    Is there an inspection process that someone should go through prior to purchase?
    How often does a tank have to be replaced?
    Do you just wait for a leak and then replace? (DUH!)

    What safety devices are required, and what distance should the tank be from the house or other structures?

    Can these thing float when they are empty? Do they need tiedowns?

    Any protocol or verbiage suggestions?
    All I say is that there is an underground LP tank, the size of the tank in gallons, what the gauge reads, and that the main fuel shut-off is on the top of the tank. I also recoomnend they get a copy of some gas bills so they won't faint during the first winter in the house. A 1000 gallon tank cost about $2500 to fill up around here (at 80% full).


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: LP Tank - underground installation

    Call a propane supplier in your area. They can pressure test the tank, if that's a worry. The previous supplier Should have records of the age and when or if testing was ever done.
    I will include a pic of any decals left by previous supplier, which usually includes a phone #. The tank may be a rental, good to know. I've never seen a buried rental, but who knows?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: LP Tank - underground installation


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: LP Tank - underground installation

    In addition to what Raymond provided for the location:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Can these thing float when they are empty? Do they need tiedowns?
    Yes, absolutely.

    Wherever there is risk of flooding FEMA wants those tanks tied down.

    The most appropriate way is to anchor to a concrete weight below the tank which weighs more than the weight of the water displaced by the tank with the tank empty, one can deduct the weight of the tank itself if they want to cut the concrete weight to a minimum, but that could defeat the whole idea - anchoring the tank down so it cannot float.

    The weight of a gallon of water is 8.4 pounds (more accurately it is 8.345 pounds, but I round it off to 8.4 pounds), thus a 500 gallon tank would displace 8.4 x 500 = 4,200 pounds of water, if the tank itself weighs in at 1,000 pounds, which means the concrete would need to weight at least 3,200 pounds, at 150 pound per cubic foot for normal weight concrete 3,200 / 150 = 21.3 cubic feet of concrete, 1 cubic yard of concrete is 27 cubic feet, so 1 cu yd would offset the weight of the empty tank, and because ready mix delivered by a truck typically has a 2-3 cu yd minimum, most people either put the entire minimum under the tank (they are paying for it anyway, might as well use it).

    Of course, the other thing which needs to be considered (but is frequently missed) is the embedded anchors, cables, and clamps - ALL should be stainless steel ... does no good to have anything rust out after a few years underground, of sufficient size to hold down the calculated weight, and typically two clamps are required at each cable end.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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