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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
GAS FIRED WATER HEATERS
GAS LP & NATURAL GAS SAFETY HAZARDS
GAS PRESSURES LP vs NATURAL GAS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GAS BTUH, CUBIC FEET & ENERGY
GAS CONVERSION LP-NATURAL GAS
GAS FLAME & NOISE DEFECTS
GAS IGNITER DEFECTS & REPAIRS
GAS LEAK DETECTION, LP / NG
GAS LIGHTING, PIPES, FIXTURES
GAS PIPING DEFECTS
GAS REGULATORS for APPLIANCES
GAS REGULATORS for LP TANKS
GAS REGLATORS, TWO STAGE
GAS SHUTOFF VALVES
LP GAS TANKS
GAS LP & NATURAL GAS SAFETY HAZARDS
LP & Natural Gas Pressures
METHANE GAS SOURCES
Natural Gas Combustion Products
SPILL SWITCHES - Flue Gas Detection
TYPES OF FUEL GAS SOURCE
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
METHANE GAS SOURCES
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS, SEPTIC or SEWER
ODORS, SULPHUR SMELL SOURCES
OIL TANK PIPING & PIPING DEFECTS
PIPING IN buildings, Clogs Leaks Types
SEWER GAS ODORS
SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
LP or Propane Gas Tank Installation: here we provide descriptions and photographs of unsafe gas piping, indications of unsafe or improperly operating gas appliances, gas meters, and other gas installation defects are provided. The photo above shows two 24-gallon LP gas tanks installed outdoors on a wobbly unstable base.
This document also provides free sample draft home inspection report language for reporting defects in oil and gas piping at residential properties. Also see How to Report Defects in Oil Piping. DO not copy contents from InspectApedia to other websites.
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If you smell gas you should leave the building immediately and should do so without doing anything that could create a spark such as operating a light switch or telephone.
From a safe location, call your gas company's emergency line and/or your fire department.
Immediate LP or natural gas safety hazards: if there is evidence of an LP or natural gas leak at a building, gas odors, for example, you should:
LP gas tanks [liquid petroleum gas tanks] are normally placed only outdoors, above ground or (if the tank is designed for it), buried below ground.
Where LP tank regulators can be exposed to the weather, especially in northern climates exposed to freezing weather, they should be protected from water and frost to prevent potentially dangerous damage to the LP gas pressure regulator, shown as the gray disk behind the right-most tank in this photograph of LP gas tanks in the Hudson Valley of New York.
LP gas tank regulators are discussed at Gas Regulators for Tanks .
There are several ways your LP gas company will know when to make a delivery.
If your building uses piped-in natural gas, fuel delivery is continuous through the piping system and of course you won't have an LP gas tank at your property.
Watch out: if you have run out of LP gas entirely your fuel delivery driver may refuse to re-fill the tank unless provision can be made to assure that pilot lights in the building are also re-lit and that the building is safe from risk of a gas leak.
The fuel delivery driver will (or should) refuse to deliver LP gas if he is aware of unsafe conditions such as a leak or nearby open flames.
And since the LP gas delivery truck driver has to pull a heavy gas hose and nozzle from the truck to your LP tank, you don't want to run out of fuel in the dead of winter with deep snow-cover and no path cleared to the LP gas tank.
The LP gas delivery driver will print a receipt that documents the date, time, and quantity of LP fuel delivered to the building.
To protect customers from a dishonest LP gas delivery driver, the fuel meter will not print a receipt if the LP gas delivery truck has moved at all from the time of start of LP gas pumping. Our driver explained that otherwise, "in the old days" of older LP gas meters, a dishonest driver could drop off LP gas at multiple properties, billing just the last customer for fuel.
Is the LP Gas Tank Supposed to be Filled to the Very Top of the Tank or to 100% on the Gas Gauge?
LP Gas tank fill-volume is typically to 80-85% of capacity, leaving vapor space in the tank. The LP gas company does not fill the tank to its very top as that would not leave sufficient room for expansion of the liquid fuel as temperatures increase from the temperature of the liquid propane at the time of delivery. This is an important safety detail: your gas company is not short-changing you.
Details are at GAS PRESSURES LP vs NATURAL GAS
Specifications for Installing & Inspecting Above-ground LP Gas Storage Tanks - gas cylinders not filled on site
These LP Gas tank location clearances for above-ground gas tanks are given as measured from the tank's relief valve in any direction away from any potential source of ignition (of a gas leak) or where leaking gas could be drawn into a building window or other vent opening.
Sample gas tank inspection report language: Safety: Install secure and level support for the LP gas tank at ... - if a tank tips over and breaks gas line it could be dangerous. This is an inexpensive item. This item should be handled promptly on establishing gas service for the house, preferably before tanks are filled.
Below we provide Installation specifications for Buried LP gas tanks.
How to Find a Buried LP Gas Tank
Finding a buried LP gas tank should not be difficult at a property, since the top of the tank has to be accessible for filling and inspection. Look for the access cover, usually white steel on older LP gas cylinders or black plastic covering an access well on new buried LP gas tanks, as we mention next.
When the buried LP gas tank access cover is opened, the buried LP gas tank fill valve and regulator are plainly visible as should be a gauge indicating the remaining amount of LP gas in the tank.
The LP tank gauge is installed at a fitting either on the tank top itself or on a combination fitting at the tank top where the gas valves and connections are also installed. This Liquid Petroleum Gas Tank Gauge - LP tank gauge or bottled gas tank gauge shows us that it is intended for installation on a 200 Lb. LP gas cylinder, and that the tank is at about 40% full.
LP Gas tanks are normally filled before the tank is totally empty. The liquid petroleum gas delivery truck driver can assure that no contaminants have leaked into the tank if it is still under pressure. LP tanks are usually not filled to 100% of tank capacity, since doing so would risk sending liquefied LP gas out of the gas tank and into the regulator where it could cause damage or be unsafe.
The curved graph at the upper end of the LP gas gauge dial shows the effects of temperature on the LP gas stored in the tank and thus on the effective remaining amount of fuel in the tank.
Some smaller LP gas cylinders may lack a gauge. When a gas cylinder has no percentage-full gauge and we want to know if the tank is empty or nearly so, we gently rock the tank (be careful not to cause a gas leak).
If the tank is heavy and hard to move it's probably nearly full. A bit of experience with pushing slightly on the tank just before and just after it has been filled by your LP gas delivery company can make it easy to have a general idea of the level of fuel in the tank.
Be sure that LP gas cylinders are not so loose or poorly supported that they can tip over - risking injury or even a gas leak and explosion!
Above we provide additional installation specifications for above ground LP gas tanks and cylinders.
Here are some LP gas safety recommendations and home inspection report examples:
LP Gas Cylinder that is Incompletely Buried
Propane Gas Tank Safety Recommendations: The liquid propane gas tank at ... is partially buried - this may not be a recommended building practice; accelerated rust may lead to failure of the container. Please review this question with the gas supply company.
Propane Gas Tank Safety Recommendations:Be sure that the safety relief valve and controls atop the LP gas tanks outside are protected from icing (for example from exposure to rain or gutter overflow). Iced controls can prevent proper operation of safety devices.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Installing, Filling, & Inspecting LP Gas Tanks
My gas company is making me pay to move the tank because of the air conditioner...They put it there, not me - Stephen 6/2/11
Seems doubtful that the gas company installed the A/C unit. But even if that unit was installed previously and the LP tank has just now been recognized as a hazard, I'd be grateful that someone recognized and warned you about a safety hazard.
i would like to ask if there is a provision that requires a minimum distance of LP-gas pipe line away from any source of heat? - Randy 5/1/12
Randy, "any source of heat" is not well defined. So no, not at that level of definition. After all, an LP tank is installed outside exposed to heat from the sun. But you can read some LP gas tank location and piping routing safety specifications at GAS PIPING DEFECTS as well as in the article above.
My lp tanks outside my mobile home are just a foot away from where my dryer vents outside at. I just bought this home and it was already like that. Is it safe? I have electric dryer. - Robin 1/10/2013
The heat of a clothes dryer won't be a risk to an LP gas tank; but if the dryer is blowing lots of lint around I'd double check that the LP gas regulator vent is not exposed to lint-clogging from blowing debris - that would be, in my view, unsafe.
Questions & answers or comments about LP tanks or propane tanks at residential installations.
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