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Old 12-13-2010, 12:42 PM
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Default Propane storage?

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I'm searching the Internet and not finding a definitive answer.

We live in a third-floor apartment in the city, and winter temps typically dip into the teens with occasional sub-zero nights. Summer highs can be in the 90s.

I'd like to get one of those Mr. Heater indoor propane heaters for emergency use if there's a winter power outage. My question is, is it safe to store 1-lb propane tanks on my balcony year-round? I don't want to keep them inside for obvious reasons, and our outdoor space is obviously limited. If the balcony is a bad idea, what's a reasonable alternative?
Old 12-13-2010, 12:58 PM
Meat Guy Meat Guy is offline
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Don't see a problem.
Old 12-13-2010, 02:23 PM
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I would see no problem with storing the 1lb bottles inside the house. Imagine you are living in a regular home --- many do-it-yourselfers have those bottles around the house and basement for plumbing projects and such.

I would not store them outside as the weather will have an adverse effect on the cosmetic apearance of the bottle and they could eventually rust through.....
Old 12-13-2010, 05:34 PM
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They sell those 1lb bottles in a multi-pack INSIDE a store, stacked high, so how would that be any different than keeping a pack in a closet somewhere?
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:17 PM
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I store a lot of those bottles. I even have a test bottle that has been outside for two years and it has still not failed. I live within 200 feet of the ocean, and anything that is exposed to that environment rusts in almost no time at all. So far, so good.

Based on my experiences, I don't think that you will have anything to worry about. Just keep them out of the direct sunlight.

Two cases of bottles should be good for a 'short term' event...after that, you can use them for your propane BBQ in the summer and restock for the next winter.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:27 PM
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I'd get a marine locker to keep them on balcony.
Don't leave them exposed.
Hell, in south TX, I saw aluminum eroded by ocean salt.
Old 12-14-2010, 12:18 PM
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I would not store them outside where temperature varies so much. I think it's safer to store them inside.

But is it legal? Depends how many you have stored. Usually the law allows enough propane for "fair use". But fair use isn't normally defined in the law. So you might have up to 10 bottles as a fair amount.

It also might be spelled out in your lease that you cannot store ANY amount of "combustible fuel". So, if the landlord busts you for storing propane, you bust him for storing olive oil. It's commonly used for oil lamps, and thus qualifies as a "combustible fuel".

It's kind of like the dorm rules at college didn't prohibit us from having a kiddie pool on the third floor, yet my friends did...for one year. Next year, dorm rules said "no pools".

They sell those 1lb bottles in a multi-pack INSIDE a store, stacked high, so how would that be any different than keeping a pack in a closet somewhere?
Stores are trained on safety precautions, and are allowed to store quantities appropriate for sale. Consumers are not.

Be careful how you store it (not next to the stove) and don't blab about what you have. And you should be ok.
Old 12-14-2010, 01:45 PM
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I wouldn't see any problem keeping them inside. I kept mine in an unattached storage room under the carport at my house in AZ. Summertime temps in the 110-120 range, no AC, probably a couple dozen of them in there. Nothing happened. I never even once smelled the odor of propane and the room wasn't ventilated. I keep them in my basement now.
Old 12-14-2010, 01:54 PM
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I have lived in many locations and many ranges of climate. Most currently I am in North Carolina and believe this to be a good middle of the road test point since we can get summers with highs in the 100+ degree range down to lows in the winter of 10+ degree. I have found that storing propane in any size be it the small 1lb to the average 25lb takes are not effected by the temp during normal usage.

Now I am sure that over time with the repeated heating and cooling and the associated expanding and contracting will cause degradation. Lets be honest, nothing is going to hold up forever. However my point is that in the amount of time you may store the tanks they should have no problems holding up to the conditions you store them in regardless of if you store them on your deck, in your shed, or in your house.

I feel most comfortable storing them in a shed or outside storage of some sort.

P.S. It is good to note as listed above that almost all apartments or rental properties have a line about what fuels or hazardous materials you can store so you may want to give your lease a good look over.
Old 12-14-2010, 02:19 PM
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I have about 20 full tanks that are in about 8 inches of snow and they will be fine. Also I would never store anything like that in a house all it takes is one little leak.
Old 12-17-2010, 09:47 AM
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[QUOTE=bulrush;2183019]IStores are trained on safety precautions, and are allowed to store quantities appropriate for sale. Consumers are not.QUOTE]

Funny statement.... most of the people working in a store do not even know what they are stocking it is just a product that they have to keep replenishing...... did you know that by law in many states matches are supposed to be kept in a metal box behind a counter, not accessible by the consumer and that you are supposed to have to ask for them, because "they are dangerous".........
Old 12-17-2010, 10:24 AM
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Visit your local fire dept they know all the regulations. Better read that lease agreement too.
Old 01-16-2011, 05:57 AM
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I'm no expert on the matter, but I don't think storing them outside would hurt. I would put a tarp or some other covering over them to protect from the rain and snow.

The commercial 5 gallon propane tanks are stored outside of stores, gas stations, etc. and they seem to work just fine!
Old 01-16-2011, 06:24 AM
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One thing you could do is to get one of those large Rubbermaid plastic totes from Home Depot. Take a large heavy contractor grade lawn and leaf bag and place it inside the tote then put all the propane tanks inside the bag and seal it with a plastic zip tie. Then put the cover on and that should protect them from the elements. Of course I would be careful to keep the tote out of direct sunlight, especially in the summertime.

I've stored things under my deck outside for several years this way and no harm has come to any of the contents.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:04 PM
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Default Propane BBQ Instead

Instead of a little heater for maybe one room ....... buy one of the bigger propane heaters that mounts on the 5 gallon propane tanks ........

Buy yourself a propane BBQ grill with the built in tank storage (balcony usage should be ok) ....... solves the storage problem ...... gives you a pleasure/emergency cooking center ......

I never trust the valves on the 5 gallon tanks ....... I have threaded plugs in all my stored tanks ....... same thing for the 1 gallon bottles ....... I improvised caps to seal off the bottles ....... the pressure relief valves are still a worry but it's one less worry ........


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