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Old 11-03-2009, 09:13 AM
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Default How long can you store propane ??



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I googled it, and got conflicting answers from the single website that even attempted to answer the question, it said "two years", then said "indefinately". I've accumulated a few bottles, but I may want to hold pat if it's lifespan isn't as long as I'd thought it was. Any info much appreciated.....
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:16 AM
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Good question, I don't know, bit I'm interested...
Old 11-03-2009, 09:44 AM
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i know i used my dads old camper that hasent moved since i was a kid and the propane was still good id say it had sat from 10 to 15 years
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:53 AM
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Propane doesn't degrade as there is nothing for it to interact with. You biggest problem is keeping the pressure vessel used to store it in good shape.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:22 AM
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The biggest problem is that propane degrades the seals in the tank valve over time. Over tightening the valve speeds up the process and leads to leakage. Also propane, as with any gas under pressure, will cause corrosion inside the tank and lead to pinhole leaks. This is why old tanks have to be hydrostaticly pressure tested and re-certified before refilling.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:36 PM
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What about the little 2lb bottles you can get for your camp stove?
Old 11-03-2009, 09:06 PM
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MIL DOT Dang good question. I never thought about it. Also thanks out to all the good answers.

My camper uses propane. I didn't even think about if it would be good latter on. LOL
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:34 PM
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When propane comes from the ground all they add is mercaptan that makes it smell like rotten cabbage. It kept in the ground for how many years? The weakness lies in the container and valve. The ones used for forklifts are extremely tough, more so than your BBQ unit. On large tanks you can get really good commercial valves to put before your regulators. my .02
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:39 PM
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I have 20 lbs bottles going on 3-4 years in he barn that are used each spring for Brush burning be at least 3-4 more before they are all used up. One even works just fine hooked to the BBQ. My guess is Propane is good until the Bottle rusts through.
Old 11-03-2009, 09:40 PM
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I'm a vacuum engineer, so I deal with leak rates all day long. I would assume that a huge problem in storing it is because of a leaky vessel. All vessels leak, PERIOD. It's the rate at which they leak that begins the problems.

If your vessel leaks at a rate of 1x10-3 std cc/sec, then you could see that leak by dipping it under water and seeing bubbles

If your vessel leaks at a rate of 1x10-6 std cc/sec, then you will only leak 1 cc of gas in 11 days.

If your vessel leaks at a rate of 1x10-9 std cc/sec, then you will leak 1 cc of gas in 32 years!

My point is, that a crappy vessel/seal/welds will eventually leak your gas. Everything leaks, the difference is the rate at which they leak. I would be more concerned about this, than the propane going bad.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:42 PM
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We had a 20lb tank we got from my grandfathers house which was at least 25-30 yrs old and used it with a weed torch,worked fine still have it too
Old 11-03-2009, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJPP View Post
I'm a vacuum engineer, so I deal with leak rates all day long. I would assume that a huge problem in storing it is because of a leaky vessel. All vessels leak, PERIOD. It's the rate at which they leak that begins the problems.

If your vessel leaks at a rate of 1x10-3 std cc/sec, then you could see that leak by dipping it under water and seeing bubbles

If your vessel leaks at a rate of 1x10-6 std cc/sec, then you will only leak 1 cc of gas in 11 days.

If your vessel leaks at a rate of 1x10-9 std cc/sec, then you will leak 1 cc of gas in 32 years!

My point is, that a crappy vessel/seal/welds will eventually leak your gas. Everything leaks, the difference is the rate at which they leak. I would be more concerned about this, than the propane going bad.

Being a vaccum engineer your job must suck
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJPP View Post
I'm a vacuum engineer
Well maybe you can answer this. Why does my dog hate my wifes vaccum cleaner?

lol sorry dude you opened the door when you spilled the beans about what you do for a living....
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:57 PM
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I salvaged a couple tanks (and a nice generator!) from a winnebago that was sitting in the weeds for a decade. These tanks sat in the shed for years after. This past summer when the grill ran empty, I grabbed an adapter and used up one tank of that old propane without any problems.
Old 11-03-2009, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v75vette View Post
What about the little 2lb bottles you can get for your camp stove?
The main problems with these are the same as the 20 and 100 lb tanks, the metal corroding and leaks, except I have noticed that on some old tanks the valves do not reseal when you remove them from what they were hooked to. It's really no big deal on something you can leave the cylinder connected to, like a single burner stove or a torch, but on something like a double burner stove that has to have the bottle removed to close it would be. I have some that are 12 or 13 years old that I don't use on my big stove for that reason. I save them for applications where they can stay connected until empty.

If you hold the valve end next to your ear you can hear if it's hasn't resealed. I've gotten to where I even check new cans, as I have run across a couple that don't reseal, but were purchased less than a year ago, but it's far more common, in my experience, with the old ones.
Old 11-03-2009, 10:13 PM
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You guys can't even touch the number of "your job sucks" jokes that I've heard over the years.

By the way, I meant to mention that the crappy little valves on the propane tanks will be the greatest source for a leak. You could overcome this with using a high quality ball valve by Swagelok, but I doubt anyone is really wanting to shell out $230 for one. If you are, let me know and I can get you a part number.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saint View Post
Well maybe you can answer this. Why does my dog hate my wifes vaccum cleaner?

lol sorry dude you opened the door when you spilled the beans about what you do for a living....
Ironically, my jobs has nothing to do with vacuum cleaners. Sorry, you'll have to email that creepy Dyson guy to help you out with that one...

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Old 11-03-2009, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJPP View Post
You guys can't even touch the number of "your job sucks" jokes that I've heard over the years.

By the way, I meant to mention that the crappy little valves on the propane tanks will be the greatest source for a leak. You could overcome this with using a high quality ball valve by Swagelok, but I doubt anyone is really wanting to shell out $230 for one. If you are, let me know and I can get you a part number.
If you steal them from work, they don't cost a dime! Just kidding. Swagelok is the cadillac for sure. Parker makes the same kinds of fittings without the polish. Still seem like good stuff.
Old 11-03-2009, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJPP View Post
You guys can't even touch the number of "your job sucks" jokes that I've heard over the years.

By the way, I meant to mention that the crappy little valves on the propane tanks will be the greatest source for a leak. You could overcome this with using a high quality ball valve by Swagelok, but I doubt anyone is really wanting to shell out $230 for one. If you are, let me know and I can get you a part number.
If you steal them from work, they don't cost a dime! Just kidding. Swagelok is the cadillac for sure. Parker makes the same kinds of fittings without the polish. Still seem like good stuff at a lower cost.
Old 11-04-2009, 08:14 PM
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I just finished off a bottle that was last filled a week after September 11, 2001.
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