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Old 06-09-2016, 10:28 AM
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Default Propane Tanks and Hot Weather



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Summer is here, temps are getting up there and the pressure in your residential propane tank is rising.

Had my first call yesterday of a pressure relief valve popping off at one of my customers homes. If you've ever had one pop it's something you'll likely never forget, sounds like a pistol shot and then screams like a banshee.

If you have this happen cool the tank, use a water hose and a sprinkler, get some shade on it, (but don't cover it). Once the relief valve pops it'll have to be replaced, and the tank has to be empty for that to happen, contact you're propane supplier for details.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:26 AM
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Filling the tank to 80% eliminates many pop offs, we started filling to 80% about 15 years ago,our on call guys loved it as it basically eliminated the pop offs, expansion is 1.5% per every 10 degree rise in ambient temp, if we have a 20% increase ,that translates to roughly an 80 degree rise in ambient outside temperature. That would be bad.
Additionally, although I'm not arguing, a relief valve does not need to be replaced if it "pops" doing what it's designed for.commercial rule is every 15 years or if spring go bad. External relief valves ( spring on outside of tank)tend to collect trash,flies,moisture etc.
WARNING! NEVER PUT YOUR FACE DIRECTLY OVER THE RELIEF VALVE OPENING!!
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:36 AM
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Filling the tank to 80% eliminates many pop offs, we started filling to 80% about 15 years ago,our on call guys loved it as it basically eliminated the pop offs, expansion is 1.5% per every 10 degree rise in ambient temp, if we have a 20% increase ,that translates to roughly an 80 degree rise in ambient outside temperature. That would be bad.
Additionally, although I'm not arguing, a relief valve does not need to be replaced if it "pops" doing what it's designed for.commercial rule is every 15 years or if spring go bad. External relief valves ( spring on outside of tank)tend to collect trash,flies,moisture etc.
WARNING! NEVER PUT YOUR FACE DIRECTLY OVER THE RELIEF VALVE OPENING!!
Tony while I agree that it doesn't always need replaced, here in Texas where it routinely hits the high 90's for long periods of time, once they go they're pretty much done. 80% is our max fill but in the summer on older tanks we cut the max fill back to 70%.
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:35 PM
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Sufficient hot weather and lack of wind can drive the temperature in the tank to cause excessive pressure....
Think about a vehicle setting out in the sun and the temperature inside the vehicle....
Reflective paint helps, but shade is better....
Texican....
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Old 06-09-2016, 08:50 PM
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This thread is very very good advice for propane tank owners. Wish it could be sticky at the top.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:01 PM
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This thread is very very good advice for propane tank owners. Wish it could be sticky at the top.
It is now "stickied"
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:14 PM
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it's always in the 80's-90's here. the small rv size tanks are all you'll find, nothing larger. filling is to 70-80% and i have yet to here any fo teh valves popping off. and most tanks here are painted medium blue. i plan on having a propane stove and oven when the house is finished being built in the next month or so. the stove and tank(s) will set outside under the eve of the house protected from the sun and rain. house eves are at least 1 meter on all sides here.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:25 PM
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Mine is buried in the ground and they never fill more than 80%.
I live in NH and I don't need a fill between May and October.
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Old 06-09-2016, 09:51 PM
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Mine is buried in the ground and they never fill more than 80%.
I live in NH and I don't need a fill between May and October.
Why only 80% when underground?
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:28 AM
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Why only 80% when underground?
80% is a standard max fill in the industry. UG tanks can go to 85% without issues but most drivers, myself included, stick to the 80% rule regardless.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:34 AM
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Summer is also the time to take a close look at the paint on your home Propane tank. If you lease your tank from your propane supplier and the pain is beginning to fail you can request it be repainted, the company will normally have a company color scheme that they use, (ours is gray tank with maroon lid). If you own your tank and it needs repainting sometimes your normal supplier will paint it, sometimes not. If you want to paint it yourself the recommended color is oil based semi-gloss enamel WHITE. Just pain white.

Wash the tank first, then scrap the loose junk/paint with a wire brush. You can brush it, roll it, or spray it. Whatever works for you.
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Old 06-21-2016, 02:05 AM
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Mine is buried in the ground and they never fill more than 80%.
I live in NH and I don't need a fill between May and October.
Purchasing propane during the summer will give you a better price including having one or more extra tanks....

Tank rental is cheap for a fuel supply that does not go bad....

Texican....
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by strvger View Post
it's always in the 80's-90's here. the small rv size tanks are all you'll find, nothing larger. filling is to 70-80% and i have yet to here any fo teh valves popping off. and most tanks here are painted medium blue. i plan on having a propane stove and oven when the house is finished being built in the next month or so. the stove and tank(s) will set outside under the eve of the house protected from the sun and rain. house eves are at least 1 meter on all sides here.
Sounds great but NOT. A significant # of home fires, in particular apartments, are caused by grills and heaters on decks/close to structure. I'd hope you don't keep a can of gasoline or LP tank under your bed (or even in attached garage). A LP grill sitting against the exterior wall of you house is in the same category.

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education...sonal/grilling
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Soldier View Post
Summer is here, temps are getting up there and the pressure in your residential propane tank is rising.

Had my first call yesterday of a pressure relief valve popping off at one of my customers homes. If you've ever had one pop it's something you'll likely never forget, sounds like a pistol shot and then screams like a banshee.

If you have this happen cool the tank, use a water hose and a sprinkler, get some shade on it, (but don't cover it). Once the relief valve pops it'll have to be replaced, and the tank has to be empty for that to happen, contact you're propane supplier for details.
Isn't the pressure relief valve also a back check valve? It should close once the pressure is relived to under 225-250 lbs of pressure shouldn't it?
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAmmo View Post
Why only 80% when underground?
I fill to 85% especially if the tank is underground. And for sure in the Winter.
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:10 PM
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I have never seen a tank "pop off" unless it was overfilled under normal temperatures. Granted, my 20 gallon tank that was in front of the garage popped of when the garage burned to the ground, but it was also hot enough to melt aluminum in the same area.

I have also changed valves without draining the tank by venting and freezing the gas but that works best in the winter.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:47 PM
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Isn't the pressure relief valve also a back check valve? It should close once the pressure is relived to under 225-250 lbs of pressure shouldn't it?
That's correct, if the valve is new. What we see however is that when the valve is older, (15-20 years), that when it pops it either won't seal back properly or it tends to pop again at lower pressures. That's why I recommended it be replaced once it pops.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:49 PM
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I have never seen a tank "pop off" unless it was overfilled under normal temperatures. Granted, my 20 gallon tank that was in front of the garage popped of when the garage burned to the ground, but it was also hot enough to melt aluminum in the same area.

I have also changed valves without draining the tank by venting and freezing the gas but that works best in the winter.
35 year old residential tank sitting in full sun with failing paint on a 98 degree day? Yea, it'll pop......
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:48 PM
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35 year old residential tank sitting in full sun with failing paint on a 98 degree day? Yea, it'll pop......
I guess it can happen, but I wouldn't consider it the norm. My 25 gallon tank was over 50 years old and never popped off until the temp was hot enough to burn the paint off the pickup that it was sitting next to.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:03 PM
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I guess it can happen, but I wouldn't consider it the norm. My 25 gallon tank was over 50 years old and never popped off until the temp was hot enough to burn the paint off the pickup that it was sitting next to.
Doesn't happen everyday, but most of the customer owned tanks I service were built in the 70's and still have the original pressure relief valve installed. Combine that with a dark rust color from failing paint, full sun, and typical Texas summer temps? Happens a couple of times every summer.
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