Propane Tank

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by Middiedad65, May 2, 2009.

  1. Middiedad65

    Middiedad65 New Member

    Please forgive my apparent stupidity but I am new to RV's. I recently bought a 1990 Class C Coachmen. I was asking someone at a local hardware store that sells propane about getting it filled there. His reply was, "as long as it's less than 12 years old we can fill it". The date on the tank is 1990, the same as the rest of the RV. Is there a law I should know about? Do I have to replace the tank? If I do, how much is that going to cost me?

    Thanks in advance
    Art Conley
    Dracut MA
     
  2. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    I just did a google on the subject because I have never heard such a thing. I'm calling BS on this as I only found 1 reference to age and it was stated that 12 year old tank were considered to old to replace valves to the new ones and the cost was about the same as a new tank.
    Couldn't find reference to any regulation on propane tanks and age. I know they don't need a hydro test as 250# is still low pressure not like scuba at 3000-4000 psi.
    Find an other dealer.

    LEN
     
  3. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    The guy at the Hardware store is correct when talking about tanks on Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels. They have to be re-certified and dated every 12 years. Actually some tanks have stamped on them, every 10 years. They also have to have the OPD valves.

    NOW, this is on a MH and I don't think the same law applies. Since I don't sell MH's I am not that familar.
     
  4. Middiedad65

    Middiedad65 New Member

    RE: Propane Tank

    Thanks guys. I think he is mistaken. I'm just going to drive it to the nearest RV service location to get it filled.
     
  5. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    I did find this

    (i) A DOT specification 4B, 4BA, 4B240ET or 4BW (Secs. 178.50, 178.51,
    178.55 and 178.61 of this subchapter) cylinder may be retested as
    follows:
    (A) For a cylinder with a water capacity of 12 pounds or less by
    hydrostatic test using the water jacket method or by hydrostatic test
    without determination of expansion (modified hydrostatic test method). A
    retest must be performed 12 years after the original test date and at
    12-year intervals thereafter.
    (B) For a cylinder having a water capacity over 12 pounds--
    (1) By hydrostatic test without determination of expansion (modified
    hydrostatic test method). A retest must be performed 12 years after the
    original test date and at 7-year intervals; or
    (2) By hydrostatic test using the water jacket method. A retest must
    be performed 12 years after the original test date and at 12-year
    intervals thereafter.

    Still looking about bigger tanks

    LEN
     
  6. big bilko

    big bilko Senior Member

    RE: Propane Tank

    Australian regulations are that testing of tanks is required every 10 years.Most users replace the tanks anyway after this period (better safe than sorry) A leaky LPG tank in a motor home could have disasterous consequences.The majority of small lpg tanks are used for the BBQ which is outside and not so dangerous .But your safety is worth more than the cost of a gas bottle that has been around for 10 years. Regards from down under BIG BILKO. :) :) :) :)
     
  7. Bush70

    Bush70 New Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    Motorhomes have what is known as mototfuel tanks and they don't fall under that regulation. They should however be checked for leaks and to make sure they are secure and in good shape. Good luck
     
  8. vanole

    vanole Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    I just went round and round with a guy at the local NEX concerning a portable cylinder for my gas grill. After some research and a couple of calls I went armed and ready to the NEX and layed out the paper work and got my cyliner filled. Your portables are good for 12 years. Young guy at the NEX was stating 10 years here in VA in which he was incorrect.

    Most of the confusion comes with terminology Tanks = permanently mounted (ASME controlled); Cylinders = portable (DOT controlled)

    Here is what I found:

    Horizontal "TANKS" of the kind on most motorhomes are ASME tanks and do not need recertification. (Fillers are not supposed to not fill them if they appear to be in poor shape/disrepair.)

    Vertical "CYLINDERS" like you see on RVs and gas grills etc (DOT cylinders, e.g., 20 lb, 30 lb, 40 lb) do require recertification. It's every 12 years some states have adopted different periodicities; the month + year stamp on the cylinder collar determines the beginning of the period usually manufacture date providing it has not been recertified. A cylinder that has already been recertified will require recertification again after five years.

    To the original poster I'm not sure what a Class "C" propane setup looks like so I have most likely confused you even more.

    V/R
    Jeff
     
  9. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    I can't speak for Art, but you didn't confuse the issue, Jeff.

    Great information and it would be greater if you could site your source(s) for those that want to document it all and keep it with their MH (like me!) ;)

    My Class C has the HORIZONTAL TANK that is manufactured according to ASME specifications.

    We live in a rural area and use propane from a big 200+ gallon tank. You should see the condition of some folks tanks! They still get filled. The company that I buy my propane from says they can't fill my MH tank where it sits in my driveway. I have to drive to their place and get it filled where they refill all of those portable CYLINDERS. Some kind of Texas regulation.

    Go figger! :clown:
     
  10. vanole

    vanole Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    TexasClodhopper,

    Here is some easy reading concerning DOT cylinders: http://www.propane101.com/propanecylinders.htm This site does discuss tanks also but does not have the words motor home in any of the reading.

    I will call the folks again on Monday and get the Permanently Installed Tank gouge. Like an idiot that I am I forgot to book mark it. But it centers around the fact that the tanks are permanently mounted andof the horizontal variety.

    I will supply the second source sometime tommrrow.
     
  11. vanole

    vanole Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    TexasClodhopper,

    Haven't forgot about the source. Just spoke to the gent (actually called me from NH) who provided initial guidance he is out of his office until Monday (presently at the Fire Academy in Concord NH). He indicated that when gets back to his office here in Virginia he will e-mail me the information concerning RV propane requirements. Once received I will post it.

    V/R
    Jeff
     
  12. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    hey Jeff he was confused bY the letters NEX, like BEX and PEX. Now unless you have never been military or have someone who is, this would confuse a lot. So let explain: NEX= NAVY EXCHANGE, BEX= BASE EXCHANGE (AIR FORCE) PEX = POST EXCHANGE (ARMY) :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  13. notinn

    notinn New Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    This is of interest to me as well -- we have been refused for fillup at TA & Flying-J -- tank on a 1988 Holiday Rambler so I'd love a reference I could carry in the glove compartment -- Thanks. :approve:
     
  14. vanole

    vanole Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    TexasClodhopper,

    Here is the e-mail from the Virginia Propane Rep. Talk both rules for DOT Cylinders adn ASME Tanks.

    "Jeff,

    No easy answer exist so get comfortable.

    The reason you keep getting conflicting answers is that they look in the wrong place. DOT cylinders are regulated by the Department of Transportation thus DOT cylinders. The DOT regulations are found in Title 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations). DOT cylinder requalification is in 49CFR 180.209. You can go to www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat and in the 3rd row from the left you will see “Regulations” click on this link. Once that page comes up it will say Regulations, near the top below that it will have Hazmat Regulations and Applicable Laws, below that Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; Title 49 CFR Parts 100-185)
    This is where you want to be. When the page comes up the “Part” number will be listed on the left, go all the way to the bottom to part 180 and click.
    Under Sub Part C you will see 180.209 click here and you are home.
    Now, go get a pencil so you will have something good and sharp to stick in your eye to relieve the pain created by reading the federal code. 209 (e) is specific to propane cylinders and 205 goes to the requirement to requalify all DOT cylinders.

    Now that you can prove that DOT cylinders must be requalified within 12 years of manufacture and can be requalified for 5, 7 or 12 years depending on which test is performed lets move to ASME cylinders / tanks. This part is easy as no regulations exist for requalification. With no regulations existing to require recertification then it is given to not be required.

    Now, as to NFPA 58. They are partially correct but this also is the wrong source. NFPA 58 addresses transportation of LP gas, use of LP gas as a motor fuel and non engine fuel systems such as tar kettles and food warming delivery vehicles. Motor homes and RV’s (since people sleep in them) were given their own specific set of regulations. NFPA 1192 is the Standard on Recreational Vehicles for use of LP gas systems. I don’t have a copy of this code book but can make two suggestions. Visit your local fire marshal as they have the NFPA codes in electronic form. He or she can pull it up and print out any part you may need. Just tell them you are looking for NFPA 1192. If they for whatever reason are unable to assist a group of our nations veterans, let me know and we will buy the book and send it to you at no charge.

    My literary skills sometimes only create confusion. If you would like to discuss this for a more understandable answer please give me a call and we will walk through it."

    V/R
    Jeff

    PS. Hollis your convention for NEX/PEX etc works until they thrrow you a curve such as at Homestead ANG base where they call it a BizMart (what will they think of next)
     
  15. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    Jeff, ANG Army National Guard must not be ran by AAFE Army Air Force exchange, which most regular Army Post, and Air Bases are. WHO know in to days times.
     
  16. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    Thanks, Jeff!
     
  17. WILLY3328

    WILLY3328 New Member

    RE: Propane Tank

    Jeff is absolutely right.
    There is confusion because we interchange the words cylinders and tanks" but by code, a cylinder is "A portable container constructed in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation, Specifications for LP-Gas Containers (49 CFR)" They are typically used for BBQ, vertically mounted on travel trailer frames, outside of homes where natural gas is not available, etc. I believe cylinders are subject to DOT static testing 12 years after manufacture date, then 5 years thereafter but specific requirements vary by state.

    Tanks are containers constructed in accordance with the Section VIII, “Rules for the Construction of Unfired Pressure Vessels” of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code" published by ASME. Tanks are not subject to static testing, only to good sense safety practices. If it looks old, dented, damaged or rusty, replace it.

    What is the difference? As far as I can tell, cylinders are constructed from a lighter gauge material than tanks, therefore, they are cheaper but will deteriorate sooner than tanks, hence the requirement for static testing. Most cylinders are designed for vertical use however, horizontal use cylinders can also be purchased but I think theyrerequired to be transported vertically so I guess they're no good for RV's.

    If your RV has a cylinder, NFPA 1192 limits you to not more than 3 cylinders with individual capacities of 45lbs of LP. If your RV has a tank, NFPA 1192 limits total tank capacity to a maximum aggregate water capacity of 200 gal. (Don't ask me to explain that why they use different terms).

    As for NFPA 1192, not only does it cover the propane rules but many other aspects of RV manufacture and safety issues such as plumbing, holding tanks, heating, AC, exits, vents, smoke, CO & LP detectors, etc. (RV Electrical is covered in Article 551 of NFPA 70, the National Electric Code). I have the 2005 edition of NFPA 1192 but the latest edition is 2008 and a new edition will be out in 2010. As far as I know, it is unlawful to copy and post this or any other NFPA code so please don't ask. Although NFPA is a "non-profit organization", they do not give away their materials and information. Fire departments and code enforcement agencies have to purchase their materials. NFPA 1192 on DVD can be purchased fo about $35. I highly recommend having a copy of NFPA 1192 and NFPA 70 available for those rainy days when you are totally bored and wish to learn more about your RV.

    Sorry for the long post.
     
  18. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    Hello Bill, I doubt if everyone know what NFPA stands for. So let me add that so that they will under stand what you are saying.NFPA= NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION.. But, they are only recommendations and not the law. OSHA IS LAW THE LAW. And if not followed you can be charged a fine. I am very knowledgeable on the fire code and OSHA, I retired as Chief of Fire Prevention with the Federal Government and enforce the rules and law everyday. :laugh:
     
  19. WILLY3328

    WILLY3328 New Member

    RE: Propane Tank

    Hi Hollis,
    Thanks for pointing that out, I was so long winded in my post that I didn't dare spell out what the NFPA was. I also retired from code enforcement so we both know that an entire book could be written here and we wouldn't even scratch the surface.

    As you pointed out, NFPA standards are only recommendations however, when adopted by municipalities and other govt. agencies, as most do, they become the law and people can be arrested, fined and even jailed if the violation is serious enough. I've been subpoenaed to testify a few times (landlord fire code violations, etc).

    But most importantly, for the purposes of this group anyway, is the fact that the RVIA (Recreational Vehicle Industy Association) uses NFPA 1192 and NFPA 70 so 98% of RV's are built to those standards.

    Even more importantly.... have you begun your journey to South Dakota yet?
     
  20. brodavid

    brodavid Senior Member

    Re: Propane Tank

    After all that my head hurts trying to get all that in, thanks for all the info
     

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