Bulk propane

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by oil pan 4, Dec 25, 2017.


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  1. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Finding, buying storing 40lb and smaller tanks is expensive. I check Craigslist and occasionally go to yard sales always looking for propane cylinders. Haven't found any that didn't cost nearly as much as just buying a blue rino tank with out an exchange.
    To get a 40lb tank bought and filled is probably around $130 and that's with me pulling a high vacuum to dodge the first time purge fee.
    $130 for 40lb of fuel, equal to about 800k BTU is pretty horrible dollar to energy conversion. If you just want it for cooking get a white gas stove and burn gasoline in it, save hundreds of dollars.

    Now to get to the bulk propane part of the post.
    There is some one near me selling a 250, 300 and 500 gallon tanks for cheap, but they look like they are at least 20 years old.
    Only problem is I don't know if I can get it filled. I think I can but not absolutely sure.
    I know with the small ones if they are lacking the overfill protection device (the old style, that's only used on 100lb and up now) or are over a certain number of years old propane refill stations won't refill them.
    Are bulk tanks in the size classes I mentioned the same way?
    Is there something besides bullet holes, or damaged valve stem to look for on a big tank that would make it unfillable?
     
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  2. sec_monkey

    sec_monkey SM Security Administrator

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  3. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    The only issue I know of for those Big Tanks is if the Pressure Test is current... Th e overfill Valve is a simple “Change-Out” issue that most any Commercial Propane Distributer can do.. The Pressure ztesting is a different Matter... We had to ship our 5000 USG Tank to Seattle to get ours recertified... All our Bigger Tanks were dome a few years back... I still have a bunch of 100# Tanks with the Old Valves, that I keep filled for emergencies every wintet, but they aren’t for sale, as they also need to be recertified as well.. Some are over. 20 Years old...
     
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  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    @oil pan 4
    You need to know the date of mfr and of retesting, and the mfr and serial number. With all that in hand, a call to your nearest propane supplier might uncover a LOT of relevant info. Those tanks are constructed (or supposed to be) in accordance to the ASME unfired pressure vessel code, which is beyond complex. You need someone with an illogical brain to follow the ups and downs of the requirements. If any of those tanks are tested to the requirements of the code prior to 1949 but have not been tested "recently" figure them as scrap. Testing is NOT a trivial task and ain't exactly cheap, nor is it readily done on site. The nameplate SHOULD show the date of most recent testing and no one should balk at filling AS LONG AS THERE IS NO DAMAGE OBVIOUS exists. That said your supplier could legally balk it there is anything that trips their curiosity trigger.

    Then you have the COE to deal with.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  5. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    I have a couple dozen of the tanks used for the grills. Guy at the dump keeps them for me when people throw them away and I haven't had one refused for exchange, Blue Rhino, at the store yet. Costs more than a simple refill, usually get about 15 lbs of propane and not 20, but you don't pay for the tank. They must be set up to re certify them, and once I get one of the exchange ones with a good date, the local propane dealer will refill them for me. We use propane for our cook stove and water heater. I wanted to know about getting a 250 pound tank for my greenhouse and a generator, they said I had to meet minimum uses, but all of my tanks were on one slip, so if I didn't use it in the greenhouse, the house would cover it. They have some sort of lease program for generator tanks as well, but I don't know how it works for individuals, set up more for schools, fire departments, etc, and more of a "public service' sort of thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  6. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    One of the many things I did in the air force was hydrostatic test pressure tanks.

    The 100lb tanks don't need a over fill protection device.

    The scrap yard keeps almost all tanks for them selves. Rarely the will sell me something besides a CO2 tank.

    I could transport an empty tank some where to be tested.

    The guy selling the tanks actually lives real close to the local propane supplier. I may be able to talk them into loading up the tank, going with me to the propane store and if the propane store people agree to fill it, then pay the man for his tank.
     
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  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator

    You can get the tanks filled if they are compliant and if they have been set up properly. In Denver, a propane tank must be set and secure to code. We have tornadoes out here so local code is strict. Those tank sizes listed above will need to be delivered to your home and you will have to have a gas tech come out and check it plus certify it. Then you call the propane company and they will come out with their truck and fill it. That is the legal way.
     
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  8. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I would most likely put it underground.
    Looks like it's recommend that the tank be 2 foot below grade.
     
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  9. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    My Bro, The Engineer, planted a 1000USG Propane tank in his back yard, as part of his Major House renovation Project... He also had the local NG Company upgrade his NG Meter, so he could add a 20 Kw TriFueled Genset to his NG fueled House... In normal Mode, the AC/Heating, Hot Water heater, Cook Stove, and Cloths Dryer, are all NG Fueled... In Independant Mode, they all, individually, can be switched to Propane Fuel... In Grid Down Mode, The Genset picks up the House Load, and if the NG pressure is still good, it runs on NG, otherwise it runs on Propane, with a Gasoline backup tank, with the Cooling System, supplying. the BTUs to the AC/Heating, and Hot Water Systems, and when those are up to temp, they are dumped into the Driveway, and Walkways, via PEX Tubes imbedded in the concrete, and if there is no Snow & Ice to melt, they go into a Cooling Loop imbedded in the Concrete Basement Floor & Walls, and finally, thru an External mounted Radiator, with an Electric Fan... The next thing to add, AFTER he finishes the Kitchen Rebuild, is to add Solar Panels to the south facing Roof, and an 8Kw 240Vac Inverter/Charger sitting on 1800 Amp Hours of 48Vdc Traction Batteries... All the Wiring for that is already in place, with the Genset/ Inverter/Charger/Battery Room, under the Garage, with the Genset already installed, and just waiting for the Inverter/Charger & Battery Bank, and Solar Panels to get installed. The Charge Controllers are already in place as he found a REALLY GOOD DEAL on them a year ago... He lives in Provo, Utah...
     
  10. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    We had them on the ranch as a kid, the local co-op came out and filled and certified the tanks every year. It is a chunk of change to refill
     
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  11. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    I have 2 500 gallon above ground tanks which I am thinking about swapping for one 1000 gallon underground (less worry about someone shooting a hole in one). I purchased mine from the propane distributer so I didn't have to worry about the tank's condition or certification. I have mine filled the first of spring and fall so they are always full at the start of hurricane season and winter.
     
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    FWIW, there is quite a bit of discussions on propane going back several years. It may be worth the effort to do a search on site and see if there's any other useful bits.
     
  13. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I searched, the most useful post was motomoms 20lb tank post, most of which doesn't apply to bulk tanks.
    That's why I started off the op about how 40lb tanks are expensive and I have not been able to find any cheap 20lb tanks.
    If I was able to buy all the $5, 20lb tanks my heart desires I would just do that.

    Nothing I could find was specific to bringing an old bulk propane tank back into service.

    I don't want to buy new, don't want to lease a tank, don't want to buy a service plan.
    Pretty much want to own the tank, put it in the ground, hopefully on my own, for cheap and kind of forget about it, fill it when it gets low, not have it cost me anything other than buying it, getting it going and filling it.
     
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  14. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    When I baught my paradise in the mountains some 18 years ago, I talked to one of the local propane distributers asking about purchasing a 1000 gal. tank. He told me used tanks came up for sale every so often and he knew of someone that was selling out and moving out of our god forsaken land and returning to the paradise of California.

    I got myself a 1000 gal. tank for 800.00 frn's, had the propane company deliver it to my property. Dug out the trench and layed in the coated plastic pipe that I, again, purchaced from the propane distributer, and had them test the install for leaks. No leaks and they filled it up. And they have filled it every 2 to 3 years since.
     
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  15. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I have a 200 gallon tank, filled once a year or more depending on the seasons.
    I conserve gas by only turning the water heater on when I am actually going to be needing it. I know this is an argument for the tankless water heater, however it get's hot enough here durung the summer months that the pilot alone on the water heater is enough to heat the water in the tank to suffice my needs . I have a solar water heater panel I have yet to install that will improve things even more.

    Through my own experimentation , I find that wood fire is more effective in heating the house than gas.
    But gas is more efficient in heating objects for cooking.
    consequently If I have the wood stove going for heating the house I cook on it as well. but if heating the house is not necessary I cook with gas , especially during the summer months .
     
  16. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I think that some areas there are regulations stating how close the propane tank can be to the house and this is based on the size of the tank. That's about all I can add to the conversation... I have a 250 propane that we use for cooking and we also have a propane fireplace which is not used anymore since we got the woodstove installed.
     
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  17. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I'm just going to a new tank where the old one was.
    For 4 reasons.
    1 that's where it was last time.
    2 next to the drive way, easy for the propane man to fill.
    3 I think it's 35 or 40' from the house. You have to put tanks the size I'm talking about at least 25' away from your house, unless its under ground, then it's 10'.
    4 Thats where the old propane gas line that runs under the concrete slab drive way and into the kitchen and hot water heater area is.
     
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  18. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I have 100# tanks with spill valves to make sure there full .[​IMG] the little tube is set at 20% left & the propane liquid is seen coming out as white gas from the blead valve seen just below the outlet .I have 475 # bottle "Mini-Pig" & a 500 usg "Pig" 10-,20,30 ,50 # ones also .
    I use a in date service 100# & hand truck & fill it & use it ,fill is 57.$ for 100Lbs of LPG add TW (Tare/Tank weight ) 81# to have a full weight of 181 # .Thats my limit I can man handle . Chain hoist it up also . new 100# tank @ costco was 80$.
    From that one 100# tank I have filled all my storage tanks . Simply invert the 100 # & hang it above the receiving tank for a few days if im filling a tank over 100# , if smaller check every few hrs .
    Hose is double male . I either weigh 50# & down or the pigs have a level dial , there i fill to 85% ,
    Been doing it this way since the 60'

    Sloth
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  19. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I have 3 five hundred gallon tanks. One underground I bought from a propane company, the other two above ground came from individuals....one a couple years old, the other really really old. Never had any of the different propane companies say a word about certification, but each time I'd go to a different company (based on cheaper price), they would ask for a copy of proof of ownership....which for one of the tanks I had to fake, since I never got anything from the seller. Also, one of them charged me for a 'safety' check....simple visual to see how I had things setup...seems like it was 20 bucks or something.
     
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  20. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Methinks the reason for that is because larger tanks can be leased, thus subject to limitations on who would be allowed to fill the tank. Gotta see the lease for that.
     
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