Propane in garage and or shed? Cooking fuel.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ajax, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Is it safe to store the small and large propane tanks in a garage or shed? Winter is coming so that means temps down to the single digits where I live, summer get to upper 90's. Is there anyhting to worry about? Although the garage stay much warmer in the winter time, doesn't get cold enough to freeze a gallon jug with heat in the house and insulation.

    Are there better fuels to use for cooking emergencies that are better/safer than propane? Other than wood of course, what about K-1?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Garage or shed, yes. Freezing is not a problem for propane down to any reasonable temps. In fact, you can put the bottles on a piece of wood and cover them (or not) outdoors. BUT, I wouldn't store them in an attached garage and definitely not if there is a door to the basement. Detached shed is best; that's where my portable bottles go goes when the grill goes down for the winter.

    Be aware that propane is heavier than air and will settle. If the shed door is shut, give it a chance to dissipate when the door is opened.

    K1 storage is safer than gasoline, but is still a liquid fuel. Bear in mind that Kero needs a different burner than used with gasoline or propane. A good backup fuel, in my opinion.

    For what it's worth, I heat with propane and the 500 gallon pig is exposed under all weather conditions (including snow) down to whatever momma Nature throws at me. So far, I've stayed warm down to double minus digits.
    ColtCarbine likes this.
  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    in a lot of places keeping propane tanks inside is quite illegal
    check before you put them inside
    lp is basically the frozen form of propane
    to make it a solid requires refrigeration on the kelvin scale
  4. Alpha Dog

    Alpha Dog survival of the breed

    Im working on a under gound type storage Im going to dig a 3ft x 4ft x 3ft deep and pour concrete floor, sides, and ends. Then make me a heavy treated 2x6 door for fule storage. It will be around 50ft from the house that way i can kind of control the temp for my liquid fules as well gas and kerosene. If you try something like this remember to put in a couple small vents so not to build up fumes.
  5. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Nah....LP is a liquid, not a solid.

    You make a gas like LP into a liquid using pressure, not fact, you actually get heat as a byproduct of condensing a gas into a liquid....refrigeration comes from the phase change from a liquid to a gas....the liquid has to absorb heat from someplace to change to gas.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Making LP requires pressure, yes. However, before it becomes a liquid (condenses) the heat of compression of the gas has to be removed, most often by some external cooling process. Natural cooling (leaving the pressure vessel out in the air) is going to take too long for commercial purposes. (Now I have to look up the equilibrium temp/pressure curves and find out how cold you have to get it to solidify. Confound you Andy, anyway.

    When withdrawing the liquid for use, the tank will cool off due to the heat absorption necessary to gassify. Next time you fire up your grill, feel the tank after the burner has been running a few minutes, it will be noticeably cooler. If you are using it fast enough, frost will form on the tank if the air is humid enough. (Those stick on tank level indicators work on temperature. You won't get a reading on a tank that isn't actually in use.)
    ColtCarbine likes this.
  7. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    try this, open your lp valve and stick your hand in the escaping gas
    then tell me its not cold
    lp will give you freezer burns in 1 second flat
    yes it is that cold to be liquified, like dry ice
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Which is exactly what I said.....the phase change from a liquid (in the LP tank) to a gas (outside the LP tank, and much lower pressure) requires the liquid ABSORB heat to become a gas....thus you feel it as "cold", because the evaporation process grabs heat from anywhere it can.....including your hand if you're unfortunate enough to have it in the way.

    But to compress ANY gas (LP, CO2, whatever) into a liquid ( or on down to a solid ) requires the reverse gives up heat

    Thus, your statement: "lp is basically the frozen form of propane, to make it a solid requires refrigeration on the kelvin scale" is don't "freeze" a gas to make it a liquid ( which LP is, not a solid.....rattle a 20lb can hear it slosh around ) compress it, and then, as ghrit says, you might have to deal with the excess heat of the process doing it large scale.

    You could stick a bucket of propane gas in an environment of -45F, and it would turn to liquid, but to keep it liquid, you'd have to keep the bucket at -45. At zero degrees, it only requires 24 PSI to change from gas to liquid.....and at "normal" temps of around 70, about 100 PSI. Propane is relatively easy to compress into a liquid.

    BUT one can also note that at 130 ( which a hot garage storage area might hit ), the tank pressure will rise to 250+ PSI. NOW you're starting to talk some real pressure on a tank.


    Now go look at other compress it into a liquid takes a REAL compressor.
  9. Gafarmboy

    Gafarmboy Monkey+++

    Sperate building

    I keep all my fuels, gas, disel, K-1-, LP in one shed. It has two ground rods just in case. If it ever goes, it will be one heck of a light show followed by one hell of a sonic boom ...would probably be really cool to see and hear from about 2 miles away..[respect]

  10. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Good stuff to know. I will move the propane to the shed where gas and K-1 is already.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Quick Story: One spring, when we were just getting, the place, (EXI Salmon Cannery, out in the bush of Alaska) opened up for the summer, our 10K USG Propane Storage Tank, sprung a leak, when a cracked fitting, directly at the tank, let go. The Tank is about 10 Yds from our summer 2.5 Megawatt Diesel PowerHouse, which we had just started up that morning. Now I am talking, Serious Leak, that you could hear whistling, at 500 Yds. With no way to shut down the leak, the only thing we could do was RUN, and hope there was NO Spark, or open flame. The Cannery Foreman had to go back and shut down the Powerhouse, because the Propane was getting into the Air Supply of the diesel Gensets, and causing them to begin to Run Away, and go into Overspeed, Line Trip, which would generate a spark. Scariest thing I have ever dealt with. You could smell the gas, as it dissipated, 300 yds away. We called it, A Day, and everyone just left the area, until the tank was empty, and we couldn't smell the gas, anymore. That took 24 hours, with the help of the prevailing wind. With just a little Bad Luck, it could have been a Total Disaster. Unrestricted propane Gas is nothing to mess around with... ...... YMMV......
  12. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    This happened to a house about 7 miles from my house my senior year in high school. I was asleep in the basement and it woke me. Supposedly one 5gal (20lb?) bottle... I couldn't find any pics of the smoking crater it left behind but let me tell you, you DO NOT want to store one in an attached garage or in your basement!

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