Propane Tank Installation Requirements

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Propane has become one of the most widely used commercial fuels in the United States. It’s a safe, cost-effective, and versatile fuel that powers a wide range of home appliances and HVAC systems. To ensure it’s being used safely propane tank installation must adhere to strict federal, state, and local ordinances

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) determine the general standards for propane tank distance rules. But many towns and municipalities often impose stricter distance rules so you should check with your local building or fire department. Even better, is to rely on your propane company. They will be up to date on all the regulations for propane tank placement as well as the safe storage of LP gas in your area.

General Propane Tank Placement Rules

National and local authorities require propane tanks to be setup at a certain distance from neighboring structures such as property lines, other propane tanks, parking lots, other buildings, playgrounds, or driveways. While one of the safest fuels available, propane is a flammable material and distance rules contribute to the safety of your propane installation.

Above ground propane tanks have different requirements depending on the size of the tank. Above ground tanks must meet certain distance requirements from any exterior source of ignition, openings into direct-vent gas appliances, or mechanical ventilation air.  Safety relief valves will vent propane vertically, therefore propane tanks cannot be installed under an awning or building overhang. Sources of ignition include window A/C units and central A/C compressors. Minimum distances increase with tank size and multiple tank installations.

Larger propane tanks must be placed even further from nearby structures. Aboveground tanks are also subject to stricter distance rules since they present a higher safety risk. Underground tanks may be placed slightly closer to neighboring structures such as pools, vents, sheds, etc.

Important Propane Tank Safety Requirements

  • The minimum required distance from an LP tank fill port to an electric distribution panel, meter, or any electric switching equipment is 15 feet.
  • Do not place an LP tank directly under high voltage power lines.
  • If overhead lines are near, the end of the tank closest to the lines must be a minimum of 8 feet away from the lines.
  • The NFPA also recommends that propane tanks be at least 30 feet from a home or structure, and that a pressure-relief valve is installed on the tank.
  • In addition to clearance requirements, underground tanks need to adhere to depth guidelines, which are defined in the LP Gas Code (NFPA 58).

Pre-Installation Tank Questions

Before the propane tank installation process, you and your propane tank installer will have to consider the following questions:

  • Where are the openings to your home (doors, windows, etc.)?
  • What location in your yard gives you enough space for a propane tank while adhering to the placement requirements?
  • Are there other utility lines around your house you should consider?
  • Do you have other sources of ignition near your home?
  • Is there an underground sprinkler system?
  • If your home has a septic tank, where is it located?

Propane Tank Placement Regulations

Placement regulations will vary based on the size of your propane tank.

60-gallon propane tanks

  • Most often used to power cooking ranges, indoor fireplaces, or other small appliances.
  • The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 3 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 5 feet

120-gallon propane tanks

  • Common uses include home heating, hot water, cooking appliance, dryers, fireplaces, generators, pool heaters, garage heat, temporary heating solutions
  • The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 5 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 10 feet
  • If placed underground, the hole must be 9′ 6″ L x 4′ W x 44″ Deep

500-gallon propane tanks

  • Most common for residential propane use as it’s suitable for home heating, running everyday appliances, powering generators, and more. The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from a property line is 10 feet
  • If placed underground, the hole must be 14′ L x 5′ W x 4′ 6″ Deep

1000-gallon propane tanks

  • Home heating for larger square footage homes or homes with all appliances running on propane. These tanks are also common for agricultural purposes.
  • The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from a property line is 10 feet
  • If placed underground, the hole must be 20′ L x 5′ 6″ W x 4′ 6″ Deep

Note: Placing two, 1000-gallon tanks within 3 feet of each other, each of the above clearance requirements increases to 25 feet.

Work with a Local Propane Company

Once the installation of your propane tank is complete, the safety protocols and regulations don’t end. There are also regulations concerning the filling of the tank.  Inspect tanks for rusting, pitting, and structural integrity with each refill. When you purchase your propane tank, you are responsible for its upkeep. When you lease your tank, your propane tank supplier has the responsibility for its maintenance.

So, make sure you work with a reputable, skilled propane company that knows your state and county ordinances. The proper installation, ongoing use of your propane tank as well as the safety of your family and your property depend on it.

The Levco Difference

Levco’s expert propane specialists will work with you to determine the size and placement of your propane tank to make sure it not only meets your fuel needs but complies with all safety requirements for your home or business property.

Levco’s team is uniquely positioned to help propane users throughout southwestern Connecticut with all their propane installation and delivery needs. Whether it’s deciding to lease or to buy, or choosing the right tank size, you can trust Levco. We are a leader in helping customers understand and adhere to industry standards for the safe LP-Gas storage, handling, transportation, and use of propane. Give us a call at (203) 533-8249 or contact us today!

 

 

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