Propane tank installation

Why would a propane delivery gas company install/allow a DOT tank with its regulator less than 3 feet from an operable basement window? HE gas furnace intake around corner, too. How picky are you with such clearances? this is a recent installation.

I’m guessing there is a fireplace on the other side of that wall…

Not sure what you mean… the LP tank is for the gas furnace and gas range.

What do you think the problem is?

well my mistake then, I usually see those little tanks for gas fireplaces and then the tank is usually right outside behind the fireplace.

Simon, I do not believe there is a specific code as to the placement of the regulator. The tank however should be 3 feet from the window and 5 feet from an ignition source assuming this is a 100 lb tank.

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I agree.
Placement Restrictions: The minimum distance from a door or window into building is 3 feet. The minimum distance from source of ignition is 5 feet.

Joseph, the code (NFPA 58), among other things, specifically refers to the location of the relief valve because that is what is likely to leak/release gas… the vent in a line regulator can leak should the diaphragm rapture and thus the same clearances should be taken into consideration. The 3/5ft distances you mentioned come from this very table.

From Marcel’s post…

Looks to meet standards to me…

Simon, I stand corrected. Knowing that I would include it in my report. I would not consider it being picky as it is a safety concern.

I wouldn’t write it up…Nope!

I wouldn’t either. There are other items more important like oil fill pipes in the ground and open vent pipe for something and the downspout. .

I had a propane tank about a mile from me blow up and burn up the house in about 10 minutes. It sounded like a large bomb went off. I don’t take them lightly. The NFPA standards are minimum. The oil tank was empty and abandoned in the basement, just needs to be removed. Furnace was converted to gas and WH to electric. The pipe was just stuck in the ground. An HVAC guy I know that installs space heating and AC appliance lost his house in a fire few days ago. He would mock me how picky I am. Anyway… thanks for the input, it’s amazing how what gets called out differs among inspectors.


Yes, you will see the need for Realtor referrals driving this issue.
I have called this issue out for as long as I can remember.
I don’t give a rats arse what the Realtors think. My clients safety is my highest priority!

The valves on these tanks now are all safety valves. You can’t even open the valve in a couple of turns without it shutting off. Any leak from a ruptured pressure regulator vent or ruptured line, the tank shuts off.
It’s not like it used to be years ago.
A tank explosion is rare.

If the pressure inside the tank grows to a level exceeding that at which the safety relief valve can expel it from the tank , the propane tank may rupture. If flames or a source of ignition is present, the propane will ignite resulting in an explosion .

BLEVE . (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) - a BLEVE occurs when a vessel containing liquid under pressure, such as a liquid propane tank, is subjected to a temperature above the liquid’s boiling point. … If the liquid inside the tank is flammable, a fire will often ensue.

Can you cite a source that explains this? AFAIK, they are standard OPD valves. They protect the tank from being overfilled, but not a gas leak. If nothing is connected to the valve and you open it, yes no gas comes out because the check inside needs to be depressed. However, when this check valve is depressed (when the valve is connected to a proper coupling/adapter) and you either cut the hose and or the copper line connected to the tank, all LP will leak out. The same applies to a standard dual stage regulator, if the diaphragm develops a hole or raptures, the gas will leak out through the vent orifice. This is how it’s possible to refill smaller tanks using an adapter connected to the valve of a larger tank.

Well maybe you are right on that valve, but every fall when I turn the gas on to my fireplace, if the gas goes out to fast, it shuts off.
Plus how did that cylinder blow up without an ignition source?

Do you have this type of fitting/nut connected to the propane tank’s valve?

There must have been source of ignition, I never said otherwise. I’m not privy to the fire investigation results of that incident, I just know it was propane tank related. When I showed up 10-20 minutes after the explosion the house was already burned down.

No. :grinning:

Has one of these.
Includes excess flow safety device.