Below or Above Ground, What to Know About Your Tank

Keeping your family secure and enjoying all the benefits that your propane system delivers starts with understanding the safe operation and maintenance of your tank.

Whether you already own or are considering purchasing a propane tank, it’s important to know how your tank and delivery system work, what your responsibilities are, and what to do in the event of a safety-related emergency.

General Maintenance Requirements

Customers who own their tanks — whether beneath or above ground — are responsible for upkeep and protection of the tank. It’s also your responsibility to comply with all local, state, and national code requirements.

Tank installation, maintenance, and repair should be performed only by a qualified service technician. If you own your tank, you are responsible for finding a qualified service technician. Most all propane providers offer these preventive maintenance and repair services.

Propane containers come in many sizes and shapes. It’s important to know which type you own because there are specific requirements for each type. For residential and commercial use, there are two basic types:

  • ASME tanks are a common type used to supply fuel to the home. These tanks are typically installed horizontally and range in size from 120 to more than 1,000 gallons.
  • DOT cylinders that provide fuel for homes are called stationary service cylinders. These cylinders are installed vertically and tend to be smaller in size than an ASME type.

Location of Containers

Propane containers have distance and placement requirements based on type. When installing your container — and any enclosures around the container such as fences — there are code requirements that you must follow. Also, keep in mind that each propane delivery needs clear access to the tank.

Additionally, underground propane tanks need to be protected from nearby traffic. If a vehicle strikes or runs over the dome of an underground tank, it can cause a dangerous gas leak.

Protecting Your Tank

Make sure your tank and propane system are properly secured for all types of extreme weather. It is your responsibility to have them inspected and repaired by a qualified service technician if damaged by hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, or high winds.

Other Responsibilities

Make sure you understand and follow all warnings and labels on your tank and propane system. Some manufacturers extend their warranty only to the original purchaser of the container. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the warranty before you decide to purchase a container. Some insurers may have special requirements specific to tank ownership. It’s a good idea to contact your homeowner insurance provider to confirm that your tank is properly covered.

More tips on how to use propane safely.

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