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How far can I run copper tubing for propane?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Lucky Phil, May 17, 2010.

  1. Lucky Phil

    Lucky Phil New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    64
    Loc:
    Central IL.
    Last year, I installed a propane furnace in my shop, which is about 180 to 200 feet from the house propane tank. I finished up the season with a couple 100# propane cylinders that I was renting from my last house (I have since returned them). I was planning on installing a small 129 gallon or so tank next to the shop for supply, until I saw the price of new tanks (hard to find used in this area). For a 110 gallon "pig" would be around $800 with the installation, for something that isn't used all the time.

    Is it possible to trench and bury copper tubing up to 200 feet and run off the house tank? I'm thinking that the copper line to the house is 5/8" copper. Would I need larger going to the shop, if this is even possible? The furnace is 75,000 BTU forced air.

    Thanks in advance,

    Phil

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  2. JeffRey30747

    JeffRey30747 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    234
    Loc:
    NW GA USA
    Since the system will run on 100 lb. tanks, have you considered buying a couple to swap and continue to use them. The last ones I saw were around $100 each and for occasional use that might be your best option.
  3. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    1,352
    Loc:
    western southern tier of NYS
    I would think you can run it as long as needed but you need to use sand around it when covering it back up (no rocks).
  4. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Milton GA
    I agree. I've seen mobile home communities that have a central propane tank and then service ran through out the community at distances greater than 200 ft. I am not sure about regulators and such - but I know it can be done.
  5. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    3/4" would be the minimum for that size. To make sure you had capacity in the coldest weather I'd go with 1". It also makes sense to upgrade the size in case you want to add other appliances to the run. Given the cost you are looking at it may make sense to move tanks instead of running the line.

    Here is a sizing chart.

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/propane-gas-pipe-sizing-d_827.html

    Matt
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    2,313
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    Maybe you could use plastic tubing approved for propane. I think its out there. That amount of copper will be expensive.
  7. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Messages:
    695
    Loc:
    SW WI
    around here there is typically a regulator screwed into the tank, a 3/8" line going to the house, and another pressure regulator at the house going to bigger lines inside the house. I don't know why you would have 5/8" going from the tank to the house, but if you do then you may have different pressures than are used here.

    the engineering toolbox chart was sized for the gas pressure inside of the house, outside is usually a higher pressure (maybe 10psi?) so a smaller line suffices.

    no good answer here, but keep looking.
  8. loon

    loon Minister of Fire

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    ont canada
  9. Lucky Phil

    Lucky Phil New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    64
    Loc:
    Central IL.
    Problem solved. I found a 120 gallon tank with 30% still in it, used until last fall when he bought a bigger tank to supply a new boiler. Really cheap at $225, and it already has the regulator on it. It'll fit nicely near the shop, and it's only 20 years old. Thanks for all the replies.

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