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How not to transport used Propane tanks

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by peakbagger, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    The maine news was full of a incident where an individual hauling old propane tanks got in a lot of trouble. The state police and practically every other agency in Maine went ballistic and is citing the driver for every regulation they can think of. Its not much of a detailed link.

    http://www.wgme.com/news/top-stories/stories/wgme_vid_11375.shtml

    His claim is the tanks were empty and one of his friends who was interviewed on another channel said that they had been welding on the tanks. While a state official claims they were full of propane and were bombs waiting to go off. The state claims one of the tanks was stolen but I expect it will end up that there was a break in the chain of ownership going to a scrap yard.

    Nevertheless its something to keep in mind when buying a used propane tank for storage.

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  2. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Yes there are serious regulations on moving these. Should have the valves out and write "water" in blue paint on the tanks. Even then I'd be hesitant to cross state lines without the proper certifications.
  3. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    I saw that. It will be interesting to see what the complete story is since both sides seem to be so far apart.

    I guess this guy has a pile of them and is building a pontoon boat. I want to see the boat when they're done, well if they ever finish it...

    K
  4. Now I know why I couldn't find any used tanks, that guy was hoarding them all.
    Typical of the state of Maine. Make a mountain out of a mole hill. Though he should be cited fo failure to secure the load. Arresting him is a bit much.

    Next thing you know the wil be pulling over everyone with a converted lp tank pig roaster.

    Unpressurized storage is looking like the better choice.
  5. maineDIY

    maineDIY Member

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    Agree with making a mountain out of a molehill. You know, you can get pulled over for having a tail light out, and once you're stopped things can stack up pretty fast. I'm glad that I've got my tanks all welded and installed. I hauled two 500 gal propane tanks on a trailer all over the place last fall. Fortunately I never was stopped.They had been open and out of service for 15 yrs but no chain of ownership documented and no painted "water only" on the sides. I'm afraid this type of thing could take the fun right out of this! I like the pressurized storage.
  6. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    I have hauled a few to maine but they were all set for instalation no i was not painting scrap on them.But on thursday i have to deliver a used one not set up yet for plumbing to a customer,he is doing his own welding on that one i have painted scrap on 3 sides.I hope i dont make the news thursday night. Mike from Maine are you looking for a tank? Give me a call.
  7. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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  8. DaveBP

    DaveBP Minister of Fire

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    Though you can imagine what kind of response a report of a stolen propane tank truck would get.
  9. ozzie88

    ozzie88 Member

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    Wow, I live in maine and around here the thing
    to do is drill couple holes in the tank and take valve off, suppose to be ok to move then?? Guess I was lucky when I haulled my tanks?
  10. maineDIY

    maineDIY Member

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    I live just north of Portland. I saw that the article made front page of the Portland newspaper that day. Someone reported that one of the tanks was starting to slide off the trailer. According to the paper it hadn't slid off yet. They said the tanks had propane in them because of the smell and they proceeded to handle the incident like a terrorist threat. It seems like it may have been a slow news day for the authorities/media as they made a very big deal over it. I'm glad I wasn't caught last fall hauling around my two 500 gal tanks on a trailer all over the place. I prefer not to draw that much attention to myself or to my boiler project. Guess if I should need to move some others that I better do it after dark where it might not attract as much attention. If the tanks are in good condition, they are well suited for the application of low pressure hot water storage, at least once insulated. I had to add three 2" tank flanges for circulation and one 3/4" flange for a temp well. Tanks cost $100 each plus someone to weld them who knew how to do it without causing an explosion.

    I agree with an earlier comment that a more reasonable approach/citation might have been "impoperly securing the load"
  11. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    I transported 125,000 cubic meter loads of LNG for years on ships. This peaked my interest in trying to figure out how to transport tanks legally. Most information I found says that you can transport a tank up to 1000lbs (weight of tank and LPG) without placarding but any tank even empty by your defination is considered hazardous as far as the DOT is concerned. It would seem as if hazardous material paperwork would be in order. You can't transport tanks over 125G with more than 5% gas in them without a special permit. NFPA 58 rules dictate tanks for LPG use. I just don't see anything that would say how a tank if clean and disabled, possibly certified gas free would be transported. I would assume a special permit would be needed to the DOT and the State. Nothing says they can't be transported. Just have to follow some rules.

    I am sure you'll smell the mercaptan odorizer well below the lower explosive limit. I was wondering if the guy even tried to clean those tanks, especially if they were welded on.

    Some links I looked at: http://www.propanesafety.com/upload.../Compliance Guide No DOT 32 Rev 3-26-2009.pdf

    http://www.airgas.com/content/details.aspx?id=7000000000010


    Anything to do with NFPA 58 seemed more to do with installation.
  12. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    I also looked to see how "ownership" was determined. The only thing I could see was that private ownership does not stop liability for a gas company if they try to fill a tank in an unsuitable condition.

    http://www.thompsongas.com/containerownership
  13. henfruit

    henfruit Minister of Fire

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    Just got back from delivering a 500 gallon tank.I had a dot car behind me on the turnpike no problems. I had painted scrap on 3 sides.
  14. kopeck

    kopeck Minister of Fire

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    So I guess if I was a terrorist I would want to paint scrap on my bomb.

    This whole thing seems kid of weird.

    K

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