How not to transport used Propane tanks

peakbagger Posted By peakbagger, Apr 3, 2012 at 8:30 AM

  1. peakbagger

    peakbagger
    Minister of Fire

    Jul 11, 2008
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    Loc:
    Northern NH
    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://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/03/news/portland/westbrook-man-sets-off-terror-scare-after-hauling-propane-tanks-behind-van/?ref=polbeat

    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.
     
  2. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster
    Minister of Fire

    Jan 25, 2010
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    Loc:
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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

    Mar 24, 2011
    536
    80
    Loc:
    Maine
    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

    Dec 17, 2011
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    Loc:
    southern maine
    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

    Nov 27, 2007
    711
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    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    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

    Jan 19, 2008
    652
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    jb6l6gc likes this.
  8. DaveBP

    DaveBP
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    May 25, 2008
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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

    May 13, 2011
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    Loc:
    maine
    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

    Dec 17, 2011
    36
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    Loc:
    southern maine
    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

    Jan 19, 2008
    652
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    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/uploadedFiles/Safety/Compliance/Compliance%20Guide%20No%20DOT%2032%20Rev%203-26-2009.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

    Jan 19, 2008
    652
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    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

    Nov 27, 2007
    711
    33
    Loc:
    New Hampshire-Maine border
    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

    Mar 24, 2011
    536
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    Loc:
    Maine
    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
     
  15. grogan

    grogan
    New Member

    Oct 23, 2015
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    Loc:
    New Haven, Mo
    We have a Solo Innova 30 which we will set up using a 500 gal propane tank. Could you tell me how you drilled holes in the propane tank and what fittings you welded onto it to receive water lines? We will use 1 1/4" inlet and outlet pipe. Thanks
     
  16. jebatty

    jebatty
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    Jan 1, 2008
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    My welder used a hole saw and female/female fittings.
     
  17. ewdudley

    ewdudley
    Minister of Fire

    Nov 17, 2009
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    Loc:
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    Forged steel (not cast iron!) half couplings are correct and economical ('weld-o-lets' are expensive and overkill). Just grind the blank face a little to fit the contour if needed, doesn't have to be perfect at all. You may prefer to weld the fitting first and cut inside fitting with hole saw afterwards if you want to check for leaks before cutting the hole.

    [edit] Also if fitting a manifold to multiple tanks you may want to assemble the manifold, tack the fittings hard in place, and cut the holes afterwards once the fittings are where they need to be.

    (In my limited experience Lenox hole saw blades are amazing with good cutting oil, Milwaukee OK, Kobalt sux.)
     
    surefire and Karl_northwind like this.
  18. Pat32rf

    Pat32rf
    Member

    Sep 23, 2012
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    Our local Provincial Parks used to have an old guy who would collect used 1 lb bottles, empty them , saving the LP gas and then scrap the steel.
    Now they can only go to a certified (?) disposal company who charges over $1 each. Our local scrap dealer will not take any propane bottles of any size, they must go to hazardous waste....
     
  19. NP ALASKA

    NP ALASKA
    Member

    Feb 3, 2008
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    Loc:
    North Pole, ALASKA
    Glad to be in the interior of Alaska; two 1000 gallon tanks on craigslist for a great price, loaded both on flat bed, 3 straps and on the road. Never gave it a second thought.
    :))))
     
  20. Buzz Saw

    Buzz Saw
    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 18, 2014
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    Loc:
    Attica, Ohio
    Most scrap yards do not accept fuel tanks of any variety. However once you cut a tank in half(or shoot it repeatedly for target practice ) or put a large hole in the tank it's no longer considered a "tank".
     
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