Standing up 1000 gal propane tank

Pat Mooney Posted By Pat Mooney, Oct 22, 2018 at 6:50 AM

  1. Pat Mooney

    Pat Mooney
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    Oct 22, 2018
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    Hello everyone. I'm looking for thoughts on standing up a 1000 gal propane tank for water storage. I will be adding this to my shop so i basically have the height. I may lack 4 inches but will cut a hole in the ceiling over the tank and extend it into the "attic" where i can still access it to insulate. My main concern is that the tank is 16' tall and only 3' in diameter. I'm wondering if this is going to be top heavy and if i need to make my frame larger than the tank diameter. I am also placing this on a concrete floor with pex in the floor so anchors are probably out. I wondered if anyone has done this and if they could share their thoughts and pictures with me.
    thanks.
     
  2. grader

    grader
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    my thought is a piece of plate steel about 4x4 or larger half inch thick to displace the weight. then get a large truck rim as a base for the tank to sit in on the plate. get the tank up and line up the rim and the plate centered with the tank perfectly vertical, then weld the rim to the tank and the plate. extra metal bracing could be welded on at the top and attached to the wall as well. measure often, cut once.l
     
  3. Pat Mooney

    Pat Mooney
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    Oct 22, 2018
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    Not a bad idea. My original plan, if i go this route, was to use 4x4x1/4 angle and weld on 4 legs. weld on 12"x12" or whatever size plates to the bottom of the legs. I will add diagonal bracing from one leg to the next in an x pattern. Basically the same set up as a hopper bottom grain bin. This would allow me to keep the very tip of the tank off the ground a few inches and add a drain. I will plumb in the inlets and outlets on the sides basically the same way caleffi plumbs their hydraulic separators. I will end up with a 42" square +\- footprint to spread the weight. The shop concrete is about 8" so i believe this will distribute the load enough. 2500-3000 lbs per leg. Have the 4 legs will also allow me to use steel shim stock and shim each leg to accomplish a perfectly plumb tank. If i could bolt this down i probably wouldn't be second guessing myself.
     
  4. TCaldwell

    TCaldwell
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    You should pm nhtreehouse, he did just that
     
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  5. sardo_67

    sardo_67
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    i welded legs to mine made from angle iron, i stood my tank up, sat it on a 2x4 so it gave me a little less than 2" off the ground, used split firewood as wedges on 4 sides along with a level to check all sides for 90*. once it was straight up and down i divided the OD of the tank by 4 then marked where the legs would go, used the level to get them 90* as well then tac welded top and bottom, repeated 3 more times, after that i then burned them in.

    for you i would add a bracket or maybe a 6x6" pad on each foot then dill a hole to bolt them to the ground. where i work they have a huge air handler system with dryers, probably about 40" wide and 15ft tall, same concept as i just described but bolted to the floor on each leg, that should be more than enough for you. unless you are in northern cali or have earthquake concerns i see no reason that would ever move


    check out the last post in my other thread here, you can see what i did, however i had to take 500lb 10ft tanks and cut them down to 6.5ft to fit into my basement

    https://hearth.com/talk/threads/diy-heat-storage.164486/page-2
     
  6. Highbeam

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    It won’t tip over unless you push it or if there’s an earthquake. It’s like stacking three full beer cans on a table.
     
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  7. Pat Mooney

    Pat Mooney
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    Oct 22, 2018
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    Thanks TCaldwell, PM sent.

    Thanks Sardo, that is the same basic idea that i am considering. The one sticking point is not being able to bolt it down due to the pex in the floor. I expect it to be stable standing up, however in the event of a earthquake i don't want it tipping over. I live in NY and earthquakes are very rare, just something I'm wondering about. Not sure if anyone has any ideas on shallow fastening. The pex is near the bottom of the slab so maybe I could get a couple safe inches. Im not sure that would be enough. Ive done mechanical and epoxy anchors and both usually require more than just 2 inches.
     
  8. Pat Mooney

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    Yeah that's kinda how i feel Highbeam, but picturing the damage that could be done in the unlikely even we get an earth quake makes me wonder.
     
  9. sardo_67

    sardo_67
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    did you mark where the pex is so you can avoid drilling into it? if you really need to bolt it down i'll guess you really need to use the entire slab, not just a few inches.

    you are going to insulate it correct? frame up a wall around it from floor to ceiling, that should be enough even in an earth quake, it will have to tip a few feet at the top before the weight is off center enough to bring it down. i get being save but you're over thinking it a little.

    build the angle iron legs like i mentioned then built some going out about 3 feet from each one and a brace going from higher out to the foot brace deal or what ever you want to call it. then it will have a wider base.
     
  10. Pat Mooney

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    Thanks. I only bought the house and shop last year so i have no layout. Yeah your probably right. its just nice to have other peoples thoughts for a sanity check.
     
  11. warno

    warno
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    As long as it is standing perfectly plumb and doesn't move it will stand forever. If it was me, I'd build 4 or 6 legs around the diameter of the tank. pour a 12" thick 6 feet by 6 feet pad. Stand tank on pad then build a frame half way up its height out of channel. With everything anchored into the floor.

    I know you said your floor is poured so the pad is out of the question.
     
  12. OT_Ducati

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    perimeter pad where the feet would be
     
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  13. Dutchie84

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    If it is that close to the ceiling, couldn't you secure the top in the attic somehow? A lot lest leverage trying to keep the top from tipping at the top rather then from the bottom.
     
  14. Highbeam

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    You will never eliminate all possibility of the thing tipping. A strong enough earthquake will wipe out a city. A big enough truck, or machine hitting it with enough speed will also knock it over.

    The thing will weigh over 8000#. So a kid bouncing a basketball off of it won’t knock it over as long as it has a reasonable sized base.

    The wider the base, the better.

    Your pex should be on 12” spacing. Plenty of room for anchor bolts if you can figure out where they are. Most anchors only require a few inches of embedment so go read up on them and plan on staying above the pex if you can’t locate the pex.
     
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  15. gfirkus

    gfirkus
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    Once you get your infloor hooked up, use a temp gun to check your floor. You should be able to locate the warmer spots which would indicate tubing runs. I’ve had good luck locating tubing in 4” floor.
     
  16. Coal Reaper

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  17. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr
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    A brace or two up top to the wall gives some pieces of mind.
    I used a two pipe method on my 500 gallon vertical.

    I have solar input, as a drawback, wood, and lp.

    Will there be a back up boiler all? if so, tie it in up top so it doesn't heat the entire tank, but has some buffer capacity.
     

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  18. nhtreehouse

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    I gotta love Bob's diagram - looks like a sweet tank for sure.

    FWIW, I used 4" structural channel to make legs and then a "cross" at the bottom to tie all four legs together. As with @Coal Reaper, I have a piece of 1/4" plate under the tank. I was going to weld the cross down to the plate, but decided against it at the last minute. In the end of the day, my tank cannot really fall over, because the building was built around it and so the building has to go with the tank. It weighs the better part of 5 tons with water in it.

    I got the idea for the legs from the big propane tanks you see at the hardware store. Those are outside and some are vertical. One has to expect that these were designed for high wind loads, and I figured nothing too strong ever broke. Good enough for outside with high winds is certainly good enough for inside in a foam box with a building around it.

    And to Bob's comment about backup heating only a portion of the tank. This is a really good idea. I have a backup boiler (Windhager BioWin 150), and it charges the top 120 gallons of the tank. Were I to do it all over again, I would have put several return pipe stubs on the tank so I could try out different volumes of backup boiler storage. It would be trivial to weld on a couple more stubs and cap them. Way easier on the ground than up in the air.

    Also, I found cobbling together a tank roller (think upside down moving dolly) was well worth the couple of hours it took. I was able to weld all my legs in the horizontal position by rolling the tank on the roller. You can google tank rollers - they are out there, and one was used to weld up the tank in the factory for sure.
     
  19. Pat Mooney

    Pat Mooney
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    Oct 22, 2018
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    Thanks everyone.
    There will be a back up boiler for the house and is located in the house. So it will not be connected to my hot water storage. I am currently trying to decide how i want to tie them together. I am considering a 100 gal tank to use in the basement as a "buffer tank" which will be kept up to temp from storage and if temp drops then have the propane boiler kick on to heat tank. I'm open to thoughts on the best way to do this.

    I will try my thermal imaging camera and see if i can find the in floor heat. With 8' concrete I'm not sure it is going to so much temp difference by the time it gets to the surface.

    The tank roller is a good idea. I do have a bobcat t300 that i was planning on manipulating the tank with. I plan on doing my welding while the tank is horizontal.

    I'm also interested in anyone's ideas on how to tie multiple vertical tanks together for best (even) use of the stratified vertical tanks.

    Thanks again.
     
  20. dogwood

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    Pat, I don't mean to be negative, but standing a 1775 pound tank on end, filled with 8340 pounds of water, is unsafe at best, and dangerous at worst. Highbeam mentioned the danger from earthquakes. If you think you're in an earthquake free region, guess again. I've been through three of them. One was in Stuttgart Germany in central Europe, one in Seattle (probably not that far from Highbeam) and one in Northern Virginia, not exactly earthquake prone regions. The unexpected happens. You wouldn't want to endanger your family if that precariously balanced massive weight comes crashing down for that or any other unforseen reason.

    The risk of tragedy is way too great for the space saving or convenience you'd gain. If you're short on space, you could put the tank horizontally outdoors on an outside wall of your shop, spray foam it, and build a low, shed roofed structure over it. My 1000 gallon tank is insulated in an unheated space and works just fine.

    At the least, have your local building inspector review your plans. If you can't because you know he'd turn them down, think about why he would. Proceeding on a construction project of this magnitude on the advice of of people on an internet site, even a fine one like this, people with the best of intentions but unknown qualifications in building construction, just doesn't get it. Advice from an engineer might be a good resource. I've built one home, and extensively remodeled others. While I hate to, I get all my own building, framing, plumbing and electrical work inspected, not only because it's the law, but because I'm not a professional and know just enough to be dangerous, That to me is what your project potentially appears to be with the weight involved. I could be wrong, but don't trust my judgement, trust a qualified professionals'. That amount of weight is no joke. The empty tank alone is enough of a misery to move it's so heavy.

    Anyway I felt obligated to put in a warning. You don't want to be the guy on the 6:00 news people are shaking their heads about after a tree fell on your shop during a bad storm and knocked the tank over. Maybe the tank could land on your boiler when it was fired up. Things happen. Be safe, consider the risks, don't use sketchy building practices, and good luck whatever you do.

    Mike
     
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  21. maple1

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    I'm also interested in anyone's ideas on how to tie multiple vertical tanks together for best (even) use of the stratified vertical tanks.

    Reverse return. Should be able to find some pics or diagrams , searching that.
     
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  22. Coal Reaper

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    hey maple, how yah been?

    here is how i tied mine.
    0561 is bottom of tank when it was still in horizontal position. that pipe reaches into the 'dome' about 6" from the bottom. i didnt want to have it right at the bottom so as to leave room for any debris that i missed to settle. those go to tees and are attached together just like at the top.
    0710 is the top of my tanks. from boiler is away from camera, to house is towards camera. i have removed screen in wye strainer twice to clean it. ended up being unnecessary, but gave me peace of mind to check.
    0575 is diffusers in the top of tanks. dont know if those were needed either, but cant hurt.
    0 is my temperature display that shows the stratification i get. 'TANK 0/4' is the return line, not the actual tank.
    my loading unit does a great job of managing water going into the boiler. make sure you look into something like that. deltaT through boiler is 25-30* with water going in at 140* minimum.
    like this allows hot water from the boiler to skip over the storage tanks and go straight to the house. one consideration i have noticed is to be mindful when i am really topping off the tanks, like 200*+. 99% of the time i only got to ~180*. if my house loop is calling for heat but doesnt dump enough BTUs, the return water will be quite warm and then the boiler heats it up more. this can start pushing my supply to the 210* mark. hotter than i would like to see, but havent had any problems. i offset this by turning off the house loop until burn is done. i will only do this once in a while when my schedule warrants it.
     

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  23. maple1

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    Been good. :)

    No doubt vertical can stratify well, easier than horizontal, overall. That might come into play, if you have higher load flows. That would also impact the climbing boiler temps mentioned. I have one Alpha circ for all my loads, set on the lowest dP setting. So my load flows are pretty low, especially by the time my charging up is on its last lap. By that point the house is pretty well up to temp & not calling for much heat. I do see those higher boiler temps sometimes, early in the burn, when my house is also at the same time usually recovering from a bit of setback. So most or all of the flow is going to the house & very little return is coming from the cold storage. When maintaining the house from storage, I can see similar dTs if not a lot of heat is needed and flows stay low. If more heat is being used, that usually means two laps thru storage to deplete it.
     
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