Propane Tank Standards
Propane tanks come in a variety of sizes being manufactured by different companies around the world. Manufacturers of propane tanks are regulated by guidelines to ensure safe distribution, storage, and use by consumers of propane. The ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) has created specific rules to ensure safety is kept at its highest levels. These rules are constantly reviewed to make sure those propane users whether they are commercial, residential, or farm and industry consumers of propane are always being protected. In the United States, these rules are enforced by local, state and even national levels to be sure that all of the applicable regulations and codes are being kept.
Basic Propane Tank Requirements
There are many things that consumers should be made aware of when it comes to propane tanks and propane tank safety. Propane like many other gasses is subject to regulations that are strictly adhered to by professional propane distributors.
- Tank Paint Color – It may sound a bit funny, but even down to the paint color of the actual tank is specific. Much like when you go to the gas station and fill up your red gas can for use in your lawnmower etc. For propane tanks, they must be painted in a reflective color such as silver, white, tan, or gray.
- Manufacturers Nameplate – Propane companies are not allowed by the regulations to fill propane tanks without a nameplate of the manufacturer of the propane tank.
- Level Placement – The guidelines for positioning a propane tank for either commercial, residential, farm, or industry are specific as well. Tanks must be placed on level ground and above the soil.
- Regulator Position – The propane regulator must have a protective cover that is pointed vertically down.
Propane Tank Parts
The parts on the propane tanks that are visible also have specific rules for manufactures to follow. The fill valve, service valve, float gauge, relief valve, fixed liquid level gauge, liquid withdrawal valve, and the vapor return valve; all have different and important rules to follow for the safety of the consumer and general public.
•Fill Valve - The fill valve is where the delivery truck, for example, attaches the hose for refueling.
•Service Valve – This is where propane is converted to vapor for use in appliances.
•Float Gauge – The float gauge shows the amount of volume in the tank and is easily visible to help determine the level remaining in the propane tank.
•Relief Valve – This is of particular importance. If a tank is ever over-pressurized, the relief valve is designed to relieve that pressure to avoid any potential for explosion.
•Fixed Liquid Gauge – This is used to determine if the level of propane is above or at 80% capacity.
•Liquid Withdrawal Valve – As it states this is used when removing propane from the propane tank.
•Vapor Return Valve – When filling a propane tank there is pressure that builds up. This valve allows the pressure to be removed during delivering propane to the consumer.