What you need to know about propane tanks and propane cylinders (did you know there’s a difference between the two)?
Propane tanks are built to store liquid propane in volume (typically ranging from 250 gallons up to 60,000 gallons). These storage tanks are constructed out of steel and in the United States are certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to the specifications necessary to safely withstand the temperatures, pressures and environmental conditions required for propane storage. They are specifically designed for horizontal or vertical installation but the common designs are horizontal. Propane tanks are designed to be transported empty and filled by propane bobtail delivery trucks or propane transports. ASME propane tanks can be used for storage as long as their system components (valves and gauges) are within their service period and the integrity of the tank shell is not compromised (by rust, fire or physical damage).
Propane cylinders are manufactured to store smaller quantities of liquid propane (typically between 1/4 gallon and 100 gallons). These cylinders are most often constructed out of steel but can also be made with aluminum or composite materials. Propane cylinders are designed to be transported with propane inside of them so they are certified by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). They are commonly referred to as DOT cylinders. DOT certification standards are necessary for cylinders because they are commonly transported on public roadways without any hazardous materials certification. The most common propane cylinder is the 20lb cylinder used for propane gas barbecues, and patio heaters. DOT cylinders have a 12 year certification period and they are stamped at the time of manufacturing with their in service date. After 12 years, they must be re-certified or retired from service.
For more information about propane tanks, please click a link below.
- Above Ground Tank Information
- Underground Tank Information
- Propane Safety Information
- Portable Propane Cylinder Safety Information
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