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Thread: Propane tank, is it ready for work ?

  1. #1
    DIY Member GG_Mass's Avatar
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    Default Propane tank, is it ready for work ?

    Hello,
    I'm trying to start our propane heater for the first time (it is installed in one of the bedrooms. It is not new, we are new, to the house . )
    Before I get to try and start it, I'm not 100% sure that the outside tank is releasing gas to the heater.

    By following the 'how to start' instructions on the heater, at the pilot light stage, there's no gas coming in to the burner. The interior gas shutoff is turned to 'flow' .
    Please see the below image, the tank seems to be in full capacity, can anyone tell if it sealed (after delivery/ refill) ?
    There's only one obvious handle so turn, however it is obstructed by a the gas line,it is being hidden by the yelow round cap, it is 'behind it' in the image, not below . which makes me assume it not there to be turned ?
    Your advice is welcome.


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  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Many burners with pilot lights have a three position switch: off, pilot, run (or whatever - the operational position). You typically have to put it in pilot, then push a button while lighting the pilot and hold it for up to about a minute. When you release the button, if the pilot stays on, you can then turn it to the run position. The main gas valve will not turn on if the pilot light has not heated up the sensor, which then allows the heater's main burner to turn on.

    Keep in mind that propane is heavier than air...IOW, don't leave the valve on pilot without having the thing lit! The gas will continue to come out (slowly) and fall to the floor and accumulate at the lowest point in the house. IT can be VERY dangerous! NG is lighter than air, and is easier to detect leaks and flow since you don't have to crawl on the floor to detect it, and it tends to float out and disperse (if it can!) rather than pool.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member GG_Mass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Many burners with pilot lights have a three position switch: off, pilot, run (or whatever - the operational position). You typically have to put it in pilot, then push a button while lighting the pilot and hold it for up to about a minute. When you release the button, if the pilot stays on, you can then turn it to the run position. The main gas valve will not turn on if the pilot light has not heated up the sensor, which then allows the heater's main burner to turn on.
    Yes, and so I did, however, no gas. Which then led me to thinking if my tank is releasing any gas to the heater. That's why I posted the picture, in case someone would be able to observe and say "Hey, your tank is sealed after refill so you need to do 1. 2. 3... in order to set the propane to flow to begin with.."

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    See that yellow thing on the tank,? Now look at the tank valve. See the plug in the valve? Thats a plug the gas company installs. You have to call them to remove it so they can charge you for the gas.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIY Member GG_Mass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    See that yellow thing on the tank,? Now look at the tank valve. See the plug in the valve? Thats a plug the gas company installs. You have to call them to remove it so they can charge you for the gas.
    I assume you mean the yellow plug on the side, right ? Not the one on the top. Am i getting it right ?

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    Yes, you are getting it right.

    By the looks of the tank, it seems exposed to the elements. Try to give it some protection.

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    DIY Member GG_Mass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    Yes, you are getting it right.

    By the looks of the tank, it seems exposed to the elements. Try to give it some protection.
    There is a lid (in the back of the picture the bottom of it is showing), I have it closed , just flipped it up for the picture.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GG_Mass View Post
    There is a lid (in the back of the picture the bottom of it is showing), I have it closed , just flipped it up for the picture.

    Propane is nothing to play with.

    Many parts on them have left hand threads for a reason.


    Call the gas man, If you do not know how it works, before you blow your house up.
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    DIY Member GG_Mass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Propane is nothing to play with.

    Many parts on them have left hand threads for a reason.


    Call the gas man, If you do not know how it works, before you blow your house up.
    There was no 'messing 'round' intended. You can see in the thread, these are all general questions.
    Thanks for the warning. I agree.

  10. #10
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    In short, you have to call the gas company to get the tank plug removed. It takes a special tool. If you screw with it they take you to court for theft and screwing with their equipment.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There is something here I don't understand. My limited experience with propane is that you have a tank for the gas. When it is empty, you call the propane supplier, he brings a truck, and fills the tank. There is a meter on the truck that measures the amount of gas delivered, and you are charged for that amount. The posts above imply that you are charged by the the amount of gas actually used. Now, that's of course true with natural gas, but how does this apply to propane?

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    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Gary: Propane is delivered and stored under sufficient pressure that it's liquid at normal outdoor temperatures (with good margin). The equipment for measuring the liquid volume of propane isn't any more complicated than volume metering equipment for gasoline, heating oil, or milk.

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Dana, I really don't understand your answer. Let me give you an example of what I meant in my original question. I have a propane outdoor grill. The propane is stored in small canisters. When I run out of gas, I take the tank to a service station that sells propane. They fill the canister and the propane that goes into the tank is metered. I then pay for the gas. Another example. Many orchards in this area heat the orchards in cold spring nights with propane. This propane is stored in very large tanks. The following day, a propane delivery truck comes and refill the farmer's tank. He buys that propane that was delivered. In each of these cases, the propane that is delivered is bought and paid for. It is not metered as it is actually used. Thanks for your reply, maybe you can explain it so I can understand it.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GG_Mass View Post
    I assume you mean the yellow plug on the side, right ? Not the one on the top. Am i getting it right ?

    Maybe this will help. Someone may have removed the ON/Off knob.

    http://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Ga...Regulators.htm


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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Dana, I really don't understand your answer. Let me give you an example of what I meant in my original question. I have a propane outdoor grill. The propane is stored in small canisters. When I run out of gas, I take the tank to a service station that sells propane. They fill the canister and the propane that goes into the tank is metered. I then pay for the gas. Another example. Many orchards in this area heat the orchards in cold spring nights with propane. This propane is stored in very large tanks. The following day, a propane delivery truck comes and refill the farmer's tank. He buys that propane that was delivered. In each of these cases, the propane that is delivered is bought and paid for. It is not metered as it is actually used. Thanks for your reply, maybe you can explain it so I can understand it.

    When I had Propane they would fill my tank if I was not home and send me the bill.

    It is measured in gallons at time of delivery.

    The Yellow parts on that tank are not locks.

    A lock will normally be Red and should have a Tag saying why it is locked out.

    Tanks of that size are normally filled at your residence.


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