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Old 01-03-2014, 10:07   #1
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Propane Tank Storage

What type tank do I need for horizontal storage on a sailboat?
I keep 2 traditional small tanks in 2 propane lockers and recently a surveyor said they need to be certified for horizontal storage.
Anybody know what tank to buy to meet insurance requirements?
I am presently in Grenada, local tank supplier does not know.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:40   #2
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Re: propane tank storage

Its not so much the tank but the valve that is different. The tank does have mounting welded on to be set on its side. Fork lifts use these tanks and some RVs but not sure you find many RV stores where you are.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:00   #3
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Re: propane tank storage

You need to buy a horizontal type tank. as noted they have a bracket on the side.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:30   #4
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Re: propane tank storage

Its not clear to me , are they in use on their sides or just stored on their sides ?
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Old 01-03-2014, 17:19   #5
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Re: propane tank storage

They are in use on their sides. As a previous poster stated most propane powered fork lifts utilize this type. I would think storing it on it's side would not be an issue. You may want to ask the surveyor what the difference is. Just thinking off the top of my head it may be that the horizontals have taller handles surrounding the valve which protect them more? I'll do some more research and see what I can find out. I'm curious myself now.
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Old 01-03-2014, 17:27   #6
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Re: propane tank storage

They are differnt. I forget what, probably something to keep them from picking up too much liquid.
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Old 01-03-2014, 20:07   #7
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Re: propane tank storage

I know, I know. I'm a newbie with the answer, lol. The tube on the inside is angled upward so that it doesn't pick up liquid. Guess who is a forklift tech.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:06   #8
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Re: propane tank storage

How does the locker dirrect leaks down the vent? A good lid seal?

Seems like bad idea on a boat.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:10   #9
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Re: propane tank storage

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
How does the locker dirrect leaks down the vent? A good lid seal?

Seems like bad idea on a boat.
If I remember correctly gas is heavier than air so it "falls" out the vent at the bottom.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:38   #10
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Re: propane tank storage

From my understanding the old tanks if turned upside down and then the valve opened you would flow liquid petroleum gas. A cup of liquid will expand into quite a few square feet of explosive gas.
The new tanks have an internal tube that will flow only gas and not liquid or nothing at all if in the wrong position.
So if you have a small leak in the propane locker the gas vapor will escape through the bottom vent down hill flow. A liquid leak would quickly overwhelm any safety devices.

Some people would configure a connection to fill the small disposable gas canisters from the larger tank by turning the large tank upside down to flow liquid gas to fill the disposable tank.
The new tanks will not allow this to work because of the new safety features.
So is you need a horizontal tank get one that has mounting feet. If it is a vertical tank keep it vertical. Thats the way they are designed to work. You can handle a cup of vapor. A cup of liquid will instantly fill your entire boat with explosive vapor. You can put an incredible amount of vapor into liquid form under pressure.
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Old 01-03-2014, 21:43   #11
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Re: propane tank storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider Curt View Post
I know, I know. I'm a newbie with the answer, lol. The tube on the inside is angled upward so that it doesn't pick up liquid. Guess who is a forklift tech.

Great answer. Nice to have someone who knows.
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Old 01-03-2014, 22:22   #12
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Re: propane tank storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by WolfgangSeaLife View Post
What type tank do I need for horizontal storage on a sailboat?
I keep 2 traditional small tanks in 2 propane lockers and recently a surveyor said they need to be certified for horizontal storage.
Anybody know what tank to buy to meet insurance requirements?
I am presently in Grenada, local tank supplier does not know.
Wolfgang
Endeavour 43
Why would the surveyor say that? Not something I have ever heard of before.
I know what the inside bits of the valve fitted to a standard tank designed to deliver vapour looks like and so went for a little looksee at what the difference with a forklift tank was. Seems forklift tanks are designed to provide liquid not vapour. ( I just googled 'forklift propane tank design'... an example of what I found is here Propane Tank Fitting Standards? - ADVrider ).

Also... every forklift tank I have seen has been BIG

Still puzzled at that being a survey requirement...
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Old 01-03-2014, 22:27   #13
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Re: propane tank storage

A comment from that site.. "The forklift tanks are designed to allow liquid propane to be drawn off rather than vapour and as such are completely incompatable with your frier. That's why the fittings are different, it prevents someone from accidently using the liquid tank for a vapour appliance. The result would be a very rapidly cooked turkey, but finding where it landed after the explosion would be the challenge''
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Old 01-03-2014, 22:47   #14
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Re: propane tank storage

There are two considerations when buying a propane tank.

The first is do you want to supply propane gas or propane liquid to your appliance? Stoves want gas and larger engines (like forklifts) want liquid.

Second, will the tank be mounted vertically or horizontal. The reason this is important is the overpressure vent. If the tank is mounted incorrectly, and in a fire it has to vent to avoid an explosion, it can vent liquid instead of gas as it is supposed to.

I learned this while working in the Lehr outboard booth at the Miami boat show. I mentioned that I was going to mount my regular tank upside down to feed liquid to the engine. There was a guy from the company that makes the Lehr fiberglass tanks there. He pointed out the danger of this plan. Now I plan to get a forklift tank that is designed to provide liquid propane. Only the Lehr 15 wants to be fed liquid, the smaller engines run fine on propane gas.

Trident Rubber Co. sells a wide selection of propane tanks for use on boats. I believe all the tanks they sell supply propane gas not liquid.
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Old 02-03-2014, 01:22   #15
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Re: propane tank storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badsanta View Post
Some people would configure a connection to fill the small disposable gas canisters from the larger tank by turning the large tank upside down to flow liquid gas to fill the disposable tank.
The new tanks will not allow this to work because of the new safety features.
I don't know much about side mounted tanks, but I do fill disposables off brand new tanks, so that info I question.
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