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Old 01-11-2012, 14:30   #16
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Re: Propane Bottles

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Any idea why Alabama, or other States, made this ruling?

Fiberglass pressure tanks are not really "new". They've been in use by fire fighters for years. Just new to the propane market I think.

I have one fiberglass tank on my boat -- no problems filling in Central American countries so far (purchased here in Guatemala). Of course...you can get just about anything filled here.
By what I was told, it was due to the quick explosive nature of the fiber bottles if in a fire. A metal container may explode but not as quick as the fiber would.

I think it is stupid, I would rather have fiberglass flying at me during a fire rather than steel. But I'm not the person who made this rule. Shows the smarts of the rule makers here.

James L
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Old 01-11-2012, 15:18   #17
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Re: Propane Bottles

I'm considering purchasing a horizontal fibreglass tank so am concerned about this Alabama news. I went to the company's website, and their claim is that: "cylinders are approved for use in every U.S. state."

Are they lying? Or is someone else confused? In Canada, I believe cylinders receive federal approval. Not so in the US? I thought it was the US federal Department of Transportation (DOT).
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Old 01-11-2012, 15:25   #18
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Re: Propane Bottles

We have an instant hot water heater on board with a dedicated 10 lb tank which normally lasts about 2.5 to 3 months with us. Two people with both of us showering most days (I skip a day about 1 or twice a week).

We also have a 20 lb glass tank for cooking which is really nice since they are so light and you can see how much is left. No problem filling here in Florida.
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Old 01-11-2012, 16:54   #19
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Re: Propane Bottles

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I'm considering purchasing a horizontal fibreglass tank so am concerned about this Alabama news. I went to the company's website, and their claim is that: "cylinders are approved for use in every U.S. state."

Are they lying? Or is someone else confused? In Canada, I believe cylinders receive federal approval. Not so in the US? I thought it was the US federal Department of Transportation (DOT).
I was confused too. I was just about to buy two fiber tanks the propane dealer had, and they couldn't sell them to me. They were demo models they had received before the ruling. They told me, no sale would be made, due to the fact I couldn't fill them in Alabama.

I was also told, they were not to be sold in Alabama either. I'll check around again, as this was a few years ago.......so maybe they changed the rules, but Alabama is slow to change.

James L
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:20   #20
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Re: Propane Bottles

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Not to discourage you, but some states may not fill the new fiber tanks. This is depending on where you cruise of course.

Alabama is one of those states. They ruled against the new fiber tanks. They don't sell them, nor will they refill them.

Not sure how many more will or will not.

James L

Any documentation that indicates Alabama ruled against fiberglass tanks? Seems I can pick them up at any local Grainger store (when in stock of course).

Propane Tanks - Grainger Industrial Supply

Grainger will ship it to your house and the couple of propane refill places I called said they would fill it, most didn't even know they existed but said as long as it's got the correct labels and info they would fill it.
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Old 01-11-2012, 18:24   #21
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Re: Propane Bottles

Don, one of the guys who didn't know they existed, just called and said he looked it up online and there is no reason he wouldn't fill a fiberglass bottle.

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Old 01-11-2012, 18:42   #22
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Re: Propane Bottles

Well, I can be wrong.

I was really confused when I was going to buy the tanks, and they told me they couldn't sell them.

That was about three years ago though.

Maybe the rules have changed. I don't know.

James L
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:15   #23
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Re: Propane Bottles

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Any idea why Alabama, or other States, made this ruling?
Why do laws like this EVER get passed? Because someone didn't want competition from other businesses or from a new product, and so they convinced a politician who was beholden to them to propose the law.

Anytime a law gets passed that restricts any product or service, if you assume it is a political favor to limit competition you will have about a 98% probability of being correct.

(Oops! Sorry. Is my cynicism showing?)
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:24   #24
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Re: Propane Bottles

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Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
By what I was told, it was due to the quick explosive nature of the fiber bottles if in a fire. A metal container may explode but not as quick as the fiber would.

I think it is stupid, I would rather have fiberglass flying at me during a fire rather than steel. But I'm not the person who made this rule. Shows the smarts of the rule makers here.

James L
I was always under the impression, that if thrown into a fire, the fiberglass cylinders would burn through and release the propane in a controlled manner rather than in an explosive manner like the steel bottles.
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Old 02-11-2012, 13:45   #25
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Re: Propane Bottles

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Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
By what I was told, it was due to the quick explosive nature of the fiber bottles if in a fire. A metal container may explode but not as quick as the fiber would.

I think it is stupid, I would rather have fiberglass flying at me during a fire rather than steel. But I'm not the person who made this rule. Shows the smarts of the rule makers here.

James L
That's odd, in either case I would expect the burst disc to fail first ... that is of course it's purpose in life.
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Old 02-11-2012, 13:57   #26
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Re: Propane Bottles

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That's odd, in either case I would expect the burst disc to fail first ... that is of course it's purpose in life.

This says it's hard to BLEVE a propane tank, but possible if you heat it enough that the gas pressure rises faster than the gas escapes out of the overpressure valve.


Propane Tank Explosions, Accidents and BLEVE's
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Old 02-11-2012, 14:33   #27
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Re: Propane Bottles

Here is a link to a study on Propane Tanks (Steel and Composite) and what happens to them in a Fire....

Frankly, if your recreational boat catches fire and it causes sufficient to heat to make the propane tanks pressure relief valve open, you will probably will be dead or have abandon ship.

The real threat by propane tanks is leakage...

As you know propane is heavier than air and will go into bildges and cabins. Make sure when you mount the tanks they are mounted in a way that leaking propane cannot enter your boat, if for some reason the hose connection or tank leaks.
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Old 02-11-2012, 15:21   #28
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Re: Propane Bottles

Two 40 lb propane bottles hauled to the top deck sounds like a fun job. Even a 30 lb tank full is nothing to haul around down a dock and up to an upper deck. I would go with 2 - 20's if you feel the need for a spare. You would have plenty of time to refill one. Nobody needs 80 lbs of propane unless you have a propane generator.

We use hot water on demand and a stove and one 20 lb bottle would last us about 2 months. We also use a fiber tank and I doubt I could even spend more than 2 months in Alabama. Most states and most countries have no problems filling them. It's not common!

The best ones are made be Ragasco as the metal ring that the valve threads into is bronze not galvanized steel. Steel tanks might last you a year or so on the water before they start to look like crap. Any propane dealer can refuse to fill any tank they feel has problems.
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Old 02-11-2012, 15:49   #29
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Re: Propane Bottles

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No! They don't need to travel upright, just used in the position they were meant to be used in (upright/horizontal). It's acetylene that needs to be kept upright due the the internal elements of a acetylene bottle. http://www.airproducts.com/~/media/F...etygram-13.pdf
http://www.lindeus.com/internet.lg.l...e138_21859.pdf
I've read in a couple of places that you should transport your tanks in their normal upright position. The only explanation I've seen has to do with if the tank gets overpressured you will be venting liquid propane instead of gas propane. You would vent a lot more propane in the liquid phase before you brought the pressure back down to where it closed again.

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Old 02-11-2012, 15:58   #30
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I have never seen a tank vent from heat before. But I have also never been in the Sahara.
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