Propane, also called liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a hydrocarbon that is considered a clean fuel because it is almost totally free of odour and colour. Propane is a highly flammable substance that can cause serious damage if its use is not regulated. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has instituted regulations with regard to how to install a propane gas tank, whether it is installed in a household or for industrial purposes. These regulations pertain to distance, permits and tank size. Installing companies are responsible for making sure all of the requirements for installation of the gas propane tank are fulfilled
NFPA regulations require that propane gas tanks must be installed at safe distances from areas where they could cause potential danger, such as houses, factories, buildings, parks, condominiums and other buildings. Tanks, regardless of their size, have to be installed at least 10 feet from a private home. The mandated distance varies vastly in the case of other locations such as parks and commercial complexes. The distance between connection and disconnection points of the tank and the distance between the safety valve and the vent are also important, and these points must be at least 10 feet from any residential building, since when the tank is filled, the hose is disconnected and gas may escape.
Permits are required for installation of propane gas tanks. Generally, municipalities issue permits for installation. Permits are necessary to ensure that safety standards are adhered to. Before issuing a permit, an inspector will oversee plans for installation and the location of installation. After installation, the inspector will return to ensure that the gas tank was installed properly, and institute fines or penalties and mandate changes if the installation was not done properly. Exact permit requirements vary from one local administration to another and from one state to another, but generally, to get a permit, you must demonstrate an appropriate install location and that you are using a licensed contractor to do the installation. Local authorities also grant permits to those who want to install underground propane lines.
Propane tanks are normally placed under the ground, so an appropriate ditch must be dig. The size of the ditch is also regulated by municipality and varies from location to location. In most places, after a ditch is dug, you are required to install a concrete pad that the propane tank will rest on. A licensed contractor will be able to tell you the exact depth and size of the required ditch and concrete pad.
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