Connecting 20 lb propane tank to 1/2" steel

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jasper, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. jasper

    jasper New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I'm looking to connect a 20 lb propane tank to a 1/2" steel pipe. I figured I could use an adapter http://www.fittingsandadapters.com/botgasfit.html and a hose (although I haven't found a source for a suitable hose yet) but I just wanted to find out if anyone has any comments on the best way to do it.
  2. Phil H2

    Phil H2 New Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Tujunga, CA
    If you want to use a hose, buy a hose with POL (I am assuming this fits your tank's valve) on one end and pipe threads on the other.
  3. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    First, you are planning to use a regulator, yes? I do not know the actual pressure inside an LPG tank, but it is very high and a regulator simply must be connected first (directly to the valved outlet on the tank) unless you intend to use some high-tech hose and risk an out-of-control situation. After the regulator, however, you are dealing with a low and easily-controllable pressure, and I would suggest getting your hose (such as used for welding gasses) from a welding supply store or from a full-service propane gas company that has a shop and can crimp the proper fittings on the ends. That is what I did to install an RV furnace in our old school bus.
  4. Will_Holding

    Will_Holding New Member

    Messages:
    5
    If you are using a low pressure regulator, you can truck on over to Home Depot,. etc. and grab a LPG regulator with attached hose for barbecues. the end of that will likely be 1/4" NPT and cast zinc. Since you are joining to steel, you are probably best off following with 1/4" female X 1/2" male galvanized (bushing) run into a 1/2" coupler, and have your pipe thread into that. This is based on what you are likely to find at HD- ideally you could find a 1/4" female x 1/2" female reducer in steel, but don't count on it.
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    A 1/2 X 1/4 steel reducing coupling is quite common, and much preferred over using bushings.
  6. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    Up until a week ago... this dump of a house trailer I live in was plumbed to a regulator that I swapped between 20# and 100# tanks as needed for my 4 brick radiant heater and gas stove. The regulator is fitted with an LP adapter on one end and female threads on the other for 3/8 pipe which had a brass fitting for 3/8" flared copper...about 10 ft of copper tubing...then the same flared arrangement on the other end with a brass flare adapter to 1/2" black iron/steel pipe....been that way for over 30 years. I teed off of that pipe at the ell and ran a 1/2" pipe out then the propane company set a 150 gal tank and hooked up.... now I no longer have to lug those "bombs" around and get my propane for about 1/2 or less of what I was paying for it in the 20# cylinders. Pretty much any hardware store will stock the regulators...as well as RV shops.
  7. jasper

    jasper New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks for all your responses. Really appreciated!

    Well, I had bought a regulator, but now I realize following these posts that I bought the wrong one. The regulator I bought has two 1/2" connections. As leejosepho pointed out, I really need to connect the regulator directly to the tank and not further up the line, so I need a regulator with a connection that connects directly to the tank.

    I'm going to look into getting the right regulator. After that I guess I will use hose or just a straight connection to the steel.
  8. jasper

    jasper New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Well Marshall Gas has a regulator, the 230-00, which would appear to work fine. I'm planning on connecting it to a hose and then using adapters to get to a 1/2" connector so that I can connect to my 1/2" steel.

    Given that the regulators are cheap, now I'm thinking about teeing the 1/2" steel so that I can attach two regulators and two tanks. I've looked into the automatic changeover regulators, but I've been told that they're not that reliable. Any of you got any thoughts on teeing vs automatic changeover?
  9. jasper

    jasper New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Jimbo, could you explain why would a reducing coupling be better than a bushing?
  10. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I believe someone else already mentioned a POL(?) or whatever actually connects to the tank, and if the regulator you have is the correct one for LPG at your desired pressure, it would seem to me that you should be able to use regular pipe fittings (I would use a brass bushing) to join the two together.

    A friend of mine has a fine-working manual-selection regulator connected to two tanks via some ready-made LPG hoses with tank connectors on their ends, and I believe that would be better than trying to use two regulators teed to one output since I think you might run into possible problems with back pressure on the regulator that would be disconnected while you are changing a bottle or getting one filled. LPG regulators *might* have internal check valves (I do not know), but I would not want to risk having even a trace amount of propane ever leaking out anywhere. Also, it might mean something to you to know propane is heavier than air and settles, whereas natural gas is lighter and rises. In our houseboat years ago, we had sensors under the kitchen (galley) appliances and down in the bilge so a solenoid could shut off the gas right at the tank if any propane was detected anywhere it should not be.
  11. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Messages:
    1,047
    Location:
    Alabama
    I just hooked up an RV double tank regulator to 1/2" steel pipe for a cutomer... piece of cake... no problem (especially if you have a pipe vise and dies). I bushed down to 3/8 then mounted the regulator directly to the pipe. Two hoses cost me $10 each (old style) which hooked to two 100# tanks.. works great.
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