Propane tank, is it ready for work ?

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by GG_Mass, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. GG_Mass

    GG_Mass Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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.


    Thanks. 20130909_180254.jpg
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    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.
  3. GG_Mass

    GG_Mass Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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.."
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,068
    Location:
    Maine
    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.
  5. GG_Mass

    GG_Mass Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I assume you mean the yellow plug on the side, right ? Not the one on the top. Am i getting it right ?
  6. dj2

    dj2 Member

    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    California
    Yes, you are getting it right.

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

    GG_Mass Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    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.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    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.
  9. GG_Mass

    GG_Mass Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    There was no 'messing 'round' intended. You can see in the thread, these are all general questions.
    Thanks for the warning. I agree.
  10. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,068
    Location:
    Maine
    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.
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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?
  12. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Messages:
    2,785
    Location:
    01609
    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.
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    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.
  14. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
  15. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    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.


    Have Fun.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,068
    Location:
    Maine
    That yellow thing is a plastic cap covering the POL fitting that has been removed from the tank so they could put the locking plug in the tank. The cap,keeps crap out of the gas line.
  17. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Well, I reviewed the previous posts and find my question was invalid. Thanks to those who tried to help a dummy out.
  18. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,068
    Location:
    Maine
    Nope, when service is interrupted, say the owners move out and the house is up for sale, the gas company puts that silver colored lock in the tank and the plastic cap on the gas line fitting (they pull the line form the tank) they also do it when someone doesn't pay the bill. I know because I've been the guy doing it LOL. No red tags unless there is a safety issue with the equipment and even then not likely because the gas company will pull it.
  19. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    In my area if your gas is turned off for any reason the gas company is required to inspect and re-light your pilots.

    Sounds like the OP needs to call the man.
  20. GG_Mass

    GG_Mass Member

    Messages:
    49
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Okay now,
    Some updates:
    I had two main ideas from this thread:
    1. The tank is locked, call the Gas company to unlock it.
    2. The tank is not locked. Use the gas at your own risk.

    I called the gas company and they have no record of locking the tank, they, however, are more then happy to come & assist me, after I get obligated to them in a contract.
    The gas in the tank is mine, I bought it from the previous owner upon closing the deal on the house. I am reluctant about signing yet another contract, and if I can just use the gas (which I paid for) and then think about my steps, that'll be the best.
    To settle the score, I'll take another, more inclusive set of pictures, including from sides that have not taken yet, and post them.
    Along with the gas company stating they have no record of locking the tank and some replies on this thread, I'm tending towards thinking that it is not locked in any way. I will post images later on to help with this decision.
    Thank you.
Similar Threads: Propane tank
Forum Title Date
HVAC Heating & Cooling Propane leak testing Apr 8, 2014
HVAC Heating & Cooling Empire Heater Propane RH65, pilot wont stay lit Nov 4, 2012
HVAC Heating & Cooling Rotate exhaust vent on new propane boiler install? Dec 9, 2011
HVAC Heating & Cooling Propane to Natural Gas conversion on furnace Oct 16, 2011
HVAC Heating & Cooling Propane furnace pilot wont stay lit Nov 19, 2009

Share This Page