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Old 06-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
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Question How Bad is it, Tank Doc?

Hi folks,
I have a 1986 345 MH. Our propane tank looks like this (see below).

The question is, how bad is it? Do I have to run, not walk to replace it?

Or is it just paint damage and there is no imminent danger of a propane leak? Can it be repaired?

Either way, will any RV dealer? Propane service? AS service? do it? Of course, I'd prefer to take it down the street to the propane service guy because it's convenient, but I'm just not sure how specialized a situation it is.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #2
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I think you should remove it and let the propane experts analyze and potentially rebuild it. I took my aluminum tanks with a gauge problem down to a full service propane distributor and while there, the tech was telling me all about the hundreds of commercial tanks there that they rebuild, repaint and refurbish. They have a process to pass or fail whatever the industrial customer brings in. But since they are the re-certifiers, I'd let them make the call and do the work.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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Those tanks are pretty robust. I would just clean it up, inspect it carefully for bad pitting, and repaint it it were mine. Dropping it off the rig is not fun, but would allow you the best access of all parts and areas, and the best inspection and re paint.

If you consider replacement, a propane dealer is probably a better source of service than an AS dealer. The propane people deal with tanks all the time, the AS dealer very occasionally.
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:55 PM   #4
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A closer look

If it were easier to remove it, I'd probably rather take it in, but it is difficult to remove and I'd be nervous about agitating it without knowing a lot more about how stable it is.

I guess the next thing to do, as you suggest, idroba, is to look at it a lot more carefully and see how bad I think it is, and then drive it into the propane folks and have them look at it and compare impressions. I've been resisting taking it to propane service without checking here first because I kinda figure they're going to tell me to replace it, no matter what. We'll see and I'll post what they say. Thanks!
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:37 PM   #5
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ASME tanks, unlike DOT cylinders, do not require periodic inspection and recertification. However, the technician who fills the tank is entitled to visually inspect it at any time, and can refuse to fill it if he feels it's in an unsafe condition.

All you really have to worry about is the valves; relief valve needs to be replaced every 10 years, and you should check the fill valve as well.

Other than that, first vapor-free the tank (bleed off all the propane) to minimize your fire/explosion/frostbite hazard while you're going to be working on the tank.
Then knock the rust off. All of it. Paint doesn't adhere well to rust.
Get rid of that (fiberglass? or just really thick paint?) cover as well, because the tank will never be free of rust as long as it can hide under what's left of the cover.
Paint the whole tank gloss white or silver, some reflective color that minimizes heat buildup. But mask the data plate first; don't want to paint over that!
Pressure-test it.
Refill it.
The you're good to go.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:02 PM   #6
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The only thing that worries me, is we only have one picture to judge from....and to me, it looks like some pretty deep pitting and rust scaling. I don't want to say just sand, prep and paint without knowing how much metal is gone.
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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Thumbs up To the skilled it goes

Yup, Rich. As clear as Protagonist's instructions are (thanks!), I'm inclined to take it in and have the experts do it. This thread has really given me the info I need to talk with them intelligently about it. The fact is, I'm not going to be climbing under there and doing all this, and I'd be happier to have some kind of warranty associated with the work that is done.

Thanks!

I'll let you know what I find out.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:10 PM   #8
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This is the thread on my propane tank fun. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...nt-102178.html
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:10 PM   #9
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Interesting! Is the screw an upsell? No one asked me if I wanted. No lewd jokes, please, I think I already made one.

I hope they don't have to replace my tank.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
The only thing that worries me, is we only have one picture to judge from....and to me, it looks like some pretty deep pitting and rust scaling. I don't want to say just sand, prep and paint without knowing how much metal is gone.
That's why my litany included "pressure test."
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