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Old 07-02-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
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How often to inspect Propane tanks?

I was getting my tanks refilled and the attendant couldn't find an up to date inspection mark. This was news to me...he filled them but suggested I visit my local welding shop to have the tanks inspected...said it was required every 5 years? Really?
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:28 PM   #2
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From the TX Railroad Commission site: "Each cylinder must be requalified for continued use when 12 years have elapsed from the cylinder’s date of manufacture. External visual inspection is required for an additional 5 years requalification period."
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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Huh...where does one get that inspection?
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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I got the same grief for the first time in two years at a Flying J from a young attendant trying to "follow the rules" because my tanks date from the trailer birthday, April 1999, even though they have had the new valves installed on them...so, I too would like to know where to go to get these certified or fixed???
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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I had 15 year old aluminum tanks certified by our local county residential/commercial propane supplier.
They put in the new valves and stamped an inspection date on the collor.
I think it took about 20 minutes for the 2 tanks.

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
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There's a list for TX of places to get cylinders recertified... it seems like most large-scale propane suppliers provide the service here. I would think that if a large local propane dealer didn't offer the recertification, they'd know who does.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:39 PM   #7
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Some of the cylinder manufacturers use a really thick paint that tends to obscure the original stamped markings on the collar. Sometimes holding it in various angles from the sun helps to reveal the stamped numbers/letters. And sometimes not, in which case I just use good sense: If the cylinder looks newish and is good shape, I fill it.

New cylinders are good for 12 years after initial certification at the factory in the USA. Canada's laws differ, I believe.

If the cylinder has already been recertified in the US, the markings are pretty easy to spot. Some recertifiers use stamped markings; others use a robust label. In any event, for a visually recertified cylinder, it'll have an "E" (think "eye") before or after the month/year date on which the recert took place. The cylinder is good for five years after that date. You can have it recertified indefinitely, as long as the cylinder is in good condition and no new laws prevent the recert.

Oh, final note. In the US, states -- not the federal government -- control propane handling, installation, filling, cylinder recert, and the like; laws governing these vary quite a bit from state to state, but most adhere at some level to the recommendations made by the NFPA. (DOT and ASME set forth design characteristics for cylinder manufacture.)


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