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Old 06-19-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
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Eau Claire , Wisconsin
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LP tank fell and dragged

Hello Folks. I'm recently bought a 73 sovereign 31' with two tanks. Was out for my first drive when the tanks tipped over. One of the two tanks dragged on the ground for a 50-100 feet or so leaving one scrape mark in the tank. Turns out the other tanks never hit the ground. The rod that holds the tanks down lost the bolt or weld on the ground side so it just came right off.

I am guessing I am going to need to throw that tank out? the scrape is about 3" in diameter and doesn't appear that deep but it did drag for a while. Could it be repaired or just buy a used one? The valves were already updated.

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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I am guessing you have the AL tanks. It is hard to toss one out but it might be the wisest decision. No repairs are possible and still have the tank certified.

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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Biloxi , Mississippi
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Welcome: Lucky day for you that nothing went boom. I use a long shank lock on my tank hold down nut/arm to keep it tight and so my tanks will not sprout legs and disappear. Good lesson for others from your misfortune. I would have the tank inspected before buying a new one. It might not be as bad as first impression.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #4
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Los Lunas , New Mexico
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Gouges in the walls and cracks along the welds are pretty major culprits. Have it inspected. If it is bad, you need to have it emptied before disposal. (Trash haulers do not appreciate hauling explosive devices in their rigs.) Take it to a full propane service company, not just a filler.

If you do decide to buy new, do lots of shopping. Prices are all over the map for identical products!

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Old 06-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #5
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If you live in the boonies it would make great target practice. The 4th of July is coming up soon.

I would get it checked out and emptied.

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Old 06-19-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
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Just had my Al tanks inspected. $7.00 a tank for a "visual" inspection and recertification. Large gas suppliers do these inspections. If it passes it might still need a new valve ($40). Tanks are pretty pricy so it might be worth getting in inspected unless it is so bad as to be not needed.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:35 PM   #7
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Hey Bill. Is it normal for there to be a cost for the propane tank inspection ??? Last year we couldn't get ours filled while camping at the Air Force Acad. and were referred into Colo. Spr to a propane distributor for inspection. No hesitation what-so-ever and they gave it a visual ( Alum tanks) and filled them for me. No charge for the inspection and the sticker they put on. That's my only experience with inspection.
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
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Where I live the charge is $5 to inspect and $25 for a new valve.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:03 PM   #9
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Los Lunas , New Mexico
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Pretty much of a free market on inspections. The place I take them to in Taos also does visual (i.e., five-year) recertifications for free, though I always have them fill the cylinder as well so that they get some profit from it.

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Old 06-19-2013, 03:45 PM   #10
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Very lucky you didn't have a conflagration....think if it were me, I would probably safe side and replace the one that got dragged and have a competent inspector check the other just for your own peace of mind.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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I use 2 padlocks to secure tanks in place, great for piece of mind
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:50 AM   #12
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Bowie , Maryland
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Originally Posted by BAB View Post
Very lucky you didn't have a conflagration
Not really. Those cylinders are actually really safe. Ever watch Mythbusters when they're trying to make one blow up? They REALLY have to work to make it happen. They couldn't even get one to explode when shooting at it until they used incendiary rounds. It's pretty impressive how difficult it is for them to get one to explode.

Perhaps there would've been more risk if the tank had fallen off the trailer while open, but I think - someone check me on this - the internal valves are designed to shut off the flow when the tank is horizontal (which is why you have to buy special horizontal tanks for the trailers that use them).
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Old 06-20-2013, 09:28 AM   #13
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Propane does not have a wide range of flammability in air. When a bullet passes through a tank the concentration of gas around the tank is too high to ignite. The best way to do it is to have a torch setup near the tank and then shoot it. Acetylene has a very large flammability range and it is worse than Hydrogen.

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Old 06-20-2013, 10:44 AM   #14
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1967 22' Safari
Long Beach , California
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Hello Avninja:

Before you throw that tank out!

One method to get an inexpensive inspected propane tank is to take your tank into a large retail store (Walmart, etc.) and exchange your empty tank for one of their prefilled propane tanks. Supposedly, you pay only for the full tank of propane, but usually they have less than 2 gallons in them. I believe they are required to inspect the tank and install the current required valve in the tank before they can sell it to you.

This way the retailer bears the responsibility of inspecting and correcting any repairs required before they can resell it to someone else.

It may be difficult to get a propane tank to burn, but I have heard of valves blowing out of the tank and the tank being blown 50 feet into the air.

Thank GOD no one was injured.

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