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flmgrip 02-24-2010 06:34 PM

Propane tank storage
I bought and extra 40lb propane tank to operate my generator.

Can I store and use the tank in the laying position or does the tank need to be in it's upright position?


HowieE 02-24-2010 07:12 PM

Unless you bought a tank that is intended to be horizontal, like those used on Motor home or fork lifts it has to be upright.

If on it's side you will get LIQUID in the hose and to the regulator. BIG PROBLEMS

flmgrip 02-24-2010 07:51 PM


Storage ok laying on it's side?

While operating standing up?

Or always standing upright?


HowieE 02-24-2010 07:58 PM

I have carried my 10 lbs. bottle on it side for 10+ years so I think it is OK.

AirsDream 02-24-2010 09:06 PM

They're always supposed to be upright ... in use they otherwise can feed liquid propane instead of gas to your appliances (unless as noted above, they are e.g. lift truck tanks designed to operate horizontally). Don't know whether your tank has an overpressure vent, but if so and on side in storage, if it should overheat / overpressure say on a hot day and vent a bit, it might vent liquid propane - a much worse scenario than a little gas "burp"

At my local propane dealer, they have photos of an auto in which two women were allegedly transporting a newly-filled cylinder a) on its side and b) in the trunk. Purportedly it did leak and the vaporized propane ignited and both were burned to death. The car is hardly recognizable as a car after the fire. They absolutely refuse to fill any cylinder unless it is obvious that it will be taken from their premises vertical, restrained from falling over, and not in the interior space of a passenger vehicle.

I once witnessed a BLEVE (boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion) of a propane tank that was on it's side, leaked, the gas ignited and stayed lit, heating the tank until it ruptured. It's an event not to be experienced up close, and usually involve a tank on it's side developing a leak. Here's an example of a big one:
YouTube - Train car explosion bleve

Anyway, I always store mine vertical.

VIKING 02-24-2010 10:20 PM

The pepole who handle the propane at our cabinet shop tell us to always keep tanks in the orientation they are made to be used in. We do have a tank that has a gauge that reads either vertically or horizontally. The propane guys were stumped by this one as to storage direction. We use all of ours on forklifts so we just keep them horizontally all the time.

Rich the Viking

dwightdi 02-25-2010 03:01 PM

If at all possible, keep tanks in the position they are designed for during storage or transport. Also keep them so any gas burp will be into the open air. Trunks of cars is no way to transport tanks, unless the trunks remain open. I have found that the 20 lb bottles just fit in the plastic containers used for 4 gallons of milk and make the tanks much less likely to fall on their side. The little 10 lb axillary tank, I used for the barbecue or large cooker, fits well behind and behind my regular 30 lb tanks on my front V and is much safer than carrying it in the closed cap of my truck.

TomW 02-25-2010 03:22 PM

Most larger LPG cylinders do have an overpressure vent

Originally Posted by AirsDream (Post 814578)
...overpressure vent ... on [its] side in storage, if it should overheat / overpressure say on a hot day and vent a bit, it might vent liquid propane - a much worse scenario than a little gas "burp"...

AirsDream nailed it - Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) liquid, if vented, will immediately boil off to produce A LOT of gas.

Keep your cylinder upright so that only gas can be vented through the over-pressure vent (located in the valve assembly) should overheating occur.


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