Above-Ground Propane Installation

Ordinances and regulations vary from town to town. Please call Lamprey Energy for more information.

For above ground tank dimensions, click on a diagram below.

57 Gallon

120 Gallon (side)

120 Gallon (above)

325 Gallon

500 Gallon

1000 Gallon

Underground Propane Installation

  1. Dig a hole for the tank (see below for required hole sizes)
  2. Line the bottom of the hole and trench with clean stone-free sand.
  3. Place the tank in the hole and attach the cathodic anode.
  4. Lay the piping from the tank to the building and/or outside appliance in a clean bed of stone-free sand.
  5. Lay tracer wire from the tank valve to the sweep at the building and/or outside appliance and bury with clean stone-free sand.
  6. Note: The tracer wire must not touch the gas piping.
  7. Lay safety marker tape at 6” below finish grade.
  8. Pressure test the line, testing at 1.5 times the working pressure of the regulator:

    10lb regulator test at 15lb pressure
    5lb regulator test at 7.5lb pressure
    2lb regulator test at 3lb pressure
    11 1/2” water column test at 3lb pressure
  9. Get the required inspection from town Fire/Building departments.
  10. Backfill the tank and underground piping with clean, stone-free sand.
  11. Once inspected and backfilled, connect the tank, building, and outdoor appliances as required.
  12. Referring to the gas check safety form, run a safety “gas check” on all the systems and appliances.
  13. Fire off all the appliances as requested.
  14. For underground tank dimensions and hole specifications, click on a diagram below

Trench Diagram

120 Gallon

325 Gallon

500 Gallon

1000 Gallon

Underground Tanks—Required Hole Sizes

Tank Size Hole Size
Width Length Depth below finished grade
120 gallon 6'0" 9'8" 4'0"
325 gallon 6'6" 14'0" 4'6"
500 gallon 7'1" 14'0" 5'1"
1000 gallon 7'4" 20'0" 5'4"

Propane Tank Installation Rules and Regulations: Setbacks

ALL TANKS—ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

A propane tank must be:

10ft from a point of ignition—anything that can create a spark—in a 360° radius of the tank.

10ft from any mechanical air intake vent—air boot, fan in a can, ERV, HRV, fresh-air intake systems— in a 360° radius of the tank.

5ft from any opening—operable window, door, bulkhead. Because propane is heavier than air and therefore sinks, this set-back does not apply to a window above the tank but does apply to a window beside or below the tank.

5ft from any natural (non-motorized) air-intake vent.

HORIZONTAL TANKS of more than 120-gallon CAPACITY—ASME

A horizontal propane tank of more than 120-gallon capacity must be:

10ft from a lot line

10ft from an occupied building, unless the tank is attached to the building

VERTICAL TANKS 120-gallon* CAPACITY OR LESS—ASME

A vertical propane tank of 120-gallon capacity or less may be:

On the property lot line*.

Against an occupied building*

* No more than four 120-gallon tanks may be sited in this position

REGULATORS*

A regulator must be:

5ft from a point of ignition—anything that can create a spark—in a 360° radius of the regulator.

5ft from any mechanical air intake vent—air boot, fan in a can, ERV, HRV, fresh-air intake systems— in a 360° radius of the regulator.

3ft from any opening—operable window, door, bulkhead. Because propane is heavier than air and therefore sinks, this set-back does not apply to a window above the tank but does apply to a window beside or below the tank.

3ft from any natural (non-motorized) air-intake vent.

* All regulators should be set above the expected snow-fall depth to ensure breathing and to protect them from freezing or damage from snow and ice.

Propane Tank Installation Rules and Regulations: Tiedowns

The installation of propane tanks is governed by strict rules and regulations created by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

The rules cited on this website are those drawn up by the NFPA. However, these rules should be treated as GUIDELINE ONLY—in every installation the authority having jurisdiction supercedes the NFPA.

The authority having jurisdiction may vary from town to town. It may be the building inspector, the planning department, the fire department etc. While local rules can not be less strict than those of the NFPA, they may be more strict. It is the duty of the installer to find and follow the local authority regulations.

TANK INSTALLATION IN HIGH WATER/FLOOD AREAS

  • Tie-down systems are required in areas prone to high-water or flooding. They are needed to prevent a tank from floating and breaking its associated gas line. See FEMA guidelines for anchoring.
  • Tanks in areas prone to high-water or flooding must be protected from wave action and floating debris.
  • Above-ground tanks in areas prone to high-water or flooding may require elevation in order to protect them.*
  • Underground tanks in areas prone to high-water or flooding may require extended and protected domes and valves.*
  • To calculate the net buoyancy force on a propane tank see FEMA guidelines.
*Reference to DFE (designed flood elevation) will give required local and regional guidelines.

Many towns have specific regulations or additional requirements according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). Each installation may require a specific tie-down design depending on the application and conditions. It is the duty of the installer to find and follow the local authority regulations.

Anchoring

A tank may be anchored from its lifting lugs or foot rings.

All cable, chain, turnbuckles, or other hardware must be stainless-steel to avoid corrosion.

Tie-down cables should be plastic-coated or encased in rubber hosing to prevent chafing.

Anchoring must be sufficient to prevent the tank from floating, rolling, or inverting in high-water conditions.

Process for Installing Propane in New Homes

The installation of propane—tanks, piping, connections—at a new site follows a step-by-step procedure:

  • Lamprey Energy pulls a permit for the tank and underground lines with the appropriate town.
  • General Contractor calls for the tank.
  • Lamprey Energy drops off the tank at the lot.
  • Excavator digs the hole, lays minimum of 6” sand in bottom, and sets the tank in the hole—Lamprey Energy can install tank if preferred.
  • Excavator digs trenching (and lays minimum of 6” sand in bottom) from the hole to the house and generator as required.
  • Lamprey Energy fits the cathodic anode to the tank.
  • Lamprey Energy runs underground gas line (including tracer wire and underground safety marking tape) in the excavated trenching (see diagram).
  • Lamprey Energy runs a pressure test on the system—at 1½ times the working pressure of the regulator. (see table)

    10lb regulator test at 15lb pressure
    5lb regulator test at 7.5lb pressure
    2lb regulator test at 3lb pressure
    11 1/2” water column test at 3lb pressure
  • Lamprey Energy calls for an inspection of the tank and lines prior to any backfilling—if required Lamprey Energy will meet the inspector at the site.
  • Lamprey Energy notifies the general contractor when inspection is complete so that the tank hole and trenching can be backfilled.
  • General Contractor notifies Lamprey Energy when ready for final connections.
  • Lamprey Energy makes all necessary connections at the tank, house, and generator. A complete gas safety check is performed on all systems inside and out. All equipment items—including make, model number, and serial numbers—are recorded and held on file.
  • Lamprey Energy will fire off the equipment at the General Contractor’s request—this can can be done by the equipment installing contractor if preferred.
    The above steps are done at “no charge” and Lamprey Energy maintains ownership of the tank and lines. There are options for customer-owned tanks upon request. Discounts for propane are applied to accounts with customer-owned tanks.
    Lamprey Energy can convert natural-gas appliances such as stoves and dryers as required.
    Lamprey Energy can connect generators and install quick-connect gas grill systems as requested.
    Such conversions, connections, and installations are billable on a time-and-materials basis.
  • When the property is sold, at closing Lamprey Energy will read the tank gauge and credit the contractor for any remaining gas—credit will be caluculated according to the price paid.
  • The new property owner is required to open an account prior to the closing. Lamprey Energy will charge the new property owner for the gallons in the tank and then establish a new automatic-delivery account.
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