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Old 01-20-2018, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default inspection of fixed propane tanks?

Since I have only ever owned trailers with removable 20lb or 30lb propane bottles that need to be re-certified (or scrapped) periodically, I am wondering what test the test requirements of fixed reservoirs in motorhomes might be?

Do they need just a visual inspection at a certain age? An hydrostatic test? Do they need to be removed from the vehicle for testing or just tested in situ?

Just wondering! Brian
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:40 AM   #2
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If you are asking about legal recertification requirements:
In the United States, the Horizontally mounted ASME tanks found in most B-vans do not require recertification. Vertical DOT tanks do require regular recertification. The period was apparently recently reduced from 12 years to 10 years in the US.

If you are talking about common-sense:
Inspect them visually and olfactorially on a regular basis.
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
Since I have only ever owned trailers with removable 20lb or 30lb propane bottles that need to be re-certified (or scrapped) periodically, I am wondering what test the test requirements of fixed reservoirs in motorhomes might be?

Do they need just a visual inspection at a certain age? An hydrostatic test? Do they need to be removed from the vehicle for testing or just tested in situ?

Just wondering! Brian
As a fellow Ontario RV owner, yes, fixed propane tanks require an inspection every 5 years. Once approved, a sticker is affixed to your windshield. Propane operators in Ontario are supposed to verify this. I have known Ontario owners to wait until they travel outside the province to purchase their propane to avoid getting denied by a local operator. We did have to replace our tank....it was too rusty. $$$.
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
If you are asking about legal recertification requirements:
In the United States, the Horizontally mounted ASME tanks found in most B-vans do not require recertification. Vertical DOT tanks do require regular recertification. The period was apparently recently reduced from 12 years to 10 years in the US.

If you are talking about common-sense:
Inspect them visually and olfactorially on a regular basis.
Thanks Avanti,

It was the legal aspect that I wanted to find out about. Surprising that no recertification is required - I would have expected at least a visual by an authorised inspector being required.

Recently I had to have the two aluminum 30# bottles on our trailer recertified as they were 12 years old.

No pressure test was required, just a visual inspection of valves and tank body then a recertification sticker was affixed.

I thought that likely the same would be required for the fixed tank in a class B, but wondered if they could be properly inspected without removal.

Brian
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Old 01-20-2018, 01:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cruisefx View Post
As a fellow Ontario RV owner, yes, fixed propane tanks require an inspection every 5 years. Once approved, a sticker is affixed to your windshield. Propane operators in Ontario are supposed to verify this. I have known Ontario owners to wait until they travel outside the province to purchase their propane to avoid getting denied by a local operator. We did have to replace our tank....it was too rusty. $$$.
That's interesting - yet again our regs differ from those in the US. 5 years seems a pretty short inspection interval.

I did recently have to have our two aluminum 30# trailer bottles recertified but had to have it done in the US. We bought the trailer in Ohio and the bottles are DOT stamped but not CSA. Technically propane suppliers are not supposed to even fill them in Canada - I did look int that.

I usually get them filled in the US but have managed one or twice to get them refilled at home!

I wonder if US visitors ever have problems when traveling in Canada? perhaps with US tags on the vehicle they are exempt.

Brian.
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Old 01-20-2018, 02:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
That's interesting - yet again our regs differ from those in the US. 5 years seems a pretty short inspection interval.

I did recently have to have our two aluminum 30# trailer bottles recertified but had to have it done in the US. We bought the trailer in Ohio and the bottles are DOT stamped but not CSA. Technically propane suppliers are not supposed to even fill them in Canada - I did look int that.

I usually get them filled in the US but have managed one or twice to get them refilled at home!

I wonder if US visitors ever have problems when traveling in Canada? perhaps with US tags on the vehicle they are exempt.

Brian.
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Old 01-20-2018, 03:17 PM   #7
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That's interesting - yet again our regs differ from those in the US. 5 years seems a pretty short inspection interval.

....
My impression is that the relative lack of oversight is partly because this issue has fallen though the cracks in the U.S.

For instance, I was told by an authorized rep that the propane flex hoses that were used on my Class B (and presumably many others) are recommended for change-out every 5 years. Even if the tank is sound, the hose manufacturer will state that they don't believe its hoses are still sound at that point (more details here).

If the hoses are, by the manufacturer's own definition, not sound, then neither is the system itself, really. But to my knowledge, there is no corresponding regulatory requirement to change them on a 5 year interval or any other interval. Nor is there anything mentioned about this in my rig's owner's manual.

Propane issues just haven't been dealt with very thoroughly, in other words. If this kind of thing were common knowledge and we had a 5-year inspection requirement, then at a minimum, hoses would get condemned every 5 years during such an inspection unless they had been replaced.
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