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Old 12-03-2006, 04:55 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Can I attach my propane gas dryer to a small tank, like my BBQ?

I have a propane gas dryer that is connected to a gas line leading to two 100 gallon propane tanks outside the house. We have a propane furnace, but we don't use it at all, as we also have a wood pellet stove which provides all of our heating. As a result, we only use a small amount of propane to run the dryer only. The propane delivery company requires a minimum purchase of 100 gallons, which will run my dryer for about 6 years, at our current rate.

I would rather not buy that much propane just to run the dryer. Can I attach the dryer to a small 10 or 20 gallon propane tank inside the house, and only fill it as needed? The hose connectors are different, so I would need some kind of adapter; is such a thing made? Or am I unwittingly building a bomb that will blow our little cottage all over southern New Hampshire?
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:04 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself
Can I attach the dryer to a small 10 or 20 gallon propane tank inside the house, and only fill it as needed?
Well, propane is pretty much propane. If the tank feeds an appropriate regulator which in turn feeds the dryer, you should be okay. There is no reason why you need to buy 100 gals at a time to be safe.

But you really don't want that tank indoors. Any leak could pool propane in a low spot and lead to the nasty explosion you mention. Why not mount the smaller tank outdoors and connect to it with the existing lines?
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:28 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xema
Why not mount the smaller tank outdoors and connect to it with the existing lines?
Could do that, if I could find the hardware to adapt the two different connectors. The two large storage tanks are supplied by the gas company, i don't know what they would think of me futzing with their tanks. In the house, I would just turn off the valve, disconnect the dryer, and attach it to the small tank. Are small propane appliances never supposed to be used indoors?
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:46 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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In brief, don't do it. Both the International Residential Code and the Uniform Mechanical Code defer to NFPA 58, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code. Propane cylinders are prohibited indoors or in other locations deemed hazardous. Leaks are particularly dangerous, as propane is heavier than air and will pool at grade. It's lower explosive limit is 2.1%, which isn't a heckuva lot. Outdoor storage tanks are built to a different standard than are portable units, as they are expected to be used in different fashions.

While IANAL, it is conceivable that in the event of a fire, your insurance company might refuse payment of the claim for such a code violation.

Personally, my situation isn't much different than yours. The only thing propane powered here at casa d'cats is the water heater. I looked for a vendor who would let me be on 'will call' status for delivery, and I request a fill of the 100G tank ~ every 9 months. I must remember to check the tank every month to prevent running out, but that's a minor inconvenience, IMO.
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:35 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danceswithcats
In brief, don't do it. Both the International Residential Code and the Uniform Mechanical Code defer to NFPA 58, the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code. Propane cylinders are prohibited indoors or in other locations deemed hazardous. Leaks are particularly dangerous, as propane is heavier than air and will pool at grade. It's lower explosive limit is 2.1%, which isn't a heckuva lot. Outdoor storage tanks are built to a different standard than are portable units, as they are expected to be used in different fashions.
OK, i'm convinced. But are my propane appliances any less prone to leaking than a propane tank? Am I still in danger?
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:21 PM
A.R. Cane A.R. Cane is offline
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Have you discussed your limited needs w/ your propane supplier? They are usually very accommodating, they might very well install a smaller tank along side your large one, or replace the large tank.
As far as leaks, you will likely smell a leak before it gets dangerous, but if you're leaving your house uninhabited for an extended period, say a week or more, you should probably turn the gas off at the tank.
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:52 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself
OK, i'm convinced. But are my propane appliances any less prone to leaking than a propane tank? Am I still in danger?
Appliances have safety devices to preclude release of fuel gas and are tested by the manufacturer prior to shipping. Most problems arise from well-intentioned but untrained personnel who modify branch distribution piping in an unapproved manner or who attempt to bypass appliance safety devices rather than effecting proper repairs.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:26 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is online now
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You could install the small tank outside your house, near where the dryer is. Then run gas pipe from the tank into the house, and down to the dryer. Install a valve, which lets you select either the small tank, or the whole-house supply to run the dryer. But I would definitely have a licensed professional do all this. And make sure he follows code, and any insurance requirements. Probably needs to pull a building permit, too.

But it would probably be simpler to do as Danceswcats suggested: talk to your propane supplier, and seek an accommodation. Remember that they are probably not the only supplier that you could buy from, so you do have some bargaining power. You could always cease buying from them, and ask them to remove their tank from your property. Then your new supplier can install a smaller tank in its place. But it's much more likely that they will reach an agreement with you. (You may have to resist their efforts to sell you a propane water heater or stove.)
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