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Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank?

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Emily
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi this may be a totally ignorant question... but you have to start somewhere in order to get informed right? Well, we are currently in the process of converting from using a diesel fueled hot water heater to a propane fueled hot water heater. That looks like we will have to get a couple propane tanks and replace all the fuel lines UNLESS (and this is my question) is there any way to completely clean out the 500 gallon diesel fuel tanks that we have, and the existing fuel line, and then use the existing tanks and fuel line for propane? Or is that a complete no-no, not possible, dont do it kind of deal?

Based on the research I've done so far I dont see anywhere that even mentions this is an option. But I just want to be sure before I rule it out completely

Thanks for your input.
 
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JMS./MN
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Propane fuel is stored at relatively high pressure. Your diesel fuel tank is not a pressure vessel- just atmospheric. So, no.
 
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Emily
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thank you. That makes sense.
What about the fuel line that is installed underground that has had diesel running through it? Any idea if we have to rip that up and instal one designed only for propane? Or is there a way to clean out the fuel line and safely use propane in it?

Thanks!
 
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steve706
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A propane tank is made totally different from a standard fuel tank. Propane tanks are made to hold pressure and are thicker and have the rounded ends to avoid weak spots. a diesel tank with the flat ends would rupture under the pressure of liquid propane when filled and likely explode like a bomb. Propane tanks are generally dated and certified so the odds are you couldn't get any one to fill them.
 
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sflem849
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It is not at all possible to go from diesel to propane. It is certainly possible to store diesel in an old propane/anhydrous tank.

The line might work for you. I would assume your diesel tank used flexible copper and if the size and variety is correct it should work. When they come to set your tanks they will let you know if it is ok or not.
 
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Propane
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You need a completely different set up for propane. Propane is actually boiling inside the tank at about -50 degs. and that's what causes the pressure to build up to around 250 PSI. You want to have a certified tank and the right line to the heater. Talk to your propane supplier or the heater manufacturer.
 
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Dan in North Houston
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You may be able to use some of the fuel lines. Our propane tank has a regulator at the tank that drops the pressure down for the underground line, then another regulator at the house to bring it down even lower for the furnace. Talk to your installer.
 
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David G
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Run new lines, the propane will be under pressure, the fuel oil was not. Look up pictures of propane explosions, it is not something you want to have.
 
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Emily
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks everyone Smile You answered what I already suspected but just didn't have full clarity about. I feel more informed now. Thank you

Emily
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Call the propane suppliers in your area, and find out what they charge to install a tank and connect it to your house. You really don't want to try to reuse anything, and they won't want to either.

By "hot water heater" I assume you mean a "boiler". (a boiler is a big water heater that is used to heat an entire house; never mind that it doesn't actually bring the water to a boil).

Whoever is installing the boiler should also install "black" (steel) pipe from the heater to somewhere outside the wall. Depending on the size of the boiler, it will be between 1/2" and 1" i.d. pipe. The propane company will typically install a secondary regulator on that pipe, which will then be connected with 3/8" or larger tubing back to the primary regulator on the tank.

After the tank is installed and connected to the boiler, the boiler installer will need to come out and adjust the boiler.

Check with your neighbors who run propane to get recommendations on suppliers. Propane suppliers vary considerably in price, reliability and integrity. Most will install a tank for a nominal fee and waive the rent if you meet a minimum annual purchase. If you're in an area with no competition, they may insist that you buy your tank or pay rent.
 
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SuperHank
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

No propane dealer will fill the tank you describe
 
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JMS./MN
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have no idea what the underground fuel line is............maybe it is copper, like propane lines are. The line is not the issue- the tank is. Plus, YOU are, your spouse, and family- that is most important! Bottom line, YOU need to contact a supplier, and installer, to handle your propane issues. It is nothing to be handled by an amateur!
 
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Greenday
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:33 am    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Oh my
 
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Emily
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I realize that sir...thank you.
 
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Emily
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Diesel Fuel Tank converted to Propane Tank? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thank you sir. Your post is extremely helpful. I love just getting a BASE knowledge like this so when I talk to professionals I've already gotten stupid questions like this out of the way :)

Your input helps me a lot. I appreciate it.
 
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