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Can propane tanks be painted?

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i have an old propane tank that is probably past the average life expectancy and is in full sun and showing quite a bit of rust.

I really don't want to buy a new one, yet.

Can painting it increase its life expectancy?

if so, what kind of prep and paint?

Thank you.

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We used sand paper, Navel jelly and them primed it with oil primer from a can.  Then we painted it 2 coats of oil medium green paint so that it would  blend in with the garden.  WE did the same to our hot water heater which is semi-visible.

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Too much work! Paint it with cheap house paint or if you want to get fancy, coat it with Rust Reformer and then paint it. 

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Why would anyone spend ANY money or the time to paint a metal tank with cheap house paint, which wouldn't last more than a few months at the most?

Solajijic's recommendation probably extended the life of their tank for years, for a few hours work plus materials.

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Why would anyone spend ANY money or the time to paint a metal tank with cheap house paint, which wouldn't last more than a few months at the most?

I didn't mean cheap Mexican house paint aka whitewash.

How long would it take to paint? Twenty minutes tops.

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As long as the metal isn't deeply pitted you can repaint it.  Start by getting all the rust off then paint using rustoleum primer and paint.

 

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I didn't mean cheap Mexican house paint aka whitewash.

How long would it take to paint? Twenty minutes tops.

Whatever, regular cheap latex house paint (not whitewash) would start to flake and peel almost right away,  especially if someone was too lazy to sand off the rust and prime it. So twenty minutes to paint, and twenty minutes till it starts to come off :-)

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Our gas delivery would not deliver if the tank was past the date on the metal label....neither in Mazatlan nor Comala....be very careful with an old tank!

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Our gas delivery would not deliver if the tank was past the date on the metal label....neither in Mazatlan nor Comala....be very careful with an old tank!

When I lived in Guadalajara, a house next door to mine was sold and was in the process of renovation from residential to an office building.  The new owner came over one day: he and I and another neighbor went up on the roof to look around, and ended up looking at the beat-up old stationary gas tank. The new owner fiddled with the gauge on the tank for a minute and then tried to light it.  Much to our horror, a spike of flame SHOT vertically out of the tank, hissing and spitting, about 50 feet into the sky.  We three scurried down from the roof and into the street just as the whole thing exploded with a sound none of us could believe.  All the neighbors came out to see what the heck had happened.  Civil defense came, cordoned off the block, and made sure all the fireworks were over.  The whole thing scared us silly.  We were extremely lucky not to have been injured.  So yeah, be very careful with an old tank.

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Tanks should be replaced at 20 yrs. of age - regardless.  Look at the date labelling on the tank. 

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i have an old propane tank that is probably past the average life expectancy and is in full sun and showing quite a bit of rust.

I really don't want to buy a new one, yet.

Can painting it increase its life expectancy?

if so, what kind of prep and paint?

Thank you.

I would not paint an old tank to increase its life expectancy, especially if it has rust spots.

A new tank is a great life insurance policy.

I'd buy a new tank and paint it

If you've ever seen what happens when one leaks and blows up, you wouldn't even think of it

 

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My tank is 20 years old and I'm waiting patiently for the propane level to go down so I can buy a new one. I filled it in June of 2016 and I still have 40%. I have an on demand water heater and a dryer that I use three times a week for a total of three hours. And my propane stove.

This low usage of propane tells me that my replacement lines (over the roof) are not leaking. In the house that I was renting, I filled it every three months and wondered where the hell it went. So, I'm buying one of the smaller tanks that Amutio sells... 120 litre or 180 litre... definitely not the 300 litre that I have now. Quite honestly, I never understood the logic of having a big tank on one side of the house that had to feed gas appliances being used on the far side of the house... long runs of pipe and angles reduce pressure in both gas and water.  A number of smaller tanks closer to the point of use makes more sense to me. Opinions?

edited to add: I had an Uncle who died in the explosion of a metal propane tank that was defective from metal fatigue. I am overly cautious as a result.

 

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Having worked in the propane industry, we routinely checked our tanks for certification & physical condition every 3 months as they went out or came back in to the yard.

Metal grinder (wire type) and drill will kill rust.  Add a touch of Rustoleum if you want it to last.  Use aluminum paint made for such applications.  One paint job is good for almost 5 years before there will be any visible deterioration.

No point if the tank's not certified, tho - get a mechanic to make you a BBQ smoker out of it.

 

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The tank location should be convenient for refilling from the street. The pressure is equal from the regulator to the appliance if the pipes are of the correct size. Generally, 1/2“ pipe is sufficient for household use unless multiple appliances are in use at the same time, in which case you might consider 3/4“ pipe for overkill capacity, like a restaurant quality stove and a large water heater, along with a space heater.  :)

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I have been thinking that it was time to paint my tank. I checked the metal label as to date but it is difficult to read. I need to take the label to a store that sells them and see what they read. Where is a good place to buy them Lakeside? I guess you wait until it is almost empty before you replace one.

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On ‎9‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 4:29 PM, cedros said:

I have been thinking that it was time to paint my tank. I checked the metal label as to date but it is difficult to read. I need to take the label to a store that sells them and see what they read. Where is a good place to buy them Lakeside? I guess you wait until it is almost empty before you replace one.

This topic got me thinking.

The label on my gas tank is quite difficult to read. I can see 1983 but does that mean when it was made or when it was installed (those dates could be quite different)? I have a 300 liter tank. It looks fine and the gas guys that fill it never make any comment.

Where is the best place to buy them? Jara and Amutio in Ajijic don't have them in stock. They can order them in. Has anyone seen them in stock Lakeside? I guess the procedure for installing a new one would be buy it and place it near your old one. When you old one is empty (or is it better not to draw it right down to empty in case there is stuff on the bottom that may plug a line) . Switch the tanks and then get the new one filled. You may be out of gas for awhile. 

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That store is Amutio and, as of yesterday, they were out of stock. The tanks are "expected" soon. I went to buy a new one too but, after hearing the story, on my way out I asked if there were any other stores that sold them. They said across the street... not Jara's but the other one directly across the street. They had all sizes... 300 litre, 180 litre and 120 litre.  It has taken me 18 months to get through "300" litres and I wanted the extra space in the area to put three garbage cans. So I chose the 180 litre and it was delivered within an hour.

I am also interested in the answer to Cedros' question... how low do you have to go before replacement? My gauge on the old one (twenty years old) has been reading 0 for two days now and I am still burning off gas this morning with four burners going on the stove. Wasteful except that it's been keeping me warm too. Glad it's December and not May ;)

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I didn't ask because I didn't want that size. The 180 litre tank cost 3450 pesos. When I get it installed (if I ever run out of gas) I will post it.

I can tell you that this size tank is 4619 pesos on the Home Depot website.

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On 9/13/2017 at 12:45 AM, More Liana said:

When I lived in Guadalajara, a house next door to mine was sold and was in the process of renovation from residential to an office building.  The new owner came over one day: he and I and another neighbor went up on the roof to look around, and ended up looking at the beat-up old stationary gas tank. The new owner fiddled with the gauge on the tank for a minute and then tried to light it.  Much to our horror, a spike of flame SHOT vertically out of the tank, hissing and spitting, about 50 feet into the sky.  We three scurried down from the roof and into the street just as the whole thing exploded with a sound none of us could believe.  All the neighbors came out to see what the heck had happened.  Civil defense came, cordoned off the block, and made sure all the fireworks were over.  The whole thing scared us silly.  We were extremely lucky not to have been injured.  So yeah, be very careful with an old tank.

In Ontario it is illegal to refill a tank that it over 10 years old - unless it has been refitted with fire and explosion prevention.

Much earlier in my life I watched a training film of a propane railway car that exploded while a firefighter on an extended aerial ladder sprayed water on it.  The explosion VAPOURIZED to Firefighter and the end of the ladder.  He was a half mile away.  The training video went on to say that a 20 lb - 9 Kg tank (BBQ size) could blow up a house.

Are you really sure it's worth using an old tank ? 

   

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Say it again Oatsie... LOUDER! My mum's brother lost his life to the metal fatigue of a tank he was filling... he was 27. These tanks clearly state that they are only guaranteed for 10 years. My concern is also the gauge... obviously reading incorrectly in my case. So, when they stuff propane in there until it reads 85%, I wonder what the real reading is and how much extra pressure is involved when it's "overfilled".

I would also like to tell everyone that propane eats through the white Teflon tape on connections. I purchased a roll of "yellow" tape specifically for natural gas and propane use from Amazon.com... it cost $1.26 U.S.  I could not find the yellow tape here... although maybe the pale peach one is for the same purpose?

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1 hour ago, Figoush said:

How much for a 300 litre tank and does that include installation?

At Amutio they told me 4,900. Installation not included.

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