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Thread: Draining Propane Tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    The on/off switch on the propane tank on my 77 Westy is leaking. I need to drain the tank in order to get it replaced. Normally to drain it I would just use up all the propane, but since when I turn on the gas it leaks this is not an option. Any suggestions on how to get the propane out the of the tank. Thank You

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  3. #2
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    sunnyvale, ca, usa
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    Move the Van away from any source of fire then turn on the gas and let it all leak out into the air. It may take about an hour if the tank was full and the leak is small.

    Lono
    Last edited by Capt. Mike; 03-29-2008 at 05:42 AM.

  4. #3
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    Please understand that allowing the tank to empty is NOT going to make the tank "Gas Free." Empty but not gas free is the most explosive condition. Most tank regulations and operations are based on this theory. Also remember that a vehicle with battery and the normal electrics running still possesses the potential for an accident.

    (Did you know that many older automotive electric clocks -- can't say on a '77 -- are electric wind and spring run? Thus every so often the clock contacts close to rewind the clock and there is a possibility of spark?)

    You might make a call to your local LP and see if they can drain the tank for you. They may even be able to "inert" the tank by flushing or filling with an inert gas. Or consider having them do the work so as they should know & use the safest procedures.

    Overkill? I'm sure, but look at the picture on my pics site (linked home page) under "My Photo Album".
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Capt. Mike; 01-13-2009 at 07:25 AM.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. Mike View Post
    You might make a call to your local LP and see if they can drain the tank for you. They may even be able to "inert" the tank by flushing or filling with an inert gas.
    one note about propane tanks: the chemical used to provide an odor to propane (commonly ethyl mercaptan, aka ethanethiol) is an oily liquid at room temperature, and in old tanks there can be quite a bit of residual. even if a tank is flushed with gas to remove the propane, the chemical and its evaporate is very flammable.

    i've had to burn it off to weld tanks before (don't ask why), and it can be exciting...i mean...very dangerous.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lono View Post
    Move the Van away from any source of fire then turn on the gas and let it all leak out into the air. It may take about an hour if the tank was full and the leak is small.

    Lono
    Is it legal to let the gas leak into the air like this? No environmental laws being broken? I don't want to get in trouble.

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