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worahm
Actually, I feel the propane dealer did a pretty good job considering he installed it 8 years ago. Aside from the absence of a vent line on the regulator and using galvanized pipe I think I would be satisfied. I don't like that he drilled a pipe clamp hole in the wrong place and did not cover the hole up with some grout or sealer. Not a big thing but kind of tells you something about his work ethic.

There is another neighbor up the road, who has a 14kW generator that is situated 10" from the wall of their house and only 3 feet from the garage door opening. It was installed about 10 years ago. Now that I think about that, I don't remember seeing a second stage regulator near the generator. Will have to check that out later today.

My biggest problem is situating the underground tank no further then 100 feet from the curb in front of my house. I was told that is because they only have 110 feet of hose on the propane truck.

Do you know if Generac is recommending the larger/longer pipe between the second stage regulator and a [B]water cooled generator [/B]that runs at 1800 RPM?

Bill
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UPS
Permits and inspections are important, but don't guarantee the installation is completely correct, only that is safe (hopefully). The electrical inspector will verify the wiring methods, presence of required disconnect, and probably that there is load shedding configured. The plumbing/gas inspector will look for safety violations, such as wrong materials used, placement of equipment and vents, etc. But there is no guarantee that the installation will really work right if the manufacturer rules/guidelines are not followed.
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Dan N.
I agree UPS, I’m just saying I would hope most inspectors would also give their opinion if it’s sloppy or whatnot, but they would not fail the job unless it’s out of compliance. Size of pipe, length, etc. may not interest them. I would have hard time understanding why an inspector would pass the one in the pics that Worahm posted though. Maybe the vent I could possibly see, but the wrong type of pipe?
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Birken Vogt
There is nothing "wrong" with galvanized pipe. Only that it costs a little more. It is the same pipe coated with an additional material. In some applications it is required for aesthetic reasons since it does not rust.
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worahm
I agree about the inspectors. That is why I intend to sit down and have a heart to heart talk with my propane company. I am always willing to listen to the contractor. However, it's nice when you find a contractor that is willing to listen to the customer. If I make a suggestion about some detail, and I am wrong, I expect the contractor to explain why my suggestion wont work or will get us into trouble.

Generally, I have gotten into trouble is when I don't get involved and I let the contractor make all the decisions. ie Installing out-of-plumb down spouts twice.

Participating and resolving the details of a job with a contractor can be like walking a tight rope. I try to make it clear that I am only trying to understand how he intends to do the job. I am not trying to tell him HOW to do the job. If I suggest something, I expect the contractor to at least tell me why he cant handle that particular detail that way.

Sometimes the contractor becomes defensive and refuses to discuss those details. That is when he loses the contract. I have even had one contractor refuse to talk about a certain detail of the job and tell me his job does not include teaching me how to do his job.

Another contractor told me that he has been installing gutters for 36 years and only amatuers need to measure where to place the cutouts for the downspout. Even after misplacing the downspout cutout and the gutter twice.

I am 82 years old and I am keenly aware that I don't know everything. I know my brain still works pretty good and I can understand what I read. I've had good and bad experiences with contractors. Bottom line, with the exception of one or two bad experiences, the job seems to go better and I am always more satisfied with the outcome when I am armed with information gleaned from this Forum There have even been times when the contractor liked my suggestion used it on other jobs.

I have actually stayed up passed my bedtime to read some of the very interesting experiences of it's members. The expert Forum members are willing to discuss their trade which I believe is a real service to people like me who just want to end up with their new generator installed properly.

Bill
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worahm
A forum member wrote that the galvanized could flake off the pipe and plug the regulator. Has something changed? Bill
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John R
I've noticed the gas company's use galvanized in most of their installations, their exempt from the codes we have to follow.

Don't think it hurts a thing.
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Dan N.
I think it appears to be up to the local building authority and what they would like to see used. I see the IFGC does allow galvanized or zinc for gas pipe. The concern with my municipality is that galvanized is softer and is more likely to fracture than iron because its stronger. I guess the same can be said about the 3/8” copper that runs from my 1st stage regulator underground to the 2nd stage regulator. My local authority did not allow just buried copper; it had to have some coating or protection material. The propane company was surprised to hear that one. Said they do it all the time and have for years. I think the zinc material that flakes off the galvanized pipe only happens on the outside of the pipe.
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Birken Vogt
The underlying material in black or galvanized pipe is the same basic steel.

The zinc coating on galvanized does not seem to flake much to my eyes. Black pipe usually comes with a bunch of rust inside it since it sits on racks outside in the rain at the supply house.

I just leave the last downstream connection unconnected until piping is nearly done. Then open the gas wide open and let it rip for a few seconds. If anything is going to be carried along by the gas that would be the time. If it stays put then it will stay put during normal demand.

This is even more effective when pressure testing with air at 10 psi.
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worahm
Here are excepts from the 2007 FLORIDA BUILDING CODE— FUEL GAS.
I have highlighted certain pertinent information that pertains to Materials, fittings and piping used to transfer propane and other gases.

SECTION 403 (IFGS)
PIPING MATERIALS

403.1 General. Materials used for piping systems shall comply
with the requirements of this chapter or shall be approved.

403.2 Used materials. Pipe, fittings, valves and other materi-
als shall not be used again except where they are free of foreign
materials and have been ascertained to be adequate for the ser-
vice intended.

403.3 Other materials. Material not covered by the standards
specifications listed herein shall be investigated and tested to
determine that it is safe and suitable for the proposed service,
and, in addition, shall be recommended for that service by the
manufacturer and shall be approved by the code official.

[B]403.4.1 Cast iron. Cast-iron pipe shall not be used[/B].

403.4.2 Steel. Steel and wrought-iron pipe shall be at least
of standard weight (Schedule 40) and shall comply with one
of the following standards:

[B]403.4.3 Copper and brass. Copper and brass pipe shall not
be used if the gas contains more than an average of 0.3
grains of hydrogen sulfide per 100 standard cubic feet of gas
(0.7 milligrams per 100 liters). Threaded copper, brass and
aluminum-alloy pipe shall not be used with gases corrosive
to such materials. [/B]

403.5.2 Copper and brass tubing. Copper tubing shall
comply with Standard Type K or L of ASTM B 88 or ASTM
B280.

[B]Copper and brass tubing shall not be used if the gas con-
tains more than an average of 0.3 grains of hydrogen sulfide
per 100 standard cubic feet of gas (0.7 milligrams per 100
liters). [/B]

403.6 Plastic pipe, tubing and fittings. Plastic pipe, tubing
and fittings used to supply fuel gas shall be used outdoors,
underground, only, and shall conform to ASTM D 2513. Pipe
shall be marked "Gas" and "ASTM D 2513."

403.6.1 Anodeless risers. Plastic pipe, tubing and
anodeless risers shall comply with the following:

1. Factory-assembled anodeless risers shall be recom-
mended by the manufacturer for the gas used and shall
be leak tested by the manufacturer in accordance with
written procedures.

2. Service head adapters and field-assembled anodeless
risers incorporating service head adapters shall be
recommended by the manufacturer for the gas used,
and shall be designed and certified to meet the
requirements of Category 1 of ASTM D 2513, and
U.S. Department of Transportation, Code of Federal
Regulations, Title 49, Part 192.281(e). The manufac-
turer shall provide the user with qualified installation
instructions as prescribed by the U.S. Department of
Transportation, Code of Federal Regulations, Title
49, Part 192.283(b).

403.6.2 LP-gas systems. The use of plastic pipe, tubing and
fittings in undiluted liquefied petroleum gas piping systems
shall be in accordance with NFPA 58.

[B]403.6.3 Regulator vent piping. Plastic pipe, tubing and fit-
tings used to connect regulator vents to remote vent termi-
nations shall be PVC conforming to UL 651. PVC vent
piping shall not be installed indoors. [/B]

[B]403.7 Workmanship and defects. Pipe, tubing and fittings
shall be clear and free from cutting burrs and defects in struc-
ture or threading, and shall be thoroughly brushed, and chip
and scale blown[/B].


[B]403.8 Protective coating. Where in contact with material or
atmosphere exerting a corrosive action, metallic piping and fit-
tings coated with a corrosion-resistant material shall be used.
External or internal coatings or linings used on piping or com-
ponents shall not be considered as adding strength[/B].


[B]403.9.3 Thread compounds. Thread (joint) compounds
(pipe dope) shall be resistant to the action of liquefied petro-
leum gas or to any other chemical constituents of the gases
to be conducted through the piping[/B].


403.10 Metallic piping joints and Httings. The type of piping
joint used shall be suitable for the pressure-temperature condi-
tions and shall be selected giving consideration to joint tight-
ness and mechanical strength under the service conditions. The
joint shall be able to sustain the maximum end force caused by
the internal pressure and any additional forces caused by tem-
perature expansion or contraction, vibration, fatigue or the
weight of the pipe and its contents.
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worahm
Secton 403.7 of the Florida code states that pipe used to transfer propane and gas "shall be thoroughly brushed, and chip and scale blown."

That seems to imply the pipe should be brushed and cleaned internally before the pipe is used to transfer propane or gas.

Section 403.8 states that pipe with a protective coating (galvanize ?) "shall be used where the pipe comes in contact with material or atmosphere exerting a corrosive action."

The code also states, galvanize coating should not be considered to add strength to the pipe and that damaged pipe should be replaced, never repaired

Bill
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worahm
I've noticed two different galvanized coatings on pipe at the local big box stores. Some galvanized pipe is hot dipped. The galvanized coating is thick and irregular.

The galvanize on other pipe I have seen is very smooth. It appears to be relatively thin as though the galvanize was sprayed on the pipe rather then the pipe being dipped in molten galvanize. Bill
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DanS26
Just got a chance to read through this thread. Lots of good information.

It has been mentioned in this thread and others that a propane supplier will guarantee delivery in xx hrs. IMHO any guarantee like that is not worth the paper it's written on.

In the event of a true emergency like a blizzard, tornado, hurricane, flood, etc there is very little likelyhood the supplier will satisfy the promise.

It's a nice talking point to sell you service but not worth much.
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worahm
Hi Dan. The comment you mentioned came from my local small town propane dealer when I was inquiring about the cost of burying a 500 gal tank in my back yard. I understand what you are saying and of course you are correct. I think the propane dealer and I both understood, in the case of an extreme emergency the propane dealer would probably be unable to fill my tank within a few hours. That being said, Ten years ago when a tornado ripped through our community and we were without power for over a week, Two local propane dealers had their trucks in our community the next day.

I checked if the city hall and the local police station are indeed located in close proximity to the propane dealer I talked to. As far as I can determine, they are all fed from the same electric transformer. When power is lost, the city hall and the police station are very high priority for having their power restored, which places the propane dealer at the same priority by default.

The second propane dealer is located 30 miles away from my location. He seemed reluctant to install a tank because the generator will be the only appliance using propane.
And, most importantly, he wanted double the price to install the tank.

I need to determine who will do the best job. I am not done talking to the local propane dealer yet. I want more information about exactly what regulators he intends to use and how the regulators and pipe will be configured to the generator. Bill
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Dan N.
You sound like you have very limited options for propane dealers in your area. Careful not to scare them or him off. Second if you buy your tank you can have anyone fill it, which in a major outage you can keep calling dealers till you find someone that can and will come out timely. It was difficult to find someone to sell me a tank but I eventually found one. The fact that you are having a rented tank buried may later cost alot more if they don't give you the option to buy it later. Mine were both above ground so the cost was next to nothing for them to pick up the old one and leave.
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UPS
Dan N.;36204 wrote:
if you buy your tank you can have anyone fill it, which in a major outage you can keep calling dealers till you find someone that can and will come out timely.


A propane dealer who fills the tank initially and who is never called again until there is a major power outage is not going to give that customer the same priority as one who uses propane regularly. No matter what was claimed, the dealer may face limits from his suppliers, and with transportation problems, high customer demand there could be a long wait.

It's best to buy a big tank, if possible, that will last thru the early parts of an outage, have a preferred dealer - who fills it initially, then have choices later if that dealer can't supply.
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Dan N.
That's not my experiences at all. If the only thing that runs off that tank is your generator they would not expect you to call an order till an outage occurred. I've had several never before used companies offer to fill my tank because they had trucks out in my area when the contracted supplier I used to have did not. If you own your tank and need fuel, and there are 6 or so companies that service your area id bet one of them would take the business and and sell you some fuel. Any company that would refuse because your not a "favorite" regular customer would have to be the most worthless company to deal with anyway. A company that would rather let your family freeze because you don't ever order fuel from them is probably why the propane industry has the bad rap it does. That would be most outrageous!
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worahm
Dan, this very interesting discussion brings to mind the so called gasoline shortage in the early 1970's, When people would only deal at one gas station so they would be able to fuel their car by appointment at 4 am.

That being said. when a tornado ripped through our community ten years ago, several propane trucks were cruising through the community the following day delivering propane to anyone who flagged them down. Bill
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UPS
Dan N.;36212 wrote:
That's not my experiences at all. If the only thing that runs off that tank is your generator they would not expect you to call an order till an outage occurred. I've had several never before used companies offer to fill my tank because they had trucks out in my area when the contracted supplier I used to have did not. If you own your tank and need fuel, and there are 6 or so companies that service your area id bet one of them would take the business and and sell you some fuel. Any company that would refuse because your not a "favorite" regular customer would have to be the most worthless company to deal with anyway. A company that would rather let your family freeze because you don't ever order fuel from them is probably why the propane industry has the bad rap it does. That would be most outrageous!


But still, if after a big storm or other disaster, the company was limited by their supplier, if roads were impassible, or they simply did not have enough trucks and drivers - and they had to set priorities, I can't see them delivering to a customer who only buys every few years ahead of one who buys regularly.
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Hodgy
ups;36214 wrote:
but still, if after a big storm or other disaster, the company was limited by their supplier, if roads were impassible, or they simply did not have enough trucks and drivers - and they had to set priorities, i can't see them delivering to a customer who only buys every few years ahead of one who buys regularly.




[size="6"][b][size="7"]bingo ![/size][/b][/size]



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Dan N.
I’m and optimistic kind of guy. I think it’s probably a little bit premature to suggest that all the propane companies are only out to line their pockets. The bigger companies…, I could see where one could expect that from; however the company that filled my tank is not about that at all. They are a family own and operated organization, have a heart and would absolutely do the best they could to get me or anyone else some fuel in such a bad situation. The idea that you’d relay on 1 company to provide you with fuel in the event of an emergency, as opposed to having 6,7, or 8 companies that could provide you with some fuel are odds I’d rather not entertain. The whole purpose of owning the tank is to have the extended freedom to get fuel from anyone when you need it, even at a better cost in most cases and not be at the mercy of only 1 company to get there when they get there. If your options for companies are limited at best, a bigger tank might be a smarter option. With almost 10 companies that service my area I’m more than certain one of them would be able to get some fuel out here. I don’t see a company being ruthless enough to just turn their back, even if it’s only a 50 to 100 gallon they could spare.
Quick note, a couple years ago when the mass propane shortage happened, my neighbor about 4 doors down ask me if he could borrow some propane, we had the same supplier, called them, and they had the maintenance truck come out by the end of that day and take 100 gallon out of my tank. My tank is only hooked up to my generator; I don’t us propane for any other use, and put it in his tank so he could heat his house. A couple months later they delivered 100 gallons back and all was well. In Ohio we are fortunate that we don’t have hurricanes, mass flooding, earthquakes, etc. so that propane epic, was about the closest thing to a “crisis” we’ve had and we took care of each other at every opportunity we could get. That propane company went the extra mile to take care of the customers. Couple three years later they were bought out by a bigger supplier and needless to say, I got rid of them pretty quick. The new, bigger company that bought them was the pocket liners.
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Birken Vogt
I worked in propane for some years and what everybody has said here has lots of truth to it. You just have to know who you are dealing with. I went through quite a few shortages when I was there and for the most part the customer never even knew.

There are a lot of customers who heat their house at 80 degrees and get a delivery every 4 weeks and don't care about the cost.

But for each of those there are also a lot more who get only like 3 deliveries a season. So you can let those slide another week or two while you try to keep up with the pressing demand [and work dark to dark while doing it] so there really is a lot of flexibility if you plan it out right.

Also one of the benefits of propane is that it is mobile on wheels so you can load at different places, trucks are capable of pumping themselves full [slowly], you can pump from one truck to another, etc. so there are a lot of tricks in the bag to keep crises under control as much as possible.
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worahm
[B]The fact that you are having a rented tank buried may later cost alot more if they don't give you the option to buy it later.[/B]

Dan. Sorry I was not more clear. I am purchasing the tank and was chatting with the dealer about the cost of burying the tank in my back yard. He tried hard to talk me into a 250 gal tank with 200 gals of propane and 25 feet of feed line, for a cost of $1150.00. Plus permits.

He gave me a price of $1550.00 plus permits to bury a 500 gal tank filled with 400 gals of propane and the first 25 feet of underground feed line and regulators. If I need more then 25 feet of feed line, it will cost $10.00/foot.

I know, it sounds almost too good to be true and that is why I will be having a second chat with the propane dealer. Bill
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Dan N.
[URL="http://www.propane101.com/undergroundpropanetanks.htm"]http://www.propane101.com/undergroundpropanetanks.htm[/URL]

Ahhh No problem. $1550 is a pretty low price, especially including the fuel. With them pulling permits it will be a little more difficult for them to cut any corners. Your HOA wants it buried, that seems to be a consistent standard with HOA’s. Not sure if I posted this link before, but it has some good info on the tanks and whatnot. I also would not go with the 250 gallon, that’s kinda of too small to last any amount of time.
New or refurbished tank? Mine is above ground refurbished, cost was $1050 delivered, but not installed. How many other estimates did you get? I got 3 and the cost differences were pretty vast, $500 to $1000 from 3 different suppliers. What seems to the going rate down there?
The good thing about permitting here in my area is that you can look them up on the city’s webpage and see what the price is that each job cost. That’s a good way to get some cost estimates, it’s part of the permit to include the cost of the job. However you’ll see a lot a propane tanks, and no permit on record, cause some, most propane companies just don’t pull them. They are willing in your case so that is a pretty good sign. I would go for it, you need the fuel.
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