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Propane Tanks

Propane Tank Recertification: A Quick Guide for Safety

propane tank recertification
One of the most common concerns propane users have is around safety. Whether using portable propane tanks for grilling or heating outdoors, or a bulk tank as part of a more permanent home heating system, storing liquid gas fuel under pressure can seem scary – but it needn’t be.

Ensuring propane tank safety and compliance

Propane is an extremely safe alternative fuel source with an excellent safety record, which is largely down to the strict regulations governing the industry, including propane tank certification and the requirements for periodic recertification. 

However, regardless of the fuel being used, the importance of safety and compliance with regulations cannot be overestimated, and propane is no different. In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about recertifying propane tank, including:  

  • Types of propane tank – their sizes, and their uses. 
  • Propane tank expiration – how to find out when a tank expires. 
  • Requalification vs. Recertification – what’s the difference. 
  • ASME propane tank recertification and DOT propane tank recertification. 
  • The propane tank recertification process – a step-by-step guide.
  • Propane tank recertification costs. 

Types of propane storage

Depending on the purpose, propane can be stored in bottles also called cylinders or in tanks, also called bulk. There are various sizes for cylinders and tanks:

Propane cylinders

Propane cylinders are mainly used for outdoor activities and can be either refilled or exchanged when empty. 

 Size  Description  Use
 20-pound  Compact and easy to transport.   Primarily for outdoor activities, e.g. portable grills, camping stoves, and small appliances. 
 30-pound  Larger than 20-pound tanks but still relatively portable.  Primarily for outdoor activities, e.g. portable grills, camping stoves, and small appliances. 
 40-pound  A bit larger than the 30-pound tanks and commonly used in residential settings.   Primarily for outdoor cooking, with small to medium-sized grills and appliances. 

Bulk propane tanks

Bulk propane tanks are, as the name suggests, larger than portable cylinders / bottles and are refilled by propane delivery trucks.

 Size Description Use
 250 Gallon  Typically installed outside homes. Commonly used for residential heating, cooking, and hot water systems. 
 500 Gallon  Larger and can be installed underground or above ground on a concrete pad.  Commonly used for heating larger homes, multiple appliances, and sometimes for small businesses.  
 1000 Gallon  Sizable and typically installed outdoors, either above-ground or underground Commonly used for commercial applications, larger residential settings, and as bulk storage for small businesses.  

Propane tank expiration

Propane tanks do not have a specific expiration date, but they are subject to periodic inspections and recertifications. The propane tank certification process ensures that the tank remains compliant with safety standards and, crucially, remains safe.  

The timeframe for recertification depends on the specific type of propane tank and local regulations, but it is typically performed every five, seven, 10, or 12 years. 

How to tell if a propane tank is expired 

Propane tanks typically have a date stamp or code that indicates the manufacturing date, often a series of letters and numbers. It could be MM-YY (month-year) or a specific code, and it's usually located on the collar or foot ring of the tank. 

Check the propane tank recertification requirements for propane tanks in your region. And remember: different types of tanks may have different recertification intervals. 


Propane tank requalification 

Involves a combination of visual inspections, testing, and compliance checks to assess and confirm that a propane tank remains structurally sound and safe for use. 

Propane tank recertification 

A broader term that encompasses the requalification process, this involves verifying the compliance with safety standards and confirming its safety for use over a specified period. 

Recertification tank

ASME propane tank recertification and DOT propane tank recertification

ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and DOT (Department of Transportation) are two different standards that apply to propane tanks and are dependent on their use. 

ASME propane tank recertification 

ASME standards apply to propane tanks designed for stationary use, such as those used for residential heating. Periodic inspections and recertification are typically required. 

DOT propane tank recertification 

DOT standards are designed for propane tanks designed for transport (e.g. propane delivery trucks) or recreational vehicles. Recertification at specific intervals is mandatory. 

The propane tank recertification process – a step-by-step guide 

So, how do you get a propane tank recertified? The recertification process is made up of the following elements: 

  • Inspection: A qualified propane professional will visually inspect the tank, valves and any external attachments, such as regulators and hoses for visible defects, damage and corrosion. 
  • Testing: A pressure test will be carried out to identify leaks and assess the tank's structural integrity, to ensure it can safely contain propane. 
  • Repair and/or replacement: This part of the process concerns necessary repairs and, where needed, replacement of unsafe and non-compliant components. 
  • Compliance: A check will be carried out to ensure compliance with local regulations and ASME and DOT safety standards as applicable. 
  • Documentation: Once the tank has successfully passed all inspections and tests, it is certified as compliant and safe for use, and documentation is issued or updated. 

Propane tank recertification costs 

Propane tank recertification costs vary depending on the size and type of tank, and whether any repair work or replacement components are required. 
To get more information, and access advice and guidance tailored to your needs, enter your zip code to find your local Pinnacle Propane dealer or use the contact portal get in touch with our team of experts.