Santa Energy Santa Energy • May 30, 2019

Understanding the Regulations of Propane Tank Placement on Your Property

Propane is fast becoming one of the most widely-used commercial fuels in the United States. It’s a safe, cost-effective, and versatile fuel that works on a wide range of home appliances and HVAC systems.

To enjoy the benefits of propane, you must equip your home with a propane tank. To ensure you’re storing and securing your propane tank adequately, federal, state and local ordinances govern installing, dispensing and refilling propane tanks properly.

Follow this guide to discover what you need to know about the policies regulating your home’s propane tank.

Propane Tank Placement Regulations by Size

The primary considerations you should know are how far a propane tank needs to be away from houses, buildings, driveways, awnings, and property lines to ensure legal and safe placement of your above or underground propane tank.

These placement regulations will vary based on the size of your propane tank.

100-pound propane tanks

These tanks are most often used to power cooking ranges, indoor fireplaces, or other small appliances. They are also portable. Still, when placing a 100-pound propane tank on your property, you must adhere to the following requirements:

  • The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 3 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 5 feet
100-gallon propane tanks

A 100-gallon propane tank does well with equipment that requires substantial power but isn’t used every day. For example, you may use it for an emergency generator or heating outdoor swimming pools. When placing a 100-gallon propane tank on your property, keep these measurements in mind:

  • The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 5 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 10 feet

Additionally, four (or fewer) 100-gallon tanks can be placed next to each other on a single property as long as placement restrictions are adhered to.

500-gallon propane tanks

This size tank is the most common for residential propane use as it’s suitable for home heating, running everyday appliances, powering generators, and more. With a larger tank, you won’t need to bother with as many refills, but need to adhere to additional requirements during installation:

  • The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from a property line is 10 feet
1000-gallon propane tanks

If you have a large home, like over 4,500 square feet, a 1000-gallon propane tank is your best bet for keeping your home heat running and your everyday appliances in operation. 1,000-gallon tanks are also common for agricultural purposes. For this size tank, distance measurements are as follows:

  • The minimum distance from the opening of a building is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from any source of ignition is 10 feet
  • The minimum distance from a property line is 10 feet

If two, 1000-gallon tanks are placed within 3 feet of each other, each of the above clearance requirements increases to 25 feet.

If these numbers seem confusing, don’t fret. Top propane companies and professionals will know, and explain the propane tank distance requirements you must abide by when installing a propane tank on your property.

Underground Propane Tank Placement Requirements

In addition to clearance requirements, underground tanks need to adhere to depth guidelines, which are defined in the LP Gas Code (NFPA 58). These measurements are as follows:

  • 100-gallon tanks: 9′ 6″ L x 4′ W x 44″ Deep
  • 500-gallon tanks: 14′ L x 5′ W x 4′ 6″ Deep
  • 1000-gallon tanks: 20′ L x 5′ 6″ W x 4′ 6″ Deep

Digging a hole for your underground propane tank requires excavation, which should most often be carried out by a professional.

Where should you place your propane tank?

Before the propane tank installation process, you’ll need to consider the clearance and depth guidelines.

  • Where are the openings to your home (doors, windows, etc.)?
  • What location in your yard is gives you enough space for a propane tank while adhering to the placement requirements?
  • What property lines around your house should you consider?
  • Do you have other sources of ignition near your home?

The answers to these questions will inevitably help you decide the best placement of your propane tank.

But, you’ll also need to factor in other systems in your home so when it comes time installation, you don’t disturb existing work:

  • Sprinkler systems: Be sure to properly identify where your irrigation system lies so during installation, constructions bobtail don’t run over or damaged your system.
  • During your propane tank placement also consider your septic tank’s location. A truck delivering your propane could crack the concrete covers and lids that protect your septic tank.
  • Look for overhead power lines upon installation. Low hanging lines make it difficult for drivers to navigate. If you receive a delivery when it’s dark outside or if the lines are hidden by trees, your driver may not see the lines at all. If your delivery truck hits a powerline, it may cause power loss in your area.

Work with a Local Propane Company

Once the installation of your propane tank is complete, the safety protocols continue. Specifically, upon each refill, your propane tank will need to be inspected for rusting, pitting, and structural integrity. In Connecticut, it may also be required to conduct survey readings, records audited and spot checks for new construction.

It’s best to work with a propane company who knows your state and county ordinances so that you can ensure proper installation and ongoing use of your propane tank.

For propane tank placement and delivery, work with a propane company you trust.


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