Tip of the Day… Propane System. The propane system consist of the tanks, lines, propane detector, stove, oven, water heater and furnace. For this article I am going to discuss the tanks only. There are two types of propane tanks. DOT regulated and ASME. On motor homes or Class type RV (Drivable), the ASME tanks are the primary means of storing propane. These tanks do not need to be replaced and are ‘inspected’ by the person that fills them with propane. Normally these will be rated in gallons of propane and not pounds. For your inspection, you want to make sure that the tank appears to be in good condition. Also check the piping coming out of the tank for loose connections. Your nose is the best test equipment. Make sure the tank is on and smell for propane (rotten eggs).
The DOT tanks come in 20 lb, 30 lb and 40 lb for RV. There are larger sizes but you won’t find them in the RV. You may have 1 or 2 tanks. I haven’t seen more than 2 in any RV yet, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have them. DOT tanks are rated for 12 years of life and will have a manufactures date stamped on the top crown of the tank. It then must be inspected and re-certified. It will then be good for another 5 years. After 17 years they must be replaced.
If the system has two tanks, the regulator will probably be an automatic switch over type. You will be able to recognize this type of regulator as it will have an red/green indicator showing that you have propane in the online tank and a switch to change from one tank to the other. When the online tank (the one the switch is set to) is empty, the indicator will be red. You can then switch the tank selector to the other tank and remove the empty bottle for filling.