How to Anchor Propane Tanks

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Propane tanks are especially at risk during natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Tipped tanks may explode or cause a gas leak that could easily lead to a fire. Special precautions must be taken to reduce the possibilities of the tank being affected by the elements. The recommended way of doing this involves using straps or cables with special anchors driven into the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Galvanized steel straps or galvanized cables (size and quantity depend on tank capacity)
  • Earth anchors (size depends on tank capacity)
  • Soil test probe
  • Ratchet or breaker bar
  • Torque wrench
  • Sledge hammer

Test Soil Composition

  • Determine the location of underground utilities around the propane tank. This includes plumbing, natural gas and electrical cables. Failure to do so may lead to personal injury or costly repairs.

  • Drive the soil test probe into the ground where the anchors need to be placed, using a 15/16-inch hex socket and the ratchet or breaker bar. Drive the probe down until it encounters resistance. Probes are normally around 5 feet long, but the maximum required depth of the shaft depends on the soil composition.

  • Place the torque wrench adapter included with the soil test probe on the torque wrench.

  • Twist the probe, using the torque wrench and adapter up to, but not beyond, 600 pounds.

  • Cross reference the readings with the soil classification chart (see References). If the torque wrench readings do not coincide with the chart specifications at that depth, continue down to the next depth.

  • Verify the chart readings and obtain the recommended anchor sizes and cable lengths.

Anchor the Propane Tank

  • Place the earth anchor set on the ground about 6 inches from the legs of the propane tank and insert the steel drive shaft.

  • Drive the steel drive shaft into the ground with the sledge hammer until the cable or strap end of the anchor set is barely above ground.

  • Remove the steel drive and attach it to the looped end of the cable or strap. Pull the cable or strap up a few inches to lock the anchors into a horizontal position.

  • Insert the supplied fastening device into the looped end and tighten the bolt or lag screw.

  • Repeat the previous steps for each of the sets of anchors that need to be installed. The number of straps needed to properly anchor a propane tank depend on the tank's size (see references).

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References

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