Propane Tank Certification: Should I Recertify My L/P Tank?

propane tanks - 100 pound

Table of Contents

If you have a DOT propane tank it will need to be re-qualified after 12 years of manufacture date. Sounds good. How do I know if I have a DOT tank and why is it called DOT?

Smaller portable propane tanks sizes from 20 and 100 lbs to 420 lbs or 1 gallon to 120-gallon propane cylinder can be transported over the highways and roads are therefore regulated by The Department of Transportation. That’s what they are called DOT tanks.

Most BBQ propane tanks and smaller 100 lbs are DOT tanks. Therefore propane tanks are called DOT tanks.

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If you have a 100-gallon tank at your home it could be a DOT propane tank or an AMSE propane tank (The American Society of Mechanical Engineers). If you have a DOT at your home it will need to be requalified 12 years after the manufacturer’s date. If you have an ASME propane tank there is no requalification needed.

How do I know if I have a DOT tank?

They make it pretty easy as it will be stamped on the outside collar of the propane tank. It will say “DOT-

L.iquid propane tank engraved certification

Once you establish you have a D.O.T. the next step is to find the date of manufacture. Once again it’s stamped on the propane tank collar. Per DOT regulations propane tanks (larger tanks) need to be recertified every 12 years from the date of manufacture and every 5, 7, or 12 years thereafter depending upon how the last certification was performed.

propane tank date of manufacture

This tank would need to be requalified on 4/2020

Types of Re-Certification

You can get a propane tank inspected visually. Only a qualified technician can perform this test for a propane tank recertification. If you have a The Department of Transportation that needs use to be requalified locally you can take it to where you normally have your propane tank filled and they should be able to help you. If you have a DOT at your home, your propane provider should be able to assess the tank’s status and re-certify the propane tank for you.

Another way to requalify a propane tank is to do what is called “Proof Pressure” where the tank pressure is tested with air at twice the marked service pressure. If this test is completed it will need to be retested 7 years after this recertification date.

The last test is a “Volumetric Expansion” test which is a water jacket hydrostatic test where the propane tank is tested at twice the marked service pressure. Propane tanks will need to be re-qualified 12 years after this type of testing. After a certified technician requalifies a propane tank he/she will mark the propane tank with the date and type of test performed.

Summary

The basic idea to come away with from this is that 99% of BBQ tanks (propane grill tanks) are DOT tanks and they will need to be requalified 12 years after the manufactures date stamped on the collar of the propane tank. If your propane tank is approaching the recertification date just take it to where you normally have them filled or to your local propane dealer and they will be able to help you out. You will not be able to get your propane tank filled right away but should be able to exchange it for another. If you have DOT at your home, your propane dealer will be able to requalify the propane tank using one of the above methods.

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Ryan McCabe

Ryan McCabe

Ryan is a home and small business energy expert, having overseen retail propane, heating oil, and HVAC services companies. On ComparePropane, Ryan writes about things that people should know when shopping for or using propane in their homes and businesses. 

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