propane tank fittings

Brass Propane Fittings: Which Tank Fittings to Use and Where to Use Them 

Please note the information listed in this article is for informative purposes only. Propane Warehouse advises that all work must be done by a qualified installer in accordance with all industry standards and zoning regulations.

Brass propane fittings are essential attachments for effective propane tank use. Brass attachments come in many forms: adaptors, t-fittings, y-separator adaptors, caps or plugs. Propane can be stored in either an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) propane tank or a DOT propane gas cylinder

Propane cylinders are made of welded steel or aluminum. You can see these cylinders attached to a BBQ or in an RV; they are generally small and mobile. Cylinders are used and replaced or can be refilled by qualified refillers with the right equipment or at refilling establishments. 

Propane tanks are made of welded steel. These gas tanks are generally larger, heavier and thicker than propane gas cylinders. These are commonly seen at some gas stations, businesses, or remote establishments. ASME tanks are immobile; tank refill is done on-site.

Types of Common Propane Tanks to Work With:

RV Propane Tanks

rv propane hoses and fittings

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These days many new RV’s are fitted with solar panels with the idea of cleaner energy in mind; for most RV’s, propane tanks are the powering force behind the many creature comforts we expect to have with us, including air-conditioning, cooking equipment, entertainment devices, hot water, and refrigeration. 

Know Your RV

Most new RV’s are designed to be hooked up with propane; some older models may require the use of a converted generator.

RV propane tanks come in both cylinder or ASME forms, and the choice between the two depends on the usage and size of the RV. 

ASME 

ASME tanks are fastened to the RV and will commonly have a bash guard for added safety. The tanks can be fastened under the vehicle with the fittings and valves accessible through the bash guard. ASME tanks are considered the safer option because of their thicker walls.

Tank Size

Tank sizes for RV’s can range from 20lb to 90lb or more, and it depends on the size of the RV. Here are some examples of RV propane tank weight and storage capacity: 

  • 52lb steel RV tank with a storage capacity of 7.9 gallons 
  • 65lb steel RV tank with a storage capacity of 9.8 gallons
  • 72lb steel RV tank with a storage capacity of 11.2 gallons
  • 97lb steel RV tank with a storage capacity of 29.3 gallons

Changing Cylinders 

Some RV’s have multiple DOT cylinders; these can be mounted on the outside or in an outer compartment of an RV for quick and easy removal and replacement. Propane cylinders can be swapped at most RV campgrounds, RV parks or gas stations.

Cylinder Size

Generally, 20, 30, or 40 lb gas cylinders are used, depending on the size of the RV and the needs of the user. For larger RV’s, 60lb cylinders are available; these large cylinders have a storage capacity of 13.7 gallons.

Here are some examples of RV propane cylinder weight and storage capacity:

  • 20lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 4.7 gallons
  • 40lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 9.2 gallons
  • 60lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 13.7 gallons

Stove and Grilling or BBQ Propane Tanks

quick connect propane hose

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Propane cylinders are perfect for cooking when used correctly, they are a safe and reliable fuel source. Propane also burns clean; this makes propane perfect for cooking use. 

One 20lb propane cylinder can provide up to 20 hours of cooking time; then the cylinder must be replaced, it is best to have a spare cylinder for cooking, since the gas may run out at an inconvenient time. 

BBQ propane cylinders are normally quite small, ranging from 20lb to 40lb cylinders. Here are some examples of cooking propane cylinder weight and storage capacity:

Water Heater Propane Tanks

house propane regulator

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Water heaters are commonly run on electricity, natural gas, and propane. Propane water heaters are regarded as a more cost-effective solution when compared with electric heaters. 

Propane water heaters heat water faster than electric water heaters, giving you hot water when you need it.  Propane gas water heaters come in two forms: tank type and tankless. 

Tank Water Heaters

Tank type water heaters heat up the water in the tank and keep it at an even temperature, even when it is not in use. This is extremely inefficient, the water may not be used for days, but the heater will continue heating the water indefinitely. These heaters also take up a significant amount of space.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless heaters take up much less space and are far more efficient; these can be installed in a much smaller area. Tankless propane gas water heaters do not use any gas until it is needed, the heater turns on and heats water as it passes through to the faucet. This difference in design can make a huge difference in costs to the user.

Which is Best

Choose a tankless heater if possible, the upfront costs will be higher, but the savings will more than make up the difference. Some tankless water heater manufacturers state that the difference in price can be made up in just a few months.

Placement

Propane tanks should be installed at a minimum of 10 feet away from the water heater for safety reasons, check your local laws for the required distance. 

Size of the Propane Tank or Cylinder 

Sizes of propane tanks for water heaters can vary, both ASME tanks and propane cylinders may be used. Multiple DOT cylinder use is possible. Here are some examples of water heater propane tank weight and storage capacity: 

  • 52lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 7.9 gallons 
  • 65lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 9.8 gallons
  • 72lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 11.2 gallons
  • 97lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 29.3 gallons

Here are some examples of water heater propane cylinder weight and storage capacity:

  • 40lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 9.2 gallons
  • 60lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 13.7 gallons
  • 100lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 24.4 gallons
  • 420lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 100 gallons

Welding Equipment Propane Tanks

propane accessories

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Propane and acetylene can be used for cutting and brazing metals. Acetylene burns at a higher temperature, but with the right torch and the right technique, propane can achieve a similar cut speed. Brazing is used to fuse two pieces of metal together.

Propane cylinders for cutting and brazing are normally 40 to 100lb cylinders; sizes vary depending on the workload and type of use (commercial, domestic). Here are some examples of cutting and brazing propane cylinder weight and storage capacity:

  • 40lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 9.2 gallons
  • 60lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 13.7 gallons
  • 100lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 24.4 gallons

Propane Powered Forklifts and Tow Motors 

propane tank adapter

Forklifts or, also referred to as, tow motors are mostly powered by propane cylinders or electricity; they come in many forms: side loader forklifts, warehouse forklifts, counterbalance forklifts, and rough terrain forklifts. 

Forklifts and tow motors are the muscle of most warehouses and factories; they come in many sizes, larger forks use larger cylinders. Most average sized forklifts use one 33lb propane cylinder, a forklift with a four-cylinder engine can run for about eight hours on a full 33lb propane cylinder. 

Some larger forklifts use a 43lb propane cylinder. These larger forklifts will run for about 6 hours with a 43lb cylinder. Here are some examples of forklift propane cylinder weight and storage capacity:

  • 33lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 7.7 gallons
  • 43lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 9.9 gallons

Proper mounting of cylinders in these machines is essential. Improper mounting can cause interruptions in propane flow or halt flow altogether, is unsafe, and contrary to OSHA regulations and Federal guidelines.

Generator Propane Tanks

propane hose adapter

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Generators convert fuel into electricity; they can be powered by many fuel sources, including diesel, natural gas, gasoline, solar energy, or propane. 

Generators can be a lifesaver, whether you have an RV, live in a city with an unreliable electricity supply, or use it as a backup power supply for your home or business. A generator can be an essential tool to keep your home, RV, or business running. With the increase in hurricane activity, propane-powered generators have become popular. 

Generators can be powered by propane cylinders or ASME tanks, the size of propane tank needed can vary significantly, from a 20lb cylinder for small portable generators to 600lb for large generators. Here are some examples of generator propane tank weight and storage capacity: 

  • 52lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 7.9 gallons 
  • 65lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 9.8 gallons
  • 72lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 11.2 gallons
  • 97lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 29.3 gallons
  • 257lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 120 gallons
  • 314lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 150 gallons
  • 600lb steel tank with a storage capacity of 300 gallons

Here are some examples of generator propane cylinder weight and storage capacity:

  • 40lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 9.2 gallons
  • 60lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 13.7 gallons
  • 100lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 24.4 gallons
  • 420lb propane cylinder with a storage capacity of 100 gallons

A List of Brass Propane Tank Fittings for Your Application

Brass Flare Sealing Plug

Brass flare sealing plugs are designed to be used with flared tubing; these plugs can be assembled and disassembled where needed. These plugs are perfect for situations in which future use of the sealed pipe is foreseen.

Pay attention to the max pressure and size specifications when purchasing sealing plugs, as not all brass flare sealing plugs are created equal. Check for SAE compliance and mechanical pullout test results.

Brass Pipe Thread Cap

Brass pipe thread caps are used to close off the end of a pipe; they are generally used as a long term fix.

POL Fitting

POL (Prest-O-Lite) fittings are old technology, though still common. Technically referred to as CGA-510 fittings, they come in full flow and models that have an excess flow feature that shuts when gas flow faster than normal. 

Brass T Fitting          

Brass T fittings allow gas flow to be modified, combine flows or split gas flow to suit your needs. 

Brass Inverted Flare Plug

Inverted flare plugs perform a metal to metal seal with an inverted flare, check for mechanical pull out tests when choosing a plug.

Forged Brass 45-Degree Street Elbow

Forged brass elbow connects at a 45-degree angle; these fittings are used to connect a male or female thread at an angle.

Quick Connect Fitting

Quick connect fittings come in high pressure and low-pressure kits; these are normally used with RV’s with the adaptor connected directly onto the propane tank. 

Quick connect fittings are convenient to connect or disconnect; this makes them perfect for gas cylinders which constantly need to be removed and replaced. Quick connect fittings are a simple and easy fitting, best used with low-pressure systems.

Quick Connect Adaptor

The adaptor is connected directly onto the propane tank which allows for quick connect fitting insertion

Quick connect adaptors replace threaded connections, they are perfect for gas cylinders which constantly need to be removed and replaced. They are also relatively easy to install; they come with a shut-off valve to stop gas flow.

Brass Hex Nipple

Brass hex nipples are used to connect two pipes with female threading. The hex nipple has male threading on both sides of a central nut, this makes it superior to a close nipple, the nut provides a grip point which prevents any damage to the threading. 

Inverted Flare Adapter

Use an inverted flare adaptor to connect pigtails with inverted flare fittings to regulators.

Propane Filler Short

Propane filler fittings are used to fill your propane tank. These are an inexpensive, industry-standard approved alternative to the larger POL Fillers.

Matching Your Brass Fitting to the Correct Propane Tank for Smooth Operation

Check your propane tank’s connections, fittings and pipe specifications, check materials of the parts you will be working with.  Be sure to choose the right size and fitting for your system, check the size and quality of fittings before purchase, to make sure of compatibility and safe use. 

When purchasing a fitting, choose reputable manufacturers with a proven record, fittings must meet industry standards.

Safety Tips for Working with the Right Brass Propane Fittings and for Your Propane Tanks

Fittings

When installing new fittings, first check the size of fittings, they must be compatible with your system, ensure shut off valves are in place and no ignition sources nearby. After fittings are installed, check for leaks and damage to any pipes, fittings, or the tank itself, before use.

To check for leaks, apply an approved Leak Detector Fluid on the connections and check for bubbles, if you find bubbles, shut off the fuel supply, clean off the water, tighten the fittings and recheck with the soapy water solution. A proper connection should have no bubbles/leaks.

Use approved pipe dope or Teflon tape on pipe thread fittings; these fittings will perform better with the added pipe dope or Teflon tape. Flared fittings do not need Teflon tape or pipe dope; these should not be used with flared fittings.

Propane

Propane may be referred to as LPG; it is a highly flammable gas. Propane is odorless, and an unpleasant odor is added to propane as a safety precaution for leaks not to go unnoticed.

Propane is produced and stored as a pressurized liquid; liquid propane takes up less than 200x the space of propane in gas form. 

Propane is abundant and it burns cleaner than gasoline and diesel, it is also cheaper than electricity and oil, this makes propane perfect for commercial, agricultural, and residential use. Avoid direct contact with propane at all times. Propane may cause cold burns.

Propane Appliances

Inspect propane appliances connectors and check for leaks regularly. Vents should be unobstructed and cleaned of any debris. 

If a propane appliance is leaking or damaged, cut off the supply of propane and do not reuse the appliance until the leak or damage has been repaired. Propane appliances should not be modified. Repair should only be done by a qualified professional.

Propane tanks

Propane tanks must comply with the ASME (American Society of Engineers) standards. Rules regarding the positioning of a propane tank can change, depending on the size and above or underground placement of the tank being positioned. The safety relief valve must be cleared of obstructions and ignition sources.

Regulations regarding placement of propane tanks:

  • Above ground propane tanks up to 125 gallons may be stored 5 feet from a building.  
  • Above ground propane tanks from 125-500 gallons may be stored 10 feet from a building. 
  • Above ground propane tanks from 500-2000 gallons may be stored 25 feet from a building, though an underground tank of this size can be stored 10 feet from a building.

Buried propane tanks must be designed for burial, tanks must have anti-corrosion protection and all of the fittings must be protected. Storage must meet local standards. Use danger signs to alert anyone entering a propane tank storage area.

If a leak is found, eliminate any source of flames or devices that could create a spark and immediately vacate the area where the leak has been detected. If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas line. It is important to notify the professionals to complete a thorough investigation of the apparatus and to conduct the proper safety procedures. 

Do not return to the area of the gas leak until you have been given the all-clear from the propane professional. Once the situation is deemed safe, contact your propane supplier or technician for a full inspection of the propane tank before returning to use. 

DOT cylinders

Propane cylinders must comply with DOT (Department of Transportation) standards. One of the downsides of using cylinders is that they need to be recertified 12 years after the date of manufacture and every 5 years after that. Propane cylinders should be handled with care at all times. Do not drag or roll propane cylinders, use a trolley when necessary to avoid damaging the cylinder.

Cylinders with any remaining propane should be treated as potentially hazardous; cylinders should be purged before being handled in any manner other than that of normal use. DOT cylinders should be stored in a safe location, where they will be unlikely to be damaged or struck. Ideally, cylinders should be stored properly

Cylinders should be shielded from the elements and any potential hazards, ensure they are stored safely away from ignition sources. Use danger signs in areas where cylinders are stored long term. Propane cylinders should not be used inside a home or dwelling, appliances like propane grills or barbecues, generators or heaters, should not be used indoors. 

Propane Warehouse, Your Source for Brass Propane Fittings

There are many different types of brass propane fittings for many different applications. Make sure you are getting the right one for exactly what you need. Check out Propane Warehouse for our vast selection of everything propane and brass fittings for your every need.