Catastrophic loss of propane

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: AA130FIREMAN On: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:13 pm

Do you own the tank ? I believe they have an inspestion date and need to be recertified :gee: The price is higher if you rent, but then if problems arise down the road.
AA130FIREMAN
 
Stove/Furnace Make: axeman anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: 130 anthratube

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: steamup On: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:38 pm

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

A frosted regulator is a sign of prolonged heavy load. No doubt there is a leak downstream of the regulator. Check your line from the regulator to the house very carefully before adding more propane!

What is the line and is it protected?
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: sperry On: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:12 pm

coalkirk,
You're not alone with your experience--such a sad waste of propane. I had smelled gas several times upon arrival at a new customer's home last year and finally asked if they ever noticed the faint gas smell. They hadn't. When I asked where their tank was and checked it, sure enough, there was a leak. The homeowner told me he never could understand why the gas bills were so high. In this case, the gas company was filling the tank monthly and claimed they never noticed. Long story short, fixed leak no injuries!
sperry
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm/alaska
Stove/Furnace Model: 520/fireplace insert


Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: coalkirk On: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:44 pm

Been out for awhile. To try to answer all the questions, yes it is my tank, regulator etc. Bought it brand new from the propane company in the fall of 2005 and had them install it. It is a single wall tank. Never heard of a double walled propane tank. Propane is considered non-toxic if it leaks so no special precautions needed. The leak is pretty obvious. Look at the ice cube in on the line where the discharge from the regulator connects to the pipe that goes underground. That's where it was leaking.
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Don't have a final answer from the home owners insurnace company yet but their initial assessment is that any damage or cleanup would be covered but not the loss of propane.

Sting, that crashed beer is just too sad to look at.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: Freddy On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:18 am

coalkirk wrote: Never heard of a double walled propane tank.


You are right. Underground propane tanks do not have a separate shell, the "double wall" is a plastic coating to slow corrosion. Sadly it wouldn't have mattered in your case, the tank isn't the problem. This all leads to the question, "What does one do to make sure it never happens again?". For you, for anyone.
I wouldn't let the insurance company off so easy. If your refrigerator died they'd pay for loss of food. If your central heat died they'd pay for any loss. Broken pipes that leak onto a pool table will get you a new pool table. I'd argue that loss is loss and you feel strongly that this should be covered. Unless they can show you in writing that a leaking propane tank is not covered, I'd keep bugging them. Grrrrrr, I hate insurance companies! It's like their mission in life is to find loopholes so they don't have to pay you.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: steamup On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:32 am

coalkirk wrote:Been out for awhile. To try to answer all the questions, yes it is my tank, regulator etc. Bought it brand new from the propane company in the fall of 2005 and had them install it. It is a single wall tank. Never heard of a double walled propane tank. Propane is considered non-toxic if it leaks so no special precautions needed. The leak is pretty obvious. Look at the ice cube in on the line where the discharge from the regulator connects to the pipe that goes underground. That's where it was leaking.
leak 2.JPG

Don't have a final answer from the home owners insurnace company yet but their initial assessment is that any damage or cleanup would be covered but not the loss of propane.

Sting, that crashed beer is just too sad to look at.



A little tough to get a good understanding of the install from the picture. One possible theory is that if the line to the house is direct bury, the freeze/thaw of the ground "tugged" on the fittings enough to loosen them. There should be a small offset or loop in the supply line at each end to absorb the stresses of expansion and contraction of the line due to temperature changes, even if the pipe were in conduit.
steamup
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman-Anderson AA-130, Keystoker K-6
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: HS Tarm 502 Wood/Coal/Oil
Coal Size/Type: pea, buck, rice

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:20 am

UPDATE: The cause of the leak was a squirrel chewing through the plastic line down inside the access to the underground tank. Here's a pic of the chewed pipe. They cut it out and put a repair splice in it. The access cover has to have a hole in it for venting. I'm going to install a piece of harware cloth over it to keep any critters out in the future. Now to do battle with the insurance company.
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coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:51 am

geez. thats a shame Terry. your culprit has been seen in a nearby tree tho...
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:shock: :rambo3: :notsure: :notsure:

on a nother note is there not a flow reducer gizmo that would help? When installing a back up heater i found this flow reducer that slows the flow to a safe rate if a catastrophic break occurs...
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also maybe grease the lid hinges as I suspect you will be eyeballing that guage a bit more frequently 8-)

I hope the insurance co does the right thing and fills you up.
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: 009to090 On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:08 pm

coalkirk wrote:UPDATE: The cause of the leak was a squirrel chewing through the plastic line down inside the access to the underground tank. Here's a pic of the chewed pipe. They cut it out and put a repair splice in it. The access cover has to have a hole in it for venting. I'm going to install a piece of harware cloth over it to keep any critters out in the future. Now to do battle with the insurance company.
leak 3.jpg

Well now you got proof for the Ins Company.... 'Act-of-Nature' is or should be covered. email the pic to your agent, and save the hose.
009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:42 pm

Well I've filed the claim but they haven't given me a real warm and fuzzy feeling yet. They said they never had such a claim and they are researching it. In other words they are looking for a legal way to tell me no. I've got a $1,000.00 deductable so I'm only going to get about half of my loss. Here's what I've done to prevent a reoccurance.
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coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: europachris On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:44 pm

I think the sticking point with the insurance co. will be how you will prove how much propane you had intially. They would be thinking you are trying to fabricate some tall tale to get a free load of propane out of them. But I do agree that it should be covered like any other claim - fire, flood, etc. Your load of propane was a "posession" just like a sewage-soaked sofa. :sick:

Squirrels are destructive little f'kers, and once they have "moved in", they are impossible to keep out. My father had a family of squirrels living underneath the eaves of the house. They had chewed in under the raingutter fascia boards. New fascia installed - chewed through it. New fascia and alumium flashing overlay - chewed through it. New fascia and new pellet rifle - no more problems. :D I recall him telling me he greased almost a dozen of them before the "problem" was solved.

I used to squirrel hunt when I was a kid. Fried squirrel and fried morel mushrooms....mmmmmm. Tastes like chicken.

Coalkirk, if that squirrel is still alive after his 'gassing', he may want to get back in there, and that fine wire mesh will be like so much Chef Boyardee spaqhetti to him. Keep a real close eye on it.

Chris
europachris
 
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM 350/Iron Fireman
Stove/Furnace Model: Custom bituminous burner

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:12 pm

My agent didn't think the amount of propane was going to be an issue. Just if the loss of propane is covered. I told him I only had a cooktop and a standby generator. I urged him to have an insurance investigator come out to check and he said for a claim that small they wouldn't bother. In all the years I've owned a home I've had one very small storm damage related roof claim. I'm going to be pissed if they don't pay it. Someone told me the amount the insurance doesn't cover I could take as a causualty loss on my taxes. Any tax gurus here with an opinion?
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:35 pm

A couple of thoughts ... Call the Maryland Insurance Commissioners office and ask about such claims. Perhaps someone there can offer an opinion.

Second ... a few weeks ago a friend had a second occurrence with squirrel chewed wiring in a Toyota. Apparently the recipe for the wiring insulation includes soy. This is like food to the squirrel. I never heard this before but he researched it and swears it's true. I'd research the "like squirrel food" aspects of your plastic propane pipe.
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:52 pm

Whether you are covered or not would be in your policy under Coverage B, "other structures" according to the resident insurance agent.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Catastrophic loss of propane

PostBy: 009to090 On: Fri Feb 18, 2011 7:13 pm

The squirrels must like the smell of petrolium products....

Heres the gas tank of my log splitter...
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009to090
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520 HighBoy
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: DVC-500 x 2
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice