How To Cover Up A Propane Tank?

A propane tank can be hidden by bamboo privacy screening, brick walls, rocks barriers, or waterfalls. Just make sure there’s adequate room inside the fence for the tank to be serviced and filled.

Fencing should not entirely enclose the gas tank. This is especially crucial if you live in an area where snow accumulates, since the enclosed area can quickly fill up, making it impossible for your propane provider to gain access to the tank.

Install a gate to provide access to the propane tank when necessary.

a five-foot buffer zone and a door for access Other enclosures are preferred over fences because they allow for better ventilation.

What can I use to protect my propane tank?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed while shopping for a propane tank cover because there are so many possibilities, ranging from enormous cages to simple fabric covers. What is the greatest option for you among so many options?


Metal cage covers are incredibly robust, but they suffer from many of the same concerns as an exposed propane tank, such as rust, and they may not fit the appearance you want for your patio. There are likely to be easier solutions to install and maintain unless you’re keeping many large volume propane bottles.


For hardcovers made of plastic or comparable materials, this is a fantastic alternative. These are highly durable and would function well in a moving vehicle, but they also have significant drawbacks. When left outside, plastic and other similar materials are prone to scratches and marks, which can quickly detract from the aesthetic appearance of your gas tank. Many of the things we wish to protect a propane tank against, such as road debris, would severely harm plastic containers, reducing their lifespan significantly.


A robust thick fabric, such as polyester or Dacron, is the ideal choice for a propane tank cover. Polyester, or Dacron, is classified according to its tear strength, such as 420D or 600D polyester. The “D” stands for “denier,” and a higher number indicates greater tear power. To avoid fading in direct sunshine, look for a strong polyester with UV (ultraviolet) protection. Because polyester doesn’t absorb water, you’ll never have to worry about mildew or other difficulties, and you can clean your gas tank covers with a damp cloth or a garden hose.

Fabric may appear to be less robust than hardcovers, yet in most situations, fabric solutions solve more of the problems associated with protecting propane than their hardcover counterparts.

Is it permissible to put a cover over a propane tank?

Right off the bat: Just as there are strict safety regulations around where your tank is placed, the rules for safety, use, and access when putting anything near the tank are equally important. The following are the rules you must follow:

  • Paint your propane tank is not a good idea. Tanks must maintain their original manufacturer color, which is commonly white or gray, for your protection.
  • Nothing should be planted or placed within five feet of any part of an above-ground tank. This keeps items out of the tank that could obstruct airflow and allows specialists to get to it when they need to.
  • The tank should not be completely enclosed. Enclosing your propane tank, no matter how distant the enclosure’s walls are from the tank, is never a good idea. Don’t put it in a fully enclosed fence, box, crate, or other container used to conceal a propane tank. Propane vapors are restricted by these procedures, posing a safety issue.
  • Do not obstruct entrance to the tank. If you have an underground propane tank, make sure the lid is visible and easy to access. Make sure nothing is blocking access to any visible tank valves or openings for above-ground tanks.
  • Always keep the propane tank accessible. For both maintenance and repairs, as well as when refilling, technicians require access to the tank.

Create a perrenial flower bed

A perennial flower bed encircling your gas tank dome has the advantage of bringing your plants back year after year! You’ll have less job to do. Perennial groundcover is an excellent choice for covering a bigger area around your propane tank dome. For ground-covering ideas, check out this list from Better Home and Gardens.

Is it possible to cover my propane tank with a roof?

A number of questions have been raised about LP-Gas tank covers and enclosures. These may have been installed as weather shelters or even as a screen for aesthetic purposes, and they may not appear to be a concern to the tank’s owner or operator. These constructions may be permitted if they meet certain criteria.

  • Tank Enclosures or Enclosures Over Tanks
  • Grandfathering of the cover/enclosure
  • Requirements for Relief Valve Discharge
  • Grandfathering of relief valves
  • Format for an FPA Recommendation
  • Considering a site in terms of a cover
  • Checklist for Filling Out an FPA
  • How to Fill Out an FPA

The following parts of the 2014 Edition of the LP-Gas Code (NFPA 58) deal with having enclosures around or over propane tanks:

  • Unless specifically allowed, constructions such as fire walls, fences, earth or concrete barriers, and other similar structures are not permitted around or over installed nonrefrigerated containers.
  • Structures that partially enclose containers are allowed provided they are developed according to a sound fire protection study.
  • A.6.4.5 The presence of such structures can pose serious risks, including the following:

The requirement that each such place be”specifically allowed” is at the heart of deciding whether or not a tank can be enclosed. This indicates that the Standards Division has issued a letter stating that a tank enclosure at a certain location has been approved and is acceptable. The permission is based on a fire protection examination. Sectiona.6.4.5. of the LP-Gas Code annex provides some guidance on this, with some more discussion here. There is also a proposed format for the fire protection analysis to ensure that all of the elements that need to be considered have been taken into account.

Prior to installation, specific authorisation for an enclosure over or around a tank should be sought, as operation of the tank is prohibited without it. It can also be sought after an inspection to fix a violation for an enclosure, but there’s a chance it won’t be allowed, and moving the tank or enclosure could be costly. In either case, the request must specifically request authorization to either erect an enclosure or allow an existing enclosure for a tank at a specific location to stay. Additionally, the letter should be available for perusal by the inspector during the inspection.

If you have or plan to construct an enclosure or cover over or around a propane tank, we recommend that you consider the following information on the potential significant concerns stated above:

Lack of ventilation or low spots that are barred from airflow are the most common causes of gas pocketing. Although a cover over a propane or butane tank will not cause gas to pocket, it may obstruct circulation by obstructing breezes or winds. If there are no other elements that encourage pocketing, ensuring that at least 50% of the perimeter of the tank is open will meet the code’s minimal criteria. As long as the ventilation is not obstructed by slats in the fencing or other ways to screen the tank from view, surrounding a tank site with chain link fencing does not necessitate a fire protection analysis.

Covers over tanks are the most prevalent source of hindrance with the application of cooling water. Tall walls might also cause problems. Emergency responders must take into account the availability and direction of access routes. Interfering characteristics in approach directions accessible to emergency responders must be avoided. Water may be possible to access the tank if the cover is not high enough. This will need to be arranged with emergency personnel. Their written declarations that they can provide cooling water to all portions of the container are essential and play an important role in the fire safety study. A statement that they can put out a fire on the premises is insufficient. They must explicitly mention that they are able to cool the tank with water.

A variety of factors can lead to redirection. The discharge from the relief valve will most likely be directed back down to the tank if the tank is covered. Such a discharge has the potential to completely envelop the tank in flames. Walls, cupboards, barriers, and practically any object near the tank or piping can also deflect fire. As illustrated by a BLEVE in Iowa few years ago, piping can often break in the most inconvenient of ways, spewing fuel toward the tank. While there was no enclosure present at the time of the occurrence, it does highlight the danger of flames directed at the tank. (For further information on relief valve discharge, see the section on relief valve discharge requirements.)

Enclosures, usually fence, provide security around tanks. They can also be used to entrap someone. Large enclosures or those that incorporate transfer operations must have at least two methods of egress, providing that one is available in the event that the other is blocked. This is why we ask that adequate gates in a walled area be unlocked during operations. If a gate is locked shut, it is no longer considered a gate.

Other enclosures can obstruct crew egress and prevent releasedLP-Gases from dispersing. Jersey barriers joined together, as well as privacy fences, are examples. To ensure safety, these buildings must be designed with care.

If any structure covers the tank, if the perimeter of the tank is covered for more than 50% of the time, or if there are other difficulties with the enclosure around the tank, an inspector will write a violation. Any enclosure over a tank or dispenser is referred to as a “cover” in this study. It can be any object or structure that is placed over a tank, such as a roof, a canopy, a tent, a building, and so on. Of course, if the structure has an approval letter on file, it will be approved during the inspection.

In most cases, tanks that are enclosed for less than half of their perimeter will not be charged for a violation for an enclosure surrounding the tank. The purpose of five provisions of the LP-GasCode is to limit enclosures around probable discharges to no more than 50% of the perimeter. They are as follows:

  • 6.34.11 (a requirement for cylinders)
  • (a requirement for discharge from regulators)
  • is an IP address (a requirement for dispensers)
  • A.3.3.79 and A. are examples of A.3.3.79 and A., respectively (both statements in the non-regulatory annex about container-enclosing berms and enclosures around point of transfer).

As a result, it is assumed that enclosures covering less than 50% of the perimeter of the tank will not obstruct ventilation or the application of cooling water to the tank.

Please keep in mind that some sites have extremely high walls that may limit the use of cooling water. Even if a property is not enclosed for more than 50% of its perimeter, inspectors may cite these places if they believe emergency responders will be unable to apply water. This might be remedied with a visit from the local fire marshal and confirmation proving they can provide cooling water to the tank.

NOTE: The application of cooling water to the tank is a concern with an enclosure over or around a tank. At the spot, it is not “fighting a fire.” Do not attempt to put out a propane fire until the source of the fuel is shut down. Meanwhile, applying cooling water to the tank can help postpone or prevent the tank from failing.

Since the 1983 edition, the standards given here have been part of the LP-Gas Code. There may be a small number of installations that predate that edition, and those locations may be eligible for retroactivity (grandfathering). A claim like this would have to be for the same container that was put in before 1983. Anything newer, including a different container at that location, would be subject to the 1983 criteria, and a claim of retroactivity would be futile.

The 2014 Edition of the LP-Gas Code (NFPA 58) parts that address the requirements for relief valve discharge from LP-Gas tanks are also worth considering, especially when it comes to covers over tanks:

  • Pressure relief mechanisms on the following ASME containers must be placed in such a way that any gas released is evacuated upward and unhindered to the outside air:

(1) Water containers with a capacity of 125 gallons (0.5 m3) or more put in stationary service.

  • Each pressure relief valve discharge on a container with a water capacity greater than 2000 gal (7.6 m3) must be directed vertically upward and unobstructed to the open air.

The reliefvalve must drain upward and unencumbered to the open air, which is a simple and basic condition. If a cover for the tank is wanted, the process becomes more difficult.

A cover must not hinder the relief valve discharge. If it is clogged, the discharge may be redirected back down onto or around the tank. This misdirected discharge is extremely combustible, as it quickly mingled with huge amounts of air after being released. Because the relief valve discharge could be the result of the tank being heated by a nearby fire, a source of ignition is quite likely to be present. Discharge from relief valves under a canopy will not be permitted for any reason unless it is piped through the canopy, as the LP-Gas Code prohibits blocking of the relief valve’s discharge. Section requires that discharge be upward and unobstructed to the open air.

One option to meet the criteria appears to be to have an aperture in the cover, however determining the size of the opening is difficult. The larger the hole must be the farther the cover is vertically from the relief valve, as the discharge plume widens as it travels further away from the valve discharge opening. We were unable to establish the geometry of the discharge plume despite our best efforts. The size and shape of the discharge from their relief valve are unknown to the manufacturers we contacted. They have supplied no information to assist in determining the size of a cover opening for unobstructed relief valve discharge. The width of the discharge can be seen in images and films of the flamingdischarge, but determining the manufacturer and model of the valves involved is nearly difficult. There have been no direct measurements taken. A fire protection analysis that includes a hole in the cover or credit for horizontal separation between the relief valve and the cover would require technical justification and support for the hole’s size and position.

In rare circumstances, piping the discharge through the cover is authorized. If the discharge orifice on the relief valve contains threads for a stack or coupling, a stack can be used to pipe the discharge through the cover. For tanks of less than 4000 gallons, there is a practical limit. Internal spring-type relief valves are required in almost all of these tanks. (See Table, Part D, column 2 of the LP-Gas Code.) Relief valves for tanks with a capacity of 1000 gallons or less usually lack threads for attaching a latch or connection. They’re also not listed or tested for properly discharging through discharge piping. As a result, the listing for these valves is breached if discharge piping is attached to or put over the outlet. For relief valves with no threading for discharge piping, no discharge piping is permitted. If the requirements of the preceding reference are not met, no external relief valve may be installed on the tank.

Covering any component of a tank raises difficulties about achieving the criteria for unobstructed discharge due to unknown concerns about the shape of the discharge plume and restrictions against discharge piping from any valves. These questions must be addressed and resolved in each request for a tank cover.

The issue of the lid detaching from the relief valve is still being investigated. Suggestions about ways to justify horizontal separation distances and opening sizes are appreciated.

Since before the 1969edition, the LP-Gas Code has included the standards listed above. There may be a small number of installations that predate that edition, and those locations may be eligible for retroactivity (grandfathering). The same container and cover must have been in place continuously since before 1969 for retroactivity to apply.


The following guidance was produced to assist inspectors in determining when a fire protection analysis is required and when a violation for impeding the relief valve discharge is present:

  • There is no violation for obstruction if the full pressure relief valve (PRV) is not covered. Except as noted in #5, if any part of a PRV is under cover, it is an obstruction violation.
  • No fire protection analysis (FPA) is required if the cover reaches over the end of the tank to the first weld (attaching head to tank shell) or less (noviolation). The cover is merely decorative.
  • If the lid extends past the first weld and beyond the end of the tank, the FPA is necessary (violation)
  • If the tank and PRV are covered, the FPA is necessary, and there is a violation for obstructing the PRV.
  • If the tank is covered but the cover has a hole in it above the PRV, the valve will be considered obstructed and an FPA will be required.

Explanation for #5: The PRV must be pushed outside the cover’s outer perimeter. There may be some responsibility in enabling it because we don’t know how big the hole should be above a PRV, though we will analyze any information and data presented. Some people have removed the complete section(s) of the cover just above the full tank, leaving the rest intact. Because neither the tank nor the PRV are covered, this is permissible. Any remaining ribbing or supports from removing that piece of the cover would be regarded incidental.

How can I naturally conceal my gas tank?

  • Maintain the aesthetics of the tank. Most of the time, the firm that supplies your fuel is also responsible for the tank’s upkeep. Whether your tank is rusted or has flaking paint, see if the firm can repair it.
  • In front of the tank, put up a picket fence. A short run of fencing is a cost-effective and simple way to conceal your tank. To help the tank blend in, paint it a color that is comparable to the tank’s color. To make it easier to maintain, you may also install a pre-made vinyl picket fence.
  • Distract the eye with attractive things on the fence. Out of some scrap wood, I created this adorable flower market sign. It provides a nice contrast to the white fence and something else to look at besides the tank.
  • Make some landscaping improvements. I had hoped to photograph this project while the irises were in bloom, but it rained for weeks on end, and the blooms were long gone by the time I was able to paint! However, they were stunning and served as a welcome diversion from the obnoxious tank. This year, I also added some daisies and a phlox edging to the driveway. We’ll also add some more seasonal plants to make a lovely garden with something flourishing all year. Greenery and florals are an excellent technique to draw attention away from a gas tank.

Is it possible for propane tanks to explode in the sun?

Yes, they are capable. Temperatures can quickly soar on a hot summer day. The pressure within the propane tank will rise as the tank heats up. Despite the fact that portable propane tanks include safety relief valves to release pressure, the best place to store a tank is out of direct sunlight. Outdoors, in the shade, and in cool temps is the safest place to store a propane tank.

Is it permissible to leave a propane tank outside during the summer?

Propane tanks can be safely stored outside, but it’s important to find a location that’s not too close to your home. It’s crucial to remember that freezing temperatures aren’t a concern for propane tanks while storing them in the winter. In fact, when storing your tank outside in the winter, you don’t even need to cover it.

Place the tank on a solid surface, such as a piece of wood or a slab of concrete, and store it open or closed.

It’s also simple to store propane tanks during the summer. During the summer, your propane tank can be kept outside on a flat, firm surface. Keep the tank in a shady spot so it doesn’t sit in direct sunlight for long periods of time. This will keep the tank at a safe temperature, but not above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 C).

Is it possible to mulch around a propane tank?

Although one goal of planting plants around a gas tank is to hide an otherwise unsightly element, safety should also be considered. Shrubs with dry leaves, such as ornamental grasses, placed too close to a propane tank may increase the site’s fire threat. A fire break of about 5 or 6 feet between the tank and all vegetation can be created before flames reach the tank by using an organic or inorganic mulch.