top of page

How to Properly Purge Propane Tanks

At James River Manufacturing, our top priority is your safety and satisfaction. To support this commitment, we provide essential guidance on the proper purging of propane tanks. Upon receiving the shipment, it is imperative to inspect each tank thoroughly and complete the purging process. Additionally, mercaptin must be added for odor fade safety measures.

Every container, whether new or refurbished, undergoes a preliminary vacuum purging process when it is powder-coated and fitted. Vacuum purging ensures the removal of moisture and contaminants, making the tank ready for the purging process.

What to expect when receiving a propane tank from us:

Vacuum Purge: We employ a vacuum purge method to evacuate air in the container, reducing it to about 26" of mercury vacuum (2 PSI absolute pressure). This process effectively eliminates any water vapor and reduces air in the container to about 10% of the volume at atmospheric pressure.

Safety Measures: During the vacuum purge process, we use hoses suitable for vacuum service and ensure that all unused valves are tightly closed. Protective caps on both liquid fill and vapor equalization valves are secured to prevent air from entering the container during vacuum application.

Please note—we do not introduce methanol, mercaptin, or propane into the tanks during this process. The responsibility for inspecting the container, performing the purging process, and adding mercaptin before placing it into service falls on the purchaser of the container.

Methanol Addition Instructions for Vacuum Purged Tanks

To complete the purge process and ensure your propane tank's safe operation, it is essential that you have a certified propane professional handle the methanol addition and installation of the tank. Please follow these instructions:

  • Ensure that adding methanol is compliant with local regulations and codes in your area.

  • Use a methanol concentration appropriate for your intended use (e.g., for preventing freezing in cold climates).

  • Handle methanol according to approved safety procedures, and consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for proper handling and warnings.

  • Only add methanol in well-ventilated areas away from open flames or ignition sources.

  • Add the recommended amount of methanol based on your tank's capacity (see chart below).

  • After adding methanol, allow sufficient time for it to mix with the remaining air in the tank before use.

Methanol Injection Chart - Suggested Amounts:

•1 pint of methanol per 100 gallons of container capacity

•For 100# I.C.C. or D.O.T. cylinder, add 1/8 pint or 2 fluid ounces

•For 100-gallon containers, add 1 pint

•For 250-gallon containers, add 2.5 pints

•For 500-gallon containers, add 5 pints

•For 1,000-gallon containers, add 10 pints

•For 2,000-gallon containers, add 20 pints

Final Steps

It's important to note that after receiving your propane tank, you will need to repressurize the container with odorized LP-gas vapor to 15 PSIG. The container will then be ready to be filled with LP-gas. A full tank is required for the first fill.

After filling, please check all fittings and tank openings for leaks using an approved leak-detecting solution. The container will be fully ready for service.

If the tank you have purchased has not been vacuum purged, including those that have not been powder coated or new fittings installed by James River Manufacturing, the whole purging process will be required to be completed before installation.

We’re Here To Help

Your safety is our priority. The tanks we provide have undergone thorough quality control and safety checks. However, if you have any questions about receiving, storing, or using your propane tank, adding methanol, or any other aspect of propane tank safety, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated customer support team. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call.


NFPA 58- LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS CODE (2020) A new or reconditioned ASME container, or an ASME container that has had its interior exposed to the atmosphere, shall be purged and have contaminants removed prior to being filled with LP-Gas.


Annex M― Suggested Container Purging Procedure

Additional references:

  • Consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS - Methanol) for additional guidance on the care and handling of methanol.

  • NFPA 77 Recommended Practice on Static Electricity

  • NPGA Safety Bulletin on "Static Electricity in the Propane Industry provides a basic understanding of static electricity, including its varied sources, common threats that may be present at propane handling facilities, and strategies to reduce the risk of unwanted ignition.

  • Please consult the most recent codes and recommendations as per NFPA 58.


bottom of page