Q on re-commissioning propane service

3 years ago we purchased a remote cabin that has an external 200 gallon propane tank and was plumbed for some gas appliances. It turned out the exisitng hot water tank and a small wall furnace (both gas) were failing and I removed them. With no other gas requirements inside the cabin, I found the feed and capped the line about 6 feet inside the cabin wall. The gas plumbing beyond that point was old and suspiciously makeshift, so I removed it all.
Now the place is almost fixed up, and we are considering a small gas range and perhaps other gas appliances. I estimate there is 150 gallons of propane in the tank, which has now been sitting for 3+ years.
Questions:
Does old propane go "bad"? When I removed some of the old piping, there seemed to be a nasty smelling gel layer inside the pipes. Is this a congealed version of propane? Do lines need to be reamed out before reusing?
The regulator for the line is the last item on the feed pipe before it comes through the cabin wall. Do these fail from lack of use?
If I replumb the gas lines, can a standard propane supplier inspect the system or is there an offically body I need to get to inspect the new setup? I don't want to mess with gas (or my insurance) without having someone knowlegable who can verify my work. On the other hand, we're a fair distance from any real city, and arranging for an inspector to get there is problematic.
Thanks Gary
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Mamba wrote: ...

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Generally, most have the capabilities to do so, but will probably charge for more than simply the tank and its direct connections.
Whether you need anything else depends only on your local jurisdiction's rules -- can't answer that.
Call the supplier -- they can tell you what they can/will do and also what are the pertinent reg's they operate under where you're located. Or, if they're not willing to actually make that call, at least who you need to call to find out.
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Mamba writes:

The smelly goo is the mercaptan odorant, with some waxy hydrocarbons that distill and/or polymerize out of the product. This is quite a normal situation. It doesn't need to be cleaned out as long as it isn't going to get into your regulator.

It's possible but at only 3 years old it will likely work fine.

A propane dealer will be technically competent to advise and inspect. Whether it is up to some code will depend on the local jurisdiction. Most "remote cabins" are not going to be inspected, whether it's legally required or not. Between a sound installation and inexpensive electronic leak sniffers in the living space, you should be fine.
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Propane does not go bad. At least not in a reasonable amount of time. I have use 20lb cylinders that sat for 10 years and it worked fine.
I cant not comment on the gel in the pipes ???????????
Regulators are supposed to be replaced every 15 years. There is a date stamped on them. That's just the law, not necessarily that they are bad.
If you dont trust your own work, hire an inspector or just get someone from the local propane distributor to come. Eventually you will have to fill the tank anyhow, and they wont fill it without inspecting it, aet a cost to you of $50 or more. If you follow the code and know how to connect pipe without having leaks, there is no reason you should have problems. Of course always test all connections with soap water and look for bubbles, which means leaks.
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Mamba wrote:
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Propane does not go "bad", but (IIRC) the mercaptan odorant can. Your local propane company will check that as part of their service initiation inspection.
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Thanks all.
I an hesitant to contact the local propane supplier. It is a real Pop and Pop shop, the guy runs a junk yard, does handy work, and has less than a stellar local reputation. However, he did the last fill on the tank before we bought it so we could prove the utilites worked. The next nearest supplier I know of is probably 50 miles away.
When you say the mercaptan can go bad, does that mean it can damage appliances, or that it gels and smells bad (as I found)? I guesstimate the propane tank/lines had not been used actively for a year or two before we bought the place.
The outdoor tank has a buried line about 20 feet to the wall of the cabin. It comes out of the ground into regulator at about 3 feet above grade. Then the line comes through the wall from the regulator and I have it capped about 15 feet inside the wall. This is in the "basement" under the cabin floor.
My intent was to add steel piping to the capped line to run it to the area under the kitchen floor, then pop a flex line up throught the floor to a gas range. It's a dead simple operation, my main concern is the existing state of the propane and regulator.
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The propane is undoubtedly fine. The regulator is probably fine but only you can get it inspected and it is your safety and piece of mind we're talking about. A new regulator isn't that expensive compared to your worry.
Runing gas line is usually simple. It should be pressure tested. I suspect that local code requires a shut-off valve in the same room with the appliance. The shut-off valve should be on the black pipe ahead of the flex line. In other words, stub up through the floor with pipe and install the shut-off valve on the end of the pipe. Then the flex and appliance can be installed. With propane and a previously neglected system you should have a drip leg on or immediately ahead of the appliance.
Remember that propane is heavier than air so if you have a leak below the floor you won't know it until either a) you enter the "basement" or b) it goes boom. Propane is not inherently more dangerous than natural gas but it does behave a little differently. Be diligent when installing and inspecting the gas line. If you have any doubts hire a plumber.
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