All residential propane tanks are basically tanks filled with propane. That propane is highly ignitable and doesn’t handle high temperatures well. That’s why there are safety measures (such as how far does a propane tank have to be away from the house) in place.
Can propane tanks be next to a house?
Yes, they can be. These tanks are referred to as ‘stationary aboveground propane tanks‘. However, the positioning of propane tanks needs to comply with both local, state, and federal regulations regarding the placement of propane tanks.
We are going to systematically go through the basic regulations of propane tank positioning for 100, 500, 1,000, 2,000-gallon propane tanks. Example: How far does a 250-gallon propane tank need to be away from the house? The minimal distance is 10 feet from the house (‘opening of a building’, to be exact; basically from the window).
The regulatory backbone for propane tank positioning on private property is ruled by Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD). They have published a new ‘Conforming the Acceptable Separation Distance (ASD) Standards for Residential Propane Tanks to Industry Standards‘ document in 2020 that pertains to these minimal distances for propane tanks.
Let’s start with a 100-gallon propane tank, and we’ll move to a 500-gallon, 1,000-gallon, and 2,000-gallon propane tanks further on.
Note: Some regulations might be state-specific. We are going to cover the basic regulations that usually apply but you should be aware that some states might have a little larger/shorter minimal distances.
100-Gallon Propane Tank Placement (Minimal Distance From House, Ignition)
Required distance requirements for residential aboveground propane tanks start at 100-gallon tanks.
A 100-gallon tank can hold up to 80 gallons of propane (80% rule for safety) and can be placed next to a house. How far does a 100-gallon propane tank need to be from the house exactly? Here are the minimum required distances:
- 100-gallon propane tank should be at least 5 feet distance away from the house.
- 100-gallon propane tank should be at least 10 feet distance away from any source of ignition.
These smaller tanks can be used for heating, or to power other propane-powered appliances, such as grills.
If you’re thinking about installing a 100-gallon propane tank, you should also inform yourself about:
- 100-gallon propane tank dimensions here.
- How long does a 100-gallon propane tank last for heating a house here.
500-Gallon Propane Tank Placement (Minimal Distance From House, Ignition)
As we will see, the larger the propane tank, the larger the required minimum distance from the house. With bigger propane tanks, you’re not only required to check for minimal distance from your house and sources of ignition. On top of that, there is also a requirement of how far away from your neighbor (line of adjoining property) you can place your propane tank.
500-gallon propane tank holds 400 gallons of propane. Compared to a 100-gallon tank, this bigger tank has to have a larger distance between it and the house. How far away from a house should a 500-gallon propane tank be? Let’s look at the basic minimal distance requirements:
- 500-gallon propane tank should be at least 10 feet distance away from the house.
- 500-gallon propane tank should be at least 20 feet distance away from any source of ignition.
- 500-gallon propane tank should be at least 30 feet distance from your neighbor’s property.
Since an explosion of a 500-gallon propane tank poses a bigger risk, you can see that the minimum required distances are larger.
If you’re considering installing a 500-gallon propane tank, you should also read about:
- 500-gallon propane tank dimensions here.
- How long does a 500-gallon propane tank last for heating a house here.
Next up is the 1,000-gallon propane tank:
1,000-Gallon And 2,000-Gallon Propane Tank Placement (Minimal Distance From House, Ignition)
A 1,000-gallon propane tank is twice the size of a 500-gallon tank. However, despite this size difference, however, the required minimum distances from the house, ignition, and neighbors are the same as for 500-gallon tanks.
Here are the basic regulations for positioning a 1,000-gallon propane tank:
- 1,000-gallon propane tank should be at least 10 feet distance away from the house.
- 1,000-gallon propane tank should be at least 20 feet distance away from any source of ignition.
- 1,000-gallon propane tank should be at least 30 feet distance from your neighbor’s property.
You can also check how long does a 1,000-gallon propane tank last here.
We don’t see as many 2,000-gallon propane tanks as 1,000-gallon ones. Nevertheless, if you’re planning on installing the big 2,000-gallon propane tank you should be aware that such a propane tank should be at least 25 feet away from the house.
Hopefully, you now have a good look into how far away from the house you should position your propane tank.