Propane heating regulations affect many different areas of installation and use of the fuel to warm a home, including the location of the storage tank, pipe used to connect the heating device to the tank, and venting. These regulations are in place to ensure the safe use of propane heat.
Users store propane fuel on site in a tank. In most states, local building codes specify the minimum distance between the tank and other structures, including the house it heats. In most locations, this minimum is 10 feet, but larger tanks may require additional space.
The tank delivers pressurized fuel to the furnace or space heater through a pipe. Most local regulations require burying the pipe as it crosses the yard a minimum of 12 to 18 inches. Some building departments require a permit to install the pipe from the tank to the home, in order to record its location for future excavation.
Propane regulations include venting of furnaces, types of allowable duct work and installation of the devices. Propane space heaters are available in vented and unvented types, and the regulations also address their installation. State regulations do not allow the use of unvented space heaters or gas fireplaces in California, for instance.
The International Building Code serves as the basis for most local building codes. State and local building codes sometimes differ from it, so homeowners should consult their local building departments for the regulations concerning installing propane heating in a home.