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Letters To The Editor

Dear Editor,
I am considering storing 1000+ gallons of L.P. gas for heat, cooking, power generation, etc. How long will it keep and are there any treatments or storage procedures I should be aware of?
Thank you,
JJ

Dear JJ,

Propane doesn’t degrade over time and there’s nothing you need to add to it to make it last longer. It will last indefinitely. You biggest problem is keeping the tank used to store it in good shape, along with the valves in the tank. Propane, as with any gas under pressure, will cause corrosion inside the tank and lead to pinhole leaks. (This is why old tanks have to be pressure tested and re-certified before refilling.)

Additionally, propane degrades the seals in the tank valve over time. Over tightening the valve speeds up the process and leads to leakage. (Everything leaks—the question is the rate of leakage.) If you’re going to invest anywhere from $2 to $5 a gallon for LP gas (depending on where you live), then you don’t want to start out with substandard storage vessels or valves. Let your investment include top of the line commercial valves that will last much longer than the cheaper versions. My research indicates that two of the top line name brand valves are Swagelok and Parker. I would advise you to talk to someone in the business and get their advice as well.
The Editor

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Dear Editor,
Who do you recommend for soil testing in West Virginia?

Thank you,
Curious

Dear Curious,
It doesn’t matter which state you live in, your tax dollars go to pay for your county extension service agency so I always recommend utilizing that resource first and foremost. Here in my area, you can go by the extension office, get a couple of soil sample boxes, gather your samples, and take them back to the county agent. He sends them off and in just a week or so, you have an answer on what supplements and amendments you need to make to your soil.

In West Virginia, it appears that your extension service agency utilizes the West Virginia University soil testing lab. Here is the pdf of the submission form that I found online. The second page gives you valuable information on taking a good soil sample. Note, however, that you’ll still need to go through your county agent to submit the sample.

https://kanawha.ext.wvu.edu/r/download/45216

The Editor

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