Gas Fire Pit at Night

Why You Should be Maintaining or Replacing Your Anode Bag

Do you have an anode bag for your underground propane tank?

The installation of an underground propane tank relies on a special process because these tanks can corrode, leading to potentially disastrous gas leaks.

AZ property owners need to be aware that these types of tanks require regular testing. We recommend that you hire trusted natural gas professionals to help you install and maintain underground tanks, including gas line inspection services.

Why Underground Propane Tanks Corrode

Any steel container buried in the soil will corrode over time due to currents and chemical reactions in the soil.

Currents run through buried metals because of electrolysis, which essentially causes small holes in steel, a process also known as “pitting.”

As the tanks deteriorate, they are prone to potentially dangerous gas leaks. However, it’s difficult to determine how fast and what points in the unit might corrode.

Corrosion happens more quickly with higher concentrations of certain elements like salt resting against the propane tank.

Another possible issue with underground propane tanks is the possibility of rust, either in localized patches or all around the unit.

A simple solution to prevent your propane tank from corroding is to surround it with an anode bag.

What does your anode bag do?

Anode bags are typically buried beside the tank and attached to it by a wire or rod. The purpose is to absorb electrical currents and protect the tank itself from corrosion.

They can also be used as filters when objects are being plated.

When a propane tank is properly installed with an anode bag, the bag will absorb electrical currents away from the tank.

Getting your underground propane tank installed properly with both cathodic protection and an anode bag will help to ensure your safety and the longevity of your gas tank.

What are anode bags made of?

Anode bags are usually made of poly nap and polypropylene but can also be made of other fabrics like cotton and nylon. These bags may also be available in various weights of polypropylene.

Anode bags can also feature drawstrings, tie strings, rubber parts, velcro closures and may be made of multiple layers of fabrics. Purchasing your anode back from a reputable source is important to ensure quality and endurance.

Different fabrics work better with different materials, so check with your gas professional if you’re unsure what type of anode bag you need.

How long does an anode bag last?

When you get a professional inspection (regular inspections are required by the state of Arizona), the person doing the testing will likely put a tag on the tank to record dates and specifics. These types of inspections should be done at least every three years.

When an inspection is done, and there is a problem, your natural gas professionals will move on with further testing, and proper cathodic protection will be replaced where needed. The gas professional should give the customer a proper quote before moving forward with any installations or replacements.

Schedule Regular Testing

If you are in the Phoenix area, RP Gas Piping is happy to complete your Annual Master Meter Inspection and can complete any repairs if necessary to make you ACC compliant.

We can check the safety of your underground gas tank, and conduct tests for:

  • Proper Valve Operation
  • Above Ground Piping Inspections
  • Below Ground Piping Inspection
  • Leak Surveys
  • Cathodic Protection Reads
  • Gas System Mapping
  • Line locating

Cathodic protection is the most common way to protect your underground propane tank or metallic gas piping below grade from corrosion or rust in Arizona.

Cathodic protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface by making the metal in the ground the cathode by installing an anode. A simple protection method connects protected metal to a more easily corroded “sacrificial metal” to act as the anode. The sacrificial metal then corrodes instead of the protected metal.

Make Sure Your Underground Propane Tank is Safe

Cathodic protection testing and anode replacements are a requirement for all underground propane tanks installed on your property. An RP Gas Piping certified professional could help to ensure your property is well-protected and safe from leaks.

Don’t take the risk of leaving your underground propane tank to corrode—be sure to have it checked and tested regularly.

If you have questions about natural gas on your AZ property, we’re here to help. We offer a range of natural gas piping services, including installation, maintenance, and more.

Just click here to request an inspection, or call 602.759.8340 for more information.

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