A manufacturers nameplate is the one thing that identifies a propane tank as unique and also provides all pertinent information about that particular tank. The manufacturers nameplate serves several purposes, the primary being to identify the tank as a propane tank.
The nameplates discussed here are for identification and information concerning ASME propane tanks. ASME stands for American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is the authority for pressure vessel fabrication in the United States. The ASME is the governing authority for all stationary propane tanks manufactured and used in the United States.
One of the most important things that a propane tank has to have is the manufacturers nameplate made of stainless steel. All of the connections can be replaced on a tank if needed but if the nameplate becomes unreadable or comes off of the tank, the tank is officially anything but a propane tank. Without a legible nameplate, a tank is condemned and cannot be used any further in propane service. Propane dealers often see people buy propane tanks from a flea market or out of the back of somebody's pickup truck for a relatively good price. Or at least it seems to be a good price until the propane company comes to install it and discovers that there is no nameplate attached to the tank.
In addition to the nameplate being legible and permanently attached to the tank, the following must be displayed on the manufacturers nameplate for the propane tank to be serviceable in the United States.
Protection of the tank nameplate is essential for the longevity and usability of a propane tank. Newer propane tanks are fitted with nameplates that are continuously welded to the container while older tanks may have a raised nameplate. The images below show a raised nameplate (left) and a continuously welded nameplate (right) which are the most commonly found on propane tanks in service today. Nameplate protection is extremely important and can be taken care of by consumers to ensure the continued serviceability of their propane tank. Keeping the tank nameplate clean, dry and free of rust will go a long way in overall propane tank care. Rusted and unreadable nameplates render a propane tank useless.