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Publication numberUS20070125789 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/293,899
Publication dateJun 7, 2007
Filing dateDec 5, 2005
Priority dateDec 5, 2005
Publication number11293899, 293899, US 2007/0125789 A1, US 2007/125789 A1, US 20070125789 A1, US 20070125789A1, US 2007125789 A1, US 2007125789A1, US-A1-20070125789, US-A1-2007125789, US2007/0125789A1, US2007/125789A1, US20070125789 A1, US20070125789A1, US2007125789 A1, US2007125789A1
InventorsThomas Abdo
Original AssigneeAbdo Thomas S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Propane tank cover
US 20070125789 A1
Abstract
Methods of covering a horizontally orientated substantially cylindrical propane tank supported on a surface, with the propane tank having a longest dimension parallel to the surface. One method comprises providing a cover having at least one closure mechanism, surrounding the propane tank with the cover, and closing the closure mechanism, wherein the cover can only be removed from the propane tank by opening the closure mechanism. Another method comprises providing a cover comprising a covering portion and a skirt extending downwardly from the covering portion, positioning the covering portion of the cover over the horizontally orientated cylindrical propane tank, and vertically hanging the skirt from the covering portion.
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Claims(21)
1. A method of covering a horizontally orientated substantially cylindrical propane tank supported on a surface, the propane tank having a longest dimension parallel to the surface, the method comprising:
providing a cover having at least one closure mechanism;
surrounding the propane tank with the cover; and
closing the closure mechanism;
wherein the cover can only be removed from the propane tank by opening the closure mechanism.
2. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 1, further comprising:
providing the cover with a covering portion and a skirt extending downwardly from the covering portion; and
vertically hanging the skirt from the covering portion.
3. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 2, wherein:
vertically hanging the skirt includes extending the skirt at least half way to the ground surface, such that a bottom edge of the skirt is closer to the ground surface than the bottom of the covering portion.
4. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 3, further including:
touching the ground surface with the bottom edge of the skirt.
5. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 2, wherein:
the skirt has an oval cross-sectional shape.
6. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 2, further including:
placing a design on the covering portion and the skirt.
7. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 1, wherein:
the closure mechanism comprises a hook and loop fastener.
8. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 1, wherein:
the closure mechanism comprises a zipper.
9. The method of covering a propane tank of claim 1, further including:
placing a design on the cover.
10. A method of covering a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank connected to a ground surface comprising:
providing a cover comprising a covering portion and a skirt extending downwardly from the covering portion;
positioning the covering portion of the cover over the horizontally orientated cylindrical propane tank; and
vertically hanging the skirt from the covering portion.
11. The method of covering a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank of claim 10, wherein:
vertically hanging the skirt includes extending the skirt at least half way to the ground surface, such that a bottom edge of the skirt is closer to the ground surface than the bottom of the covering portion.
12. The method of covering a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank of claim 11, further including:
touching the ground surface with the bottom edge of the skirt.
13. The method of covering a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank of claim 10, wherein:
the skirt has an oval cross-sectional shape.
14. The method of covering a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank of claim 10, further including:
placing a design on the cover.
15. The method of covering a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank of claim 10, wherein:
placing a design on the cover comprises placing a design on the covering portion and the skirt.
16. A covered propane tank comprising:
a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank connected to a ground surface; and
a cover comprising a covering portion and a skirt hanging vertically downwardly from the covering portion, the covering portion of the cover being positioned over the horizontally orientated cylindrical propane tank.
17. The tank of claim 16, wherein:
the skirt extends at least half way to the ground surface, such that a bottom edge of the skirt is closer to the ground surface than the bottom of the covering portion.
18. The tank of claim 17, wherein:
the bottom edge of the skirt touches the ground surface.
19. The tank of claim 16, wherein:
the skirt has an oval cross-sectional shape.
20. The tank of claim 16, wherein:
the cover includes a design therein.
21. The tank of claim 20, wherein:
the design is on the covering portion and the skirt.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns propane tanks, and more particularly relates to a cover for a propane tank.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Propane tanks are used to supply propane gas to residences to heat clothes dryers, ovens, fireplaces, furnaces, generators, grills, outdoor lighting, space and water heaters and other products in the residence. Typically, the propane tanks comprise a horizontally orientated substantially cylindrical housing having rounded ends (or “hot dog shaped”). The propane tanks typically come in 150 gallon to 1,000 gallon tanks and can be placed underground or positioned above ground on a surface adjacent the residence. Propane tanks that are above ground typically are painted white or silver to reflect heat and to prevent pressure inside the tank from getting too high. However, the white or silver exterior of the propane tanks can be highly visible adjacent a residence and therefore provide a very unappealing appearance.

Accordingly, an apparatus is desired having the aforementioned advantages and solving and/or making improvements on the aforementioned disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

An aspect of the present invention is to provide a method of covering a horizontally orientated substantially cylindrical propane tank supported on a surface, with the propane tank having a longest dimension parallel to the surface. The method comprises providing a cover having at least one closure mechanism, surrounding the propane tank with the cover, and closing the closure mechanism. The cover can only be removed from the propane tank by opening the closure mechanism.

Another aspect of the present invention is to provide a method of covering a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank connected to a ground surface. The method comprises providing a cover comprising a covering portion and a skirt extending downwardly from the covering portion. The method also comprises positioning the covering portion of the cover over the horizontally orientated cylindrical propane tank and vertically hanging the skirt from the covering portion.

Yet another aspect of the present invention is to provide a covered propane tank comprising a horizontally oriented cylindrical propane tank connected to a ground surface and a cover comprising a covering portion and a skirt hanging vertically downwardly from the covering portion. The covering portion of the cover is positioned over the horizontally orientated cylindrical propane tank.

These and other aspects, objects, and features of the present invention will be understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art upon studying the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a cover of the present invention on a propane tank.

FIG. 2 is an end view of the cover of the present invention on the propane tank.

FIG. 3 is a top view of the cover of the present invention on the propane tank.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a second embodiment of the cover of the present invention on the propane tank.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the second embodiment of the cover of the present invention on the propane tank taken along the line V-V of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of description herein, the terms “upper,” “lower,” “right,” “left,” “rear,” “front,” “vertical,” “horizontal,” and derivatives thereof shall relate to the invention as orientated in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings, and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

The reference number 10 (FIGS. 1-3) generally designates a cover embodying the present invention. In the illustrated example, the cover 10 is used to cover propane tanks 12 to provide the propane tanks 12 with an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Propane tanks 12 are typically used to provide propane fuel to residences and other buildings. The propane tank 12 comprises a horizontally orientated substantially cylindrical housing 14 having a cylindrical portion 15 and rounded ends 16 (or “hot dog shaped”). A pair of feet 18 extend downwardly from the cylindrical portion 15 of the propane tank 12. The feet 18 can be secured to a support surface 20 and/or placed on support members 22 (e.g., cinder blocks) on the support surface 20. Therefore, propane tank 12 has a longest dimension parallel to the surface 20. The propane tank 12 further includes a removable tank cover 24 on an upper portion of the cylindrical portion 15. A shut-off valve (not shown) is located under the tank cover 24 and a supply line (not shown) extends out of the tank cover 24 to supply the propane to the residence or other building. Propane tanks 12 and use of the same are well known to those skilled in the art.

In the illustrated example, the cover 10 surrounds the sides and at least a portion of the top of the substantially cylindrical housing 14 of the propane tank 12. The cover 10 includes a body portion 26 that surrounds the tank cover 24 of the propane tank 12, with the body portion 26 covering the top and sides of the cylindrical portion 15 and the rounded ends 16 of the propane tank 12. A bottom portion 28 of the cover 24 preferably wraps at least partially under the propane tank 12. The cover 10 includes at least one slit 29 running vertically from the tank cover 24 to the bottom portion 28 of the cover 24. The at least one slit 29 allows the cover 24 to be positioned over the propane tank 12. A closure mechanism 30 is connected to the cover 10 on each side of the slit 29 for attached portions 32 of the cover 10 adjacent the slit 29 together, thereby securing the cover 10 to the propane tank 12. The closure mechanism 30 can comprise a zipper, a hook and loop type fastener or any other closure mechanism that removably connects the portions 32 of the cover 10 together. Although one closure mechanism 30 is shown, it is contemplated that a plurality of closure mechanisms 30 could be used. Furthermore, while a vertically aligned closure mechanism 30 is shown, it is contemplated that the closure mechanism 30 could be horizontally orientated, with the cover 10 split into an upper portion and a lower portion. Accordingly, when the cover 10 is positioned on the propane tank 12, the cover 10 can only be removed from the propane tank 12 by opening the closure mechanism 30. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the cover 10 could include straps or other connection devices that extend under the propane tank 12 to assist in connecting the cover 10 to the propane tank 12.

The illustrated cover 10 includes a tank cover portion 34 for covering the tank cover 24 of the propane tank 12. In the illustrated example, the tank cover portion 34 is separate from the body portion 26 and is removably connected thereto by a closure mechanism 36. The closure mechanism 36 connecting the tank cover portion 34 to the body portion 26 can comprise a zipper, a hook and loop type fastener or any other closure mechanism that removably connects the tank cover portion 34 and the body portion 26 of the cover 10 together. It is contemplated that the closure mechanism 36 for connecting the tank cover portion 34 and the body portion 26 of the cover 10 together can be integral with the closure mechanism 30 for connecting the portions 32 of the cover 10 together. For example, the closure mechanisms 30, 36 can comprise a unitary zipper. Alternatively, the closure mechanisms 30, 36 can be separate. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the tank cover portion 34 can be integral with the body portion 26 of the cover or the cover 10 can be used without the tank cover portion 34, wherein the body portion 26 can include an opening for accommodating the tank cover 24. The cover 10 can also include other openings for allowing projections extending from the propane tank 12 (e.g., hook connections for transporting the propane tank 12) to extend therethrough.

In the illustrated embodiment, the cover 10 preferably includes a design on the cover 10 to provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance. For example, the cover 10 can include a design having a professional or college logo or mascot thereon. Furthermore, the cover 10 can include a design such that the cover 10 will blend in with the background. For example, the cover 10 can include a nature scene thereon (e.g., trees and flowers), a fence, etc. It is contemplated that the design could be any picture or image. Furthermore, the cover 10 can be made of any fabric or material with the design integrally formed as part of the fabric or material or placed on the fabric or material. Preferably, the cover 10 reflects heat and/or sunlight and prevents pressure inside the propane tank 12 from getting too high.

The reference numeral 10 a (FIGS. 4-5) generally designates another embodiment of the present invention, having a second embodiment for the cover. Since cover 10 a is similar to the previously described cover 10, similar parts appearing in FIGS. 1-3 and FIGS. 4-5, respectively, are represented by the same, corresponding reference number, except for the suffix “a” in the numerals of the latter. The second embodiment of the cover 10 a includes a body portion 26 a and a bottom portion 28 a that surrounds the tank cover 24 a and at least partially covering the top and sides of the cylindrical portion 15 a and the rounded ends 16 a of the propane tank 12 a. The cover 10 a also includes a skirt 50 hanging vertically downwardly from the body portion 26 a or the bottom portion 28 a. The skirt 50 can extend downward from the body portion 26 a at a point 52 that defines a vertical tangential line on the surface of the cylindrical portion 15 a of the propane tank 12 a or anywhere below the point 52 (although the skirt 50 could be connected to the body portion 26 a above the point 52). Preferably, the skirt 50 hangs at least half way to the ground surface 20 a, such that a bottom edge 54 of the skirt 50 is closer to the ground surface 20 a than the point at which the skirt 50 extends from the body portion 26 a or the bottom portion 28 a of the cover 10 a. It is contemplated that the skirt 50 could touch the ground surface 20 a. Preferably, the skirt 50 is uninterrupted and defines an oval horizontal cross-section. However, it is contemplated that the skirt 50 could be interrupted (e.g., the skirt 50 could only hang down on two opposite sides of the propane tank 12 a, but not from the ends of the propane tank 12 a). Furthermore, it is contemplated that the skirt 50 could have weights adjacent the bottom edge 54 to ensure that the skirt 50 hangs vertically when the wind is blowing against the propane tank 12 a.

The second embodiment of the cover 10 a can be positioned over the propane tank 12 a in a variety of manners. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the bottom portion 28 a of the cover l0 a includes an elastic bottom 60 that allows the bottom portion 28 a to be expanded to slide over the propane tank 12 a and then automatically contracted to fit snugly below the propane tank 12 a to secure the cover 10 a to the propane tank 12 a. However, it is contemplated that the cover 10 a could include at least one closure mechanism (e.g., zipper or hook and loop type fastener) and associated slit as in the first embodiment of the cover 10 to allow the cover 10 a to be placed over the propane tank 12 a. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the skirt 50 could be removably connected to the remainder of the cover 10 a by a closure mechanism. Moreover, it is contemplated that the cover 10 a could include straps or other connection devices that extend under the propane tank 12 a to assist in connecting the cover 10 a to the propane tank 12 a (in addition to the elastic bottom or substituted therefore). For example, the straps or other connection devices could extend between the points 52 of opposite sides of the propane tank 12 a and the skirt 50 could be integral with the body portion 26 a of the skirt 50.

It is to be understood that variations and modifications can be made on the aforementioned structure without departing from the concepts of the present invention, and further it is to be understood that such concepts are intended to be covered by the following claims unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7731052 *Dec 12, 2006Jun 8, 2010Rappaport David HCamouflaging and insulating cover for compressed gas tanks
WO2012176757A1 *Jun 19, 2012Dec 27, 2012Ihi Marine United Inc.Liquefied gas tank