propane tank

kokosnood(z9 CA)November 23, 2005

Is it better to buy or rent a large propane tank--for a whole home. How much should a 500 gallon propane tank cost?

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we have a 500 gallon tank at the house and a 75 gallon tank for the stock tank heater. we didn't buy nor do we rent. they just brought them here and plopped them down, filled them up and we were good to go.

we have the big one filled when summer rates are in effect. we don't usually need them back for more until very late in the winter and even then, they just top it off.

the smaller one needs filling about 3 times during a really cold winter. my horse won't drink much unless the water is steamy. i'm happy to oblige him, the more he drinks the less chance of colic. :)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 6:23AM
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Millie_36(Z6b MO)

One advantage to buying your own tank is that you can shop around for the best price and you determine when it will be filled. If it's rented, part of the agreement is that they can fill it whenever they are delivering in your area...sounds innocent enough at first, but you will find that they will be in your neighborhood when the price is UP.

You can usually find a used tank somewhere near $1.00 per gallon capacity in this area. Ask if it has been in use recently which will tell you if the regulator has been checked lately and kept up.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 8:16AM
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We have a 250 gal rental tank. It costs about $25/ yr. They have a couple of different programs. One is they will fill it when the come out to this area. ( we do not have that one) When I want propane I call and order it. The thing is I have to periodically check the level and not FORGET, LOL.
There is an extra charge if you forget and run out and they make a special trip. If you opt for plan one you can pay a calculated monthly rate based on your monthly usage. As someone mentioned above with a rental tank you can only get propane from that company. I suggest you check with the companies that service your area and go from there.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 1:23PM
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gurley157fs(zone 7/8sc)

In our area companies will only provide gas to tanks that they own. The disadvatage, as mentioned above, is that you can only purchase gas from that company. The advantage is that they do all of the servicing of that tank. If there is a problem with it they repair or replace it.

Nowdays I only use propane for gas logs as supplemental heat. Because I use such a small amount I have to pay a tank lease fee every year. If my usage goes up to a certain amount then I don't have to pay the tank lease fee, only the price of the gas.

I like not having to call the gas company to fill it - I expect them to stay on top of it.

You may also want to ask other locals about the companies reputation. Some companies are better than others. For example if extreme weather is headed your way do the drivers go around and make an extra check to see that every ones tanks are topped off BEFORE the storm hits?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 8:20AM
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sumac(SE MI)

I don't have a tank myself, but many do in our area. This is an area where the company's will only fill their own tanks. Last winter there was a problem with one company and the other could not fill the competitors tanks do to some law. I read all this in the local paper and am not sure whether anyone actually suffered or just came dangerously close. This year I see a few houses with two tanks. Could it be they have one from two different suppliers so as not to get caught up in a snafu like last winter?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 9:14AM
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Okie_Dokie(E. Central Okla)

Renting the tank makes it hard to change companies.Our local Five Star Propane Co. keeps what ever is left in the tank if you cancel your service and doesn't rebate the cost back to you. I don't know if this is legal or not, but that is the way it works here. We recently needed to add a tank for a new greenhouse/garden room and they refused to deliver the new tank till all the plumbing was in. The plumber couldn't do his work till the tank was set. Only answer was to change providers, so we ordered the tank from a competitor and are trying to get our timing just right so that when the tank at the house is almost empty Five Star can come get their tank and the new provider's tank can be delivered. That way we will only have to deal with one company and loose a minimum amount of propane. Don't know why Five Star Propane wouldn't give us a time so the plumber and the greenhouse tank could be here at the same time. We had been customers of their's for over 20 years and this is the 1st problem we have ever had.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 9:53AM
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As a route driver for a large national propane company I'd like to clear a few things up. YES,IT IS NOT LEGAL FOR A COMPANY TO PUT GAS IN ANOTHER COMPANIES TANK! It is punishable with as much as a $10,000 fine. Payable by the company putting in the gas if they know or have reason to suspect it owned by another company or you the customer if you lie to them that you own the tank. Why? Let's say company A sets the tank they have several hundred dollars into the tank, manhours connecting the tank, and the resposibility to maintain the tank, which costs $'s. If you then call company B to fill that tank company A recieves no money for their investment.
As to whether to own or lease; it is up to the individual, personally I would lease the tank. The reasons are many, for one it is the company's reponsability to maintain the tank: painting it, changing the valves etc., if the regulator leaks or becomes damaged the company replaces it usually free of charge which by the way are by LAW to be replaced every 20 years to name just a few. The company I work for the yearly lease is only $1.00 plus tax all we ask is for your to fill it at least once a year.
As to whether to be an automatic customer or a will call customer. Automatic customers, at least for the company I work for are assigned what is called a K-factor which basically depends on how efficient your house is( example an old farm house with little insulation may have a K-factor of say 4; a newer home with the same number of square feetbut with amore efficient furnace and insulation may have a K-factor of say 12). What is K-factor? It is the number of degree days it takes your home to burn 1 gallon of propane. The company I work for has a computer that we enter how many degree days have occured in the previous 24 hours,the computer has in its memory how many degree days have accumulated since your last fill and devide that by the K-factor to find out how many gallons you've used. Also in the computer is the size of your tank, dividing gallons used by the tank size and then subtracting it from 80%(normal "full" level) we can track your tank level. Knowing what your tank level is by using the K-factor method also can alert the driver to a possible leak, because once a K-factor is assigned and corrected the computer level and your actual tank level should be within +/-5% and a steady difference. My company about twice a week, when it is cold, will print out a list of customers who are at or below 30% and then we come and fill your tank. Being an automatic customer also saves you $0.10 a gallon versus a will call customer.
As to companies coming out to fill your tank when the price is high; on a good week I can service 125 customers, the branch I work at has 3000+ customers and five trucks. In the middle of winter we will deliver gas to some of our customers every three to four weeks depending on temperature and their K-factor; we can't hold off making delivers till the price goes up.
As to when you are changing companies tanks, at least around here the new company sets their tank and fills it and waits for your other tank to get below 5%. The reason we wait till the tank is below 5% is that by law we are not supposed to transport a tank with 5% or more in it unless the total weight of the gas the tank can hold is 1000 lbs or less. Then the new company will come out and change you over to their tank and have you notify your old company to come and get their tank. The reason you may see more than one tank in a yard could be the afor mention switch not yet occuring or the may have a backlog or yards maybe to soft to get a truck in to get the tank.
Hope this has cleared up a few points.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 9:58PM
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I am in the Phoenix Arizona area and want to have a 100gallon tank installed. I have been looking around for a tank and all I have been able to find are companies willing to lease me a tank with an up-front cost of $600 to $900 (I got 2 quotes) to place and fill the tank then a $45/year lease fee with a minimum of 2 fills per year. If we do not hit 2 fills per year, lease fee is ~$120+. This seems crazy to me. Does anyone have a suggestion?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 1:32PM
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We would like to purchase our own 250 gallon propane tank, So we can shop around to get the best price on gas. We can't not find a tank to buy!! The gas company's around our area will not sell us a tank.. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 4:31PM
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I am an "at will gas customer", for 5 years. My gas co deliver someone else gas to my addr! Should I be held responsible to pay the bill?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Lots of good info here. The way it works here in SE Ohio you have all the options EXCEPT buying a tank yourself. The best I've found is we're on a "budget" plan and pay, I think $40/month and get their low price guarantee, they fill when they're in the area or if I call.

We do pay $25/year tank rental as we dont use enough for free rental. Only use it for cooking and a vent free heater. I wanted the big tank as we're prone to ice storms in spring, no electricity (13 days is the current record), and large trucks don't move for a few days. Not a good time to be without propane.

Just my 2 cents.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 9:55AM
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I just priced new 500 gallon tanks. Prices ranged from $11-14

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 6:04PM
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If possible I would prefer to own my tank, partly because I want it properly plumbed in and the local gas companies only want to run that thin copper tubing across the ground ACROSS MY DRIVEWAY where it would be driven over all the time.

Now how long is that going to last on gravel before its punctured?

If I want black pipe from the tank to the house, I have to buy the tank and pay someone to plumb it in. The local gas company won't do it. I can buy a tank and have it set and plumbed in for less than it costs to pay the gas company to set and rent a tank with inadequate, unsafe plumbing.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2014 at 2:58PM
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