Connecting a propane tank
Propane tank installation is not limited to propane tank delivery by a propane company. As an energy container located directly on your property, propane tanks have to be connected properly to ensure (i) that your system operates safely (propane is a flammable gas even if propane-related accidents are rare) and (ii) that your system functions adequately (to avoid wasting propane or damaging your propane system).
Ask propane companies to include connecting a propane tank in their offers
Therefore, for safety and operational reasons, connecting a propane tank is best left to professionals. This is why it is important to select the propane company that is best suited to your needs after comparing quotes listing what different companies offer. Propane dealers often include propane tank installation and maintenance in the services they advertise. It is up to you to ensure the company you select has high safety standards and good customer service.
Components required when connecting a propane tank
After the propane tank has been delivered and installed on concrete blocks if it is aboveground or buried if it is underground it needs to be connected for propane to flow into your system and fuel your propane-run appliances. This process involves installing three essential components of a propane system:
- Regulators ensure propane pressure is adjusted as it flows from your propane tank into your home propane system. Regulators are crucial insofar as incorrect pressure can damage appliances and cause your system to malfunction. Most propane systems use two-stage or integral two stage regulators, which separate pressure regulation from the tank into the regulator and from the regulator into the propane system.
- Gauges and valves: Excess tank pressure is relieved through a relief valve; propane vapor fuels appliances through a service valve; propane is delivered into your tank via a fill valve; excess pressure is removed during delivery through a vapor return valve; propane is removed from your tank via a liquid withdrawal valve; the dial gauge is used to measure the propane level in your tank; the fixed liquid level gauge lets you know when 80% capacity is reached during a delivery.
- LPG gas/yard line: Your tank is connected to your home propane system via a LGP gas line (or yard line) that is visible only as it leaves the tank (if your tank is aboveground) and enters your home. It is installed quite deep underground (between 12 and 18 inches) to avoid potential damage and leaks.
Connecting a propane tank and ensuring your propane system works
Propane companies tend to include connecting a propane tank when they deliver and install a tank. In fact, it is in your interest to select a propane company that will not only install and connect your propane tank but also test it to ensure it functions properly. However, you should note that although installation tends to be included, the material involved (regulators, valves, and piping if your tank is unusually far) is purchased by the consumer so you should check what you are being charged.