Unlike propane cylinders, where a deposit is paid in-store and reimbursed when the cylinder is returned, residential propane tanks do not involve paying the propane company you area leasing the tank from a deposit for the duration of your propane supply agreement.
Deposits if tank is bought
If you buy a propane tank, you will be charged for the tank ($250-$3,500 depending on tank size, whether it is aboveground or underground, and propane companies) and connectors (valves, gauges, regulators and piping). Installation is usually included in the propane tank price. Since you become the tank owner, there is no deposit.
Deposits if tank is leased
People who want to rent propane tanks often imagine they will have to pay a deposit that will be refunded at the end of the propane supply agreement. This is not accurate. Propane companies that lease tanks only charge a rental fee (between $25 and $250 per year).
Since propane companies that lease tanks usually require not only that you purchase propane exclusively from them (filling a propane tank with propane from another dealer is mostly illegal and fines can reach $10,000) but that only they be allowed to maintain the tank.
Rented propane tank maintenance is included in propane supply agreements with propane companies. What propane dealers want to avoid is that you take charge of your tank’s maintenance. Do-it-yourself propane tank maintenance is not only dangerous (propane is a flammable gas) but can damage your entire propane system if not done properly.
Therefore, there is no need for propane companies to require a deposit since if they are the only ones allowed to maintain your propane tank it is unlikely that you will damage it.
Rental fees and maintenance services
However, while you do not pay propane companies a deposit to rent a propane tank you should check the fee rental fee and what maintenance services are offered (it is crucial, for example, to have a propane system inspection once a year).