Millions of Americans choose propane as their primary source of energy because it is delivered in bulk and stored on a large propane tank directly on their property. However, there are several things to consider when buying or renting a propane tank.
The tanks section will help propane users grasp propane tank related issues, from size to the advantages of purchasing or leasing a propane tank and what to take into account when maintaining a tank. This information will assist you in your research for the best propane deal for your home.
An underground propane tank
If possible, your propane tank should be an intrinsic part of the quotes you request from propane companies to select the one that best suits your needs. Indeed, whether you purchase or rent a propane tank, you ought to factor that into a global proposal.
The most important issue regarding propane tanks is what size. Naturally, your propane tank size should match your propane consumption. A home where propane is only used for cooking will probably require only 120-gallon capacity, whereas a home where propane is used for indoor space heating is likely to need a 500-gallon tank.
Buying or renting a tank
Once you have established the size tank you need, you will have to decide whether to buy or rent your propane tank:
- Buying a propane tank is expensive (prices increase with size and if the tank is underground): a 500-gallon aboveground tank costs between $700 and $2,500 and a 500-gallon underground tank between $1,500 and $3,000. But buying a tank frees you from having to order propane from a single company and usually guarantees lower propane prices per gallon.
- Renting a propane tank is the solution chosen by two-thirds of propane users in the US. For a yearly fee of between $75 and $250 on average a tank is installed and maintained by your propane company. However, it means that you can only order propane from that company and propane prices are slightly higher, consequently.
Maintenance is also a crucial part of propane tank safety. All maintenance issues are best left to qualified service technicians. Unless you have already selected an independent qualified service technician in your area, it is recommended to select a propane company that includes maintenance services in its offer. This is all the more important if you purchase a propane tank. If you lease a tank, maintenance is usually the dealer’s responsibility since the tank is their property.
Propane tanks fall under strict regulations at the federal, state and local levels.
- First, tanks need to be registered and installation requires obtaining a permit. Whoever installs your tank will probably offer to take care of that for you.
- Second, tanks must be installed at a certain distance from nearby structures (e.g., a garden shed) – these distances vary according to tank size and whether the tank is under- or aboveground. Again, your propane company should be able to provide you with the relevant recommendations.
- Last, tank components (valves, gauges, etc.) must be fitted according to strict manufacturing rules to ensure the highest safety levels and reduce the risk of propane accidents.