Filling a propane tank

With 14,000 propane companies in the United States deciding which dealer should fill your propane tank can seem like a complicated task. Indeed, it is in your interest to spend some time assessing different offers and finding a solution that is adapted to your needs.

The table below will give you a general idea of how much it costs to fill different tank sizes. However, this is based on the national average for November 2012 and is not an exact indication of how much it would cost you since propane prices vary significantly depending on supplier and region.

Tank size (gallons)

Price in dollars (at $2.409/gallon)

120

290

250

602

500

1,204

1,000

2,409

Filling an existing or a new propane tank

It is unlikely that a propane company will accept to sell or rent you a propane tank without filling it with propane as it is delivered. Given that propane prices can differ by several dollars per gallon in the same region it is important to compare what propane companies offer by requesting quotes from several dealers before making a final decision.

Filling a propane tank you own

Although buying a propane tank is costly ($450-$3,000 depending on size and whether it is above- or underground) it allows you to purchase propane from the company of your choice. If you need to have your propane tank filled it is recommended that you look around for the best deal on propane by the gallon. You can do this by getting quotes from different propane dealers in your area and comparing offers: the price you are given will take into account factors such as transportation costs for the company, amount of propane ordered, season, etc.

If you have a large enough propane tank it is cheaper to order as much propane as possible in summer, when it is cheaper (propane prices rise in winter since more people need it to heat homes). It is also wise to enquire as to what payment options propane companies offer: most large companies allow you to pay your propane delivery over several months (a 500 gallon propane tank costs over $1,000 to fill); national propane companies sometimes enable you to buy propane at a guaranteed price over the year (saving you the trouble of having to look for the best deal every time if you consume large amounts of propane).

Filling a propane tank you lease from a company

Renting a tank from a propane company ties you to that company for your propane supply. It is mostly illegal and always expensive to fill a company’s tank with another company’s propane. This makes it all the more important, before signing a propane supply agreement with a company, to have compared offers from different suppliers and ensured your final decision matches your criteria (in terms of price, services, safety, customer care, etc.). For example, your propane company might offer fixed price options or allow you to pay for a propane delivery over several months.

Having a propane supply agreement does not prevent you from trying to get the best deal when filling your propane tank. Whether you call the company each time you need propane or have your tank filled automatically it is a good idea to check what price your company charges per gallon of propane before ordering or authorizing a delivery. Since propane price is not regulated it can differ greatly from one supplier or one region to another and it is useful to let your company know you are keeping an eye on the market price.

Filling a propane tank on installation

Whether you have just bought a propane tank or are having one installed as part of a propane supply agreement, the company in charge of the installation (usually a propane company unless you have bought your tank from a tank manufacturer) will require you to have it filled with propane.

If you rent a tank from a propane company most do not charge extra for installation but you should check the propane price they will charge you as they fill your tank for the first time. If you buy a propane tank it is important to find the right balance between the price of the tank and the price of propane since they are both important investments.

Illustration of a propane company delivering a propane tank