Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 4/24/2019 3:09:02 PM EDT
Wife wants a gas cook top and I want a BBQ connection line. No natural gas in the area and we live 25 miles from town in a pretty rural area. Looking into propane tanks and I could get a 250 tank for $1400 or a 500 gallon tank for $2800. The tank would be buried underground to keep the propane from freezing up (Alaska).

Debating which size of tank we should go with. I'm leaning towards "bigger is better" but then again 500 gals of propane seems like a lot to run a stove and BBQ, but I suppose we could get a gas dryer also. Already have a standby generator (diesel).

We go through four or five 20 gallon BBQ tanks during the summer and it always sucks when it runs out.
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 3:16:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/24/2019 3:18:38 PM EDT by Eagle_19er]
Originally Posted By GraniteClimber:
Wife wants a gas cook top and I want a BBQ connection line. No natural gas in the area and we live 25 miles from town in a pretty rural area. Looking into propane tanks and I could get a 250 tank for $1400 or a 500 gallon tank for $2800. The tank would be buried underground to keep the propane from freezing up (Alaska).

Debating which size of tank we should go with. I'm leaning towards "bigger is better" but then again 500 gals of propane seems like a lot to run a stove and BBQ, but I suppose we could get a gas dryer also. Already have a standby generator (diesel).

We go through four or five 20 gallon BBQ tanks during the summer and it always sucks when it runs out.
View Quote
If you can swing it, get the larger one. My understanding is that propane doesn't really go bad so if you don't use it all up in a year or two it's not a big deal.

ETA: Not only does it give you a cushion for hard times, it allows you to top off the tank when the prices are lower.
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 3:20:04 PM EDT
Bigger is always better, but for your uses, it probably won't matter too much so long as you're in a location where you can reliably get deliveries when you want it. If prices fluctuate throughout the year a lot, a bigger tank lets you pick and choose when to fill it.
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 3:20:06 PM EDT
If money is no object I'd go bigger. You will also have fewer delivery fees - I'm assuming there is a cost per gallon plus flat delivery fee.
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 3:58:51 PM EDT
We have a 300 gallon and run a stove top (electric oven) and a clothes dryer on propane. We use approx. 100 gallons a year, and my wife cooks a lot.

So I think you will do well with what ever tank you decide.
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 4:55:23 PM EDT
A 250 gallon tank has only 150 gallons of usable fuel whereas a 500 gallon tank has about 300 gallons of usable fuel.

A 250 gallon tank at 30% full = 373,800 BTU (Calc’d for 20 degree Fahrenheit)

A 500 gallon tank at 10% full = 399,600 BTU (Calc’d for 20 degree Fahrenheit)
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 5:11:33 PM EDT
I had a 500 and upgraded to a 1000. The reason was for running a whole house generator and it doesn't go bad like diesel would. Realize that you will only get it filled to 80%.
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 5:12:35 PM EDT
Im gonna upgrade from 325 to 500 when ground is solid enough for truck to come in and switch, im running 20kw whole house gen
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 5:54:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 6:33:56 PM EDT
I can get a 1k gallon tank for $3k here; but then again, you're in Alaska.
Link Posted: 4/24/2019 10:12:47 PM EDT
When sizing your tank don't just think about what your planning on hooking up to it right now, but also consider what other items you may decide you want on it in the future. I put in a 500 gallon, It feeds my range and on demand water heater, but when the power goes out my 16kw Generac generator is drawing from it at a rate of around 10% of my tank in a 24 hour period. If I was using it just for the water heater and range a full tank would last me a year, but when the power goes out it will last a week.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 1:39:27 AM EDT
Propane refrigerators are supposed to be great as well.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 5:07:47 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By drywall5:
A 250 gallon tank has only 150 gallons of usable fuel whereas a 500 gallon tank has about 300 gallons of usable fuel.

A 250 gallon tank at 30% full = 373,800 BTU (Calc’d for 20 degree Fahrenheit)

A 500 gallon tank at 10% full = 399,600 BTU (Calc’d for 20 degree Fahrenheit)
View Quote
It's a bit more than that. 250 gallon tank holds about 200 gallons of propane when full. 500 gallon tank holds about 400 gallons when full. For an underground tank, they will usually be willing to fill a little more. My tank is above ground and my supplier will put 85% in.

The OP is going to put his tank underground so it will stay warmer than an above ground tank for his climate. So, should produce plenty of BTUs for him even when low. His needs are also low. A grill and a stove/oven won't need that many BTUs.

I'm surprised at the price difference between tanks. Usually they are closer in price. I'd usually recommend going with the larger tank but with the OP's relatively low consumption, and the rather large cost difference, as long as that's all the OP is going to use propane for, then I'd probably go with the smaller tank. If he might run more things with propane in the future, then I'd recommend going bigger.

If price isn't an issue, get the bigger tank. Unfortunately we are always happy to spend other people's money for them no matter how much or how little money they actually have.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 6:43:43 AM EDT
I would go with the larger tank. It is funny how when we install infrastructure we oversize a little. But then when we do the next project we decide that "since it is there, we may as well use it......"

We built out house to use a propane furnace, dryer, and water heater. Then by the time that we put a few hundred hours on our gasoline generator we decided to upgrade it so we opted for propane for the generator. That was so handy (not having to start the generator and refill it constantly) so we went back and retrofitted all of our old generators for propane as well.

Even our 2KW will run off propane. Incidentally If my calculations are correct we can run the 2KW for 290 days off propane. We have a 1,000 gallon tank.

Currently we have two dryers, two stoves, furnace, water heater, three generators, an outdoor grill, and a couple of portable heaters that can all be connected to propane.

The downside is that our propane consumption fluctuates drastically. We keep tabs on the level in the tank and let the propane company know where we stand. I don't know about anywhere else but around here the propane companies sell you on "Keep full" contracts. They estimate how much you will use and then you can pre-buy your yearly consumption at a reasonable rate. Then they keep your tank supplied based off that qty. If you go over then you pay a premium for the overage. We went over this year. My project for next year is to buy my own tank, to supplement theirs and keep it full as well. It will make it much easier to manage, switch propane suppliers, etc if we have our own tank.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 6:56:10 AM EDT
get the biggest tank you can and get a generator, done.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 1:23:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/25/2019 1:40:20 PM EDT by lumper]
Another thing to consider is what it will cost to fill the tank per gallon. In our area, there is a tiered rate depending on how much the tank I filled. If I purchase 600+ gallons from my preferred supplier (based on being the least expensive) will sell me the propane at his best price.

Is there a reason that you are not considering a 1000 gallon tank as well?

Also, please accept one more strong recommendation to purchase your own tank and not lease one from a supplier.

Edited to add, I check our propane tanks and call in when they need filled. Since we have multiple tanks within a 1/2 mile area, they treat my fills as one for the gallon discount. This saves the company from sending a driver and truck when it is not needed. Since two of these tanks are propane fill stations, determining average usage is difficult for the fill company to predict.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 4:18:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/25/2019 4:20:08 PM EDT by LeonardC]
We just had our propane service switched to another company this week. Went to Crowley and another 500 gal tank. There is a price break at 300 gal. of fuel delivered.

PS I think our tank lease is $60 per year. We "expect" natural gas "soon" so don't want to buy a tank.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 6:49:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LeonardC:
We just had our propane service switched to another company this week. Went to Crowley and another 500 gal tank. There is a price break at 300 gal. of fuel delivered.

PS I think our tank lease is $60 per year. We "expect" natural gas "soon" so don't want to buy a tank.
View Quote
Even if natural gas was available in our area I would still want a propane tank. Twice this winter the local NG supplier told people to "conserve by reducing thermostats to 60 deg F or go without" because of issues with their network. We had to shut down our paint ovens at work because they told us that there wouldn't be any warning before the supply would fail. The local Ford plants closed and General Motors reduced shifts as well during this issue. This is the same company that pays you rebates to reduce your electricity usage so that they don't have to build more capacity in their network.


Our Generac generator changes from Propane to NG with one change in the control panel and a twist of a knob on the carburetor, plus the obvious connection to the gas supply.
Link Posted: 4/25/2019 7:42:26 PM EDT
500 or 1000 gallon, installation cost is not much different.
Generator
water heater
Fire logs for fireplace
outdoor fire pit
Emergency heat
Garage heat
.
Think long term
Link Posted: 5/6/2019 9:04:00 PM EDT
Main reason to buy tank is you can shop who refills it.

500 gallon tank so you can start shopping refills when you want to do so and have a decent bit delivered.

250 gallons is not bad, but I wonder what minimum purchase is to get best price on propane.

And I would want the 500 anyway. It can be used for a lot of other stuff if you choose to do so.
Link Posted: 5/8/2019 1:58:09 PM EDT
Owning the tank is a mixed blessing, but generally it works out long term. The downside is that if anything goes wrong you just lost any savings you would have had and then some. For smaller tanks that are DOT certified not ASME you don't want to own but that isn't at issue here.

Buy bigger if you can. Companies will discount for the larger delivery and fewer deliveries = fewer delivery fees and the ability to optimize when you buy as folks said.

I'm in the industry but with a company that doesn't play most of the games, it's actually one of the ways we differentiate ourselves from the competition. We ALWAYS prefer customers with larger tanks and longer times between deliveries. We also like when those customers call us and say, "I'd like to get your best price to fill the tank sometime this month." in the summer, rather than, "I'm out of gas and it's the day before Christmas, you have to come fill it right now!" at 3pm. Calling when you're at 60% is a pain though, and gets you pricing more in line with smaller tanks, since you're taking gas as if you were a small tank. The key is that a driver can only make so many stops a day, a lot of the time has nothing to do with how many gallons. If we put in 10gallons it cost us almost as much in labor and truck wear as putting in 800.
Link Posted: 5/8/2019 4:34:39 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By biere:
Main reason to buy tank is you can shop who refills it.

500 gallon tank so you can start shopping refills when you want to do so and have a decent bit delivered.

250 gallons is not bad, but I wonder what minimum purchase is to get best price on propane.

And I would want the 500 anyway. It can be used for a lot of other stuff if you choose to do so.
View Quote
In my area the best price for homeowners is if they buy more than 100 gallons. Fill less than 100 gallons and you'll pay a higher price. As I recall it's about a $.40 per gallon price difference. Makes sense since propane companies make money in volume and small deliveries have the same transportation costs. I have a 120 gallon propane tank for my shop heater. It holds about 100 gallons or a little less. So, I only fill it when I also fill my house tank.
Link Posted: 5/9/2019 10:04:53 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By drywall5:
A 250 gallon tank has only 150 gallons of usable fuel whereas a 500 gallon tank has about 300 gallons of usable fuel.

A 250 gallon tank at 30% full = 373,800 BTU (Calc’d for 20 degree Fahrenheit)

A 500 gallon tank at 10% full = 399,600 BTU (Calc’d for 20 degree Fahrenheit)
View Quote
WTF is this. The propane industry as a rule will only fill to 80% Buy the bigger tank. get it filled in the summer when it is cheap.
Link Posted: 5/9/2019 5:19:50 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By whiskerz:

WTF is this. The propane industry as a rule will only fill to 80% Buy the bigger tank. get it filled in the summer when it is cheap.
View Quote
I think he's talking about how much propane a tank will allow to be drawn at any given time. A full tank will allow a higher draw rate than a low tank. That said, my whole house, if I ran everything that is fueled by propane at the same time, the draw would be less than 200,000 btu.
Link Posted: 5/9/2019 6:44:37 PM EDT
I think he is referring to the standard fill rate for an above ground tank which is 80%

A 500 gallon tank will be considered full with 400 gallons of liquid propane in it. The rest of the space is headspace for propane gas, and a safety factor for expansion.

a 250 gallon tank would be considered full with 200 gallons of liquid propane in it.

The evaporation rate is the rate that the liquid can evaporate into the gas that is normally drawn off the top of the tank and consumed as fuel. The evaporation rate will vary with the amount of surface area of liquid propane in the tank (tank size), the level of liquid propane in the tank (full tanks have a larger liquid surface area which transfers heat better to the outside of the tank), and the outside tank temperature. This is not usually a factor for household use.
Link Posted: 5/9/2019 11:47:17 PM EDT
That mention of 100 gal delivery for the price break is why I would go with the larger tank. You can probably currently go 2 or more years on a big tank between fills if you wish to do so.

You most certainly could just fill up in the summer when prices are lowest and you can get that price break.

I admit a leak on a big tank costs more than a leak on a little tank, but if you have a faulty system then oh well.

Propane does not go bad in storage and I just don't see an issue with the bigger tank other than upfront cost.

Now, did anyone mention a wet leg so you can fill your own propane tanks from the big tank if you take a class?

Not sure if this is still possible, has been discussed in the past and since we have some folks in the business I will leave it to them.
Link Posted: 5/10/2019 12:41:33 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By biere:
That mention of 100 gal delivery for the price break is why I would go with the larger tank. You can probably currently go 2 or more years on a big tank between fills if you wish to do so.

You most certainly could just fill up in the summer when prices are lowest and you can get that price break.

I admit a leak on a big tank costs more than a leak on a little tank, but if you have a faulty system then oh well.

Propane does not go bad in storage and I just don't see an issue with the bigger tank other than upfront cost.

Now, did anyone mention a wet leg so you can fill your own propane tanks from the big tank if you take a class?

Not sure if this is still possible, has been discussed in the past and since we have some folks in the business I will leave it to them.
View Quote
I have a fill kit and a wet leg. I didn't take any class to use it. It works well.
Link Posted: 5/10/2019 8:09:15 AM EDT
Check around and see if there are any used tanks available. I lucked out and bought a 500 gallon tank from an Amish neighbor for $75 dollars.

Last year I had a propane company replace a valve and add a valve for the wet leg. That plus the kit for refilling tanks cost me $250.

No class required.

This is a rural area without a lot of red tape.
Link Posted: 5/12/2019 5:23:28 PM EDT
Bigger is better... but if im only cooking, ai could go 10 years on 500gal.
Link Posted: 5/19/2019 2:51:45 PM EDT
500 and fill when price is low.
Link Posted: 5/21/2019 9:20:47 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Remyrw:
Owning the tank is a mixed blessing, but generally it works out long term. The downside is that if anything goes wrong you just lost any savings you would have had and then some. For smaller tanks that are DOT certified not ASME you don't want to own but that isn't at issue here.

Buy bigger if you can. Companies will discount for the larger delivery and fewer deliveries = fewer delivery fees and the ability to optimize when you buy as folks said.

I'm in the industry but with a company that doesn't play most of the games, it's actually one of the ways we differentiate ourselves from the competition. We ALWAYS prefer customers with larger tanks and longer times between deliveries. We also like when those customers call us and say, "I'd like to get your best price to fill the tank sometime this month." in the summer, rather than, "I'm out of gas and it's the day before Christmas, you have to come fill it right now!" at 3pm. Calling when you're at 60% is a pain though, and gets you pricing more in line with smaller tanks, since you're taking gas as if you were a small tank. The key is that a driver can only make so many stops a day, a lot of the time has nothing to do with how many gallons. If we put in 10gallons it cost us almost as much in labor and truck wear as putting in 800.
View Quote
I wish everybody had a 1000

we've been putting out a bunch of 119s for people lately and I loathe those motherfuckers
Link Posted: 5/21/2019 11:16:55 PM EDT
I bought a 1000 gallon tank. Only had the furnace on it at first. Then the stove, dryer, and water heater as those electric appliances died. Whole house generator is on the list.
Link Posted: 5/22/2019 9:49:12 AM EDT
Mowing time is back so gas gets rotated cause I no longer like gas of today. I do have 87 octane 100% gas but it is not like it used to be, used to be able to get higher octanes 5+ years ago. This is local at a gas station and not me hunting around.

Anyway, big reason to go big on propane is it stores about forever.

If your tank does not get a hole and you don't get a leak it will keep forever I think. I won't be around to verify so sue me in 100 years if I was wrong. :D

You can't bug out with a 1k gallon tank but research the wet leg stuff as well and you can fill your portable tanks. Being able to fill a tank like a 40lb maybe I might look harder at running a little generator on just propane. No gas to go bad and clog up the carb as much.

If I go back to owning property propane will be a reasonable chunk of fuel storage for me. And around here it is hard to bury em but that is another story.
Link Posted: 5/22/2019 3:04:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TexRdnec:

I wish everybody had a 1000

we've been putting out a bunch of 119s for people lately and I loathe those motherfuckers
View Quote
Yeah, our techs don't mind doing the install, less effort on their part, but on the fill side we'd love for everyone to be 500 and up. Preferably with a 120 as an auto switch backup in case no one's paying attention and there was no tank monitor or it failed. We're just getting tank monitors into more general use, it's still not the norm. We're an old company and tend to have pretty good account retention, so getting them onto older accounts that haven't had an issue is tough. The customer doesn't see any reason to pay for it so we're stuck either eating the cost or annoying a customer. Usually we just skip it unless the cost savings from optimizing their deliveries will pay off. I'm not in that loop, but I think they recently started working to get our more distant customers all on monitors by neighborhood/town so we can optimize travel times. Doesn't take many miles on a bobtail to pay for a few tank monitors.
Link Posted: 7/14/2019 10:46:40 AM EDT
I bought a 120 gal tank last year for gas logs stove and shop heater. I had a 1000ga tank in WV that was rented $50.00 yr It ran three gas furnaces and gas logs. I could fill up in May,June or July and make it thru the winter.
I called the company I bought this tank from for a price and was quoted $3.29 gal. Call another co. $1.49-1.79, $1.79 locked in until 4/2020.
Just owning your own tank, beware some suppliers will charge a tank inspection/leak test at between $50.00-$90.00, some other don't.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 8:30:20 AM EDT
You guys with your own tanks may want to look at filling up now. Prices can be very low.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 10:00:34 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hk9403006:
I bought a 120 gal tank last year for gas logs stove and shop heater. I had a 1000ga tank in WV that was rented $50.00 yr It ran three gas furnaces and gas logs. I could fill up in May,June or July and make it thru the winter.
I called the company I bought this tank from for a price and was quoted $3.29 gal. Call another co. $1.49-1.79, $1.79 locked in until 4/2020.
Just owning your own tank, beware some suppliers will charge a tank inspection/leak test at between $50.00-$90.00, some other don't.
View Quote
If a company doesn't want to do an inspection before they'll take you on as a customer, call the next company. Some charge, some don't, but if they don't do it they are putting you and your family at risk and violating the law in most areas. You'd be amazed at how many times we do an inspection for a customer coming from another company and find major issues that were being ignored by the other company every time they filled.
Link Posted: 7/15/2019 11:05:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/17/2019 8:22:21 PM EDT
We have a buried 500 gal. It’s on a rental and that fee gets waived when we fill it up each May ($55). I’m not paying $2800 for my own tank. When there is a tank problem (I’ve had 2 in 14 years) the gas company has to come and fix it and replace my gas that was lost.

Bad part is we are stuck using that company. Seems to be several providers in the area with one being cheaper per gallon than who we use.
Top Top