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How Do I Know if My Propane Tank is Bad?

A propane tank with a white background

Is Your Propane Tank Ready for Action?

The summer is over, Labor Day is over, and the holiday season is upon us, as are the winter months. It is getting to the time of year when we’ll need heat for our homes, even here in the Weatherford, Texas area. And to make sure you’re not caught on a cold night without heat, it is time for propane tank inspection and repairs if needed too! 

Is a propane tank inspection necessary? 

Yes, the DOT (Department of Transportation), a federal agency, is responsible for overseeing that the federal laws and restrictions are followed by every propane distributor and retail outlet. This includes propane tank inspection and repairs as well as getting each tank recertified. 

What is the frequency required for propane tank inspection? 

Repairs for faulty propane tanks must be repaired and retested every ten years in order for the propane tank to be recertified. This federal law was established in 2017, along with the following updated rules: 

  • Initial requalification every ten years starting from the original manufacture date.
  • The volumetric expansion must be tested for Requalification every ten years.
  • Proof pressure testing is required for requalification every ten years.

What is included in a propane tank inspection? 

This must be done by a propane gas distributor or retailer that is certified and licensed. They will perform leak test checks on the propane tanks, lines, joints, and connections. If any leaks are detected, the tank and any components or parts are replaced.

What is done with a defective propane tank?

If a propane tank is damaged, punctured, rusted, or otherwise deemed by a professional to be unusable, it may be recycled. However, this must be done by a certified propane facility because of the possibility of propane or residue of propane remaining in the tank. 

Do propane tanks ever go bad?

A propane tank with a capacity of 100 pounds or less is tagged to expire in 12 years from the date of manufacturer. At the 12-year mark, the propane tank should be exchanged for a new tank, then a professional propane tank and inspection should be done by a certified propane distributor or retailer. 

How do you know if a propane tank is bad?

When a propane tank exhibits any of the following four things, it is time to have a professional propane tank and inspection performed:  

  • Propane Gas Odor 

The you can smell propane gas coming from the tank, or inside your home, evacuate the premises, call 911, and then the propane gas company.  The smell of propane is similar to rotten eggs. 

  • The Pilot Light

If the pilot light won’t stay lit for the heating system or any of the appliances, it may be the appliance. But if none of the pilot lights are staying lit, you should have a professional propane tank inspection and repair or replacement done. 

  • The Burner Flames

A flame should be blue, but if the flames on the pilot light or flames are orange or yellow, it is recommended to get your propane tank inspected and repairs may be needed, or even a replacement. 

  • Rusty Tank

If your propane tank has extensive rust in large patches, it is time to have it replaced. 

How can you check a propane tank?

Most propane tanks used for home use have a gauge on top. Simply reading the gauge will tell you the amount of gas. If your propane tank doesn’t have a gauge or the gauge doesn’t appear to be working, do the “water and hand” test: 

  • Pour warm water over the propane tank.
  • Run your hand over the tank side. 

When you have reached the level of propane in the tank, the exterior of the tank’s temperature will feel cool.

How do you pressure test a propane tank?

You should be able to contact your propane retailer to schedule a free propane inspection and repairs if needed, as well as a pressure test.  If you want to do your own pressure testing, follow these steps: 

  1. Purchase a pressure gauge device that is installed between the initial regulator and the shutoff valve. 
  2. Release full tank pressure, allowing enough gas to pass through to the gauge until you get a reading of 0 psi. 
  3. Close the shut-off valve, and wait 3 minutes, watching for any decrease or increase in the pressure. If you see an increase, contact your propane pressure dealer to come perform a propane inspection and repair. 

In Conclusion

If you have any concerns with a propane tank, err on the side of caution. If you’re renting your propane tank, propane tank inspection and repairs should be included in the rental agreement. If you own your propane tank, you will probably need to pay for a professional propane tank inspection and repairs, but it will be much less expensive than the loss of lives and home. Want to get in touch with us for propane tank inspection and repair in Granbury, TX? If so, call us now at 817-341-7240!

Propane Safety Tips: Ensuring a Secure Environment for Your Family

Propane Safety Tips: Ensuring a Secure Environment for Your Family

Propane is a commonly used fuel for heating homes, powering appliances, and cooking. To ensure a secure environment for your family when using propane, here are some important safety tips to follow:

  1. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Propane appliances can produce carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly if inhaled in high concentrations. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and near sleeping areas to alert you to any potential leaks.
  2. Proper Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation for all propane appliances to allow for the safe release of combustion gases. Never operate propane-powered equipment in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces, such as basements, garages, or tents.
  3. Regular Inspections: Schedule regular inspections of your propane system by a qualified technician. This includes checking for leaks, corrosion, and proper functioning of appliances and equipment.
  4. Check for Leaks: Learn how to recognize the smell of propane, which has a distinctive odor similar to rotten eggs. If you suspect a propane leak, evacuate the area immediately and contact your propane supplier or emergency services. Do not operate electrical switches, lights, or appliances, as they could ignite the gas.
  5. Turn Off Gas Supply: In case of a propane leak or suspected leak, turn off the main gas supply valve at the tank or cylinder. Familiarize yourself with the location of the valve and how to safely shut it off.
  6. Handle Propane Safely: When handling propane cylinders or tanks, always follow safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Keep cylinders upright and secure during transport, and never store them indoors or in areas with high temperatures.
  7. Keep Area Clear: Keep the area around propane tanks and cylinders clear of combustible materials, such as vegetation, debris, or flammable liquids.
  8. Store Propane Safely: Store propane cylinders and tanks outdoors in a well-ventilated area, away from heat sources, ignition sources, and direct sunlight. Never store propane indoors or in enclosed spaces.
  9. Educate Family Members: Make sure all family members are aware of propane safety practices and know how to respond in case of an emergency. Develop and practice a household emergency plan that includes procedures for dealing with propane leaks or other safety incidents.

By following these propane safety tips, you can help ensure a secure environment for your family and reduce the risk of accidents or injuries related to propane use. If you have any concerns or questions about propane safety, don’t hesitate to contact your propane supplier or a qualified professional for guidance.

Get Propane In Your Home with Heine Propane

Propane is a popular energy source in many American homes, but it does not come without drawbacks. Improperly used, propane can be dangerous and even deadly. The experts at Heine Propane can help with gas line installation in Granbury, TX. We have years of experience and guarantee an installation done right the first time around. Give us a call at 817-341-7240, and make the best choice for you and your family.

Can I Convert My Gasoline Engine to Propane?

The interior of an engine.

Explore the Difference Between Propane and Gasoline

We are all aware of the price of gasoline, and here in the Weatherford, Texas area, many of us have considered downsizing our pickup truck to a smaller SUV or car. And that just doesn’t fit our Stetsons and Ropers!  But we have another option to save on fuel expenses without having to trade off our ‘cowboy Cadillac’. Yes, we’re talking about going with a propane Autogas conversion

So many concerns and questions, starting with what is propane Autogas conversion? To go from a gasoline-powered vehicle to a propane Autogas-powered vehicle, it requires changing out the fuel tank and installing a propane injection system. Many companies and entities that have fleet vehicles, like the city, county, or state, have made the propane Autogas conversion already! 

How much does it cost to convert a vehicle to propane?

The cost will vary, but the average cost for a propane Autogas conversion can range between $3,000 to $8,000, and for a luxury vehicle, the cost can be as much as $10,000 or more. 

What are the benefits of a propane Autogas conversion?

It has been established that natural gas and propane gas are both clean and plentiful, unlike petroleum gas. This makes them more convenient and the propane dispensers work the same as gasoline pumps, with some differences: 

  • Propane doesn’t pool or spill, minimizing the risk to groundwater, soil, or humans. 
  • Less expensive to own
  • Reduced emissions
  • Refueling strategies can be tailored
  • Propane burns cleaner which leads to the engine lasting longer

What are the disadvantages of propane Autogas conversion? 

While the benefits of a propane Autogas conversion are few, they are powerful in the decision-making process. But there are some disadvantages too, such as: 

  1. Lower Energy Content: Propane gas isn’t as energizing as petroleum gasoline gallon for gallon. This can reduce the distance you drive before needing to fill up again.
  2. Infrastructure: The number of propane refueling stations are few and far between. If you’re planning to travel, check ahead for stations that offer propane. 
  3. Propane Autogas Conversion Expense: Completing the conversion can be expensive. 
  4. Vehicle Options Limited: There aren’t as many options in vehicles propane-powered as there are gasoline-powered. 
  5. Storage: To have a propane-powered gas, a pressurized tank, which adds weight and takes up space in the car. 

Can a fuel-injected vehicle be converted to propane?

Yes, that is another benefit of a propane Autogas conversion! There are conversion kits available today for converting a fuel-injected engine into a bio-fuel vehicle. There aren’t any adjustments required, it can be done simply by flipping a switch on the dashboard.  

Is propane hard on car engines?

No, having a propane Autogas conversion to your gasoline-powered car will minimize the amount and frequency of maintenance. This is because the high octane rating doesn’t build up carbon inside the engine. 

Is a propane Autogas conversion worth the expense?

This is one of the benefits of a propane Autogas conversion.  Once you have the conversion completed, you’ll notice a lower cost of ownership for a few different reasons. 

Emissions are reduced, your refueling strategies can be tailored, you’ll have less downtime caused by maintenance and repairs, and you’ll be helping the environment as well. And that costly investment will give you a return on investment within three years or less, especially when you include the federal and state incentives.

Will a propane Autogas conversion void the car manufacturer’s warranty? 

Most of the time no, it isn’t an issue. But it will depend on the make/model of the vehicle. If this is something you’re considering, you should call a professional conversion company or your dealership and inquire. 

Is a propane Autogas conversion reversable? 

A propane Autogas conversion requires holes to be drilled into the manifold where the injector is installed. If you choose a reversal, these holes can be plugged.  When this conversion is done by a professional, there shouldn’t be any problems with the system. If there is, you should have a warranty on the work. 

Where is the propane tank installed? 

Most propane Autogas conversions are installed where the spare tire is kept. There are extended propane tanks available if you don’t want to lose that spare tire space that can hold up to 80 gallons. These are typically installed on pickup trucks or any vehicle that has ground clearance. If the conversion is intended to be permanent, the propane tank is installed where the existing gasoline tank is located. 

In Closing

If you’re considering propane Autogas conversion for your existing vehicle, do your research. This includes getting 2 to 3 quotes and finding others who have made this conversion already. Ask how satisfied they are with the results, including asking companies or entities that have fleets that run on propane Autogas currently. If you need a propane autogas conversion in Granbury, TX please give us a call at 817-341-7240 to get started!

What Are You Looking for When Inspecting a Propane Tank?

A propane tank with a wrench.

The Importance of Propane Inspections

For those who live in the rural areas surrounding Weatherford, Texas, one of the main energy sources is from a propane tank. Propane gas has become more popular in the past few years because it burns cleaner, faster, and is more readily available. There isn’t any shortage as with natural gas and it doesn’t cause any impact on the environment. 

After a long period of using a propane tank, inspection by a professional is recommended. What is included in a propane tank inspection?   A propane tank inspection by an experienced propane tank professional will include: 

  • Check for leaks
  • Check for tank surface rust
  • Check for tank surface corrosion
  • Check all fittings, the regulator, and valves
  • Check for any damages to the tank such as dents or gouges
  • Perform a pressure check
  • Check lines running from the tank to the house

What is the life expectancy of a propane tank?

When it comes to propane tank longevity, the size of the tank installed at a house won’t have any bearing.  A galvanized steel propane tank that is installed above ground has a 30-year average lifespan. An aluminum or composite propane tank will last longer.  When your propane tank is reaching its end of life, that is when you need a propane tank inspection. 

After the propane tank inspection is complete, the technician will advise you if the tank is still usable. At this point, they will be able to recertify it or you may need to replace it as well as any parts connecting the tank to the house that need to be replaced.

How is a propane tank recertified? 

Any propane tank with a capacity over 100 gallons must be recertified every 12 years to be issued ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Any propane tank smaller than 100 gallons is governed by the Department of Transportation and must be recertified by the DOT every 12 years. The recertification process starts with a licensed propane technician performing a propane tank inspection as described above, including a pressure testing process. 

How do I know if my propane tank is expired?

Every propane tank that has been inspected and recertified will have the date stamped on a metal tag that is attached to the tank on top. Is it worth recertifying a propane tank? Absolutely! It is a matter of safety and it is recommended NOT to skip the recertification process.

A propane tank inspection that is skipped will have an invalid tag, which is against the law. So should you have any problem associated with the propane tank, such as a house fire, it would be in violation, thus any insurance claims would be declined. The propane tank inspection can find small problems and the technician can address any features that have degraded. You’ll be at risk of the tank leaking, causing a fire, or exploding. 

How often do home propane tanks need to be replaced?

The propane tanks manufactured today are designed with improved durability and safety than the propane tanks of the past. An aboveground propane tank has an average lifespan of 30 years and an underground propane tank lifespan averages around 20 years. The underground propane tank has a shorter lifespan because the soil content can erode the tank faster, which is why propane tank inspections are so important. 

Are propane tanks leased or owned? 

This will depend on the propane company and your options.  In the past, all propane tanks were leased to the homeowner.  Then it became possible to purchase them outright and own the tank while having it filled by the propane gas company. 

The downside to owning your propane tank is all the propane tank inspections, maintenance, and repairs are solely up to you. However, the recertification is still required by federal law, with proof being shown on the metal tag. 

How often does a propane tank need to be refilled?

A 500-gallon propane tank is typically refilled between two and three times a year, resulting in 400 gallons. This is going to depend on the usage and the efficiency of your propane-powered appliances and other factors like: 

  • The size of your home, with a larger home requiring more heat.
  • The climate, the longer the winter, the more propane is used.
  • The number of occupants using hot water. 
  • The home’s energy efficiency and insulation. 
  • The number of appliances using propane in addition to the heating system. This includes gas clothes dryers, propane-fueled fireplaces, and water heaters.

In Closing 

Propane is one of the cleanest and safest energy sources for homes and businesses. With proper propane tank inspection and maintenance, and the upkeep of all the propane-powered appliances. Like using any other type of energy source to heat a home, the efficiency of a propane tank will be better with improved insulation of the home. Give us a call now at 817-341-7240 for your propane tank inspection in Granbury, TX!

How Do You Store Large Amounts of Propane?

Propane gas burner

Discover propane gas storage information

While winter has come to an end in the north Texas area, and we will be turning our air conditioning on soon, there are businesses that still utilize propane gas. From restaurants to hospitals and others, bulk propane storage is a must. They heat tremendous amounts of water, using it for cooking, and more. 

While propane is a natural resource that can supply our needs to power the heat, water heater, and more in our homes, we don’t need as much a business or institute. We can get by with the large propane tanks behind our homes and have them filled once or twice a year. Whereas a restaurant or a hospital needs gallons of propane daily, bulk propane storage is needed, and that brings about concerns for the sake of safety is there and it is real. 

What safety precautions are needed for bulk propane storage? 

Propane safety decrees that when an entity has bulk propane storage, there are specific precautions to follow, starting with a bulk propane storage tank that must be buried underground, in storage caverns, or in storage spheres. Other requirements for bulk propane storage include: 

  • Gas Cylinders

When storing propane cylinders, the cylinder must be kept in open-air storage, like outdoors. The relief valve should be closed. Any impact that causes damage to the propane cylinder can affect the quality of liquid propane gas. The bulk propane storage cylinder should be on a level area and kept dry. There shouldn’t be any flammable material around the propane storage cylinder.

  • Liquid Propane Storage 

When propane gas is highly compressed under pressure, it becomes a liquid, making it easier for storing than when it is in gas form. Propane gas is stored at different pressure & temperature levels. As the gas is used, the pressure doesn’t reduce, so proper bulk propane storage is important.

  • Propane Bullets

Propane depots often keep propane safety at the forefront, dictating that units dealing with bulk propane storage take precautions. Storage depots have underground storage amenities, requiring the tanks to be buried underground. 

  • LPG Cylinders

For propane bulk storage in cylinders, it is crucial they are in open-air storage and the relief valve is off, even if the cylinder isn’t in use.

The quality of the propane gas can be affected by any damage or impact to the tank. The tank should be stored level and dry, and away from anything flammable and heat sources.

  • Propane Storage for Liquid 

Propane gas becomes a liquid when it is compressed under high pressure. This makes storing it easier than in the gas form. It is important to realize it is stored at different pressure levels and temperatures. Liquid propane pressure doesn’t reduce as it is used. Proper bulk propane storage requires proper handling so as not to compromise the tanks’ integrity.

  • Bulk Propane Storage Bullets

Propane depots often keep bulk propane storage in bullets for agricultural and commercial purposes. A propane bullet weighs as much as 40 tons, comparable storage measurement for Liquid Propane Gas for bulk propane storage. The level of high combustibility of this material makes it vital to the relief device is shut off, even when empty.  

What type of container is best for bulk propane storage?

For commercial bulk propane storage, the following are the most recommended by propane experts: 

  • 500-GALLON BULK PROPANE STORAGE 

Ideal for either residential or small commercial heating with a higher BTU load for a setup that may have multiple uses. It is installed 10 feet from a structure or property line. 

  • 1,000-GALLON BULK PROPANE STORAGE 

This size tank is typically used for agricultural or commercial operations that have high usage and high BTU loads. It should be installed 10 feet from a structure or property line. 

What is the recommended temperature for bulk propane storage?

Bulk propane storage should be no colder than forty below and no higher than 120 degrees higher. Sunlight and wind chill should be factored into the storage setup. 

What is the maximum amount of propane that can be stored in a bulk storage tank? 

The cylinder used for bulk propane storage doesn’t have any restrictions. The amount of propane is limited to 200 pounds for a residential property. For a structure that doesn’t have steady public traffic, the bulk propane storage amount is 300 pounds. 

How often should bulk propane storage tanks be inspected for safety? 

Every 10 years is the required inspection timing. If the tank has the possibility of sustaining any damage, it should be inspected immediately afterward, like storm damage.

What type of maintenance is required for bulk propane storage tanks? 

The first rule of bulk propane storage tank maintenance is to know what the warning signs are there may be a problem with the tank. Take the following steps first: 

  • Shut the valves off
  • Keep the reserve tanks with a minimum amount of propane
  • Never store bulk propane storage tanks inside a vehicle
  • Keep all portable tanks secured properly
  • Replace weathered, worn propane tank storage tanks

Giving It The Gas

Once you have your bulk propane storage in place and follow all the requirements and rules to maintain them, you’ll enjoy this clean power source method.

What Uses the Most Propane in a House?

Propane Tanks Ready for Delivery

Propane’s Many Uses

Propane gas is a byproduct of domestic natural gas using crude oil refinement to produce propane gas. Because it is abundantly available, propane delivery  is becoming more commonly used in many avenues including: 

  • Cooking
  • Heating homes 
  • Heating water
  • Vehicle fuel
  • Farm equipment 
  • … and more

Maybe your only exposure to propane gas is the small hand-carried tank you bring to the family cookout. Or maybe you have propane delivery to your country or rural area home. It may surprise you, or maybe it won’t, but propane use and propane delivery are gaining attention for use in the city too, beyond restaurants and commercial use. 

Because so many are unfamiliar with this substance, there are concerns and questions. And rightly so because there are some dangers in using propane.

What kind of dangers is possible with propane delivery? 

Propane gas is one of the safest forms of energy we have available today, it does pose some danger during and after your propane delivery. Some of those dangers include: 

  • Storage of propane in large quantities in an outdoor storage tank close to a residence.
  • Testing is required after a periodic shutdown or tank runs out of propane. (always check the gauge and order before your tank empties).
  • Regulator dysfunctions due to aging, corrosion, damage, or freezing, can cause unsafe pressure inside the tank. 

Are the environmental impacts of propane? 

If the environment is a major concern for you, rest assured that having propane delivered to your home or business won’t be impacting it.  Propane gas is an environmentally friendly power source that does emit carbon dioxide at a low level, is a clean burning fuel compared to diesel or gas, and doesn’t emit wastes like methane, nitro oxides, or sulfur dioxide.

Is propane gas harmful to humans? 

Propane gas vapors are not toxic, however, it is an asphyxiating gas which means they will take up the space in your lungs that oxygen usually fills. When this happens, the person(s) affected will notice difficulty breathing when in a confined space. Since propane gas quickly absorbs the skin’s heat which can result in severe burns.

What are the benefits of using propane?

The first benefit of taking propane delivery to your home or business is knowing that it is 100% domestically produced. There isn’t any concern with other countries closing or opening pipelines when it comes to propane. Other benefits of propane include: 

  • Infrastructure & Vehicle Availability

Today, there is a wide selection of medium-duty and heavy-duty propane vehicles available through select dealerships. There are also light-duty and medium-duty vehicles with engines that are designed for propane use. They are prepped to handle higher temperatures and lower pruriency of propane. 

  • Fuel Economy & Performance

Propane delivery to primary infrastructure sites has a lower cost in fuel needs. The BTU of propane is lower than gas per gallon, making propane the better choice for fuel economy.

  • Environmentally & Public Health

When comparing propane to conventional diesel and gasoline, there are fewer harmful pollutants in propane. 

How is propane regulated?

The Department of Transportation oversees all matters concerned with propane delivery in coordination with PHMSA (Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration), and FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). These three federal organizations regulate propane transportation and propane delivery. In addition, DOT and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) together oversee employee training and design and implement all emergency procedures.

Additionally, propane tanks, for commercial or residential use, must be inspected and re-certified every ten years. If the tank is privately owned, as many homeowners in the country choose to use, the propane delivery company is responsible for the inspection and re-certification. 

How is propane better than natural gas? 

Propane has a higher BTU value than natural gas, and it is also higher in cubic feet cost-wise. However, because propane burns cleaner and hotter than natural gas, it heats up quicker, which results in using less of it. When comparing dollar for dollar of a propane delivery, per gallon, it comes out cheaper. 

Stacked Propane Tanks

In Conclusion 

While propane is a cleaner fuel that heats faster, making it last longer, there are dangers to be aware of. If not handled correctly, from the transportation to the propane delivery to business and homeowner, caution must be exercised every step of the way. Whether it is being used to power up a commercial or industrial kitchen, a propane delivery to a home’s 500-gallon tank, or a hand-carried propane tank for the outdoor grill, caution must be exercised to ensure safety. 

If you’ve never used propane delivery in Granbury, TX in any manner and you’re considering going that way, give Heine Propane a phone call at 817-341-7240 and ask questions. Being educated and informed is essential in using your propane delivery and propane appliances safely. 

Does Propane Delivery Save You Money?

A man working with a gas tank

About Propane Delivery

Living in a rural area, aka, out in the country, having natural gas connection doesn’t exist. So, homeowners will have propane tanks behind their homes and get propane delivery every so often.  There are pros and cons to this method of power source, and most people, once they have acclimated to it, prefer propane over natural gas or an all-electric home. 

For anyone new to propane delivery, tanks, and usage, there are many questions. For you, we offer the following answers, helpful information, and tips. Like a concern for many, even those who have been on propane want to ways how to save on propane costs.

Does propane delivery lock you in at a set price?

Propane is a component of natural gas but is refined, making it a little more expensive than natural gas. However, if you don’t have any other option, you need to find ways to lower your expenses with propane delivery and usage. And that includes getting the best price possible per gallon, just like the gasoline for your car or the kWH for electrical service. 

The gas market fluctuates and lately, it has been going up. Fortunately, unlike the gas for your car, you can bargain with propane delivery companies. So yes, some propane delivery companies will offer a lock-in rate of up to one year for a small upfront fee. 

Does frequent delivery reduce the cost of propane?

No, if anything, that will cost you more because you will typically pay less per gallon for more propane to be delivered. The more you buy in bulk, the less you’ll pay for one. 

Will you get a surcharge if you need additional propane delivered early?

Like any company, propane delivery companies will have extra fees. Typically, if the fees are for not ordering as much as you committed to with the lock-in rate. For example, if you committed to 200 gallons a year and only order 125 gallons, they may charge you a flat fee for the shortage. 

Other additional fees could stem from an emergency propane delivery after hours or during inclement weather, on a holiday, or weekend. Another possible additional fee could be for a tank and line inspection. While that has nothing to do with getting a propane delivery, it is using an employee, time, and equipment. 

How do you keep propane heating prices down?

When it comes to heating your home, propane delivery costs aren’t any different than natural gas delivery. Using the same things that the natural gas company and electric company advise you for saving on energy. Starting with installing a smart thermostat. 

With a smart thermostat, you can set your heating to lower during the day when nobody is home and have it bump up the heat 30 minutes before you get home. That way the house is nice toasty warm when you get there!  For every degree you lower the thermostat during the day, you can save as much as 3% on your propane delivery bill. 

Other tips that can help with your winter propane delivery costs are: 

  • Watch the Propane Gauge

Fill up your tank before winter arrives, propane is cheaper in the summer, and then make sure you don’t run short and need special delivery. 

  • Watch Your Fan Use

Yes, using the bathroom and kitchen for one hour will force out a houseful of warm air. Don’t use an exhaust fan for more than 20 minutes. 

  • Close the Fireplace Damper

When the damper is open, warm air is escaping! And while the fireplace may feel warm while you’re sitting there by it, it is actually sucking the heat out. 

  • Keep Heating Vents Clear 

If a vent that is blocked by furniture or rugs is not letting the heat into that room, then it can’t efficiently circulate. 

  • Open the Curtains

During the day, when the sun is shining, open the blinds and curtains and let the sun do its job. And at night, close the curtains to keep the rooms warmer.

Gas delivery. Truck with orange propane gas tanks

How often can you have propane delivered?

This can vary from company to company, but most will set up a monthly delivery schedule with you.  Typically, most homes have a 500-gallon tank, which for an all-gas home, can use a propane delivery four times a year.

How can I save money on a propane tank?

The propane tank itself typically is provided by the propane delivery company. Because they are responsible for the tank being in accordance with federal safety laws, they won’t make any propane delivery to a tank that isn’t certified. If you have an existing propane tank you want to be filled by a propane delivery service, they will need to check and inspect the tank and lines to certify its ability to be used. 

Will I save money switching to propane?

If your home isn’t already set up for propane, there will be the initial connection expense. After that, like any household, saving money is a concern for you and a propane delivery service will save you money. How? 

It doesn’t take propane as long to warm up as it does electric heat. And once the room is heated, it will stay warm longer. Combine those two facts together and you’ve saved money! 

Take It to The Bank! 

What if your home is set up on natural gas, you have to wonder, is propane cheaper than natural gas?  Per gallon, no, a propane delivery will cost you more than natural gas if you measure it by the gallon. However, where you will save and make up that difference is with the usage. As we just reviewed, propane heats up faster and a properly insulated room will stay warmer longer, meaning, you’ll use less propane than natural.

Heine Propane provides propane delivery in Granbury, TX. Call 817-341-7240 for services.

Do you tip propane delivery guys?

propane truck delivering propane

Understanding the Etiquette

We take many things for granted around our homes, like the mail and the trash collection. Some of us will offer these people a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day, or a bottle of cold water in the summer. What about requested deliveries though, like propane delivery? Is this a person that is paid well enough that tips would be more insult than appreciated? 

Is propane delivery a hard job?

The companies that manufacture and process any type of energy, including propane delivery drivers, or their products won’t get distributed. Propane is delivered not only to residents, but there are agricultural, commercial, and wholesale deliveries too. 

The key part of a propane delivery driver is to fill customer tanks and restock the retailer’s supply (this is where customers buy the portable propane tanks for grills). These drivers are required to complete safety training that covers the following, and more: 

  • Inspection of the filler 
  • Check the tank pressure
  • Check the pressure relief and service valves 
  • How to fill the tank
  • Where to check for clogs and leaks
  • Check for any corrosion
  • Inspect the filler valve gasket 
  • Check the function of the service handwheel valve

Some propane delivery drivers are required to operate a semi-truck and tractor-trailer rigs. They must have a commercial driver’s license endorsed for air brakes,  hazmat, and tanker hauling. Some states have a set of requirements, including additional certification and licensing. 

Is delivering propane dangerous?

Propane delivery drivers are trained to realize that propane is a colorless, odorless substance that has an odorant added It is an extremely flammable material that distant ignition and flashback can happen. With inhaled in high amounts, the following may occur: 

  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Clumsiness
  • Emotional upset
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions
  • Coma 

A propane delivery driver must be aware of the condition of the tanks they are carrying to be in an upright position. They must be aware of their surroundings at all times to keep the proper distance from high temperatures and open flames. 

How does propane delivery work?

During propane delivery, the driver will check the bleeder valve is opened and what the level gauge is reading. This prevents the driver from inadvertently releasing propane gas from the tank and advises when to stop filling. 

A propane delivery driver is responsible for driving the truck, delivering the accurate amount of propane gas, and follow all regulations, requirements, and standards as set by the propane company, state, and federal laws. 

How do propane delivery trucks work?

There are several ins and out to a propane delivery truck, just look at this list: 

On the outside if the tank –

  • Tank: The most recognizable part of a propane delivery truck is the part that holds the liquid propane for delivery. 
  • Hose Reel/Delivery Hose: The hose is stored in a reel mounted to the truck. When the propane delivery drier arrives, they pull the hose of this reel, stretching it to the delivery tank.
  • Hose End Valve: This where the hose is attached between the truck and the  tank that is being filled. A lever is turn upward by the driver to begin fueling and then turned down when the fill is completed. 
  • Excess Flow Valve: This is an in-line valve mechanism that pressurized gas flows through and closes when the valve has reached or exceeds the closing flow rate.
  • Meter: This is what tells the driver how much propane delivery the customer received. 
  • Tank Percentage Gauge: This gauge allows the propane delivery driver to monitor the level of propane in the truck tank.
  • Emergency Shut Off: This switch is located close the back taillights for an immediate shut off in case of an emergency. 

Inside The Propane Delivery Tank –

  • Internal Valve & Pump: This part pumps the propane through the meter into the hose and into the delivery tank.

Why are two hoses used during propane delivery?

One is the hose that the propane delivery is being completed. The other is a vapor return hose that prevents over-pressure condition resulting in propane being released through the Safety Relief Valve.

What is the minimum amount for propane delivery?

This is decided by each propane wholesaler. Some have a minimum delivery of 250 gallons, and another may have a 100-gallon minimum. Some companies offer a meter installed on a propane tank and they come by read the meter just like natural gas companies. Then they fill the tank up to a pre-determined point and bill the customer accordingly. 

How long does it take for propane to be delivered?

Again, this is up to the individual wholesaler. Most are able to deliver within a week to ten days. However, based on how far out you are from their starting point, it could vary. 

Can I get propane delivered for my outdoor grill? 

Until the past year when Covid created so many mandates and quarantine, propane tanks for grills were easily purchased at the local grocery store, home improvement store, or other retailers. This past year, a few propane companies have begun offering propane delivery. The minimum requirement and frequency is something to discuss with the wholesalers. 

Why is propane spewing out of my tank during delivery?

During a propane delivery, the fixed liquid gauge, is opened, a requirement by law. The propane delivery driver is not releasing gas from your tank inadvertently, it is a safety process they are required to maintain. 

large propane tank sitting in a garden

In Closing 

Propane is an excellent natural source for cooking and heating. Those who live in rural areas where the propane tank is a common fixture wouldn’t trade this means of power with an all-electric home. Having 2 sources of power are a preferred set up by most homeowners in these areas. 

Is It Cheaper to Run a Generator on Propane or Gas?

row of red propane and gas tanks

The Benefits of Propane

Around the rural areas of Weatherford, Texas area, many homes and businesses are powered by propane tanks, and propane delivery service by truck is commonplace. Propane gas provides a source of power for many things, like our outdoor grills, and campers. For those uses, we can purchase small portable propane tanks at a local store. 

Another use of propane is for a power generator. Is a propane generator worth it? Power generators are not inexpensive, but they can make a difference when you live in areas where hurricanes and tornados are commonplace. A power generator can be essential for providing electricity for lights and the refrigerator, sometimes for days.  

Most generators in these cases are portable and use gasoline to power them. However, there are generators equipped and connect to a natural gas or propane gas tank. Homes in rural areas that have propane delivery services will typically have their generator set up to run from that same tank as the rest of the house. In homes that are powered with natural gas, the gas lines are buried underground.

How long will a generator run on propane?

The length of time a power generator will operate will depend on two factors: 

  • The size of the generator
  • The load it is supporting

An example based on 20kw of power load, a propane generator could up to three gallons of propane per hour. So, if you have a propane delivery fill a 500-gallon tank, which will only have 400 gallons delivered, you could have seven days use of running on a propane generator. 

You’re probably thinking “Wait a minute, why do you only get 400 gallons of propane delivery for a 500-gallon tank?!”.  Propane expands as much as 17 times, so to maintain the standard propane safety rule of 80/20, the propane delivery driver will deliver a maximum of 400 gallons. 

What is the most efficient propane generator?

A propane generator will provide convenience in the situation of a power outage, but efficiency does matter. In a power outage, you don’t need to worry about having propane delivery too, and you want to be as environmentally friendly as possible. 

Like anything else you purchase, there are better generators and then there are some that aren’t worth having. The following are six of the most popular choices in propane generators:

  1. Champion Power Equipment 200961 2500-Watt Dual Fuel Propane Generator: While it can be loud when running a heavy load, you can get 34 hours’ use from a propane delivery, or 11 hours on gasoline. 
  1. DuroMax XP10000EH Dual Fuel Portable Propane Generator: Runs on 140 or 240, with propane delivery you can get up to 8 hours of use. Also runs on gasoline.
  1. Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen3600DF Dual Fuel Propane Generator: Twenty pounds of propane will give you up to 8 hours of service. 
  1. DuroMax XP4850EH Generator-4850-Watt Dual Fuel Propane Generator: Available with equipment to soften the noise level, you’ll get up to 10 hours from a gasoline-filled tank or propane delivery. 
  1. Champion Power Equipment 200914 4250-Watt Dual Fuel Propane Generator: Provides up to 22 hours on a tank of gasoline or propane.
  1. A-iPower SUA2000iD 2000-Watt Portable Inverter Generator Gas & Propane Powered: A low decibel level of 55 and runs on both gasoline or propane for approximately 7 hours depending on the load.

How long will a 100 lb propane tank run a generator?

A 100-pound tank of propane delivery can power a 7-kilowatt generator for up to 65 hours or power a 12-kilowatt generator for up to 35 hours. How long a propane tank lasts depends on the load they are supporting. 

The “load” is a reference to how much stuff is being powered by the propane delivery. 100-pound propane delivery is approximately 23 gallons. A propane-powered generator operates between 25% and 75% of capacity, it is possible the fuel supply could last longer, again, depending on the load it is supporting. 

Does natural gas burn slower than propane?

While a propane delivery will cost you more upfront, you’ll get more bang for your buck than you will with natural gas. Natural gas burns at a rate of 2:1, meaning you use two times the amount of natural gas as you will with propane gas. 

Can natural gas be stored in a tank?

Propane delivery arrives in a liquefied petroleum gas form that is compressed before delivery. It is colorless and odorless, like natural gas, and has a mercaptan added to give it that rotten egg odor for safety.  Natural gas must be at room temperature and under 32,000 kPa of pressure. Therefore, it cannot be stored due to the molecule and symmetry of its existence.

view from above of a propane tank

At The End Of The Day – Cost Matters

So, while we know that propane delivery is going to be more expensive than having natural gas running to your home, what is a good price for propane? Like the gasoline used in your car, the price fluctuates daily and can be cheaper in some areas, approximately $3/per gallon and as much as $5/per gallon.  

What month is the cheapest for propane? The early part of fall is a good time to have your propane delivery for refilling the household tank. The weather in Texas is stable most years, although that early cold snap could happen. 

How long will an underground propane tank last?

propane tank in a garden

The Need for Underground Propane Tanks

Living out in rural areas, life is much different. Less traffic, neighbors are distanced, water comes from a well, and sewage is going into a septic tank. Electricity is typically available by the power company by extending wires from existing poles, then hooking the home up to a meter. However, some homeowners prefer to have gas as a source of energy, which brings us to the choice of above-ground or underground propane tank installation. 

Are underground propane tanks safe?

Above ground or underground propane tanks are intrinsically safe and should there be any propane leak, the soil or water will not be harmed by the propane. The underground propane tank regulations that have been established by the federal and local governments require that specific standards be followed in the construction and burial process.

Each unground propane tank must pass certain underground propane tank testing before they are released for use by the public, for commercial or residential use. Once a tank is installed at a customer’s site, they become responsible for protecting and the upkeep of their underground propane tank in addition to regular testing and recertification. The four main responsibilities of an underground propane tank owner are:

  • The general maintenance
  • Protecting the tank from corrosion and leaks
  • Protecting the tank against flooding and other extreme weather conditions
  • Have a complete and thorough understanding of the warnings, terms, and conditions of the warranty

The only person that should install and service an underground propane tank is a certified and qualified service technician. Even if you have outright purchased the propane tank, it should only be maintained and serviced by a technician of the same consideration. 

Can underground propane tanks leak?      

It is rare this happens, but yes, there can be leaks from an underground propane tank. However, not from the tank, but the lines connected to the underground propane tank. The leak is easy to find simply by smell. 

While natural and propane gas is odorless, the chemical Mercaptan is added to the product that creates an odor. That odor, like rotten eggs, will help you find where the underground propane tank lines are leaking. As you detect the odor, you can start digging by hand to find the leaking line Then repair or replace the line with the same type of material. 

Can underground propane tanks explode?

Yes, an underground propane tank is full of flammable material that is under pressure. However, because of the strict regulations for the manufacturing of propane tanks, they are durable and hardy containers. With the built-in safety precautions, exploding underground propane tanks is rare. 

In the case that an underground propane tank is subjected to excessive heat, like a fire, the contents inside the tank will heat up and expand. If flames or a resource that ignition is possible can result in an explosion.

Is it better to bury a propane tank?

As a hydrocarbon gas that is liquefied through pressure, propane gas is an excellent, clean-burning, non-toxic fuel. A great source of power for commercial and residential uses. But which is better – an underground propane tank vs above ground propane tank? Let’s review the advantages and disadvantages of both: 

Above Ground Propane Tank Advantages 

  • Less expensive.
  • Easy accessibility. 
  • Less expensive installation.
  • Long-term use.
  • Lower maintenance costs because the technician has easier access. 

Above Ground Propane Tank Drawbacks

  • An eyesore and distraction from any outdoor decor. 
  • Takes up outdoor space, minimizing room for gardens, gazebo, or swimming pool.
  • Vulnerability to vandalism and possible accidents with collisions. 

Underground Propane Tank Advantages

  • The propane tank is hidden from view.
  • Temperature controlled and not exposed to the weather. 
  • Safer if there a leak, the propane will absorb into the underground, safer from fire.
  • A non-toxic fuel, it is insoluble in water.

Underground Propane Tank Disadvantages

  • The cost of a physical propane tank is the same above or underground. 
  • The cost for excavation, labor, and the anodes.
  • Additional equipment and parts to use an underground propane tank. 
  • Requires sacrificial anodes to prevent tank corrosion underground. 
  • Property preparation for the excavation can be time-consuming and costly. 
  • Requires permit from the local government. 

How far does an underground propane tank need to be from the house?

An underground propane tank installation must meet several parameter requirements for safety that include the following: 

  • Minimum 20 feet from the house 
  • Minimum 10 feet from property lines 
  • Gas lines must be buried in the safest route between the house and the underground propane tank
  • Tank and lines cannot be buried near any potential ignition sources like the HVAC system or other electrical appliances
  • Cannot have any trees or possible tree routes near the tank or line
large propane tank

In Conclusion – What are underground propane tanks made of?

Heavy steel is used to manufacture an underground propane tank that is then painted with a mastic coating that prevents corrosion. These environmentally friendly tanks will last up to 40 years.