When using propane for your home, your local propane provider makes the storage and delivery of your fuel easy.
If you’re building a home, you’ll choose a propane supplier with your contractor and schedule a time for your tank to be placed. Your service technician will typically provide a propane 101 lesson covering how your tank works, what propane smells like in case of a leak, and other safety reminders. Your contractor and propane supplier can help you navigate any decisions you need to make about your propane tank. They’ll provide guidance on appropriately sizing the tank — the average size is 500 gallons, but it may need to be larger or smaller depending on the propane systems installed in your home.
Owning or Leasing a Propane Tank for Your Home
Many homeowners choose to rent a tank from a propane supplier. If you choose to rent, you’re not responsible for maintaining the tank and if it ever needs to be repaired or replaced, your supplier will take care of it. If you own your tank it means you’ll need to pay a professional to maintain it, besides having to buy it and install it. Talk to your supplier about which option is right for you.
Underground vs. Above Ground Tanks
If you’re a homeowner, you may have the option of burying your propane tank to maintain the aesthetics of your landscaping. In this situation, the propane provider refills the tank via a small dome visible in your yard. Talk to your propane supplier about burying the tank early, if that’s your preference. Building and safety codes and ease of access are likely to determine the final decision.
Automatic Refills vs. Will Call
You’ll have the option of getting propane refills automatically or being a will-call customer. The propane delivery system is designed to be as flexible and convenient as possible, giving you peace of mind throughout the year. Keep in mind that cold months are busy for propane suppliers, especially in the Midwest or upper Northeast regions. If you wait until the last minute to request a refill, it’s possible prices will be higher and wait times will be longer than usual. Automatic refill customers don’t face the same challenges.
A Typical Delivery
Most propane providers make deliveries between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to minimize disruptions, though deliveries may start earlier when fuel demand starts to rise. After the delivery, you’ll typically receive a receipt confirming the transaction. To make deliveries quick and easy, make sure the delivery vehicle has a clear path to the tank by trimming away any shrubs or other obstacles. Be sure to provide any keys or gate codes to the propane supplier, and arrange for pets to be inside, if needed. In snowy weather, shovel any driveways or paths that the propane provider will need to access to make your delivery.
If you don’t already have a propane supplier, contact Suburban Propane at 1-800-PROPANE or visit www.suburbanpropane.com to find a location near you.
Courtesy of Propane Education & Research Council