Got the new 500 gallon LP tank in ...
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    nikdfish's Avatar
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    Got the new 500 gallon LP tank in ...

    Last year we put in a 22kw whole house generator, plumbed to our existing self-owned 500 gallon propane tank. Since that time I have been ruminating over run times vs. fill level & eventually decided we really needed to expand our fuel reserve.

    The issue was that we normally wait until about 50% full to call for a refill, i.e. 100+ gallons on a fill to avoid a potential additional fee. At the 1/2 full point, I was estimating about 4 days - maybe less if we are burning a lot of gas in the furnace ( instead of running the 5 ton heat pump). Our most likely outages occur during severe ice storms - which also make LP refills potentially harder to come by due to road conditions so that scenario was reducing my comfort level with the existing tank.

    Southern States was happy to order us a new 500 gallon tank and handle the install to parallel the existing one (other suppliers were not interested - they wanted to supply a "free" tank). Cost for the tank itself was about $1590, delivery & install about $300 (may be less, haven't seen final bill). They quoted $1.699 /gallon for the initial fill, which is a decent price around here at the moment for a residential LP delivery, $0.10/gallon cheaper than our other local supplier.

    It took a week or so for the tank to come in. I prepped pads & gravel for the new tank while waiting, when the installers came out they tweaked them a bit & set the tank, filled it, then left for another job. I cut a slot on the old tank cap (mirroring the one on the other side) to accommodate a line coming from the new tank.



    After a couple of days, the mechanic came by & set up a "T" connection for both tanks to supply the existing regulator.





    The 1/2" line runs under ground for a space between the tanks. This was to reduce the potential for damage from things like falling limbs or running deer.



    With the new tank, I can figure on better than a week, even with the tanks down to the 50% mark (longer if applying conservation measures).


    Nick
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    Titleist1's Avatar
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    Good move to buy the tank rather than leasing it and being stuck with a single supplier price. Save your receipt for the tank because most of the time when I call to get pricing and confirm delivery they ask for proof of ownership. I fax them the receipt and they are fine with that.

    I am wondering how long before they all insist on inspecting the tank & lines with a pressure test. I had two companies say they wouldn't deliver unless they provided this service at a nominal fee....I said no thanks.
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    nikdfish's Avatar
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    Just a followup on the install cost. They quoted "about $300", but actual cost on the invoice was ~ $116. I think that part of the lower cost was related to the prep work I did on the pads prior to delivery. To summarize in round numbers, $1590 for the tank + $116 for setup + $750 to fill tank (& top off the old tank with 41 gallons). Peace of mind - priceless ....

    Nick
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    I’m a big fan of having lots of fuel storage. Since our house was already setup for fuel oil (diesel) when I get serious about a backup gen set it will be diesel. I have a 1000 gallon tank and my average use for heat is 550 gallons per year. Plus I have a 150 gallon skid tank.

    I can’t get any kind of truck deliveries for most of 4 months in the winter. I can buy in bulk once a year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikdfish View Post
    They quoted $1.699 /gallon for the initial fill, which is a decent price around here at the moment for a residential LP delivery, $0.10/gallon cheaper than our other local supplier.

    Nick
    First, you have a great setup there! Ouch on the price of propane...I just called to have mine topped off for winter, and the price was $1.36/gallon. We rent our tank ($50/year) which includes repainting every couple of years. I asked them to bring the paint, as the tank is looking a little tired.

    I've toyed with a whole house system. After losing power for a few days after the ice storm of 2012, I picked up a 4000 watt generator. Since that time, our power has never been out over an hour, and the generator has never been used, other than an annual "start up" to ensure it is running good. Now that we've moved to the country, that might change--however, our neighbors are telling me the local CO-OP has a good record for quick repairs.

    Again, congratulations on a great looking system.
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    Do both tanks maintain equal pressures with an open connection between the two, or do you draw down one tank first and then switch over to the second one?
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    Quote Originally Posted by 356 View Post
    First, you have a great setup there! Ouch on the price of propane...I just called to have mine topped off for winter, and the price was $1.36/gallon. We rent our tank ($50/year) which includes repainting every couple of years. I asked them to bring the paint, as the tank is looking a little tired.
    Wow... I'm in PA and just had my 60 gallon tank filled for a whopping $4.79/gallon. I think I need to look for a new supplier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Wow... I'm in PA and just had my 60 gallon tank filled for a whopping $4.79/gallon. I think I need to look for a new supplier.
    Dang, that must be some powerful stuff. I've never paid more than $2.10/gal here and that was back when gas was really high. Last propane I bought was in the middle of the winter last year and it was $1.95/gal. Usually around $1.50 - $1.60 in summer but I haven't needed any yet this year. I rent my tank at $65 a year and they have never painted mine (but it could use it).
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    nikdfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredDoc View Post
    Do both tanks maintain equal pressures with an open connection between the two, or do you draw down one tank first and then switch over to the second one?
    They should both draw down at fairly similar rate, with their vapor space being linked by the 1/2" line. The propane guy thought the new tank may empty a little faster, probably because it is not shaded as much as the older tank.

    The linkage is a good thing for the overall vaporization rate, with twice the surface area for a given % full point we can draw down further without fuel starvation issues (like down to 10% vs 20%) if we had to.

    Nick
    Last edited by nikdfish; 10-07-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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    FWIW
    We have twin tanks and they work just fine.
    The gas company installed a remote monitor that transmits information about tank level via a cellular signal. We always get ~ the maximum amount of gas, thus a lower price (so they say).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Smart Monitoring Ensures Safety and Satisfaction
    Last edited by Gizmo2; 10-07-2017 at 09:02 AM.
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