Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,178 Posts
Good move to buy the tank rather than leasing it and being stuck with a single supplier price. :good2: 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,652 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
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?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,131 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
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). :laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
37,404 Posts
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).

IMG_1634.JPG

Smart Monitoring Ensures Safety and Satisfaction
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,112 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,306 Posts
Wow! I guess I'm feeling lucky here in MN. My propane supplier does a contract buy offer in August each year and this year I purchased enough through the pre-buy for all season (probably all year) at $1.20/gal. Which I was slightly disappointed at because last year it was $1.00/gal. Either propane has skyrocketed in price in the last couple months or we get it a lot cheaper here in the midwest?

Rob
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,313 Posts
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?
To answer this question without getting too technical, no they won't, not hooked up the way they are. The proper way to tie two tanks like this is to hard pipe them to a common regulator with back checks in place. If the outside tank is in the sun more it will build more pressure than the other tank and push vapor into the second tank, once there is will return to liquid and over time one tank will end up with a considerable amount of propane compared to the other. Is it safe? Should be just fine assuming the tanks aren't filled when it's 30 degrees and they just sit unused, if so, when it turns 80 outside there might be some pressure relief going on.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,042 Posts
Wow. I'm a light user here in MA as I only have propane for my kitchen range and a fireplace log that almost never gets used. Small 50 gallon tank for the house and a 120 gallon tank for the 140,000 BTU radiant heater in the barn.

I just paid a propane delivery bill that included an $85 low annual use penalty and was charged @ $6.15 / gallon to top off both tanks. :banghead:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
Wow. I'm a light user here in MA as I only have propane for my kitchen range and a fireplace log that almost never gets used. Small 50 gallon tank for the house and a 120 gallon tank for the 140,000 BTU radiant heater in the barn.

I just paid a propane delivery bill that included an $85 low annual use penalty and was charged @ $6.15 / gallon to top off both tanks. :banghead:
WOW is right! That really seems excessive. Any of it due to taxes or other fees besides the low annual use penalty?
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
37,404 Posts
Wow. I'm a light user here in MA as I only have propane for my kitchen range and a fireplace log that almost never gets used. Small 50 gallon tank for the house and a 120 gallon tank for the 140,000 BTU radiant heater in the barn.

I just paid a propane delivery bill that included an $85 low annual use penalty and was charged @ $6.15 / gallon to top off both tanks. :banghead:
They charge like that here also for small tanks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,042 Posts
WOW is right! That really seems excessive. Any of it due to taxes or other fees besides the low annual use penalty?
It's probably because most of my deliveries are less than what they'd consider their minimum. They also assess the charge by the tank so it's possible for me to receive two annual minimum use penalties. :nunu:
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
37,404 Posts
It's probably because most of my deliveries are less than what they'd consider their minimum. They also assess the charge by the tank so it's possible for me to receive two annual minimum use penalties. :nunu:
They seem to get ya one way or the other.................always.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,313 Posts
They seem to get ya one way or the other.................always.
Easy now, not all of us are like that. Simple really, you pay for the gas you use and I’ll keep sending the truck, no fees what so ever.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
The agriculture company I worked for had their fingers in ever thing. The summer we did custom spraying and fertilizer. The winter we had propane routes we ran monthly. We ran the same routes every month so the customer could expect a bill the same week every month with in a two gap. Some customers where put on three week runs and some two week runs ( pool heaters ). Their were Route price , Budget billing , pre-pay , and off route price ( $1.00 more a gallon ). Their cheapest propane was summer fill ( August- September ) Routes started October 1 every year. Their tank lease was $50 a year for 10 years , then you own it. They would repair anything ( first stage regulator , gas line , and second stage regulator ) from the tank to the house in those 10 years. After that they got charged for parts and labor ( $65 an hour ). The only time and every time they did a leak test was when customer was out of gas ( the law requires ).
Any questions please feel free to ask ( I did that job for 10 years ).
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top