What To Know About Owning Your Propane Tank

It’s important to know your responsibilities if you choose to own a propane tank

Each year and especially just before the heating season begins, we receive requests from prospective customers regarding the purchase of propane tanks. Many people don’t understand the liability involved with owning your own tank for propane and think this is ideal for shopping around for the best price on propane gas. Here are a few things to take into consideration before you make that purchase:

  • For both above ground and underground propane tanks:
    • With ownership comes the responsibility of general tank maintenance.
    • Propane tank installation, maintenance and repair should only be performed by a qualified service technician. It is recommended that you find a service technician that will take care of your tank BEFORE you purchase one.
    • The final locations of the propane is crucial! Local and federal codes set minimum installation requirements from buildings and property lines.
    • Keep in mind that a propane delivery truck and personnel need clear access to the propane tank and that the propane delivery truck’s hose has a maximum delivery length.
    • The propane tank needs to be in a safe location – avoid areas where vehicles routinely drive or snow is plowed.
    • Make sure the tank warranty is transferrable. Many times the manufacturer’s warranty only applies to the original buyer.
  • For undergound propane tanks:
    • Many states require that undergound propane tanks installed after January 1, 2011, must have a cathodic protection system to help prevent corrosion of the tank. Over time, corrosion can create pits or holes in the tank and lines. Without proper protection, leask can occur, resulting in personal injuries and property damage. As the tank owner, you are reponsible for the installation and periodic testing of the cathodic system.

Finally, and most importantly, before purchasing an above ground or underground propane tank, check with your homeowners insurance. Some insurers may have special conditions or requirements specific to tank ownership.

Combined Energy Services does not sell large propane tanks. Underground tanks are leased for as little as $1 per year and above ground tanks are subject to a minimum use fee. The fee is dependent upon the size of the tank and if the minimum usage is met, there is no yearly charge.