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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Propane Tank

Propane Tank Cost


How Much Does a Propane Tank Cost?

 
low costRent or Lease: $0-$250 a yearaverage costBuy Aboveground Tank: $450-$2,500high costBuy Underground Tank: $1,800-$3,500
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Propane is a gas that turns liquid under moderate pressure, so propane storage tanks are pressurized. They're designed to be installed either aboveground or underground (with special coatings to prevent rust and corrosion). Although there's a wide range of sizes available, aboveground residential tanks typically come in 120, 250, 500 or 1,000 gallons and underground tanks are usually 500 or 1,000 gallons. A storage tank can be leased from the propane company (common in many areas) or owned by the homeowner (providing the ability to shop for the best price but also responsibility for maintenance and repairs).

Typical costs:

  • Most propane dealers will provide, install and maintain a residential propane storage tank, renting or leasing it to the homeowner. In some cases the use of the tank is free if the homeowner buys a minimum amount of propane each year. (Minimums vary by location and tank size, and can range from 100-1,500 gallons.) More often, the propane company charges a fee of anywhere from $25-$250 a year but averaging around $75-$130 annually, depending on local rates, the size of the tank and whether it's aboveground or underground. Leased tanks typically are installed for free. A Conneticut propane dealer[1] leases a 120 gallon tank for $80 a year and a 500-gallon tank for $225, with a minimum three-year contract. In addition to the lease fee, many companies also charge an extra 5 to 30 cents per gallon on deliveries to a leased tank (and some consumers have reported extra charges of 50 cents to $1.50 or more per gallon for leased tanks), which adds to the total cost of a leased tank.
  • Buying and installing a customer-owned aboveground propane tank runs about $450-$1,000 for a 120- or 250-gallon tank and $800-$2,500 for a 500-gallon aboveground tank. Installing an underground tank can cost around $1,800-$3,000 for 500 gallons and $2,000-$3,500 or more for 1,000 gallons. A Wisconsin propane dealer[2] charges $1,599 to install a typical 500-gallon aboveground tank and $2,995 for a 1,000-gallon underground tank.
Related articles: Propane, Heating Oil, Heating Oil Tank, Furnace

What should be included:
  • All tank leasing requirements and fees should be spelled out in a written contract, which typically requires the homeowner to buy propane only from the company that owns the tank for anywhere from three to five years. In most states it's illegal for a propane company to fill a tank leased from another company. One advantage of a leased tank is that the propane company is responsible for all repairs and maintenance. When the contract ends, instead of renewing it's possible to switch to another propane supplier, but the old tank will need to be removed and a new one installed.
  • A propane tank needs to be located near an all-weather road, so delivery trucks can reach it with their hoses (usually about 100 to 150 feet long) in bad weather. Aboveground tanks should typically be placed above the soil and on level ground, and painted a reflective color. A Texas propane company describes the parts[3] of a typical propane tank.
  • Burying a 500-gallon tank requires a hole approximately 5 feet deep, 5 feet wide and 12 feet long, according to FineHomeBuilding.com. DIYNetwork.com presents a video[4] of the underground installation process. Experts recommend professional installation, and it's best to take pictures and notes of the installation (as a permanent record).
  • Most areas have specific regulations governing where and how a propane tank can be installed, and usually permits are required from the local fire department. Some areas also require a plumbing permit from the local planning department.
Additional costs:
  • Permit costs usually range from free to $25-$50 each, although a few areas charge more. Generally, propane permits don't need to be renewed -- they're good for the life of the tank.
  • Most propane companies include 25 to 35 feet of copper piping and fittings in their standard installation. If the tank is farther from the home there can be additional costs of about $1-$2 per foot.
  • In some states the fine can be as much as $10,000 fine if a propane dealer fills up a tank owned by and leased from another company. If the homeowner lies about owning the leased tank, then the homeowner is legally responsible for the fine.
Discounts:
  • Used propane tanks are often sold on craigslist or other sites for anywhere from 75 cents to $1.25 per gallon capacity ($375-$625 for a 500-gallon tank), depending on local prices. Check with local propane dealers about costs and requirements for testing and certifying a used tank.
Shopping for a propane tank:
  • Major manufacturers of propane tanks include American Welding & Tank[5] and Trinity Industries[6] .
  • Large, national propane dealers (which sell or lease tanks) include AmeriGas[7] , FerrellGas[8] and Suburban Propane. There are many smaller companies, and the National Propane Gas Association provides referrals to propane retailers[9] by zip code.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
250lb propane tank refil
Amount: $390.00
Posted by: gporter in atlanta, GA.Posted: January 6th, 2014 04:01AM
Size: 250lbType: propane
paid for 100 gal.12-11 13 had 20per.left before refill 12-27-13 tank completly empty tank was leak tested 3 times.
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When I run out of propane
Amount: $94.00
Posted by: Sarah Johnston in Gray, ME.Posted: December 28th, 2013 01:12PM
To come in and light my fireplace, saying it was a pressure test, the driver's fee was $94 for 3 minutes' work.
Is this typical?
I have had this tank for about 14 years, since the ice storm of 1998. It is not eligible for auto refill as it is only for fireplace as backup to oil furnace.
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When I run out of propane
Amount: $94.00
Posted by: Sarah Johnston in Gray, ME.Posted: December 28th, 2013 11:12AM
To come in and light my fireplace, saying it was a pressure test, the driver's fee was $94 for 3 minutes' work.
Is this typical?
I have had this tank for about 14 years, since the ice storm of 1998. It is not eligible for auto refill as it is only for fireplace as backup to oil furnace.
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New propane company rip off
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: justified in Portage, WI.Posted: May 4th, 2013 08:05PM
Size: 750 gallon tankType: above ground
the previous owners of the tank I rent retired and sold out to a propane company out of Minnesota.A new change is mandatory fills three times a year, minimum.I might need a fill once every three years.These guy's want to play tough with a contract that states that in time of war they can take the propane I have purchased that is in the tank I rent from them WITHOUT PAYING ME FOR IT! So I'm looking to purchase a tank and be free of them, needless to say I didn't sign on the dotted line.Make sure you all read the fine print.
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PROPANE RIP OFF
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: Scoop in Odenton, MD.Posted: February 28th, 2013 07:02AM
Size: 500gal.Type: under ground
The propane business is a total monopoly and rip off.The pricing is not regulated.If you don't own your own tank.The propane companies have you by the balls with a monkey grip.I have a 500gal. tank cost 1000.00 to fill at 40%.
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Scam?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: skeptic in edmonds, WA.Posted: February 8th, 2013 08:02AM
Reading the comments above, it sounds like only a fool would use propane. Let the buyer beware.
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Landlord/Tenant Dispute
Amount: $376.00
Posted by: Sarah Todd in south haven, MI.Posted: February 1st, 2012 01:02PM
Size: unsureType: propane
Basically what I'm looking for is an answer as to whether or not its legal for a landlord to buy and fill the propane tank and then resell it to us(being the tenants)at a higher cost. Is this illegal? It's a small duplex, 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, living room and kitchen. We have our heat set at 70.
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Amera-ripoff
Amount: $4,000.00
Posted by: Tausha Johnson in Craig, CO.Posted: October 13th, 2011 10:10AM
Size: 500 galType: propane
It's October and pretty late in the year to be doing what I am right now. I have a crew coming in 5 days to bring us our own 900 gallon tank so Amerigas can come pick up there money pit. Talk about a budget scam. Lock in price means that that's what they promise to charge you monthly, but at the end of their "settlement year" they make you settle up with their actual hidden and outrageous price. one year it was 1300.00 bucks then 800.00 the next. Not to mention you are paying them for propane they estimated you "will use", then if you didn't use that much, they pay you in the "settlement month".(can anyone afford to front 400.00 a month to the propane company?) Buying our own tank and being able to shop around will save us about 1800.00 dollars a year!! It's not cheap to have this all installed and filled. estimated final cost for the whole set up is 3800.00 ....a small price to pay to be out of their sinister corporate clutches. Ha Ha Ha. Who's laughing now.
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Propane Price per Gallon - Think This is a Rip Off?
Amount: $5.27
Posted by: Darlene in Jacksonville, FL in Jacksonville, FL.Posted: July 3rd, 2011 10:07AM
Size: 250Type: propane
We recently received the latest delivery of propane. I figured it out and the price per gallon is $5.27/gallon. Since the tank was put in with the agreement of the previous owner, we are told we cannot use another supplier. Are we being ripped off? This price per gallon seems high.
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Renter
Amount: $1,700.00
Posted by: Gramdma in sussex, NJ.Posted: April 29th, 2011 02:04PM
Size: 500Type: propane
I rented a house month to month & was not told about propane tank being leased. Only that I had to refill it to same level. I called propane co. they want $1,700.00 up front. $750.00 of that is a "security deposit" I told them I was paying cash. I know nothing about propane as I have never lived where it is used. What is going on? Price gouging? a monopoly? The Mafia? They also have to "fill" the tank I was given a ball park price $2.95 gal for 320 gal. How do people afford to live in the cold north???Who can come up with that kind of money to keep warm?
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propane cost
Amount: $4.14
Posted by: mychal in waterbury, CT.Posted: January 15th, 2011 10:01AM
Size: 2x120Type: above ground tanks
Tanks are not the problem obviously. Dealers rip customers under the guise of cost related to use. The more you use the less it cost. If you conserve and insulate to drop your use you are penalized. Propane is a nice fuel choice but better regulation is needed.
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budget plan scam
Amount: $1,150.00
Posted by: Juan Figueroa in Temple, PA.Posted: December 23rd, 2010 08:12PM
Size: 500 galType: undergrd
Since purchasing and moving into our first home back in June of 2010 were forced to be on a 300.00 monthly budget plan with Farm and Home. That is 3600.00 a year for propane that I haven't received or purchased yet. According to monthly statement we have almost paided off our first tank we the exception of 155.00 left From the beginning I was never told about a 300.00 budget from the salesman except a locked price of 2.89 per gal for 12 months nothing about 300 a month or I wouldn't have agreed. That is a car payment, not a budget. Anyway now they said on 3 occasions different balances that we owe, 950, 2400, and lastly 1800 that we need to get our tank filled again or nothing will be delivered until we pay that in full since we didn't stay on a 300 dollar budget for 12 months, by the way I was out 3 months after surgery which held me back but still paid 200 a month. Is this legal for a company to put me on hold for something I havent received yet? I need help I have 35 percent left.
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Ownership
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: LPJ in Jefferson, GA.Posted: November 8th, 2010 01:11PM
Size: 120 underground tankType: Propane
I purchased a new house via a short sale. There were no leans at closing or any mention of a contract requirement for a propane gas tank on the property. The company who owns the tank is threatening to come and dig it up and take it away if I donít pay installation charges and lease of it @ $107/per year. I have sent them a letter stating that I will take legal action if such is committed.
Any idea who owns the tank at this stage?
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finding new 250 gal. tanks.
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: TONY BLAKE in las vegas, NV.Posted: May 5th, 2010 01:05PM
Size: 2-250 gallon tanksType: lay horizontal
do know where i can purchase 2 new 250 g tanks. they are to be used for moving asphalt top sealer, and nobrackets and the least amount of fitting ports would be great to be able to ordfr,and not painted.A price and time frame would be appreiated. thank you.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.dependableenergy.net/tanks.html
  2.  www.greenbaygas.com/residential-propane-sales.html#customer-owned-service
  3.  www.missiongas.com/lpgastankinformation.htm
  4.  www.diynetwork.com/videos/underground-propane-tanks/18848.html
  5.  www.awtank.com/assets/base/ProductPDFs/Domestic_Propane_Tanks.pdf
  6.  /www.trinitycontainers.com/
  7.  www.amerigas.com/find-amerigas-propane-locations/
  8.  www.ferrellgas.com/
  9.  www.usepropane.com/fpr.aspx
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