What the first-time propane tank user should know
April 21st, 2015 by Tevis Propane
So you’ve moved into your new home with that big propane tank sitting in the backyard. Now what? It’s time to celebrate! Not only is propane a clean and cost-effective way to heat your home, U.S. Department of Energy research says that propane clothes dryers perform at half the cost of electric dryers. Additionally, The American Water Heater Company reports that a propane water heater can save up to 30% over an electric model. Of course, it would be helpful to learn a little bit about this versatile fuel since it’s now supplying energy to your home.
Propane Tanks: Leased vs. Owned?
The first thing you will need to know is whether you own the propane tank, or if the tank is leased from a propane supplier. To determine if the tank is leased from a supplier, look at the tank for stickers or anything inside the dome lid that indicates the tank is owned by a specific propane supplier. (NOTE: Tevis Propane always places a tag under the dome.) If you are still unsure, ask your realtor for help as soon as possible. Tevis Propane believes that an informed consumer is able to make the best decisions regarding their propane system and supplier, and strongly suggests that customers know their tank’s ownership status before contacting any propane supplier.
So why is tank ownership such a big deal? If you own your propane tank, you can purchase propane from any supplier you choose. However, if the tank is leased from a supplier, by law, only that supplier may fill the tank. In addition, if you lease your propane tank, the propane supplier is responsible for maintaining the tank and gas piping. Many customers like having this peace of mind. There are advantages to each, and Tevis Propane is unique in that it offers customers the option to lease or purchase any propane tank we install.
The importance of a GasCheck
Here’s another tip for first timers: ask for a GasCheck. A GasCheck is a safety certification and consumer education program developed by the National Propane Gas Association. It includes a step-by-step process for testing a propane system for gas pressure, leaks, and the proper operation of all components. It’s designed so that you, the property owner, follow along with the technician as each test is performed. That way, you gain critical knowledge about the safe operation of your propane system.
Additionally, a GasCheck should be performed every two years, or if any of the following events occur:
- addition of a new appliance to your system
- a propane gas line is interrupted
- your system runs out of propane
- or you smell propane.
Note: If your system does run out of propane, for your safety a leak test is required by law before your tank can be refilled. A leak test is used to determine whether gas is escaping from the propane system, whereas a GasCheck adds a consumer education component.
If you are unsure when you are due for a GasCheck Tevis can help. Just call 410-239-3900.
How Do I Get a Propane Gas Delivery?
Many propane suppliers offer both Automatic Delivery and Will Call. With Automatic Delivery, your propane supplier tracks your usage, outside temperatures, and impending weather to schedule your deliveries and ensure you have a reliable supply of propane to meet your family’s household needs. (For appliances, such as generators, where propane usage is highly unpredictable, Tevis Propane offers ECHO wireless tank monitoring. ECHO reports your propane level to Tevis regularly and generates an alert when a propane delivery is needed.) Tevis strongly recommends automatic delivery, not only to for ensuring your family’s warmth on a cold winter night, but also to monitor increases in usage that could indicate a leak somewhere in your system. While this is unusual, when it comes to your safety, Tevis takes nothing for granted. We are certified to perform leak tests and make any necessary repairs.
Will Call delivery, as the name implies, puts the responsibility on you to let the propane supplier know when a propane delivery is needed. While the Tevis professionals always have your safety in mind, and stay alert for any signs of trouble with your system, the risk of running out of gas with Will Call is much greater than with Automatic Delivery. The Auto Delivery system offers so much more for your safety and convenience.
Following the guidelines above will get you off to a good start as new propane energy user.
Propane is one of the cleanest and most versatile energy sources available to homeowners today! Whether you already use propane or are thinking about adding propane to your home, Tevis Propane is the company area homeowners trust most for reliable and responsive propane service. We provide propane delivery, propane tank installation, fireplaces, room heaters and much more. At Tevis Propane, we deliver service to Adams, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, and York counties. We look forward to helping you enjoy the many benefits propane has to offer!
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