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Liquid Propane Primer

Posted on 3/26/2024 by Steve Robbins

Liquid Propane Primer

I recently changed my Liquid Propane (LP) provider, and it made me pause over several issues which may not be obvious to many homeowners.

Liquid Propane is a popular fuel for boilers, furnaces, and hot water heaters. Some of these appliances are now up to 96% + efficient. Tankless type boilers are especially efficient but even cast-iron boilers are great workhorses for making hot water for radiators and for tap water.

Many chefs will not cook on anything but an LP stove.

Also, fans of LP BBQ appliances install a cast iron delivery pipe to their deck or patio instead of lugging 20lb canisters.

And if you purchase a whole house generator as back-up for when the electric grid goes down, you will want to hook it up to LP instead of lugging gas cans. 

Unlike heating oil or kerosene, LP tanks can be either above ground or buried below ground.

And did you know that you have the option of purchasing some styles of LP tanks?

Most folks allow the provider to own the tank, but it may be worth getting a cost estimate to compare long term expenses.

Providers offer a lower price per gallon for customers who own their own tank.

In addition to the cost of purchase and installation, you will be responsible for maintenance of the tank. I just learned that above ground tanks should be cleaned and even waxed (like your car!) to keep them in top condition.

Another way to save on LP costs is to join a buying group. These groups guarantee the provider with a large delivery account and that combined volume comes with a lower price per gallon.

Also, many times providers will trade tanks, so if you decide to swap companies, talk to your sales representative about how that will affect the transition. The new company may accept the existing tank on site and complete the trade by delivering an empty tank to the old provider.

Finally, I encourage consumers to compare not just price but service. Talk to your neighbors and friends to learn how satisfied they are with their company before choosing or changing to a new one.




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