Propane tank: buy or lease?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    34
    Any thoughts on on buying vs. leasing the propane tank, and methods of getting better deals on propane for home heating?

    I currently lease my tank, and when I bought the house, I signed a contract that stated the price of the tank if I wanted to buy it. It originally started off about $1400, but I negotiated with the guy to around $925 buyout. This is for a 500 gal, in-ground tank.

    If I purchase the tank, then I can shop around for propane suppliers and get 20 to 45 cents off per gal. I am currently paying a rate of around 2.10 to 2.15 right now, and I have always been unhappy with my supplier, as my sales guy is a jerk. I have requested to the district manager that my account be given to a new sales rep, but no word yet on that.

    So, pros and cons of lease vs. buy, or any other methods found to lower my heating costs (other than the obvious insulation tips...my R-40 in the attic sits pretty tall..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996
    Since LP prices are very seasonal, any thought to purchasing a second 500 gal tank? Fill up each summer when prices are lower. Do you use more then 1000 gals. a year?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    933
    buy your tank, buy lp when it is cheaper
    Still learning opinions welcome.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    191

    Wink LP Tanks

    My brother lives in the sticks.Has his own company that in stalls gas pipeing.He is all LP beside the wood stove that is burn all but twenty four seven.He has 1500 gallons of storage!One 1000 gallon and a five hundred.he got them used a long time ago.He buys one a year around August.He calls aroud for a while and shops the silly beans out of them.They get to sell alot of LP all at once.And he get a way gooder price.

    41GASMAN

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    393

    Buy the tank...

    If you keep it painted up and in good condition, it will be worth just about as much if you need to sell it as you are paying now...at least that is the market here. Try pricing some used ones in your area and see what they say.

    You can get the best price on gas, and about the only thing you have to do is keep it painted and have who ever is selling you gas to check the regulators to make sure they are up to current spec's.

    Buy the tank...


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680

    Re: LP Tanks

    Originally posted by 41gasman
    And he get a way gooder price.
    Lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    34
    My tank is buried in the gound, as stated before, so I have found that it is quite difficult to paint I do use about 1500 gals a year at least, including hot water. Getting another tank is a good suggestion, but I would have to bury that tank as well, or build a storage building for it. The HOA covenants are pretty strict in my area, and being the HOA president, I have to set a good example.

    I have seen some websites that carry tanks made of fiberglass or similar construction, so they should be rustproof.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Northeastern Illinois
    Posts
    611
    The pros of buying your own tank are, you can put it where you want to, you can paint it{above ground}any color you want, you can shop around and get better prices. The cons of owning one are, you have to keep up with filling it. If it goes dry in the dead of winter it is up to you to get it filled. With a regular supplier you are on a route and get gas regularly. You have to do all the up keep. If it gets a leak it is your baby. Case in point... I bought a 3500 gallon LP tank from a guy last July. I shopped around, found the best price and put 2500 gallons in the tank. 2 days later I came home to find the tank manway blew off and all the gas with it. I called the guy back and no warranty. Sold as is. I got it fixed and filled her up again. No leaks, tough lesson learned.
    If it ain't broke don't fix it!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    You own it and you are totally liable for anything and everything.
    I don't think I have ever heard of fiberglass propane tanks. Oil tanks maybe.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    287

    pay CASH for a a USED tank

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Northeastern Illinois
    Posts
    611
    jared, if you are talking to me, yes I paid cash for a used tank.
    Maybe I could have traded my truck for it.
    If it ain't broke don't fix it!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    34

    wow, lost that much propane? ouchy

    >>Case in point... I bought a 3500 gallon LP tank from a >guy last July. I shopped around, found the best price and >put 2500 gallons in the tank. 2 days later I came home to >find the tank manway blew off and all the gas with it.


    That is a major financial loss, I feel for you. But let me ask this question: If I lease the tank, and a malfunction occurs and I lose the gas, I know the supplier will fix the tank, but will they reimburse me for the lost fuel? My first thought is NO, but I could be wrong.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    657
    I would reomend renting a tank. If someting goes wrong the propane company is responsible for it. Our 250 gal tanks rent for $30 a year. It is true that you are locked into buying from that propane company. However the prices around here are not that much different between propane companies. We do a prebuy where we buy how much propane we think we will need all winter long for one steady price. This is usually the price of propane around August or September. Your banking on the fact that the propane will go up in price not down. Seems to be a good bet that propane will not go down in the winter. Right now my prepay price is about $ 0.25 lower than the current market price.
    Another thing to consider is to have the propane company automatically fill the tank when it gets low. Around here if you are set up to only have them fill it when you authroize it, and you let the tank go empty they will charge you extra to do a leak test when they fill it. They told me it was something to do with libality insurance in case there was a leak causing the tank to go empty. Seems like BS to me. On the other hand if they are supose to keep it filled and they let it go empty then it's no charge for the leak test.

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