Need info on switching propane suppliers

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by stirfamily, May 18, 2006.

  1. stirfamily

    stirfamily Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We are thinking of switching propane suppliers. Just got off the phone with United Oil...the new one we're thinking of switching to and she suggests we have 2 tanks, the old one and the new United Oil one, have them hooked together so we can use up the propane that is left in the old tank then switch over to the new United Oil tank. Then once the old tank is removed the new company will place the new tank in it's permanent place. Has anyone switched suppliers before? How did you do it?
    Thanks!
    Karen in Indiana
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Buying your own tank, instead of leasing a company tank, can allow you to switch to whomever is cheaper at this time. Some locations this is easer to do than othere. Some places all the LP suppliers are together & don't like to fill non-leased tanks - add fees, ispections, etc. negating any savings. It's not a perfect world, but check into it.

    The plan you were given sounds complicated - multiple visits from the new gas co (for free, or billed per visit????), the old gas co might not allow their tank to be hooked up to the other tank, etc.

    Should be able to pump one tank to the other, or just have old tank hauled away & credited for unused gas, or use up the current tank before installing new tank.

    --->Paul
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hooking the two tanks together sounds weird to me. Who owns the old tank. It works well to own your own tank. I'd price them. Price the old tank that's there now. As long as you use a company tank, they have control over it. If you own the tank you have the say. The companys we bought gas from always kept our tank painted at no charge. If you let them put in at least 100 gallon of propane the only charge was the regular per gallon price. If they charged me to come to my house they would have lost a customer. Most companys will keep gas in your tank without having to be called.
     
  4. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    The gal that suggested that must have a screw loose. If you hook two propane tanks together, they are going to equalize. In other words you'll end up with two half full tanks.
     
  5. mberryrfd

    mberryrfd Well-Known Member

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    I tried to switch here
    I was told by the new company OK that will take 6 weeks for a pressure test

    the old company wanted me to due a bunch of work

    I later learned that there is only 1 inspector in the area and he is also the person that would have to do the work for the other company

    I decided to just do the bare work that he said i needed to due while he was at the house
    and stayed with the original company


    In this area there is a bit of mononply on propane 1 inspector who isnt related to the companies but

    the companies for the most part is all one family couldnt believe till I asked and wow what a racket they have
     
  6. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    If you can BUY YOUR OWN TANK!! If you change companies and want the old leased tank removed, the propane company will take their sweet time!
     
  7. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    Here anyway I have a tank I bought and a tank from Amerigas. I been told that if I own the gas (if it's paid for) in the lease tank. I can have the propane sucked out and then put into my tank. After the move the lease off and mine on the site. Right now I have'nt done anything until the summer rates and new customer "deals" come about, with competitors. Last summer I missed a low rate first fill and a free 25 gallons! By switching.
     
  8. stirfamily

    stirfamily Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The extra visits from the new company are free as is set up etc. She said there would be a valve between the 2 tanks so when the old tank ran empty we'd close one and open the other. The lady said most of their new customers went with piggy backing the new tank with the old because sucking out the propane in the old tank was so expensive.
    As for the old propane company, Hoosier Propane, they have never painted our tank, we've had it overfilled on several occasions and this I could tell by the outgassing of the propane, we haven't gotten any kind of statement from them since last December about our account, every time they come out to fill our tank we're charged $4 admin fee, the tank rental is $40 a year and the price of their propane right now is 50 cents more a gallon than the new company we're considering. The tank rental from the new company is only $1/year with no admin fees either.
    So right now, I think we'll switch. But have another question for you all. If I were to look into buying our own tank, where would I start?
    karen
     
  9. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you buy your tank keep all receipts/bills of sale etc. handy. I've had several people tell me they lost tanks that the propane company (different companies) claimed they owned not the individual. Two people had just purchased their acreages and the prior owners had said they owned the tank and it was included in the sale. One party went to the prior owner who produced the necessary paperwork so they got the tank back. The other was out of luck. Another had purchased the tank himself but couldn't find the paperwork. All three came home to find tanks gone after they had indicated they were switching suppliers. If you buy a tank, personalize it & put your name somewhere so you can ID it if it goes missing. I don't know if they have ID numbers or not.
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You bectha. Heard this issue time & time & time again. Works both ways - people think they own the tank but don't; and people who own the tank have it taken by the propane company.

    --->Paul
     
  11. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    Stirfamily I shure hope you will keep shopping. You have gotten some bad onfo.
    Find and buy your own tank.
    It might only be a "one dollar" a year to lease *their * tank but they will charge in the order of ten cents a gallon MORE for their *fee* to maintain the tank in your yard-----Add that one up.
    Oh ya the *pressure test*. Thats another one of their *gotchya's*
    I own two 500 gal tanks. I made copys of my sales receipts to use if a different supplier asks. If the one I call says "Ya gotta have a pressure test" I just say "thankyou very much" and click off.
    The market (around here anyway) is very competitive----But only if the buyer knows that he DOES have options......ie; shop around.
    One of the big companys (Ferrellgas) got called out for price gouging. They jacked their price up about a dollar more than all the others------"short supply because of Katrina".
    They had to do some refunds.

    BUYER BEWARE

    shop around
     
  12. Southernman

    Southernman Well-Known Member

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    The information I'm about to share is based upon the Texas Railroad Commission, so it might differ from state to state. All tanks have serial numbers on the data plate, if its unreadable, the tank must be removed from service. Two tanks hooked together is called a manifold system. Most gas companies would not allow their tank to be hooked to their competors. If their is a problem with the tank repeatatly "outgassing of the propane", ask the supplier what percent the tank is being filled. Above ground should be 80 percent, below ground can be 85 percent. If the company claims it is being filled properly, tell them you want the relief valve replaced, as it is probably faulty. This is assuming the gas is coming out of a valve located on top of the tank, between the dome and the end of the tank. I would request credit for the remaining fuel (at the same rate you paid) and have the new tank hooked up and done with. Pressure test are only required on new installations, or when the piping has been disturbed. Leak test on the other hand, are required anytime the system is depressurized, ie out of gas, service work, tank switch out. Hope this helps.
     
  13. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nothing is ever 'free'. Sounds like a lot of messing around to swap tanks, somehow I think you will be charged down the road just as badly as you are now......

    Farm auctions they sell a lot of tanks around here. Used to be 50 cents a gallon for a used tank, now it's more like a dollar a gallon for used tank. We dry a lot of corn around here, lot of farmers have tanks on the auction sales.

    --->Paul
     
  14. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    Around here a supplier who you have never delt with can demand a pressure test. ($65+) And then there are those who don't.
     
  15. Southernman

    Southernman Well-Known Member

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    They might desire it as a matter of company policy, but the law does not. If its a new customer set up and they intend to charge for it, I'd look elsewhere. Should be free to gain the business.