It’s important to know your responsibilities if you choose to own a propane tank
Each year and especially just before the heating season begins, we receive requests from prospective customers regarding the purchase of propane tanks. Many people don’t understand the liability involved with owning your own tank for propane and think this is ideal for shopping around for the best price on propane gas. Here are a few things to take into consideration before you make that purchase:
- For both above ground and underground propane tanks:
- With ownership comes the responsibility of general tank maintenance.
- Propane tank installation, maintenance and repair should only be performed by a qualified service technician. It is recommended that you find a service technician that will take care of your tank BEFORE you purchase one.
- The final locations of the propane is crucial! Local and federal codes set minimum installation requirements from buildings and property lines.
- Keep in mind that a propane delivery truck and personnel need clear access to the propane tank and that the propane delivery truck’s hose has a maximum delivery length.
- The propane tank needs to be in a safe location – avoid areas where vehicles routinely drive or snow is plowed.
- Make sure the tank warranty is transferrable. Many times the manufacturer’s warranty only applies to the original buyer.
- For undergound propane tanks:
- Many states require that undergound propane tanks installed after January 1, 2011, must have a cathodic protection system to help prevent corrosion of the tank. Over time, corrosion can create pits or holes in the tank and lines. Without proper protection, leask can occur, resulting in personal injuries and property damage. As the tank owner, you are reponsible for the installation and periodic testing of the cathodic system.
Finally, and most importantly, before purchasing an above ground or underground propane tank, check with your homeowners insurance. Some insurers may have special conditions or requirements specific to tank ownership.
Combined Energy Services does not sell large propane tanks. Underground tanks are leased for as little as $1 per year and above ground tanks are subject to a minimum use fee. The fee is dependent upon the size of the tank and if the minimum usage is met, there is no yearly charge.
Prepare for Every Possibility!
Create an emergency plan:
- A flashlight and extra batteries.
- Battery-powered NOAA weather radio and portable radio to receive emergency information. These may be your only links to the outside.
- Extra food and water. High-energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best.
- Extra medicine and baby items.
- First aid supplies.
- Emergency heating source, such as a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc. Learn to use properly to prevent a fire, and be sure to have proper ventilation.
- Fire extinguisher and smoke detector. Test your units regularly to ensure they are working properly.
Install a UL-Listed gas detector and CO sensor
You won’t know that you have a carbon monoxide leak without a working alarm. So, test alarms regularly and replace them every five to seven years depending on the manufacturer’s label. For the best protection, have carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
Carbon monoxide alarms are not interchangeable with smoke alarms, and vice versa. Combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are available. According to the EPA, these need to be placed on a wall about 5 feet above the floor. Many are plug-in and installed directly in receptacles.
Check & Clear out exhaust pipes
While the exhaust vents and pipes should be well above the snow level, please keep exhaust vents are clear of snow and ice. Blocked exhaust vent pipes prevent the burned fuel fumes from exiting your home properly, leading to a backup of carbon monoxide inside your home.
Plan for Communications
Inspect damage cautiously
IF YOU SENSE DANGER, CALL THE EXPERTS
Brought to you by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) here are some tips to keep you safe around outdoor propane heaters.
These safe, effective heaters are a great way to warm up a patio or outdoor space. Just follow these simple rules to keep you and your guests safe.
1. SMELL GAS? DON’T LIGHT IT.
Know propane’s distinct odor, and always follow manufacturer instructions for connecting a cylinder and lighting a heater.
2. NEVER USE OUTDOOR PROPANE HEATERS INDOORS.
While safe for outdoor use, these types of heaters should never be used in enclosed spaces.
3. ALWAYS SHUT A HEATER OFF BEFORE MOVING IT.
Relocating a heater while it’s in use can create a potentially unsafe situation.
4. KEEP HEATERS AWAY FROM FOOT TRAFFIC AND FIVE FEET FROM EXITS.
Lower the chances of a heater getting knocked over while in use.
5. NEVER USE HEATERS NEAR OTHER FLAMMABLES.
Paper, plastics, and other fuel sources are all things to avoid.
6. NEVER STORE PROPANE CYLINDERS INDOORS.
Store propane cylinders upright, on a level surface, in an area with plenty of ventilation.
For the full brochure, click here.
Thinking of installing a generator? Don’t wait too long!
As if 2020 hasn’t be strange enough, Colorado State University has just updated it’s 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast. According to The Weather Channel, CSU is predicting 24 named storms – the second most on record. This means we’ll blow throw the rest of the alphabet and move straight into the Greek Alphabet with Alpha, Beta & Gamma. This has only happened once before in the record smashing 2005 hurricane season.
Not to panic anyone, Tropical Storm Isaias had people scrambling. Over 3.7 million people were without power at one time or another. CES had people looking for propane tanks and service immediately.
While we can typically work quickly to get your propane tank installed, there are rules and regulations that must be followed. In New Jersey, for example, a permit must be filed, and inspections must be completed by a building inspector.
So, while you still have time – there’s over 90% of the hurricane season left – plan, purchase and install your new whole house generator sooner rather than later. On our generator page, you can see a list of trusted contractors that we have worked successfully with in the past.
Once you have your contractor selected and know the size of the generator, give us a call. We’ll send one of our knowledgeable sales folks out to look over your plan and size the propane tank. We size propane tanks with enough propane to run your generator for a week. Seems like a long time, right? It’s not. If there’s a bad enough storm and trees/powerlines are down, we may not be able to get to you quickly to refill your tank. Sizing the tank correctly to carry you through is an important part of the process. This is not the area to skimp on your generator installation.
Give us a call at 800-874-1975 or complete the form below. You’ll be glad you spoke with Combined Energy Services.
Delivery & Service Safety
Being able to make safe, efficient deliveries and service calls is paramount to our operations. We train our employees how to make and maintain safe service calls to our customers. Unfortunately, all this can be turned upside down when we arrive at a home that hasn’t taken into consideration the person who has to get to their tank or equipment.
While you’re outside doing yard work or planting that flower bed, please tank a look at the area around your tanks. Is the filler pipe for your oil tank free of debris so that come this fall/winter the delivery driver can make a safe & quick delivery to your home?
The lid to your propane tank is a haven for hornets and wasps. Take a moment when you’re mowing your lawn and check under the lid. Please clean out any nests or lawn clippings that have made their way inside. Recently one of our drivers found a bird’s nest with eggs on the inside of the lid.
Check your vent pipes and make sure there is nothing blocking it. It is important that the exhaust your equipment has a safe way out.
If you know that a delivery is pending, make room for the delivery driver to pull or back in the driveway. Cars, toys and believe it or not – children and pets make it harder to maneuver that big delivery truck. Also, while we LOVE pets, not all pets love strangers. Keeping them and our service techs / drivers safe is important to you receiving a delivery or getting work completed on your equipment.
So, while you are outside doing yard work or in your basement going through storage, take a moment to look at and clean up the area where we may be venturing. We thank you for your time and consideration!