For most suburban and city dwellers, electricity powers hot water heaters, baseboards and radiators. However, once you leave those areas and live somewhere with a bit more space, you may begin to notice propane tanks on the exterior of people's homes. If you buy a small residential property in such areas, chances are you're going to be using propane as well. Overall, you might not notice too much of a difference in terms of what happens in the house, but you should know the following details about this gas if you're just starting out with it.
You might assume that the tank, like everything else on the property, belongs to you. However, many times property owners are simply renting the equipment. The previous owner may have been in a relationship with a particular company which provided the tank. You can, of course, work with the same company. If you'd like to change providers, however, understand that you'll need a new arrangement complete with a tank rental if you don't own it outright.
Checking for Underground Tanks
If you're not really familiar with the property, you should be looking for signals that underground tanks exist in addition to any tanks on the outside of the house. You may want underground tanks to be taken off your property if they're unused, or at the very least, checked for damage, leaking and safety. Look for pipes that aren't currently connected to anything, capped vent pipes or odd bald spots in the backyard.
One distinct difference you'll notice when you're heating with propane is that you must personally arrange delivery of propane. While electricity always seems to be available, if you don't set up frequent, scheduled deliveries, the tank will empty out and your water will be cold or you may not have any heat. Set reminders and know how often you'll be seeing the propane delivery truck.
If you're planning vacations, don't imagine that you'll just let the tank sit empty. This can lead to future trouble with the tank itself; the interior of empty tanks can slowly rust without you seeing it, which could threaten the tank's integrity.
You may go "all in" with propane and use small tanks for your grill and other purposes. If you do, avoid storing tanks on grass; dew can moisten the bottom of propane tanks and rust them. Keep tanks away from living spaces and out of the grass. Instead, try the garage.
Your residential propane experience should be uneventful when you're aware of these individual details. Your new propane gas delivery service will also educate you about your new fuel.