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Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 22nd 06, 12:40 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?

Just bought my first house with propane (LP) heat and hot water. What a
learning experience. I have a 500 gallon buried tank (didn't realize it was
owned by one propane provider and I was locked into that dealer unless I
bought the tank) with a guage that reads in percentage. After I signed up
for the "keep full" option (thereby saving a dime per gallon), the dealer
came out when my tank was reading 59%. I wasn't home when it was filled.

The little gauge on my tank (yes, my tank. I bought it.) moved from 59% to
85%. Subtracting 59 from 85 and multiplying by 500 led me to believe they
had pumped in ~130 gallons.

The dealer's printed ticket showed 183 gallons.

Logic tells me that Boyle figured out the relationship to volume and
pressure in the 17th Century, and that as the volume of gas (in the void
above the liquid) increases, the pressure is reduced and the gauge is a
simple pressure gauge.

Dealer said maybe the gauge was sticking. Could be, but, as a newbie to
propane, I checked that gauge almost every day and saw it drop
incrementally. It took from December 2nd at 70% (move in day) to January
3rd to drop to 59%, and it was, as I said, quite incremental. It didn't just
suddenly go from 64 to 61. In fact, you couldn't see the movement except
over several days. And, it had not bottomed out and stayed at 59% for a
week. Does that sound like a sticker?

For comparison purposes, this is in central North Carolina. Prices I was
quoted for propane ranged from $2.249/gallon (price I paid at closing),
$2.049 from the fluke who owned the tank, $1.999 from a competitor for "on
call" if they "took over" the tank, $1.899 for autofill if they took over
and $1.699 for autofill if I owned the tank.

So, does anybody know how a propane gauge operates, and am I the only person
who thinks I should be able to use the delta percentages to derive
approximate delivery gallons?

Oh, to add insult to the injury, not only does North Carolina have the
highest motor fuel tax in the southeast, and one of the higher income tax
structures, there is a 3% sales tax on electricity and natural gas, but fuel
oil and propane buyers pay the full 7%. That's another rant, though.

Thanks for your replies


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  #2  
Old January 22nd 06, 01:15 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?

Its a float gauge basically...

A long brass rod with a float on the end of it...as the level of liquid
in the tank rises or falls the float rises or falls. At the gauge end
of the float there is small gear which meshes with a larger gear on the
part of the guage that mounts to the tank. They do stick
occasionally....
what gets them is hauling the tnk to a new location with gas in
it....there are no baffles in the tank and they will haul them with gas
in them..forget the legal percentage that can be hauled ( think its 5
%) but I worked in prorane for a while years and years ago and we would
haul them with 50 percent or more...depending on the time of year,
situation etc.... anyhow...like any mechanical joint they break and can
get bound up or loose...depending on what kind of movement they see in
the tank. Expensive to replace...got to pump out the propane then
replace the gauge and then refill the tank...

  #3  
Old January 22nd 06, 01:52 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?

It uses a float that rises with the liquid in the tank. Because of the
tank's rounded top, they're just a rough estimate of what's in the tank. Go
by what the gas company's printed ticket says. Those truck meters are
usually calibrated by your local Weights and Measures Dept. You don't want
to get on their list of bitchy customers.
If you're concerned with energy savings, make sure you have a 90+ furnace.
As for taxes, NC has one of the lowest tobacco tax rates in the country, so
they have to make up the difference some other place.

"Jim Murphy" (add rr between nc and com) wrote in message
...
Just bought my first house with propane (LP) heat and hot water. What a
learning experience. I have a 500 gallon buried tank (didn't realize it

was
owned by one propane provider and I was locked into that dealer unless I
bought the tank) with a guage that reads in percentage. After I signed up
for the "keep full" option (thereby saving a dime per gallon), the dealer
came out when my tank was reading 59%. I wasn't home when it was filled.

The little gauge on my tank (yes, my tank. I bought it.) moved from 59%

to
85%. Subtracting 59 from 85 and multiplying by 500 led me to believe they
had pumped in ~130 gallons.

The dealer's printed ticket showed 183 gallons.

Logic tells me that Boyle figured out the relationship to volume and
pressure in the 17th Century, and that as the volume of gas (in the void
above the liquid) increases, the pressure is reduced and the gauge is a
simple pressure gauge.

Dealer said maybe the gauge was sticking. Could be, but, as a newbie to
propane, I checked that gauge almost every day and saw it drop
incrementally. It took from December 2nd at 70% (move in day) to January
3rd to drop to 59%, and it was, as I said, quite incremental. It didn't

just
suddenly go from 64 to 61. In fact, you couldn't see the movement except
over several days. And, it had not bottomed out and stayed at 59% for a
week. Does that sound like a sticker?

For comparison purposes, this is in central North Carolina. Prices I was
quoted for propane ranged from $2.249/gallon (price I paid at closing),
$2.049 from the fluke who owned the tank, $1.999 from a competitor for "on
call" if they "took over" the tank, $1.899 for autofill if they took over
and $1.699 for autofill if I owned the tank.

So, does anybody know how a propane gauge operates, and am I the only

person
who thinks I should be able to use the delta percentages to derive
approximate delivery gallons?

Oh, to add insult to the injury, not only does North Carolina have the
highest motor fuel tax in the southeast, and one of the higher income tax
structures, there is a 3% sales tax on electricity and natural gas, but

fuel
oil and propane buyers pay the full 7%. That's another rant, though.

Thanks for your replies




  #4  
Old January 22nd 06, 02:32 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: n/a
Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?

Had propane once....never again. You can get a better deal if you contract
for it, but it's still too damned expensive.



"Jim Murphy" (add rr between nc and com) wrote in message
...
Just bought my first house with propane (LP) heat and hot water. What a
learning experience. I have a 500 gallon buried tank (didn't realize it
was owned by one propane provider and I was locked into that dealer unless
I bought the tank) with a guage that reads in percentage. After I signed
up for the "keep full" option (thereby saving a dime per gallon), the
dealer came out when my tank was reading 59%. I wasn't home when it was
filled.

The little gauge on my tank (yes, my tank. I bought it.) moved from 59%
to 85%. Subtracting 59 from 85 and multiplying by 500 led me to believe
they had pumped in ~130 gallons.

The dealer's printed ticket showed 183 gallons.

Logic tells me that Boyle figured out the relationship to volume and
pressure in the 17th Century, and that as the volume of gas (in the void
above the liquid) increases, the pressure is reduced and the gauge is a
simple pressure gauge.

Dealer said maybe the gauge was sticking. Could be, but, as a newbie to
propane, I checked that gauge almost every day and saw it drop
incrementally. It took from December 2nd at 70% (move in day) to January
3rd to drop to 59%, and it was, as I said, quite incremental. It didn't
just suddenly go from 64 to 61. In fact, you couldn't see the movement
except over several days. And, it had not bottomed out and stayed at 59%
for a week. Does that sound like a sticker?

For comparison purposes, this is in central North Carolina. Prices I was
quoted for propane ranged from $2.249/gallon (price I paid at closing),
$2.049 from the fluke who owned the tank, $1.999 from a competitor for "on
call" if they "took over" the tank, $1.899 for autofill if they took over
and $1.699 for autofill if I owned the tank.

So, does anybody know how a propane gauge operates, and am I the only
person who thinks I should be able to use the delta percentages to derive
approximate delivery gallons?

Oh, to add insult to the injury, not only does North Carolina have the
highest motor fuel tax in the southeast, and one of the higher income tax
structures, there is a 3% sales tax on electricity and natural gas, but
fuel oil and propane buyers pay the full 7%. That's another rant, though.

Thanks for your replies



  #5  
Old January 22nd 06, 02:37 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?

Yep, oil's much cheaper.

"J.A. Michel" wrote in message
...
Had propane once....never again. You can get a better deal if you

contract
for it, but it's still too damned expensive.



"Jim Murphy" (add rr between nc and com) wrote in message
...
Just bought my first house with propane (LP) heat and hot water. What a
learning experience. I have a 500 gallon buried tank (didn't realize it
was owned by one propane provider and I was locked into that dealer

unless
I bought the tank) with a guage that reads in percentage. After I

signed
up for the "keep full" option (thereby saving a dime per gallon), the
dealer came out when my tank was reading 59%. I wasn't home when it was
filled.

The little gauge on my tank (yes, my tank. I bought it.) moved from 59%
to 85%. Subtracting 59 from 85 and multiplying by 500 led me to believe
they had pumped in ~130 gallons.

The dealer's printed ticket showed 183 gallons.

Logic tells me that Boyle figured out the relationship to volume and
pressure in the 17th Century, and that as the volume of gas (in the void
above the liquid) increases, the pressure is reduced and the gauge is a
simple pressure gauge.

Dealer said maybe the gauge was sticking. Could be, but, as a newbie to
propane, I checked that gauge almost every day and saw it drop
incrementally. It took from December 2nd at 70% (move in day) to

January
3rd to drop to 59%, and it was, as I said, quite incremental. It didn't
just suddenly go from 64 to 61. In fact, you couldn't see the movement
except over several days. And, it had not bottomed out and stayed at

59%
for a week. Does that sound like a sticker?

For comparison purposes, this is in central North Carolina. Prices I

was
quoted for propane ranged from $2.249/gallon (price I paid at closing),
$2.049 from the fluke who owned the tank, $1.999 from a competitor for

"on
call" if they "took over" the tank, $1.899 for autofill if they took

over
and $1.699 for autofill if I owned the tank.

So, does anybody know how a propane gauge operates, and am I the only
person who thinks I should be able to use the delta percentages to

derive
approximate delivery gallons?

Oh, to add insult to the injury, not only does North Carolina have the
highest motor fuel tax in the southeast, and one of the higher income

tax
structures, there is a 3% sales tax on electricity and natural gas, but
fuel oil and propane buyers pay the full 7%. That's another rant,

though.

Thanks for your replies





  #6  
Old January 22nd 06, 02:48 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?


"Jim Murphy" (add rr between nc and com) wrote in message

The little gauge on my tank (yes, my tank. I bought it.) moved from 59%
to 85%. Subtracting 59 from 85 and multiplying by 500 led me to believe
they had pumped in ~130 gallons.

The dealer's printed ticket showed 183 gallons.

Logic tells me that Boyle figured out the relationship to volume and
pressure in the 17th Century, and that as the volume of gas (in the void
above the liquid) increases, the pressure is reduced and the gauge is a
simple pressure gauge.


Boyle, Logic and Propane gauges do not belong in the same world, let alone
sentence. The truck meters are very accurate and are checked and sealed by
the state. Gauges on tanks are made by a kindergarden class at Disney World.



am I the only person who thinks I should be able to use the delta
percentages to derive approximate delivery gallons?


Yes, you are.


Oh, to add insult to the injury, not only does North Carolina have the
highest motor fuel tax in the southeast, and one of the higher income tax
structures, there is a 3% sales tax on electricity and natural gas, but
fuel oil and propane buyers pay the full 7%. That's another rant, though.


You do have the option of moving. What is your electric rate? We now pay
..169 here in CT. According to this
http://www.dom.com/customer/pdf/nc/sched01.pdf you are paying less than
half that amount. I'd gladly pay your rate and tax.

As for motor fuel taxes, regular unleaded is running 2.46 to 2.51 in this
area. You still have the edge there according to this:
http://www.raleighgasprices.com/

Before your beer get diluted with your tears, look around at the rest of the
world and see how well off you are.


  #7  
Old January 22nd 06, 03:37 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?

NE PA:
Residential electric is $.089 KWH.
Regular gas is $2.44 gallon.
# 2 Fuel oil is $2.04 gallon.

"Edwin Pawlowski" wrote in message
t...

"Jim Murphy" (add rr between nc and com) wrote in message

The little gauge on my tank (yes, my tank. I bought it.) moved from 59%
to 85%. Subtracting 59 from 85 and multiplying by 500 led me to believe
they had pumped in ~130 gallons.

The dealer's printed ticket showed 183 gallons.

Logic tells me that Boyle figured out the relationship to volume and
pressure in the 17th Century, and that as the volume of gas (in the void
above the liquid) increases, the pressure is reduced and the gauge is a
simple pressure gauge.


Boyle, Logic and Propane gauges do not belong in the same world, let alone
sentence. The truck meters are very accurate and are checked and sealed

by
the state. Gauges on tanks are made by a kindergarden class at Disney

World.



am I the only person who thinks I should be able to use the delta
percentages to derive approximate delivery gallons?


Yes, you are.


Oh, to add insult to the injury, not only does North Carolina have the
highest motor fuel tax in the southeast, and one of the higher income

tax
structures, there is a 3% sales tax on electricity and natural gas, but
fuel oil and propane buyers pay the full 7%. That's another rant,

though.

You do have the option of moving. What is your electric rate? We now pay
.169 here in CT. According to this
http://www.dom.com/customer/pdf/nc/sched01.pdf you are paying less than
half that amount. I'd gladly pay your rate and tax.

As for motor fuel taxes, regular unleaded is running 2.46 to 2.51 in this
area. You still have the edge there according to this:
http://www.raleighgasprices.com/

Before your beer get diluted with your tears, look around at the rest of

the
world and see how well off you are.




  #8  
Old January 22nd 06, 05:06 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: n/a
Default Residential Propane Gauges- How well do they work?

On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 12:40:44 GMT, Jim Murphy wrote:

Just bought my first house with propane (LP) heat and hot water. What a
learning experience. I have a 500 gallon buried tank (didn't realize it was
owned by one propane provider and I was locked into that dealer unless I
bought the tank) with a guage that reads in percentage. After I signed up
for the "keep full" option (thereby saving a dime per gallon), the dealer
came out when my tank was reading 59%. I wasn't home when it was filled.


Would NEVER rent a tank myself. Not having the option of going with the
lowest price is not what I call a good idea - particularly since the folks I
bought the tank from have consistently had the highest price for gas over the
last 8 years). I use gas for heat only and fill up in August (so far haven't
run out in winter - dual fuel) when the prices are the lowest of the year (at
least in this area).

Since I only use gas in winter, it doesn't make sense for me to sign up for
the "keep full" program offered by all the companies in the area, so I can't
speak to the prices offered with those plans. I call around to all of the
local gas companies the second week of August and get their prices, then I
order from the company with the lowest price.

BTW, I was told by the truck operator of more than one company that the tank
shouldn't be filled over 80%, particularly in summer, as the warmer weather
causes the gas to expand and some of the gas will be forced out of the
pressure relief valve. They said that underground tanks are less susceptible
to this, but still don't recommend filling over 80%.

The little gauge on my tank (yes, my tank. I bought it.) moved from 59% to
85%. Subtracting 59 from 85 and multiplying by 500 led me to believe they
had pumped in ~130 gallons.

The dealer's printed ticket showed 183 gallons.


Been tracking levels in my 500 gallon tank, using the gauge, since Jan 98
(when we moved in - new house) and I've always managed to come up with a
similar number to what was delivered, plus or minus a few gallons. I use
10%=50 gallons in my calculations. I check and record what shows on the gauge
on the first of the month, year round to make sure that there are no leaks
and to give me the information I'll need to figure out how much to order if I
ever do run out in winter - don't want to buy more than I have to at winter
rates.

Never had to deal with a sticking gauge so I dunno the symptoms, but, what's
on the ticket is what you got. Here in GA, the meters on the trucks are
regulated by the state just like the pumps at the gas station and are
certified accurate. I'm sure that the same holds true in NC.

Later, Mike
(substitute strickland in the obvious location to reply directly)
-----------------------------------


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