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Old January 22nd 06, 06:06 PM posted to
Michael Strickland
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

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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