Tank & Equipment

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what size tank to get?

The right propane tank for your home, business, farm, or patio depends on several factors – including your appliances, your location, your lifestyle, and tank cost. For your home, the most likely sizes are horizontal 250, 499 and 1,000 gallon tanks.  For help determining what size is right for you, please call us at (888)526-7701.

What do I need to do to maintain my tank?

If you use our tank, we will keep it in safe working order. We ask that you keep grass and brush from growing around your tank and keep flammable objects (like firewood) at least 10 feet away. Remember a large delivery hose must be dragged to your tank for filling so items that could catch on this hose or be moved by it should be kept clear.

If you own your tank, you are responsible for the maintenance of the devices that are connected to it. The fuel level gauge and valves are all built with life cycles and they will eventually require replacement. This process involves removing all of the liquid from the tank so it typically removes the tank from service for a day or more. Please keep in mind that if you own your tank and it is not properly maintained, any consequence of that is your responsibility. Leaks, accidents and fires are all possible when out-of-date equipment malfunctions.

How far can my tank be set from my driveway?

There are a number of factors to be considered when deciding where to set a tank, including local building and safety codes. As a general rule, propane tanks should be within 100 feet of delivery vehicle access.

How do I read my gauge on my tank?

The gauge will usually be located under the lid on the top of your tank. Simply lift the lid and find the dial with numbers from 5 to 95. Those numbers indicate the percentage of propane in your tank. All SMART System customers can read the tank gauge from the comfort of their home, there is no need to make a trip out to the tank. We can also send you a weekly tank reading from your SMART System via email – contact your local office if you would like that automatic update.

Why isn’t my tank filled to 100 percent capacity?

For safety. Your propane is delivered and stored in liquid form. Propane liquid will expand (become a gas) nearly 17 times as much as water over the same temperature increase. As a result, tanks and cylinders are never completely filled with propane liquid. Tanks are filled to about 80 to 85 percent of their capacity. This leaves a space above the liquid, which allows the propane liquid to expand freely due to changes in temperature.

Do you refill cylinders at your office locations?

At most of our offices, we provide drive up propane service for our RV customers as well as catering vehicles, roofing contractors, and many farm and business customers. It’s also a convenient way to fill your barbeque cylinder. If you are filling up a cylinder smaller than 20 pounds or topping off a partially empty cylinder, please be aware that we have a minimum charge.

How many cylinders can I bring in my car to refill?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Code 58 is the law in California when it comes to the transportation of propane on public roadways. NFPA 58 states that the maximium allowable volume of propane carried in a car is 20 gallons water capacity (that equals four 20lb BBQ cylinders). We will only fill as many cylinders as you are permitted to legally transport.

Is it allowable to transport BBQ (20lb) propane cylinders laying on their side?

It is not. The safety features in a 20lb BBQ propane tank are designed to work when the tank is in an upright position. Tanks that are laying on their side have the potential to leak liquid propane which is extremely hazardous. We recommend using tank stabilizing devices to make it easy to keep your tank from tipping over in your car or truck.

Tank Installation Placement Information
Above ground tank installation setbacks

Above ground tank installation setbacks

Underground tank installation setbacks

Underground tank installation setbacks

Propane Properties
BTU Per Gallon 91,502
BTU Per Cubic Foot 2,488
BTU Per Pound 21,548
Pounds Per Gallon 4.24
Cubic Feet Per Gallon 36.39
Cubic Feet Per Pound 8.66
Specific Gravity of Vapor 1.50
Specific Gravity of Liquid 0.504
Boiling Point in Degrees F -.44
Vapor Pressure in PSIG at 0 F 23.5
Vapor Pressure in PSIG at 100 F 196
Propane Chemical Formula C3-H8 (3 parts carbon, 8 parts hydrogen)
Octane Number 125
Motor Fuel RIM 104
Cu.Ft. Air Required to Burn 1 Cu.Ft. Gas 23.5
Ignition Temperature 920-1120 Degrees F
Maximum Flame Temperature 3595 Degrees F
Flashpoint 156 Degrees F
Flammability L.E.L. 2.15 U.E.L. 9.6
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