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Safe, Expert Propane Tank Installation

Published on: August 22, 2022

Everything You Need to Know About Getting a New Propane Tank

propane tanks virginiaSwitching out a portable propane tank on your grill is easy. Replacing or installing a full-size propane tank that holds a couple hundred gallons is no DIY project. Whether you need to install a new tank or replace an old one, SVWA Gas Service has the expertise to handle everything for you, and we’ll make sure the job is done safely and properly.

While you can trust us to take care of everything, there are a few upfront decisions you’ll need to make if you are considering a new propane tank:

The Size of Your Propane Tank Matters

If your propane storage tank is too small, you’ll need to order propane too often—or risk the cost and hassle of runouts. Getting a big tank means you’ll need fewer refills—and you may be able to avoid or lessen the sting of price spikes. But a bigger tank is, well, bigger—so you’ll need space to bury it. And if it’s aboveground, a huge tank can be far less attractive at your residential home. We can help you determine the best size for your needs based on the size of your home as well as how many appliances you’ll be fueling.

Should I Place My Tank Aboveground or Underground?

If you’re replacing an old tank, it may make the most sense to keep the same set-up. But if it’s a new propane tank outright—or you want to change from what you had before, here’s what to consider:

  • If you’re locating your tank underground, you need to budget for excavation costs and extra labor to bury your tank properly and safely. In addition, “sacrificial anodes,” which help prevent corrosion, need to be buried near the tank. An underground tank also needs a special anticorrosion coating and regular maintenance checks.
  • An aboveground tank simply needs to meet distance requirements and have appropriate permits. Sometimes, a concrete base is needed for stability, but the cost is small. Because its aboveground, maintenance is not a problem. However aboveground tanks are more exposed to the elements, which can make them a little less durable if they’re subjected to extreme or extended heat and cold.
  • Aboveground tanks are extremely safe. You do need to inspect them periodically for signs of damage or corrosion to avoid a leak.
  • Because they’re protected from temperature fluctuations, underground tanks are as safe or safer than aboveground tanks. They’re also safer in the event of a leak. Unlike oil, propane can’t harm soil or water, and since the tank is buried, leaking propane can’t escape into the air, causing a fire hazard.
  • However, if you live in a flood-prone area, an above-ground tank is the safer option. That’s because an underground tank can float away if the water rises above the propane level in your tank. Aboveground tanks stand a few inches off the ground and are bolted down making it more stable and less exposed during extreme flood conditions.
  • When you invest time and money in making your home and yard look nice, you don’t want a hunk of metal ruining the view. But sometimes there isn’t the space—or the budget—to bury your tank. We get it. And we’ll work with you to help situate your tank at the side or the back of your home, in as unobtrusive a place as possible while adhering to safety rules.

What Takes Place on Installation Day?

Once you’ve made your decisions about size and location, we’ll take care of the rest, from permits to lighting your pilots after your first fill-up!

  1. Depending on the size of the tank, we’ll use a crane to lift and place the tank on its concrete pad, blocks, or lower it into the ground if you’re opting for an underground installation.
  2. After the tank has been set and leveled, we’ll run the LP gas yard lines connecting the gas plumbing stub out and propane tank regulator, cover the trench with backfill, test the system for leaks and fill up your tank.
  3. Following the test and safety inspection, we’ll light any pilot lights, check appliances for proper operation and answer any questions you may have about the tank installation, service arrangements, or delivery schedules.

Need a New Propane Tank? Give SWVA Gas Service a Call Today!

For almost 80 years, SWVA Gas Service has been providing reliable fuel service to homes all over Southwestern Virginia. Whether you decide on an aboveground or underground propane tank, know that the pros at SWVA can make selection, installation, and maintenance of your tank easy. And we’ll provide reliable propane delivery services, too.

Contact us for more information today.