How Are Propane Tanks Refilled?


family that uses propane heat

One of the big differences between living in the city and out in the country is the way that utilities are received. Rather than hooking up to centralized water, sewer, and gas connections, the rural resident often obtains these in ways that are much different from that of urbanites. For example, many homeowners use propane as their source of heat. This propane is delivered when the propane tank is about 30% full, to ensure constant heat in the home. However, many wonder what goes on during a residential propane delivery. In this article, we discuss some interesting aspects that you should know about when a propane delivery occurs.

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How Are Propane Tanks Refilled?

Since propane is not delivered to your home via a pipeline like natural gas, it needs to get there some other way. You will notice that homes that are fueled by propane have large storage reservoirs or propane tanks on the property. In turn, there are fuel lines that run from the tank to the home which can be used for heating, cooking, and more. Of course, this tank can be run dry just like the gas tank on your car if you aren’t careful. It also needs to be refilled just like the gas tank on your car. The only difference is that you take your car to the gas station but you can’t take your home down to the propane company for a fill-up. The propane delivery company has to come to you.

The Residential Propane Delivery Company

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The propane company maintains very large storage tanks of propane on site. Every day, propane is transferred from these tanks to smaller tanks mounted on heavy trucks. These trucks will then be used to transfer propane into the still-smaller tanks at each individual property on their delivery route.

Automatic Propane Delivery

Propane is typically delivered in two ways. The first is when the homeowner signs up for automatic propane delivery service. This means that the propane company uses sophisticated software to estimate your propane requirements. It basically monitors your tank levels and, when your tank is running low, it automatically schedules a propane delivery. Estimates are based on past usage, the size of your home, and other factors.  This propane delivery service gives the homeowner the freedom from having to check their tank levels and schedule a fuel delivery with enough time before running out. Also, automatic propane delivery service offers homeowners different delivery plans and financing options that they can choose from. This fuel delivery option works well for customers who would like to customize their propane deliveries to meet their specific needs.

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Will-Call Propane Delivery

The other method for propane delivery is called will-call or C.O.D. propane delivery. The homeowner has to monitor their propane tank levels and call for a propane delivery when the tank is about 30% full. Homeowners need to stay on top of their tank levels to ensure that they do not run out of fuel. Likewise, they need to call and schedule a delivery with enough time to ensure that they can fit in the propane delivery company’s schedule. Some factors that the homeowner will have to consider when scheduling include weather conditions and calling with enough time during the peak of the season.

Automatic Propane Delivery Vs. Will-Call Propane Delivery

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Each propane delivery option has its advantages and disadvantages. Topping off means you always have plenty of gas on hand and can generally have some idea of how much to budget per month for your purchases. However, most propane companies have a required minimum that must take place during a propane delivery. Many companies also offer budget billing where they average out your annual gas purchases and send you the same bill every month. This means you pay a little extra every month in the summer and less in the winter. Particularly for those on fixed incomes, this is the way to go.

Buying only when you need it can save money but runs the risk of going dry in an emergency. Yet the price of propane fluctuates wildly over the course of a year. If you stock up in the summer when the price is low and then run down while the price is high, you can cut your costs considerably.

The best option is to call Wilcox Energy to discuss your fueling requirements. We can discuss what your home heating needs are and find the most affordable and convenient option for you.

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Tank Rentals

The major component of this delivery system is obviously the big tank in your back yard. These tanks can either be rented or purchased. If you rent them for a small annual fee from your propane provider, that obviously saves money upfront. If you buy your own tank, you are freed from annual payments. Call Wilcox Energy today to learn more about our propane tank rental or installation services.

Propane Tank Volume

propane tank

Residential propane tanks are rated on the basis of how much capacity they hold on a theoretical basis. 500 and 1000 gallon tanks are the most common sizes. This does not mean that they hold 500 or 1000 gallons, however. If one were to fill a tank up 100% on a cold day, the propane would expand on a hot day and bleed off through the safety valve. With some slight exceptions, the propane industry fills tanks to the 80% level, or, in this example, 400 and 800 gallons respectively.

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Choosing A Propane Company

One of the best things about having propane rather than natural gas is that you are not tied to one single company. Your local propane provider is an independent businessman anxious to gain your business through superior service and low propane prices. If you are unhappy with your current provider, be sure to call Wilcox Energy today. Our propane delivery services outshine all our competitors. We offer high-quality propane, fast and reliable deliveries, and competitive propane fuel prices. Also, we offer various automatic delivery services and financing options that can be customized to meet your needs. Call now to learn more.

Just like having your garbage picked up, you do not have to be there when the truck arrives, but you do need to make sure that the driver has access. If you have your tank sitting in the middle of a beautiful lawn, you don’t want a 5-ton truck driving across it.

Fortunately, the truck comes equipped with a very long delivery hose that allows the driver to access your tank without ruining your landscape. The driver hooks up, opens the relief valve, and starts his pump. When he is finished, he closes the relief valve, rolls up his hose, and writes you a certified invoice so you’ll know exactly how much he has delivered.


Call Wilcox Energy For Superior Propane Delivery Services

When you need an excellent propane delivery service in the southern shoreline of Connecticut, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. We offer high-quality fuel deliveries that are fast, affordable, and friendly.

You can count on us to provide you with unbeatable service each and every time. Give us a call today to discuss our different delivery plans and financing options.

We also offer a full line of HVAC services to enhance your home’s comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency. Some of the services that we offer include heating and cooling tune-ups,  repairs, installations, and much, much more. Call now!

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For more information about our propane deliveries and HVAC services, be sure to contact Wilcox Energy. You can click here to contact us, or you can call us at (860) 399-6218 to find out more. We offer a full line of heating and cooling repairs, maintenance services, and installations.