Looking to valuate residential propane tank

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Hi all
We have a residential propane tank beside our rural cabin. It was filled, at least partially, with fuel for inspection and testing when we bought the place about 7 years ago. We guesstimate the tank to be 150 or 200 gallon - the smaller horizontal cylinder style on "braces". We are checking our paperwork, but we believe we were charged for 100 gallons of propane during the fill/test.
The existing propane heater, etc were in sad shape, and when we finally replaced them we opted for electric appliances instead. The propane lines were capped and the tank has sat unused since then.
We suspect we will never use it, and want to either sell it or donate it to a needy cause. If we donate it, we were hoping to get a receipt for tax purposes.
We are looking to determine what fair market value would be for a (call it) 200 gallon tank with an estimated 100 gallons of propane in it? Obviously I can guesstimate the value of the propane from local prices - but can I assume the propane would still be usable, or is being partially full a bad thing in this case? Maybe somebody has a similar tank and can remember what they paid for it initially, minus the fuel?
Tnx
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wrote:

Well, being only "half full" a propane tank is still 100% filled with propane, so should not be an issue . (by which I mean there is no air, so no moisture and no oxidation degradation of either the tank or the fuel - what is not full of liquid is full of gas)
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The simple way is to look at the E/F gauge on the top of the tank.
Steve
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If the tank has one and it's a float guage. Pressure guages are just about useless on a propane tank. But I'm thinking the op would have mentioned a guage if there was one.
Otherwise you are trying to find the liquid level and tapping is about as good as anything. You can vent a bunch of it if it's humid out and look for a condensation line. But that's not really a very good thing to do.
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On 9/27/2011 10:45 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

Check it on a warm humid morning after a cold night, works best if the sun hits it.
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On 9/26/2011 6:25 PM, gwandsh wrote:

In my area the tank alone would go for approximately $225.00. The additional 100 gallons of propane would probably be about $190.00 replacement cost. I realize that that totals $415.00 but $275 to $300 is what I would expect to get for it from someone close by who had a way to move it.
Don
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LOL...
Call a propane company to come empty the tank, then have it hauled away as scrap...
You can't move those tanks when they have fuel in them...
Lots of liability involved in selling such things, wouldn't want to touch it with a thousand foot pole...
~~ Evan
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Evan wrote:

Hmmm, I just shake my head reading this threads. OP could use the propnae for BBQ until tank empties. Tank will go to scrap yard.
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wrote:

Contact local propane vendors and ask their advice. They know the rules and may have charitable contacts.
--
Mr.E

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gwandsh wrote:

If 100 gallons filled it then it is a 125 gallon tank...LPG tanks are only filled to 80% capacity. Tractor Supply sells 125 gallon LPG tanks for $350.
--

dadiOH
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harry wrote:

LOL!
When I lived in Mexico everyone used LPG for hot water & cooking. Usually had two 40? 20? kilo tanks; when one was empty, they'd switch to the other and get the empty filled. Some had big tanks (gas estacionario - stationary gas) and the gas company would send out a truck to fill those. Definitely a rich neighborhood perk, though.
There were two ways to get the empty filled...haul it off to the gas company yourself (a real PITA) or let someone else do it. The "someone else" was some guy with a cart powered either by a burro or himself (bicycle). He'd go through a neighborhood until he got a cart full of empties, go get them filled, bring them back and charge what he paid for the gas plus a dollar or so extra for the service.
That had been the methodology for decades. Then the city fathers decided it was dangerous to have those carts with LPG gas on the streets so they made it illegal. Cars full of gasoline didn't bother them, carts with LPG did. Did the carts disappear? Of course not, the guy just charged more for his now illegal service.
--

dadiOH
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Pretty much all pressure tabks in the us have a date stamp. I believe propane tank dates are 12 years from oriignal manufacture and every 5 years after that. But I think they can be restamped by an authorized inspector without a pressure test. High pressure type cylinders require a pressure test. Propane is low pressure. So yours is probably out of date. Look around the top of the tank for a stamp.
How far is it from your grill? You could use up the existing propane in your grill if you can get a line from the tank to the grill. Forget about transfering it yourself as propane converts to a liquid at a fairly low pressure so you need a pump to move it from tank to tank. You can use soft copper as a line if you have any handy. Like an old hvac refrigerant line.
Even though it's out of date it's still valuable if it's in good condition. However propane weighs about 4 lbs per gallon and the tank probably weighs a good bit it's self. So you're looking at 4 or 500 lbs there. Not easy to move.
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You are going to have to move it if you sell it. Only qualified people are permitted to move them legally which usually means the local gas company. The will pump out the gas for you and pay you for it unfortunately at current wholesale rate.This may still be a good deal since the gas ws bought 7 years ago. They will probably buy the tank from you too.
Jimmie
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wrote:

I use propane and own my 500 gal. tank.
Tanks are generally sold in 125, 250, 500, 750, 1000 gallon sizes. You likely have a 125 or 250.
The gas does not go bad.
The guy who told you to scrap the tank is an idiot. A local propane company tried to sell me a 500 gallon used tank that was over 50 years old. They inspected it and wanted $750 for it. I told them what to do with it, went to a different company and bought a brand new tank for $900. That was several years ago before steel prices went high. I know it would cost much more now. I regularly see used tanks sell for half the price of new tanks at auctions (or less) and they sell fast.
Did they FILL the tank, or just add 100 gallons? Tanks only hole 80% of their listed amount, thus a 500 gallon only can hold 400 gallons. Yea, that is misleading.....
I agrees, you can not legally move a filled tank. 100 gallons is probably managable, but I surely would not try to move any larger one with gas in it. Propane companies will pump it out and pay you for it, minus their costs, which means you may not get too much money.
Why not connect a garage heater and use it there, or as others said connect your BBQ and have enough gas for years...
BTW: Where are you located? If you're anywhere close, I might buy it.
The gallon rating should be stamped on it somewhere.
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I'm in the process of doing a tank switch. My tank is a 500 & they came to paint it because it is rusty . Near one leg the rust has made the tank thin. We decided to go to a 350 . The tank has to be down to 5 percent before they can move it By law In Ohio. Some one mentioned about a float BS You can only have a pressure gauge on propane !
Jr.
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On Sep 28, 4:35am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Jerry Ohio Also) wrote:

Propane is a liquid at a relatively low pressure. Liquids don't compress. So the pressure doesn't change much as the contents are used. It's hard to have an accurate pressure guage on propane.
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On 9/28/2011 4:35 AM, Jerry Ohio Also wrote:

Float gauges are pretty common. Maybe you are thinking of something else?
http://www.propane101.com/floatgauge.htm
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Thanks to all who responded. As the OP, I had hoped that I might be able to offer it to a neighbor who lost his home recently and has to rebuild. Sounds like it might be more hassle and cost for him to get it moved than I expected. And certainly I don't want to try moving it without knowing exactly what I am doing.
I will check with the local propane company to see if they have a price on the tank and contents. I have some reservations about doing this, as they are the only game in town, and are reputed to be marginally shady. I expect they will try to tell me it is worthless, or charge me to remove the fuel and tank. In that case, I would try to keep it as a filler for my grill tank - likely it would last for years. If I do try to use it as a source for filling small tanks, can I purchase the hose and valve to adapt it to this use? I had always thought they were restricted to licensed commercial outlets? This would be in WA state.
Tnx again
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It's not really possible to transfer much of the propane to a smaller tank without a pump. You'd be better off getting a piece of soft copper tubing or the newer flexible gas line to connect your tank to your grill. How far from your tank to your grill?
Most of the propane in your tank is a liquid. As you draw off gas propane some of the liquid propane turns to gas to replace it. If you pay attention at a propane filling station they have an electric pump that draws from the bottom of their tank.
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On Sep 28, 4:35am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Jerry Ohio Also) wrote:

Propane is a liquid. The pressure in the tank will remain constant relative to temperature until the last drop of liquid turns to gas so a pressure guage is useless.
JImmie
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