Who actually owns this 1,000 gallon propane tank?

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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 08:22:27 -0400, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Just to be clear, I have no intention of asking *them* for rental and, I certainly hope they have just as little intention of asking *me* for the back rent.
In my case, back rent would likely exceed the cost of the tank, so, I would just tell them to take their tank back.
Then I'd put in a new tank, but, at least I'd have clear and free title to that new tank.
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wrote:

That sounds like fun but it's not going to work. It's more likely to get someone pissed off.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 01:41:04 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson

It's not.

IMO, no.

If they do figure it out, they'll likely only start charging you rent from that day. I wouldn't expect them to just give you the tank, though.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:13:31 -0400, krw wrote:

I think the two negative things that would happen are both surmountable, so, it wouldn't be catastrophic. :)
One is they could charge rent. The other is that I couldn't shop around to another supplier.
On the other hand, rent isn't all that bad (many people rent); and, on the same other hand, the company I chose is generally the cheapest.
http://www.southskyline.org/skyprop.html
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On Sat, 28 Sep 2013 02:43:13 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson

So you're finally coming to the obvious conclusion.

From that day on. It would be difficult to back-charge you, without an agreement in hand.

Right. They would have no leverage. They have no knowledge, now, an even better situation for you to be in. Keep it that way. STFU.

Why are you so paranoid?
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 22:56:53 -0400, krw wrote:

In hind sight, I should have shut up.
Maybe I've even said too much in this thread.
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On Thursday, September 26, 2013 9:41:04 PM UTC-4, Alex Gunderson wrote:

You are what's wrong with the country today.
All you are doing is trying to weasel your way into a "free" tank because you don't want to pay for tank rental.
Deep down you know who it belongs to, and that you should be paying the rental fee. It's only fair.
Either the previous homeowner or you were supposed to call and transfer that tank account to your name. Obviously the previous homeowner didn't care. Rather than do the upright and honest thing you kept your mouth shut.
You've had that tank rent free for however many years. Time to do the honest thing, own up, and pay the long-overdue bill.
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On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 06:24:30 -0700, dennisgauge wrote:

I do understand where you're coming from ... but also answer this question.
Say you bought a house, and you were told by all the professionals that the driveway on your property was yours. You've been using said driveway all these years - but - suddenly you find out that the cement company wasn't paid for that driveway by the previous owner. Legally, perhaps, the statute of limitations for liens has passed - but - as you said - deep down - you really know that the cement company wasn't paid - so, what do you do? Do you pay him?
Similarly, say that the company that put in the pool heater wasn't paid. Or the one that put in the pool motors. Nowhere in the title did it say that the pool motors weren't yours. The company that put in the pool motors had plenty of time to pick up their motors. But they didn't. And you always thought they were "your" pool motors. Now, you find out, years later, that the pool motors weren't fully paid for. What do you do? You, of course, would give back those motors and the pool heater. Right?
Lastly, say that the $1,000 built-in beer fridge at the BBQ was used by you for all these years. Again, there is no label on that fridge; you think it's yours by virtue of you buying the house. Let's even say you've had a beer company DELIVER beer almost monthly to "your" beer fridge. Then, again many years later, your neighbor (who has been there all along and KNOWS where you live) suddenly tells you that it's HIS beer fridge that is in your BBQ after all. He even produces a bill of sale that says he bought that beer fridge many years ago. What do you do?
Do you give your neighbor the beer fridge?
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On Monday, September 30, 2013 9:24:30 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:


That's a big assumption and I doubt it's correct. First, it would be very stupid for the previous owner to not call up the gas company and tell them to terminate service. The previous owner could continue to get billed for gas, so it's very likely they did call them up. Second, if they didn't, then why didn't the previous gas company just show up and continue to fill the tank? After they sent a bill or two to the former owner, something would have happened.? It looks more to me like something fell through the cracks at the gas company.
As far as Alex being responsible, I'd say he has some responsibility now, because the service guy from the gas company told him that the tank shows up in their database as belonging to the previous gas company. This is 3 years later. But what exactly do you think he should do? Call up his current company that now has bought out the previous company, so they may own the tank, and force the issue? A representative of the company knows about it. What more is he supposed to do? He's not hiding the tank or lying. For one thing, all we know is what a service tech told him. Presumably that service guy will do whatever it is that he's supposed to do. Maybe he'll hear from the gas company. If he doesn't, I sure wouldn't go forcing the issue either.
And his assertion that it could be abandoned property is a valid issue. It doesn't make Alex a bad person. It's like if a tree on my property that's healthy falls onto my neighbors shed and crushes it during a wind storm. I, like many people, would feel some moral responsibility, since it was my tree. But the law says otherwise. Unless the tree was diseased, dead, etc and I knew about it, etc, then I'm not responsible. The law sets the rules we play by. And if his tank meets the law for abandoned property, then it's his tank now.

What bill? He had no contract with the previous company. The former owner did. If they want to collect past rental fees, they would have to go after the former owner, not Alex. Alex had no say in negotiating or signing that contract. For one thing, it's clear from the thread that Alex would prefer to BUY a tank. If the gas company had presented him with a bill 3 years ago for rental, he could have said, "I want to buy it, how much?" And if he couldn't come to terms with that company, he could have told them, he's switching to another company, etc. You can't enforce a contract where no contract ever existed.
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On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 08:50:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Thanks for understanding.
The rules for establishing ownership should be clear, especially for something as common as an above-ground propane tank.
I do have some more information. The company that made the tank is Roy E. Hanson Jr. Mfg, 213-747-7514. They sent me an email stating that the serial number matches a tank sold to a THIRD propane commercial entity.
I called that third entity, and they're still in business (they said they've been in business for 85 years in this area), and they never owned that tank.
Hmmm... makes no sense.
To confirm, the manufacturer told me I should plug in the national registry number into a database at http://www.nationalboard.org
Apparently, all propane tanks have a six-digit national board number in addition to the serial number of any number of digits.
The manufacturer said California doesn't require this number, but many other states do, so, they put it on all propane tanks they make.
The only problem is I can't find the national board lookup mechanism, and nobody answers their phone in Columbus Ohio: 614.888.8320
So, I'm working the details as we speak.
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On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 08:50:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

And, in this case, the tank was sold by the original manufacturer to a THIRD propane company!
I called that third propane company, who has been in business in the area for 85 years. They did NOT ever service my residence!
Of course, they still could have originally owned the tank and sold it to someone but they have no record of owning that tank.
I finally got a human at the https://www.nationalboard.org registry public affairs department: National Board Public Affairs Phone: 614.431.3204
They told me there is no way I can search for the datasheet on that tank without establishing a relationship with them, but, they asked me for my national registry code plus the serial number and they said they'd let me know what information is on the registration for original and subsequent owners for that specific tank (plus I can buy the datasheet).
However, they said only the original owner is likely to be on the tank datasheet, unless someone updated their database voluntarily after the fact.
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On Monday, September 30, 2013 3:30:11 PM UTC-4, Alex Gunderson wrote:

Keep calling enough and eventually something is sure to happen. Why you you're not happy with a tank that has been free for 3 years and won't just let a sleeping dog lie is beyond me and I think everyone else here.
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On 9/30/2013 3:02 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

ime, it is far better to own the tank costwise. i can sometimes save $1/gallon (which quickly paid for the tank) just by making a few phone calls.
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On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 15:12:09 -0700, chaniarts

I'm sure you've run the numbers but don't assume the numbers are the same for everyone. Even if the rental agreements are identical (highly doubtful) people will have different priorities for their cash or other intangibles. Personally, I don't want to own a tank but would be convinced if the numbers came out in my favor big-time.
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On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:55:50 -0400, krw wrote:

I wouldn't even *think* of owning the tank with the numbers being that the tank "could" pay for itself in just a couple of fills.
That it might spontaneously ignite is not a worry.
More to the point of home repair, the regulators (of which I have 3 low pressure and 1 high pressure) seem to need replacing, by law? about every 12 years (if you believe Amerigas) or every 15 to 25 years (if you believe the propane association).
Amerigas: 12 years: http://www.amerigas.com/amerigas-propane-blog/residential-propane/the-pros-and-cons-of-tank-ownership/
Propane Association: 15 to 25 years: http://www.propane101.com/regulators.htm
The cost to replace 1 regulator is $300 if Amerigas does it, and about $73.22 if we do it ourselves. http://propanewarehouse.com/firstregulators.asp
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On Tue, 1 Oct 2013 00:29:29 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson

In my other house (currently rented and under contract), the 250gal propane tank is rented. I think they wanted something like $500 ($1500 if buried) for it, IIRC. The rental is $45/year. There was no way I'd buy it.

Right.

...and if I change my mind, I want to get rid of it without issue. When we sold the house there was a question about the tank. Don't want it (no fireplace and no gas stove), fine. Take it out.
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Does he have to shoot the tank, and then shovel some dirt on the tank?
I've heard that in NYS, if the tank has a company logo, that other companies will refuse to fill it.
I advise you to very gently sand off any rust. Prime with grey primer, then paint the tank with white enamel paint, and don't say anything to anyone about it, like K says.
. Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
On 9/26/2013 8:23 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 08:33:35 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Here, in CA, they will only fill their tank or your tank, but not someone else's tank.
There is no logo on this tank.
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On 9/26/2013 7:23 PM, snipped-for-privacy@attt.bizz wrote:

Also consider that no "rental" is paid because you are buying gas from them. I contracted with a propane company to place a tank on our property solely for the purpose of providing LPG to heat the swimming pool. No rental was ever charged... UNTIL... we severely cut back on the use of the heater and were not constantly filling it. They then instituted what they called a "drayage" charge, charging us $x.xx per month.
"Fired" that company and new one brought in a similar tank with no drayage charge. Eventually got rid of pool and heater but next door neighbor installed a pool and needed propane for it so they moved it next door. He STILL has it and pays only for the gas he uses.
Why would you want to "own" it. If you own it, you're responsible for maintenance. If you stop using the gas, what are you going to do? Plant petunias in it after you cut it in half?
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On Friday, September 27, 2013 9:13:49 AM UTC-4, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

But he wasn't buying gas from the company he now believes owns the tank for years after he bought the house. He used a different company.
I contracted with a propane company to place a tank on our

That makes sense.

I guess because he says the current company would charge $15/mth if he were renting it from them. He says a new tank costs $1000.
If you stop using the gas, what are you going to do? Plant

If he's using it for heat and cooking and he knows he's in an area where he's very unlikely to change fuels, then I don't see stopping gas usage as being an issue. How long these tanks last and what you do with them when they have to be disposed of, could be an issue. I would suspect that the gas company has answers to all that. I would not be surprised to find that if you call a gas company and get one of their tanks, as either rental or buying it, that they would take away the old tank, probably for a charge. But saving $1000 every 6 years, I'd say he's still going to come out way ahead.
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