Who actually owns this 1,000 gallon propane tank?

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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 06:46:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It's not. There's (almost) no chance (well, it's never zero) that they'll run a pipe way out here for an alternative fuel.
Electricity, I guess, is the other option - but at the cost of electricity in California being something like 50 cents a kwh (top tier), that's not going to work out mathematically (without adding a $50K solar investment to the mix anyway).
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 08:13:49 -0500, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

That's an interesting question, as I hadn't considered any other option but propane.
I guess, if I stop using gas, my options are: - For heating: Use a wood burner instead - For hot water: Use electricity - For the stove: Use electricity - For the pool: Don't heat it - For the BBQ: Use a portable propane tank - For the dryer: Use electricity - In which case, I'd add solar panels (for sure!)
But, at this point, I don't think it's reasonable to think I'll invest in switching over all that equipment to alternative fuels.
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few places I have seen where solar seems to work better than most alternatives is the pool heater.
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On 9/27/2013 8:06 AM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

you probably mean solar hot water, not solar electric. you'd need a massive array to do solar electric for an electric pool heater.
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On Friday, September 27, 2013 11:06:14 AM UTC-4, Kurt Ullman wrote:

Good grief, yes! Solar is far more cost effective than any pool heating alternative. In CA you would think solar would be the way to go for a pool heater. I'm actually surprised I don't see them here in NJ. The main downside is that it takes a fairly large array, ballpark about the size of the pool surface area. So, you either need roof area for that, are OK with how it looks, or need to ground mount it. But compared to say nat gas, it's just about free to run. And those gas heaters are 200 - 400K btus, a real disaster.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 11:06:14 -0400, Kurt Ullman wrote:

I have a solar pool heater. It's great! I also have a propane fueled pool heater (I use it for the spa). It works FAST and it works at night! :)
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Out of curiosity, what are you paying for gas?
I used Amerigas for a number of years...until I noticed (wife pays the bills) that they were charging $5.25/gal. That was 4-5 years ago. I switched to a smaller company, they charged $3.25. They were bought out by Amerigas so I switched to Ferrell 2-3 years ago; they started out at about $3.25 are now $5.00+.
IME, all the gas companies low ball you initially, rapidly bump it up ridiculously.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:21:39 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

I'm in a propane-buyers group cooperative.
Here are the prices, each month, for the past year:
http://www.southskyline.org/images/SPUG-2013-09-08_zoom.gif
How does that compare with your cooperative?
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No cooperative. Prices here are $5.00+/gallon. We are being screwed.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:51:50 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

Wow. That's high. Propane is propane. There is no tax involved (we have to sign a tax form saying we're not reselling it).
If you bring a tank over to my place, I'll sell it to you at my cost! :)
Here, by the way, are *my* historical prices, based on being in this coop (which is a no brainer since the coop only costs $15 per year). http://www.southskyline.org/About.html
These are the prices we're charged in the coop, going back to 1999: http://www.southskyline.org/spug.html
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:51:50 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

Wow. You're paying a huge markup because propane is propane so cheaper is better. Your prices are strange. I wonder what *other* people are paying for propane this month?
Normally we're screwed here in California so I'm surprised we're cheaper. Almost never is it the other way around. For example, here are the state's gasoline prices: http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/gasoline/
But, more to the point, here are the state's propane prices: http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/propane/index.html#prices
I get a discount off those prices because I'm in this coop: http://www.southskyline.org/skyprop.html The coop tells us: "Propane companies buy gas at wholesale from the big suppliers at the wholesale rate, called the Warren posting, which is published. We pay that published wholesale cost + a markup of 56 cents per gallon."
You seem to be paying a HUUUUUGE markup, of dollars per gallon. :(
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1,000 gallon propane tank?:

You must live in Ohio.
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wrote:

Ohio looks to be half that.
It's a little old, but prices haven't gone up much. http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wfr_a_epllpa_prs_dpgal_w.htm
I think he's being taken.
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Polk County Florida.

Depends on where you look. Here's a site showing what people actually pay. http://www.checkpropaneprices.com/?field_state_value_many_to_one=FL

Absolutely! Florida is consistently higher than most any other place and Polk County is the highest (or close to) in Florida.
I'd change suppliers but they are few here; initially, they all start off much lower but soon the price is again ridiculous.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 15:21:39 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

BTW, I found an old chart, for 2010, where the prices were higher:
http://www.southskyline.org/images/SPUG-2011-10-11_zoom.gif
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On Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:56:06 PM UTC-4, Alex Gunderson wrote:

How could he know for sure, unless he works for company #2? It's possible company #2's name is on it, but maybe the previous owner bought and paid for it. Did the sales contract say anything, one way or the other? If I was selling a house with a propane tank, I'd be sure to spell out if it's included or not, and if not, who actually owns it.

I'm not a lawyer either, but I'm pretty sure you can't sell what you don't own. Meaning if the tank was in fact the property of a company and the previous owner did not own it, then by selling the house they can't transfer ownership to you just because they sold the house.

But the previous owner probably did, if it in fact really is their tank. So far, all you have is a workman saying it belonged to company #2. Isn't there any identification on it? When you chose company #1 to be your gas provider, I would think they would ask if you have a tank, need a tank, etc. And if you have a tank, I would think they would come out and inspect it before delivering gas to make sure it's safe. You would think during that process the issue of it being company #2's tank would have come up, but I guess not.

If it really is their tank, I doubt that is going to work. Not if they have a signed contract with the previous owner that lays out the terms of the lease and protects the company's rights like they normally would.

That sounds perfectly reasonable and right to me.

Why are you even worried about it? Unless someone is now demanding you pay for the tank, what's the problem?
Another possible angle, if you can still contact the seller, ask them who's tank it is. They may have bought it, or had it on lease, then bought it, etc. And again, anything in the contract about the tank? If it says the tank is included and someone shows up saying it's their tank and can prove it, then you'd have a claim against the seller. But if the contract is silent on the issue, I doubt you have a case.
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On Thu, 26 Sep 2013 17:25:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think they go by serial number but I'm not sure.

Actually, there is no name on the tank other than the manufacturer on the nameplate and a serial number and the poundage figures, and things like that.

Nothing about the tank. It said the property was "as is".

I understand. When I first entered into the agreement with company 1 for the propane delivery, they asked for a bill of sale. I didn't have one so they accepted an affidavit that I wrote saying I owned it.
I never thought anything of it at the time, but that's all I really have that "specifically" mentions the tank ownership.

OK. This makes sense. But, did company 2 "abandon" the tank? Sort of like a ship at sea is abandoned and then anyone can have it?

Yes. There is a nameplate with a serial number, a date of manufacturer, a company of manufacturer, the weight, and a bunch of other poundage figures.

They did that years ago. I don't think the issue is safety. The tank is in great shape. It will outlast the United States, let alone the house, and me.

I don't see how, from just the serial number, company 1 would know anything about company 2. All they knew (and all I knew) at the time was that it certainly wasn't company 1's tank.
So they've been filling it for years.

Well, if they do have a signed lease, that would be interesting. I don't know that this exists. I never once spoke to the previous owner. I never even met them. They essentially walked away from the property.

Just in case they come to me, I don't want to say something stupid. I just want to know where I stand, legally. I do realize this is a home-repair group - but - I was hoping someone would have experience with this, first hand - and then could provide advice.
I do appreciate the help as I know you don't have to advise me.
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On 9/26/2013 8:49 PM, Alex Gunderson wrote:

The answer is there's no way for anyone here to know -- we're not in possession of facts not available (sorta' goes w/o saying but in law everything 'pends on the specifics).
In all likelihood the case is as outlined previously presuming that the tank doesn't go back beyond the even the other company you do know of.
I don't think you can determine any real definitive answer to the question w/o further data either confirming as you say from a S/N whether the tank did come from one or the other companies in question if they have such records and can therefrom produce previous history.
Clearly you own the property in question; whether the tank was the previous occupant's to transfer is in doubt apparently so there is no way to rely on that as has been noted previously as well.
All in all, unless a phone call to the alternate company can shed light on whether it was there I suspect the cost involved in establishing the actual pedigree would probably exceed the value of the tank.
If it hasn't been an issue so far, I'd suspect it's unlikely to become one in the future.
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 00:24:08 -0500, dpb wrote:

After googling and googling and googling, I've come to the belated realization that this is a relatively common situation.
I couldn't find any California statutes, so all I have is anecdotal forum and usenet situations, all of which have their myriad details, but it seems like the tank belongs to whomever can prove they own it.
I went back to my title papers, and there is just no mention of the tank. Since the serial number is presumably unique, I am slowly realizing it's probably their tank, and not mine, as I have thought all this time.
I will call the title insurance company today, to see if they'll compensate me for my $2,000 loss - but - since it's not actually mentioned in the paperwork, I doubt it's something they deal with.
So, now I'm making plans for buying a new tank, and putting it in myself.
It looks like I'll need the following (based on new regulations of distance from the house and earthquake resistance which had grandfathered the original tank but don't apply to new): * new 1,000 gallon propane tank * * reinforced concrete pad with tie-down eyehooks or lag bolts * * trench must be 12" deep minimum & 18" if driven over * * underground yellow flexible conduit (25' minimum distance) * * two galvanized steel risers at the tank * * high pressure regulator at the tank for the house * * low pressure regulator at the tank for the pool & BBQ * * low pressure regulator at the house *
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On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 12:01:06 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson

What loss? I don't see you having a loss. You bought the house and land it sits on. If the guy across the street happened to be parked in your driveway on the day you closed, would you get to keep his car? The tank, if owned by the propane company, happens to be on the land you don't get ownership. This is something that should have been resolved to your satisfaction before closing.
I don't see the title company getting involved. Would they help you if the previous owner left the refrigerator No, that is not covered under title insurance. It only covers real property against claims, liens, and that type of thing.
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