On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 10:16:52 -0700, DerbyDad03 wrote:
Well, they insist on doing a full leak check on the supply lines if the
tank goes empty, and charge for it (50 bucks I think).
Quite why running it dry would cause joints to fail though, I don't know -
maybe it's that they won't take the customer's word for it that it's only
*just* gone dry, and assume that the system's been empty for a while.
re: (They) assume that the system's been empty for a while.
You'd think they could just check their records for the last delivery
and determine the max time it could have been empty.
Of course, that would be "work" and they'd miss the opportunity to
make a fairly easy (I think) $50 or whatever it is.
On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 05:33:28 -0700, DerbyDad03 wrote:
True - but I suppose they don't know if any construction's happened in the
meantime or any other stuff (I was surprised that the line from our tank
was only buried about 6" down and was just regular old copper pipe). If
it might have been empty for more than a few minutes I guess they want to
take the line that they have to do a check just in case.
I agree there - I'm sure it's a nice little earner for them. They do
recommend calling them and scheduling a delivery when tank level gets to
20% though so that they can get the supply truck out before it runs out.
Maybe if it's empty, they worry that there was a catastrophic leak
that caused it and hence are afraid to fill.
If there is still propane and pressure in the tank, they can be pretty
sure that there is no serious leak or if there were, that someobdy
would smell or otherwise notice it.
Empty tank means no clue why it is empty and since people usually get
it filled before empty, it is a reasonable hypothesis that something
unnatural may have caused it to be empty.
I'm just speculating of course but it sounds reasonable at least.
My company doesn't do a leak test- but they have to insure that a
homeowner is home & check all appliances for working pilot
thermocouple. They also have to be sure none of the burners on the
stove are turned on. They've offered to light my pilots for me so
I assume that they could spend an hour at a house where there was
nobody around to get everything up and running again.
I'm on automatic delivery, so the last time I ran out was several
years ago & it was their fault, so I apologies instead of charges.
On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 09:36:21 -0400, Jim Elbrecht wrote:
Interesting - how does that work then? Do they have some high-tech sensor
dohickey hooked up to the phone line which calls out when it needs
refilling, or is it that they just send a guy round to check every once
in a while?
They ask what appliances I have running, and ask to be notified if I
add more. Then they ask about family size. A chart helps them
determine that a family of 4 with a stove, water heater, and dryer
will use nn gallons a month. Then their computer keeps historic
records and they adjust accordingly.
I threw them off when I added a space heater. Now they also take into
account heating degree days & historic usage. It took them a
couple years to get a handle on that because I use the gas heater more
in spring and fall than the dead of winter. But now they have it
down. I rarely go below 40% full.
[BTW- my fuel oil is automatic too-- based on history and heating
degree days. In 20 years I have never run out. I have a 275
gallon tank. They usually deliver between 120-150 gallons.]
While I jokingly posted a method about keeping track of the number of
hours of propane use before the tank ran out, I was actually only half
What your supplier is doing is more or less what I suggested - they're
just using data that is a bit more solid than a "one time run-it-dry,
now we know" scenario.
On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 16:44:35 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
They also have the advantage of being able to fill it at will *before*
it should run out. And they already have to plug those
numbers into a computer for billing & inventory.
The only disadvantage of automatic delivery is that you are at their
mercy for pricing. Neither of my vendors is the least expensive in
my area. But they are both reliable & the peace of mind is worth a
few bucks a year.
On Wed, 28 Oct 2009 18:35:49 -0400, Jim Elbrecht wrote:
Interesting way of doing it! I guess that anything apart from heating
will be pretty consistent most of the year (drier use falling during
summer if you hang clothes out instead). The heating can probably be quite
variable - but maybe they're smart enough to look at the weather and
factor that in when doing estimates...
I had a friend buy a house, I dont know if it the furnace was run
without a filter or just a bad one, but the AC coil was so clogged he
was getting almost no heat. We removed the AC coil until he cleaned it
next spring. A crappy air filter can trash an AC unit. With a
condensing unit checking exaust temp should tell you alot about the
unit, I dont know what range it should run at, but to high would
indicate its not efficent. I think poor-cheap air filtration is the
quickest way to ruin a furnace and cut its efficency way down.
I would expect the manual that came with the unit, or goes with the unit
will answer your questions. If you don't have it, you can probably get one
online. Personally, I would never open up a condensing furnace/boiler,
unless something goes wrong
Interestingly, one of our 3 units is a York and they seem to have good
quality downloadable manuals.
The other 2 units are American Standard and I can't find any manuals
online. American Standard has also yet to reply to an email request
for manuals. Note: we don't have the original since the previous homeowners
didn't pass it on.
On Sunday, October 18, 2009 4:07:42 AM UTC-4, blueman wrote:
The only appliances using propane are likely the furnace, space heaters, ki
tchen stove, and clothes dryer. The stove and dryer are used fairly consis
tently each month throughout the year. Use of the heating appliances varie
s with the weather, so propane use per month is likely to be a constant (am
ount used by stove and dryer) plus an amount that depends on the weather (f
or heating appliances).
Early on the first day of each month, read the meter and record the result
in a log book. Also, look on the internet to find heating degree days for
the most recently available month and record that in your log book.
After you have two months of data, graph propane usage vs. heating degree d
ays and draw a smooth line (probably a straight line) through the points.
The y-intercept will give you the amount you use for the stove and dryer an
d the slope of the line will give you the amount you use per monthly heatin
g degree day.
Then, just figure out how many heating degree days your tank is good for an
d track the cumulative heating degree days since you last filled the tank.
(Would be convenient to fill the tank on the last day of the month.)
Here is one place you can find the heating degree days for your location: h
To get it from the source, go to: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?
Enter your zip code.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Past Weather Information."
On the "Observed Weather" tab, select "Monthly Summary" and the other thing
s you want.
The HDD and Cooling Degree Days are about 3/4 of the way down the page.
If you want to predict your electric costs for cooling, you can follow a si
milar technique with Cooling Degree Days and electricity consumption.
On Friday, November 15, 2013 8:03:19 AM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
kitchen stove, and clothes dryer. The stove and dryer are used fairly cons
istently each month throughout the year. Use of the heating appliances var
ies with the weather, so propane use per month is likely to be a constant (
amount used by stove and dryer) plus an amount that depends on the weather
(for heating appliances).
t in a log book. Also, look on the internet to find heating degree days fo
r the most recently available month and record that in your log book.
days and draw a smooth line (probably a straight line) through the points.
The y-intercept will give you the amount you use for the stove and dryer
and the slope of the line will give you the amount you use per monthly heat
ing degree day.
and track the cumulative heating degree days since you last filled the tank
. (Would be convenient to fill the tank on the last day of the month.)
similar technique with Cooling Degree Days and electricity consumption.
Sorry about the duplicate posting. I just learned how to reply to a reply.
For the "Normal" HDD and CDD per month, go here and enter your zip code: ht
"Normal" means 30-year average.
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