On Sat, 3 Sep 2016 20:35:40 -0400, Alan Browne wrote:
I think you all missed the point.
How often do *you* check the level of your water tanks?
I know I don't check ever - simply because they only run dry when something
Had I a warning system in place, my phone could alert me when my 15,000
gallon tanks run low for whatever reason.
The propane is the same. Most people have at least one 1,000 gallon tank
(but some have the smaller 500 gallon tanks).
Over a period of ten years, it will probably never run empty, except ....
when something unforseen happens (for whatever reason).
Whatever that reason is, the monitor will alert you.
It's not more complicated than that.
What I gather, from this discussion, is that NOBODY here has any experience
whatsoever with propane tank-level monitoring equipment.
I just ordered the gauge so I will put it on my tank (it's just two
screws), and at least I'll be "ready" but I probably won't use it myself
(but others will).
So we will let *you* know how it works out.
On Sun, 4 Sep 2016 05:23:55 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:
Ooops. Sorry. You did agree that the solution I asked for advice on could
You understood both the problem set and the variety of solutions, but you
come from the a.h.r group which is a overall reasonable bunch of ladies and
It was the other naysayers whom I was commenting about, all from the iOS
group. They provided zero value - and that's more than they usually provide
- but I needed them because more than half the potential users are on Apple
mobile devices (in fact, we've only tested it on iOS so far).
Here is a picture of the utility - as we tested on iOS, and which had a few
problems on iOS and with the company that makes the utility, which we're
working out now as we speak (see details below):
So it looks like *we* will be the first ones to test this out of the
complete set of people on all three crossposted newsgroups.
Here's a series of informative emails related to the problem and the
*HERE IS THE ORIGINAL EMAIL DESCRIBING THE INITIAL PROBLEM SET:*
Hi all. I had the lovely experience of running out of propane yesterday.
The Lochinvar broiler we have for hot water really does not like to run out
of gas and requires bleeding out the oxygen from the lines before it will
fire back up. Total pain and causes the whole house to smell like propane.
Anyway even though we are on the automatic top off plan it seems the
propane company must forget from time to time to fill our 1,000 gallon
propane tank. So I starting digging around and found this unit for $189
Connects to wifi, uploads a reading every 6 hours, batteries last 2.5 years
and provides a flexible alerting system for when your tank gets low. Also
gives you the ability to check the level and usage over time. Only
requirement is to swap out the dial for one that is R3D compatible (looks
Tank Utility will contact and schedule that on your behalf.
Anyways I thought I would share. Once I get it installed I?ll let you know
how I like it.
*HERE IS THE MOST RECENT EMAIL DESCRIBING THE UTILITY ON IOS:*
I got my tank utility device and set it up over the weekend (still waiting
on the R3D dial to be replaced by the propane company because they don't
allow me to do it myself). Pretty simple (although pro tip - when
connecting to a wifi that isn't connected to the internet you have to force
the iPhone to connect to the network by enabling airplane mode and then
enabling wifi. If you don't do that then the phone will happily keep using
it's LTE connection instead of the wifi without internet). Monitoring
option is pretty simple. I sent in feedback to be able to support a second
alert email address, then I can put my gas account manager's email address
on it at say 35% and mine on it at 25%.
Yes. But that was just an example. The point is that people *do*
unexpectedly run out. The fact that it happens unexpectedly means that the
propane supplier's calculations were off.
Why would the propane suppliers' calculations be wrong?
The only logical answer is that "something" happened that the propane
supplier doesn't know about.
I actually have explicit details on what happened recently with a neighbor
who did a kitchen remodel, but I don't want to interject their personal
Suffice to say that if a tank runs dry, "something" happened that someone
forgot about (aka someone made a mistake).
The whole point of the monitoring equipment is to prevent that.
It's not really rocket science.
Except that you miss the point that something 'else' can be unforseen.
Out here, everyone is on what the industry calls "autofill" (as opposed to
"willcall"). That means the propane company decides when to fill the tanks.
Generally they're pretty good, in that they calculate to fill the tanks at
about 30% but they goof when something "unforseen" happens.
It's not really any more complicated than that.
I know many people *never* check the level of their tanks and they never
run dry ... except ... when something unforseen happens.
PS: Same with all our water tanks since everyone out here has their own
I'm with Patty. If you're stupid enough to heat the pool while on a 3
month absence, you have nothing to bitch about except your own stupidity.
Maybe that's the issue you should bring home.
(Reminds me of those idiots in NYC who have "all in" rents that include
electricity. So they leave for 2 weeks in the summer with the AC set to
She hummed to herself because she was an unrivaled botcher of lyrics.
-Nick (Gone Girl), Gillian Flynn.
On Fri, 2 Sep 2016 20:37:04 -0400, Alan Browne wrote:
Read again what I wrote.
And it was just an example anyway.
What I wrote was:
1. They heat the pool
2. They don't check the tank
3. They go on vacation
4. They run out of fuel months earlier than normal
It was just an example.
On Sat, 3 Sep 2016 00:38:26 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:
The Rochester Remote Ready dial (R3D) costs only $15 retail, and is easily
put on by the homeowner but the propane company will install it for $50 if
the homeowner is squeamish about propane (nobody on a.h.r would be that
squeamish but such people exist).
From there, almost any remote would work.
The one that is most often suggested in our internal email discussions is
the $190 "tank utility" which works on Android and iOS
Painting the tank with WiFi is nearly trivial since any decent WiFi
transmitter can go 10 miles and nobody's propane tank is that far away! :)
The WiFi problem is mostly that the tank utility is the limiting factor,
but two nanos or picos can be set up if the tank is more than a few hundred
feet from the house.
Solar powering the batteries is also an option, but if a second transceiver
is required, then the limitation is 300 feet without adding a repeater with
But, from my experience, most propane tanks are easily within 100 feet of
the house, so, almost any WiFi transmitter can do that trivial distance (we
use Ubiquiti exclusively).
The Ubiquiti forums are as good as a.h.r and the opposite of what you find
on the apple forums.
On Saturday, September 3, 2016 at 3:54:42 AM UTC-4, Horace Algier wrote:
Wow, you must have one hell of a wifi transmitter. Around here, even
the commercial public ones, eg Optimum Cable Wifi hotspots are terrible.
Almost everywhere I've tried to connect, it's spotty at best, works one
min, gone the next, even when standing still. Useless in the car.
The success I've had has been at Starbucks, stores, restaurants,
hotels, etc, but that's limited to within the store, maybe the parking
lot if you're lucky. At home here, I just have a garden variety old
G router, but if I had a propane tank, it probably would reach it.
I go diagonally, from upstairs to downstairs across the whole house
to the Tivo and that works.
That seems reasonable, the tanks I've seen have always been within 50
ft or so of the house.
The dumbest person in these newsgroups is clearly the Jamie JK moron,
although Lewis is extremely close so I'd call the dumbest a tie between
The next-dumbest person is the Jolly Troll.
You and Rod Speed aren't as dumb as you sound; it's just that you're so
uneducated that you just sound dumb.
For example, you can't comprehend the concept that putting a pillow over
the iPad screen isn't the same thing as turning the screen off.
You and Rod Speed both actually said that (you said to use the "case" but
since I don't have a case, it's going to have to be my pillow).
People don't actually get as uneducated as you two are, since you don't
even have a clue that putting a pillow over an iPad isn't the same thing as
turning the screen off.
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