On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 08:16:19 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:
You'd need more than a dime per mile because it's a felony to transport
propane without a hazmat license! :)
By the way, I think *everything* boils down to this:
One key distinction is the fact that propane tanks are considered
"personal property" and not "real property":
Another key distinction is the 3-year rule for abandoned property:
Here's a similar problem in Maryland (see posts #34 & #36):
Here's a similar question for California with a complex answer:
On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 05:56:53 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Well, I've changed my mind based on the information in this thread.
But I'm still lining up my ducks! :)
Basically, I realized from what was said here, that I don't
actually own the existing tank. So it's probably theirs (if they
can prove it - which they probably can).
So now I'm stuck paying $120/year, which, if it costs $1000 to put
in a new 1000-gallon tank, has a break-even point of about 10 years,
which seems worth it (since there's the additional savings of being
able to switch suppliers and saving an addition 25 to 50 cents
per gallon, which, on 1,000 gallons, could be as much as a few
hundred bucks per fill).
However, I just found out that a new 500 gallon tank, from the
same company that I'm using now, is actually around $1,800 &
a new 1,000 gallon tank is double that (they said the cost is
So, that changes the economics but the equations are the same.
Yearly rental $120/year
Price-per-gallon savings (varies, but can be as high as $1)
Number of gallons per year (varies, but roughly 1,500 to 2,000)
$3,600 for a 1,000 gallon tank (dunno if regulator is included)
$400 for plumbing, pad, and trenching (I'm roughing costs out)
Assuming I can save, on average, 75 cents per gallon on about
1,500 gallons, that's a savings of $1,245 per year if I own
Given the cost of ownership is $4,000, it would take only 3
years to make my money back - so that's a no brainer (since
it's less than 5 years) to own the tank myself.
If I assume a savings of only 50 cents per gallon, that brings
the break-even point to 4-1/2 years, which is still a no
brainer (since it's still less than 5 years).
So, if the company starts charging me rent for the tank,
and, at the same time, limits me to only them for fuel,
it seems to be a no brainer (by my logic anyway) to simply
buy the tank (maybe they will sell me that exact tank so
that I don't have to put a new pad in to meet the new rules).
Is my logic sound?
On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 08:41:20 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:
Only for economy.
The propane company charges one rate for people who
rent the tank (in addition to the monthly rental fee).
But, they charge a lower rate for those who own
their tanks (with the benefit of no rental fee).
I'm assuming (rough calculations) that the tank will
pay for itself in a year or two given those dynamics
(at least that is what I had calculated years ago).
On Friday, September 27, 2013 10:33:41 AM UTC-4, Alex Gunderson wrote:
But unless I've gotten it all wrong, you're not paying
anything to rent the tank now because no one is billing
you for it. So, why worry about it? You said the gas
company would charge $15/mth to rent you a tank and you
can buy one for $1000. So, why do anything now?
If someday they come to you and claim it's been their
tank for the last 7 years and you owe them money, that's
when I'd do something. And the something would be to
tell them you believed it was your tank, and it's
not your problem. If they persist,
offer the company some reasonable amount to settle it.
There is a statute of limitations on any claims for
money owed. Find out what it is. They can't go after
you for 15 years worth of bills. More likely, it's
about 3 years or 5 years. And then, who really owes the
money? You didn't sign a rental contract with them.
Presumably the previous owner did. It would seem to me
that their claim is against the previous owner, not you.
In other words, even if they say, pay up, once they
realize the screwed up situation, I'd bet you could
settle it for $500. Which is better? Maybe paying $500
someday, or paying $1000 for a tank, plus the cost of
laying a pad, securing it, etc maybe $1500 total today?
On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 07:50:57 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
If I were the current propane company, I would not go after
back rent simply because nobody ever billed *me* for rent
and the original company certainly knew the address (if not
So, the original company "could" have billed me for the rent
all along - and they certainly did not.
The original company could have physically taken the tank
(but they'd have to trespass to do so) at any time, as it's
not bolted down.
The key problem now is that, if the tank truly is owned by
the propane company, then I can't legally switch suppliers
at any future point in time, simply because I can't sign
the affidavit that says I own the tank.
So, it still matters who owns the tank. It just doesn't
matter until/unless I want to switch suppliers or the
propane company wants to charge me future rent.
I guess it also matters if I sell the house; but I have no
plans for doing that.
On Fri, 27 Sep 2013 22:51:25 +0000 (UTC), Alex Gunderson
You can changesuppliers if and when the time comes by signing with a
different company and telling the current company to come and pick up
their tank. Decide THEN if you want to buy or rent, depending on what
the conditions are AT THAT TIME, if and when the time comes.
If you sell the house you just say "ownership of propane tank is not
clear", and you are OK.
This is true.
Here's what it would cost me, in the coop, to BUY a new tank:
Our coop contract seems to be $1,000 for a 500-gallon tank
(i.e., $2 a gallon) or $1,600 for a 1,000-gallon tank
(i.e., $1.60 a gallon).
That's just about the current price of propane (currently at
around $2 per gallon): http://www.southskyline.org/spug.html
Note: That's just the tank cost, delivered to my door.
Interestingly, the economics of owning a huge propane tank is, in
one respect, about the same math ratio as owning a portable gasoline
container, which costs about the same as it would hold in gasoline.
BTW, when I called earlier today, they quoted me prices that were more
than double those contractual numbers above, so, it serves me right for
asking the propane company anything about their prices. Sheesh.
On Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:35:42 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
I doubt an abandonment claim would work too, but without knowing
the state laws on the subject, who knows. If it meets the terms
of the law, I don't think it would be hard to prove. The fact
that it's been sitting there, out in the open for X years and
the company who owns it has done nothing, is obvious. But the
specifics of the law are what will count.
That's not true either. If the former owner owned the tank,
then he owns it now, whether he has a bill of sale or not.
It would be easier to prove that he owns it with such a
document, but the lack thereof doesn't change who does or
doesn't own it.
On top of all that, propane
Apparently they questioned him as to who owned the tank and
he filled out an affidavit stating that he owned it.
On Friday, 27 September 2013 10:34:13 UTC-4, Alex Gunderson wrote:
If anything ever goes wrong and the neighbors sue your delivery company (wh
ich they will, since it's richer than you) that affidavit will be central t
o downloading the liability to you. Which is kinda fair, really. I guess yo
u could find yourself facing some kind of false-document charge, but only i
f some third party came forth with a claim to owning it, which is real unli
kely after it blows up.
I presume your insurer has acknowledged its presence. They could forget you
mentioned it to them, if it suited them.
I'm increasingly thinking that since (a) there is no branding of any kind o
n the tank and (b) whatever company the prior owner used never came to dema
nd it back when he quit buying from them, that it actually is a privately o
wned tank, and that you really did take ownership of it with the house.
I don't disagree with that, but, while *anything* can happen, the
real likelihood of propane tanks suddenly exploding for no apparent
reason is not one danger that I'm currently worried about.
These things are built like brick outhouses. They are simple cylinders.
Steel. Painted. Solid. No moving parts (well, I don't know what's in
the regulator). It meets building codes of the time it was built.
I do agree bad things "can" happen; but the chance of the thing
suddenly and inexplicably exploding is about as likely as me winning
the lottery - in which case, I'll have enough money to pay for the
Well. They certainly visited the property at the time that I bought
the house. And, they'd have to be blind not to see the huge thing.
Plus EVERYONE out here has a propane tank, so, they'd also have to
be fools to know know about it. So, AFAIK, they know all about it.
On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:55:06 -0700, chaniarts wrote:
Interesting, at least the high pressure regulator is
apparently normally owned by the entity that owns the
The high-pressure regulator is painted red.
I have three low-pressure regulators, and they're
variously painted brown and gray.
So it's of interest how a pressure regulator got on
the lines, if the tank was owned by an individual.
Have any of you bought such a pressure regulator?
i replaced the high pressure regulator on my tank just this year. it
lasted 12 years. out of curiosity, i took it apart, so that's how i know
what's inside it. it also was red, as is the replacement. my low
pressure regulator is gray.
why would you have 3? are they cascaded, or do they make up some sort of
manifold and feed 3 different lines from the high pressure line?
On Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:21 -0700, chaniarts wrote:
This is extremely useful information.
I called Suburban Propane and Amerigas. They both said nobody will sell
me a regulator, even if I buy the tank from them.
So how did *you* buy your regulator?
Apparently all propane pressure regulators have to be replaced
every 12 years, but where do you buy them from if the gas company
won't sell them to you?
One low-pressure regulator (brown) is at the outside wall of the house.
Another low-pressure regulator (gray) is at the power generator.
Another low-pressure regulator is on the line to the pool heater & BBQ.
The red high-pressure regulator is on the line coming out of the tank.
let me rephrase: i had one (of the 4 propane delivery companies that i
normally use, since i own my tank) replace my high pressure regulator.
iirc it was amerigas.
i tried to find the internal parts to mine, since the regulator body was
in fine shape, but the internal rubber diaphragm was worn out. i
couldn't find any rebuilding parts.
however, they can be found on the net.
mine was the 1.1mbtu version. not very expensive at all.
it's not rocket science. you shut off the gas, unbolt it, bolt on the
new one, test with soapy water. what's to fear but a little immolation?
the next time i'll just do it myself and save the service charge. it's
pretty simple. there's nothing on it that states it has to be replaced
on a 12 year schedule. you can tell if you tighten up the bolts that
connect the two halves, and still get a couple soap bubbles produced.
the internal seal has gone south at that point. my tank is buried and is
downhill (thus lower, and propane sinks) than the house, so there not
too much danger from a minor leak if you catch it in time. i also live
quite some distance from anyone else so it's quite diffused by the time
it gets anywhere.
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