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  1. #1
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    Default What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    What to look for when buying a used propane tank? or Should I? None of the local propane company willing to sell a tank. They only rent and it can only be filled by them at whatever price they like to charge.
    Is a propane tank made in 1991 too old? Does propane tank need any certification? I saw a 1000gal tank in the local paper for $500. That's pretty cheap comparing to paying $100 per year rental for a 250gal tank. I want my own tank because I want to be able to buy propane from whomever got the lowest price. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    The propane companies don't want you buying a tank because you can price shop propane if you own your own tank.

    There should be a pressure vessel certification label on the tank. I do not know whether the tank has to be recertified periodically, and that is something you will want to find out.

    You should ask the seller for proof of ownership such as a bill of sale showing that the seller bought the tank. You do not want to buy a leased tank by mistake. If you get a description off the tank and the serial number and can find out where the tank came from, you may be able to get confirmation that it is owned by the seller and is not a lease tank even if the seller can't produce a bill of sale or contract showing he owns it.

    You need to also look into how you are going to move the tank to your location. Ideally, it should be empty to move.

  3. #3
    Gold Member jones6780's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    I have a 250 gal tank provided by my propane company (Ferrell Gas) back in 1982. I paid the $40.00 rental fee for a couple of years then called and they waived the fee. That left me with their tank and I had to buy from them. Just the other day they came by to fill it and the bill was $3.939 per gallon. I called around to check prices then called them and fussed. The said they would recalculate and lower it to around $2.00 a gallon. I am still waiting on the final bill.
    That was when I decided to look for a tank myself. I plan on calling several providers and asking what their requirements are for tank filling. The tank I have now was built in 1981 and has only been inspected by Ferrell Gas when they come by to fill. They did paint it a while back. My mother has a tank that has been in the ground for the last 40 years and they still fill it.
    Different states may have different laws on propane tanks.

    RusseLL

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Phils's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    So you are FINALLY getting to this point Stump? I checked with my propane company a few minutes ago and they still sell tanks, although they do rent them now... they didn't used to rent, only sell. I asked on prices and my friend Joe wasn't there but Linda gave me some ballpark prices.

    320 gal tank holds 275 gal of propane, she said about $1000 (maybe 1100, she couldn't say for sure without Joe). A 500 gal tank that holds 435 gal of propane she thought would be about $1400.

    This should give you a 'yardstick' for prices. These tanks are in Oroville, CA, and Linda said "no problem" selling to someone not in their service area. You'd have to cart it home, of course.

    Phil

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    I bought last summer two vertical 420#, 120 Gal. propane tanks from Home Depot for a client. They provide propane for a on demand water heater, a propane fireplace and a cook top. Don't remember what they cost. I would need to look it up. It made for a nice set up. The client shops around for propane.

    I know there is a DOT requirement. I am not sure if there is a pressure certification for them like CO2 and gas cylinders.

    Cary
    '07 BX-24 TLB
    Man's Prayer: "I am a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    You had better buy that tank. Make your own bill of sale and pay with a check so you have your own paper trail. I bought a 1000 gal tank made in 1959 for $500.00 and it came with 40% of liquid. My propane company was very helpfull on getting a valve I needed to replace. I did move it and set it up my self but that is another post on it's own.

    You may consider adding a liquid outlet so you can fill your own propane tanks if needed.

    Dan

  7. #7
    Veteran Member kthompson's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    Here, they test the 20 pound tanks and require that. So would assume they would on larger tanks also. But even if not required, considering what could happen, it just makes sense.
    Jeremiah 2:11a "Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods?

  8. #8
    Elite Member George2615's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    I don't know about your area companies not willing to sell you a tank (they should) but ask the companies how often the propane tanks have to be tested. You wouldn't want to buy an old tank to find out its too old to test or needs replacing.

    I just bought a small tank (about 4' high x a foot in dia., I think its a 33 gal.) from my local fuel group / propane company. I only use it for cooking. The company I had wanted to charge me an annual fee just to have their 30"' dia. x 4' high (I think its a 100 gal) tank on my property. The annual fee was almost as much as the propane that I use in a year. I had been with that company for 19 years. I originally told them to pick up their tank and pay me back for the propane I had already purchased. Since I had a full tank they told me I would have to pay them a $50 fee to pump it out then they pro rate the propane at a price lower than what I paid for it. So I would have lost about $150 - 200.
    Since I didn't want to take that loss I was forced to pay the rental fee. I did tell them two things.
    1) They just lost a 19 year customer and
    2) I will call them when their tank is empty so they can pick it up.
    The new company (who I also buy my home heating fuel from) was more than happy to sell me a tank and refill it when I need it. They also said they now have many new customers from my old company.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phils View Post
    So you are FINALLY getting to this point Stump?

    Phil
    How are you doing Phil? I'm getting closer to full time rural living...

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Phils's Avatar
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    Default Re: What to look for when buying a used propane tank?

    Quote Originally Posted by stumpfield View Post
    How are you doing Phil? I'm getting closer to full time rural living...
    I'm doing better than many.... I still have a job. Retirement dates of choice are within a decade but something could hit the fan and be sooner. Either way we will survive. Someday I'll be living the pure rural life without having work interrupt things.

    I finally talked to Joe at the propane company. He said there aren't inspection requirements for these tanks, they just MUST be marked with a working pressure of 250psi. He said there are earlier tanks that don't meet that standard. He might have said those older tanks were for butane but I was multitasking at the time and may be mistaken there.

    He also said he has 320 gal tanks in stock for ~$1200 and 500 gal for $1500. A little higher than Linda thought but not crazy.

    Phil

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