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We have been customers of a propane supplier for over 30 years, and used it to cure tobacco. Later when we could afford it, we installed central air and heat, propane furnace which we seldom use, into the farmhouse and replaced a failing cold water heater with a propane one.

Now since we no longer do tobacco, our propane usage has dropped rite much, and the company has begun charging tank rent. In one year, the rent has increased from $140 to $200. I considered having the tank removed last year, but with mom's failing health, it was put off.
Now I am motivated to make a change. I have considered buying my own tank, but am having a hard time finding a seller. Switching to an electric water heater will be easy, and replacing the AC/ furnace gaspack more expensive.
The propane supplier's customer service rep. said last year that my own tank may present problems regarding homeowners insurance. I am not sure if that is true or if it was a scare tactic to keep me as a customer. Anyway, I need to do something and was wondering if any of yall have faced this problem.
 

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We had a tank here at work for the lifts, insurance said it had to go, so now we get the propane in the 33lb tanks, all 36 a week. (I still think it was a conspiracy between the insurance company and the propane company, since it cost more per pound now.) I also know that some companies wont fill private tanks, but thats here in SC. As far as you AC unit, is there Natural gas near by, and can the heating unit be changed to run NG? NG is ALOT cheaper here than propane.
 

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If you can get Natural Gas the conversion will be worth the cost. Also check on converting to oil, as some units were available in either. Conversion to oil is costly, but may windup cheaper.
 

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Around here we can get 100# tanks from Tractor Supply. Web site says $129.99. At one time auto switching equipment was available. Is there another propane supplier available? Vern
 

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I own my 500 gallon tank and have no problems with the insurance. Propane company is required to do safety inspections on tank periodically
 

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Thanks for all the replies guy. I will begin to check on things next week. I first need to fingd out if other suppliers will fill non-company tanks. Thye did a few years ago, but many regulations have been written since then. Natural gas is not an option. It is about a half mile away.
The local hardware store sells tanks as well, and forgot Tractor supply. Three hundred gallon tanks would last me a year as long as I can continue to burn a wood stove. ;)
 

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Dad bought our first propane tank at the farm in 1948 and by brother is still using it. The tank sets right up against the north side of the house, where it's always been. He has it filled by the Coop delivery truck. Do you have any Coop Farm Service places in that area? They shouldn't mind filling a privately owned tank.
 

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Jim in NC said:
Thanks for all the replies guy. I will begin to check on things next week. I first need to fingd out if other suppliers will fill non-company tanks. Thye did a few years ago, but many regulations have been written since then. Natural gas is not an option. It is about a half mile away.
The local hardware store sells tanks as well, and forgot Tractor supply. Three hundred gallon tanks would last me a year as long as I can continue to burn a wood stove. ;)
If you buy a tank, keep the reciept for it. Other suppliers will want proof that you do indeed own it. There is a hefty fine for filling a tank owned by someone else with out permission.
 

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My propane supplier will sell new or used tanks. A new 500 gallon tank is just under $1000.00. Most propane suppliers here will fill privately owned tanks. You can save a little on propane per gallon by getting a "sumemer fill" but the price goes up in the cold weather if you a refill. The advantage is that you can shop around a bit to get the best deal. I find it more cost effective to buy my years supply all at one time at a discount. The dealer keeps the tank topped off all year. If I do not use what I buy I am given credit for it the next year. It would take quite a while for buying my own tank to pay for itself.
 

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I have a 500 gallon tank here. I use it primarily to heat water and run a wall furnace inside the house. The larger central furnace hardly ever comes on. It is common to only use around 200 gals a year. For that small amount, I guess I should switch to electricity all together. When we cured tobacco here, the tank would be filled four or five times a season. The rules last year were that one had to buy at least half a tankful in a year. I called them in June and I think I was told I had until Dec. to buy gas. I was waiting until I was sure I needed the required amount. I am gonna do my homework and see if any supplier will fill privately owned tanks before doing anything. Mike, we do have Southern States in Greensboro and King, NC, but I don't know if they have propane service.
 

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The problem that I have seen with propane, the price goes down from the increase of volume used.

Oil is ok for an alternative, yet it can get pricey. I myself do burn oil in our house for heat. Yet if I could afford it I would install a outside wood burner furnace.

Other way would be coal. There is still more coal available than oil. Coal is about $5 per 100 pound bag. If you are paying out for a new system, it may be a better solution than oil. Coal furnaces have become much more efficient.

The problem with Natural Gas? It also is like propane. The cost goes down on volume used. Natural Gas is a dirty gas and requires some maintenance. Ok anything listed above requires maintenance.

The choice is really yours. Yet after setting this house up with oil, it would be nice to have either a coal or wood burner. Set the oil for 55 degrees. Anything else you use the solid fuel.
 
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