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Propane monopoly.

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by wardk, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    I live in BC Canada, I use LP as a backup rented tank, after my last bill I thought that it would be better to buy a tank and shop for the best price when I needed it topped up. Not one dealer would sell me a tank , their business model seems to be rent our tank and buy our LP we own you. Is it the same everywhere or just here ?

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  2. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    317
    Loc:
    Sterling, MA
    Hi Ward.

    I bought my own tank over the summer and called about 8 different propane suppliers. I found three that sold tanks. I was surprised - I figured they'd all sell tanks - but I guess I shouldn't have been as they clearly have a strong motivation to keep you chained to them via lease.

    For what it's worth, the manufacturer of my tank is Worthington Cylinders in Jefferson Ohio. You might want to reach out to them and see if they know of any places your way that sell their tanks.

    Good luck. I hope you find someone to sell you a tank because it'll save you a boatload. I'm paying about $1 a gallon less than when I leased, so my tank should pay for itself in 3-4 years.
  3. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    WOW, I thought that might be the case, shipping on a tank from Ohio might be a little expensive. Thanks Stegman
  4. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    319
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    Around here (CT) the propane dealers I contacted all sell tanks as well as rent them, but they're expensive, around $600 for a 120 gallon (420#) tank. I ended up buying my first tank from Home Depot (link) for around $480 (few HD stores actually carry them, though). I bought the second tank, used (halfway through its 12 year lifespan) for $250 from a Craigslist ad (if you go this route, be sure the tank isn't stamped with "Property of" a propane company). The HD tank was also from Worthington; they have locations all over the country but they won't sell direct to an end user.
  5. farmerblue

    farmerblue New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    19
    Loc:
    VA
    I think most dealers would rather rent than sell. Even the used car lots are doing the same thing. There is a lot more profit in it for them.

    We use propane for cooking and a back up boiler for our house. We wanted a 1,000 gallon buried tank and took a few dealers to find one that would sell it. Because we own a tank we get a $50 trip charge added to our bill.
  6. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    One way or another they will get you, I found a dealer in another town who would sell me an 80 gallon tank $800 which is exactly what I pay for the lease for 10yrs. It's not worth it if they add a trip charge, but I think they already include a hidden delivery charge because auto propane at the gas station is a lot cheaper.
  7. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    460
    Loc:
    Cape Vincent, NY
    In the US you can get a 100 Lb tank refilled at most refill stations.
  8. wardk

    wardk Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Messages:
    195
    Loc:
    B.C. Canada
    I would est, this tank at 500lb full not easy to take to the refill station and maybe a little dangerous.
  9. jotulguy

    jotulguy Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Messages:
    341
    Loc:
    central Pa
    the 100 lb tank only holds 23.6 gallons of propane. total weight depending on the tank weight is right around 100 pounds. i think you may have it confused with 100 gallon tank or 420. that monster would be hard to get filled on your own.
  10. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    319
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    Yes, although the 100 gallon (420#) tank is a "DOT" tank and can be transported full, nobody does it... it's hard enough to handle the tank empty. 100# cylinders, OTOH, are easy to handle full... I do it all the time at my cabin since a truck can't get in; I have to bring the tanks in and out with a hand truck.
  11. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    755
    Loc:
    SE PA
    I have a buried 500 gallon tank, leased from the propane company. When we moved into the house, I looked into buying that tank, it would have been no problem, but wouldn't have saved me much, with delivery charges from other companies once I owned the tank. I have never paid nearly as much as the EIA residential prices. Last's weeks refill was $1.99/gal, EIA average is $3.02 for my region, so I feel that even if I'm being ripped off, it's still below average.
    TE
  12. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    317
    Loc:
    Sterling, MA
    Got my first fill-up as a free agent today. Called around last week and heard prices ranging from $2.45 a gallon to $3.79 a gallon. Obviously went with the $2.45. Had to fill out some paperwork last week [they came out to the house] and they delivered this afternoon.

    I was worried they might bone me by springing a delivery fee or a "hazmat" charge [one company said there was some federal fee or some such BS], but nothing of the sort. They delivered 81 gallons and charged me $198. Awesome. I'm basically saving about $100 each time I get the tank filled now that I own the tank. At this rate, I'll have it paid off in two more years.
  13. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
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    903
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    That's what it takes to make the free market work. Do your homework. Kudos!

    Ehouse

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