When it comes to heating your home, few heating sources are as multifaceted as propane. Propane can do way more than just heat your home; from acting as a fuel source for cooking to powering your water heater, propane is a true “swiss army knife” of a home heating source.

Why choosing the right propane tank size is important

This heating source is cost effective, especially when the correct size tank is selected. Selecting a smaller tank size hypothetically means that you will need to have your tank refilled more often. When deciding what tank size to choose, it is important to ponder what you will be using the propane for, so deciding if you need an underground or above ground tank is pivotal.

Above Ground or Underground Propane Tanks: What Type Should You Choose?

Independence Propane offers above ground and underground tanks for sale or lease, but before you pull the trigger on one of the options, you have to understand that each has a specialized purpose and reason for using one over the other. Let’s first take a look at underground tanks and when one should be utilized.

Underground Propane Tanks

A man installing an underground propane tank

 

Above ground tanks provide fuel storage for a wide range of residential, industrial, commercial and agricultural equipment including: fleet vehicle refueling by school districts, government agencies, farms heating and crop drying, standby generators, forklifts, and applications for heating, cooling, hot water, cook ranges, dryers, fireplaces, heat pumps, barbecue grills and swimming pools. Underground propane tank capacities range from 300 to 1,000 gallon options. Although both tanks come with installation costs, there are differences to them when it comes to upkeep. One notable difference between underground and above ground propane tanks is that aside from the excavation required, underground ones require maintenance to prolong their service life. There are three methods for increasing the longevity of a tank; cathodic protection, tank coating and backfill.

  • Cathodic Protection: To protect a tank from electrical currents and deterioration, it is put in an anode bag to absorb the currents and reduce damage to the container. The bag acts as a decoy for harmful electrical currents in an underground environment.
  • Tank Coating: To protect the tank during installation as well as increasing the life of an underground tank it is coated with a protective material to persist in tough outdoor environmental conditions.
  • Backfill: This material is made of sand or firm earth, free of rocks and abrasive materials, so that it does not cause abrasions to the tank wall or cut through the anode bag to cover an underground tank after installation.

Underground propane tanks clearly have a considerable amount of upkeep involved with maintaining them. Next, we will take a look at above ground propane tanks.

Above Ground Propane Tanks

A white propane tank outside of a house

 

Above ground tanks provide fuel storage for a wide range of residential, industrial, commercial and agricultural equipment including: fleet vehicle refueling by school districts, government agencies, farms heating and crop drying, standby generators, forklifts, and applications for heating, cooling, hot water, cook ranges, dryers, fireplaces, heat pumps, barbecue grills and swimming pools. We offer above ground tank options from 57 gallons (200 lb.) up to 1,000 gallons. Although above ground tanks do not require the same maintenance and set up as underground ones, they potentially can be subject to any weather or geographical hazards. Despite this, underground tanks are still at risk of certain weather conditions, most notably if you are located in an area prone to flooding.

Now that we have discussed the two ways one can store a tank, let’s take a look at common residential propane tank sizes.

Common Residential Propane Tank Sizes

Before discussing the common residential propane tank sizes, it is important to note that propane tanks are measured either by liquid volume or by the weight of a filled tank. Propane tanks are filled to 80% of their maximum capacity, as they expand due to changes in the weather. So as an example, a 57 gallon tank at the standard 80% fill capacity is 45.6 gallons. Now that we have discussed the importance of knowing the two ways propane is measured and the actual capacity of a tank, we will discuss the various sizes and their uses.

57 Gallon Propane Tank

A 57 gallon (200 lb) tank is a common size for smaller homes. A tank of this capacity can supply fuel for cooking, a fireplace, as well as a dryer for clothing. However, this size propane tank is limited in its capacity to run bigger appliances, such as furnaces and water heaters, for long periods of time.

300 Gallon Propane Tank

A 300 gallon tank is usually used for supplemental heating. Aside from heating, this size propane tank usually provides the necessary power for 2 home appliances. Some examples of appliances that this tank can power include generators, pool heaters, and general water heaters.

500 Gallon Propane Tank

A 500 gallon tank is the most common tank used for residential homes, as it can be used for large homes that use propane as a primary heating source. Tanks of this size can also be used for 2 to 3 home appliances, such as space heaters, hot water heaters, and generators.

1,000 Gallon Propane Tank

The 1,000 gallon propane tank is the biggest tank size Independence Propane offers. Tanks of this size are usually for those looking for a singular heating source for larger square footage homes or for those running all appliances entirely with propane. It is of note that for a tank of this size (500 gallon tanks included), the price of refilling the tank becomes more economical as you are buying in bulk. Both 500 and 1000 gallon tanks are of the size where placing them underground may be the preferred method for installation.

Final Takeaways

Overall, the tank type and size you choose depends on how much of your house is being powered by propane. If you are interested in ordering propane from us, click here. If you wish to reach out to us directly, click here.