Whether you’re new to propane as a home-energy source, or you’ve been using this versatile fuel for a while, you may not think much about your propane storage tank—especially if it’s underground. You likely know where the gauge is, to see if you need a fill-up, and you should know where the shut-off valve is, in case of emergency. If your tank came with your house, you may not even know how old it is. The good news is that propane storage tanks are built to last and are low maintenance, for the most part.
So what do you need to know to maximize the lifespan of your propane tank —and when and why you need to replace it? Read on to learn more:
Today’s propane tanks are built with safety and durability in mind. Aboveground propane tanks are designed to withstand the elements for 30 years or more before they need to be replaced. Some aluminum and composite cylinders can last even longer. On the other hand, underground propane tanks can have a shorter average life expectancy, between 20 to 30 years, depending on the soil type and whether the tank was installed properly.
Propane tanks are built to last a long time and require very little maintenance. Underground tanks have a special anticorrosion coating to help protect them, and require regular maintenance checks. They also need “sacrificial anodes,” buried near the tank to help prevent corrosion.
We inspect your above-ground tank for signs of age every time we deliver fuel, but it’s always smart to keep an eye out for rust. A little rust or a few small dings are not a problem, but large or deep patches of rust and bigger dents can develop into leaks and allow moisture into the tank – two problems you definitely want to avoid.
Proper, safe installation, and a few simple guidelines will keep your tank in good shape for many year. If it’s an above ground tank:
With an underground tank, it’s a little harder to know if there are any problems.
Correct installation of an underground tank should include sacrificial anodes (typically, we recommend one bag per 500 gallons). They should be replaced periodically. Anodes absorb natural electric currents in the ground and water that would otherwise corrode and deteriorate your tank. In addition, you should have us perform regular maintenance and check regulators.
We recommend replacing your propane storage tank when there’s an accumulation of rust or corrosion, or if it’s been damaged. The main reason most people need to replace their tank is because they are using more propane: Adding more propane appliances, using your propane appliances more, or an increase in your household size can all result in you using more propane. If you find you’re needing deliveries more often, give us a call: we can help determine if you could benefit from a larger storage tank.
Whether you are making the switch to propane (smart move!) and need a tank, or you need to replace your old propane storage tank, the Pitstop team is at your service. We sell and install propane tanks and we’ll make sure your tank is installed correctly and safely. Our team can help assess your needs and make sure you have the right size tank to service your home and appliances. And we provide reliable, courteous propane delivery service.
Need a new propane tank? Contact us today for more information.