Frequently Asked Questions
Propane Products & Services in Pecos, NM
If you have recently purchased or rented a property that has a propane system, determine if the property has a propane tank. If it does, check the tank for stickers that identify a propane gas company. Some companies have tags or stickers underneath the dome at the top of the tank. This will give you an indication of who (what company) is familiar with your propane system. Most propane companies keep records of tanks they service by location and the tank’s serial number.
The following items can be found on a typical propane tank manufacturer nameplate (located under tank dome):
Necessary Nameplate Markings
In addition to the nameplate being legible and permanently attached to the tank, the following must be displayed on the manufacturer’s nameplate for the propane tank to be serviceable in the United States.
1. Container designed for service type (above or underground)
2. Tank manufacturers name and address
3. Tank water capacity in gallons or pounds
4. Design pressure (working pressure) in PSI
5. Words “This container shall not contain a product that has a vapor pressure in excess of PSIG at 100 degrees F
6. Outside surface area in square feet
7. Year of manufacture
8. Tank shell and head thickness
9. OL (overall length), OD (outside diameter) and HD (head design)
10. Tank manufacturers serial number
11. ASME code symbol (pictured at right)
If you are able to locate a sticker/tag identifying a propane gas company, this indicates that the tank is likely owned by that company. You will need to contact the company to determine a course of action for either obtaining service from them or having them remove the tank. If a propane tank is leased from a propane gas company, that company is the ONLY propane provider that may service that tank. If you determine that you own the tank, the owner can then contact any propane gas company they choose for service.
Safety Record – Ask the company about their safety record and safety programs. They should be able to offer references, such as regulatory agencies that will attest to their safety record as well as any safety programs they are enrolled in or perform within their organization.
Regulatory Agencies – Each state has an agency regulating its propane industry. These agencies and regulatory commissions oversee all activities regarding the LP Gas Industry within their respective state. Although state regulators probably can’t recommend any particular propane company, they may be able to provide about safety records and compliance if requested.
NPGA and State Propane Gas Associations – Association memberships ensure that the propane company stays up to date and informed about safety issues and compliance within the propane industry.
Company Policies – Ask about any policies such as out of gas procedures, service fees or pricing structures that may work better for your budget and give you peace of mind. Some companies charge additional fees for deliveries in addition to the price quoted per gallon. Also, companies vary on hourly rates for service work, tank lease/rental fees, and fees for gas leak tests.
The very best advice is to choose a company based on their references, reputation, and safety record…not solely their price. Your safety and that of your family depends on it.
There are pros and cons for both the rental and purchase of propane tanks that should be taken into consideration when deciding between buying a tank or leasing one.
Company-owned tanks are maintained by the propane company so any repairs to the tank will generally be taken care of by the company
All propane must be purchased from the company that owns the tank
Lease tank contracts often give the company the legal right to enter property to inspect the tank
Many providers require a minimum annual propane usage or a certain amount of propane appliances in the propane system
Moving to a new home will require you to notify your propane company of your relocation
The initial cost of purchasing a tank can be expensive as opposed to yearly rental fees for tank leases warranty on tank, parts, and labor should be considered prior to purchase (typically warranties are short term)
Customers can purchase propane from whatever gas company they choose
In order to ensure that you are in compliance with national statutory codes, it is best to contact a licensed propane service provider to inquire about acceptable locations for tank sets. Certain clearances are required for tank sets depending on the size of the tank and the proximity to structures, property lines, electrical boxes, and other important criteria. National codes have been established depending on the size of the propane tank and in some cases local jurisdictional codes may supersede some national requirements. Therefore, to save yourself headaches, time, and money, it is in your best interest to contact a licensed propane provider to ensure the latest code requirements are implemented.
Leak tests are required any time there is an interruption of service meaning the flow of gas was stopped for any reason. NFPA 54 (2006), 8.2.3 states that “Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be tested for leakage. If leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made”.
The leak test will indicate any leaks within the propane piping system due to interruption of service or out of gas situation. The leakage test is simply testing the integrity of the system plumbing joints and the seal of the pipe joint compound. This is the safety reasoning behind leak testing. The real reason a leak test is performed is because it is REQUIRED BY LAW and none other.
All propane piping, connections, and fittings are threaded so that they may easily connect together during installation or modification. These propane connections are coated with a pipe joint compound that lubricates the fittings during the joining process and will dry after a short while. During normal usage, a propane plumbing system is at a constant pressure. This means that as long as the tank has gas and is supplying the system with propane, a constant pressure is exerted on the piping and joint compound. The pipe joint compound will expand during normal pressurized usage and will retract if the system loses pressure. The loss of gas pressure may cause leaks to form because of the expansion and retraction of the piping compound within the propane plumbing system.
This question has been asked of many propane dealers and is also a topic discussed by people that are unfamiliar with propane. Propane tanks do not explode. They do not implode nor do they rupture or come apart on their own. In fact, bringing a propane tank to the point of “explosion” is a tremendously difficult and time consuming task that’s not as simple as most people might think. Many people believe that a propane tank “explosion” can occur with the slightest of ease. However, this is simply not true and people should understand that a propane tank, when operating under normal circumstances will not explode or rupture. Safety devices and mechanisms are in place to prevent explosions, accidents, and propane tank ruptures or breaches. Just like any other hazardous material or activity, human error is a primary factor in preventing or contributing to any type of accident, however serious in nature.
Propane tanks will sometimes give an indication of a leak by sound or by smell. People will describe this noise as a “hissing” noise coming from the tank getting louder as they get closer. In addition, a rotten egg smell will often accompany the “hissing” noise. In many instances, the tank may be operating normally even though it appears to be leaking.