I have never used propane. What should I know?
Propane is just as safe, if not safer, than electricity or natural gas, but caution should always be taken when dealing directly with the gas or any component of the propane system. Propane is naturally odorless. Odorant is added as a safety precaution to make it easier to identify leaks. In addition to being used for residential purposes such as cooking and heating, propane is also used to make plastics, dry crops, and as a motor vehicle fuel. Now, think of using propane the same way you think about using natural gas or electricity, but with the advantage of being able to choose your provider or even switch providers if you aren’t satisfied with the service you are receiving.
How does propane pricing work?
Propane billing differs slightly from natural gas billing in that propane is charged per gallon whereas natural gas is charged by cubic feet. This is because propane is sold and delivered in a liquid state and natural gas is delivered in vapor form. Propane pricing varies and fluctuates based on several different factors and markets and is not based solely on the oil market, which is a common misconception. Other factors that dictate propane price are weather, crop harvest outlook, and the petrochemical industry. Basically, propane prices are a mixture of the natural gas and oil market and supply and demand.
What company should I choose?
While we hope you choose Silver Valley Propane, we understand that the decision is yours to make as you see fit. You want to make sure you choose a company with a great safety record. Verify that the company you choose has a local office and bulk supply tank (the typical bulk supply tank is 18,000 gallons or more) that is approved by the state and county. Ensure that the company delivering propane to your home hires licensed, background-checked employees who are focused on safety. Finally, take the time to ask questions. A good company will be more than happy to answer your questions and show you licenses, certifications, and safety records.
Why are propane tank lids different colors?
These different colors on a propane tank lid have a unique purpose-aside from looking pretty. As there are often several propane companies in any given area, we each “color code” our tanks for easier identification. Each color is typically unique to a certain company. Our color, for instance, is black.
I want to switch propane companies. Where do I start?
The first step in switching propane companies is to ensure you are in good standing with your current company. Next, you’ll want to shop around, not just to find the best price, but to find the best company that you feel will meet your needs. Often, companies will lure customers in with a very low promotional price, just to add on taxes and fees (none of which are required by any governmental entity) or raise their price once they have you locked in to a contract. If a propane company wants you to sign a contract to get a “good deal” and that contract prevents you from switching if you’re unhappy DO NOT USE THAT COMPANY until you have thoroughly vetted them. There are plenty of reputable companies out there that will give you the same, if not better, deal without a contract. Another thing to ask a company is if they perform a leak check on your gas system when they install their tank. The answer should always be, “yes”. Finally, check the reputation of any company you are vetting. Talk to neighbors, search the internet for reviews, ask your realtor, or go visit the company’s office.
I just bought a home and there was a propane tank on the property. Does this mean I own the propane tank?
In most cases, no. It is very common for a customer to lease or rent a propane tank from a propane company. The purchase of the home does not include the propane tank that the previous owner left behind even if it was included in any paperwork you have regarding the purchase of the home if that propane tank was being leased or rented by any given propane company. This may not apply if there is proof of tank ownership such as a bill of sale, detailed receipt, or other legal document providing proof of tank ownership.
I switched to Silver Valley Propane. What should I expect when you come to install your tank?
Upon his or her arrival, expect our technician to briefly meet with you and discuss/verify a few details about your home such as which appliances use propane, whether any appliance has a pilot light, the location of each propane appliance, and any other questions pertaining to your location’s propane system. Next, our technician will shut off the propane supply to the home and disconnect the other company’s regulator and pigtail from your gas line. Once this is done, the technician moves the existing tank to a safe location. The technician puts our tank in place, connects a new regulator and pigtail, and does a leak check to ensure your gas system is free of dangerous leaks. The final step is paperwork. Because our delivery trucks are extremely heavy, we will need to get some information from you about your property such as location of septic tank, water lines, and electrical lines so that we can put that in our notes for reference each delivery. That’s it. The process of switching to us is very easy and no matter what you can always expect great customer service and great prices.
I want to pay my bill. What are my options?
We offer many different ways to pay your bill. You can pay via check, credit or debit card, money order, or cash. You also have the convenience of paying in person, online via our customer account access service on our website, by mail, or over the phone.
Do you charge any extra fees?
No. We do not charge extra fees on normal propane delivery. A normal propane delivery is defined as a delivery which is performed on “route”, which is when our truck is scheduled to deliver to your area. Each area is delivered to at least once a month. In certain instances, we can deliver to a customer even if it isn’t their route day without having to charge an off-route fee ($35). If our truck is more than 10-miles away from a customer’s location, we charge the off-route fee. Another situation that would require a fee to be charged is when a customer runs completely out of propane. In this case, we must charge $75 to perform a leak test as required by the National Fire Protection Agency and our insurance company. A customer can avoid running completely out of gas by becoming an automatic fill customer or by calling us when the tank reaches 20%.
I rent my home. Can I switch propane companies?
That depends on the agreement you and your landlord have. In most cases, a simple request submitted to the landlord asking to switch propane companies will be approved. In some cases, a landlord has an agreement with the existing propane company and may not allow a switch. It is always helpful to ask your landlord to contact us to see if we can match or beat the existing company’s deal.
What size tank do I need?
We offer tanks from 124-gallons to 1150 gallons. We offer larger tanks for commercial and industrial customers. In most cases, we set a standard 250-gallon tank at a customer’s residence. This size tank will hold 200-gallons of propane and will adequately meet the demand of a home with one or two water heaters, heater, clothes dryer, and stove/oven. Customers with larger homes over 3,000 square feet may need a larger tank to meet their homes demand.
I think I have a propane leak. How do I know for sure?
If you think you have a propane leak, immediately leave the area where you smell propane and call your propane provider if safe to do so. If you feel there is eminent danger to life or property, call 911 immediately. If you don’t feel the leak is life or property threatening it is still important to proceed with caution as even a small leak can be dangerous. Always consult with a professional when dealing with propane leaks. A simple and safe way to determine if you have a leak is to have a leak test performed by a qualified technician. Either a certified, licensed plumber or one of our technicians can test your gas system. Charges may apply.
The gauge on my tank only has percentages. How many gallons are in the tank?
It is important to know that tank gauges are an approximation and not 100% accurate. Generally, to determine how much propane is in your tank you need to know two things. 1. The size of your tank, which is found on the tank’s data plate and 2. The percentage your tank is currently. The formula to calculate gallons is % as a decimal multiplied by the tank size. As an example, if your tank is 250-gallons and the gauge reads 10%, you would have approximately 25-gallons of propane in the tank. 0.10 x 250 = 25.
Do you offer any discounts on propane?
Yes. We offer many discounts including senior discounts, active military discounts, first responder discounts, and disabled veteran discounts. To apply for these discounts, you must bring proper documentation from a local or government agency to our Apple Valley office for review.
My propane tank looks to be in poor shape. What are my options?
If you are leasing the propane tank from us, let us know about the condition of the tank. We will repaint or replace the tank as necessary. If you own the tank, an enamel based, sun-reflective color (white, beige, etc.) paint should be used. We use Dunn-Edwards Synlustro. Never paint a leased tank unless you have written permission from the company you are leasing the tank from.
What is your minimum required to deliver propane to me?
If you order propane on your route day, the minimum is $150 worth of propane unless we are filling your tank to 80% and it will take less than $150 to do so. If you are off route, the minimum is $200. Depending on where you are in relation to where our driver is, you may be assessed an off-route fee of $35.
How far away from my house does the propane tank need to be?
This depends on the size and type of your tank. For instance, if you have a 124-gallon DOT tank (it looks like a big BBQ cylinder) there is no spacing requirement except having to be at least 10 feet away from an ignition source, windows, doors, or crawl space opening. Larger tanks, 125-499 gallons in water capacity, must be spaced at least 10 feet away from a building, 10 feet from a buildable property line, 10 feet from sources of ignition, and 10 feet from windows, doors, or crawl space openings. For more information and to see spacing requirements for larger tanks, go to NFPA.org and search for NFPA 58.