Builders and contractors who opt for a home that uses propane as its main energy source must seek assistance from more experienced propane professionals. This is due to the many factors that must be considered. Additionally, preparation, installation, and maintenance of a propane tank is performed by the propane supplier. The supplier may consult with the builder on options for tank location, but the builder can help make these choices and then stand back and let the propane supplier do all the work.

There’s great flexibility when it comes to placing a propane tank-unlike an oil tank, which is what a builder might be more familiar with. “An oil tank can’t be buried so it’s usually placed in the basement,” says Larry Doughty, director of sales (Northeast region) for American Welding & Tank. “But a propane tank can be several hundred feet from the house. With the vapor pressure that the tank creates, it can even be placed up a hill quite a ways.” Another reason a propane tank can be safely buried is that propane is not considered a potential contaminant to groundwater. Builders and contractors who prefer to keep the tank above ground should consider concealing it with landscaping or a fence so that it is out of view but still accessible.

Below are a few questions to consider when choosing a residential propane tank.

  • Given the propane use expected in this home, what size tank do you recommend?
  • What size hole is necessary for an underground tank of this size? When will you excavate?
  • What other steps are there in installation, and how will they fit into my project cycle?
  • What kind of training does a service technician receive in order to be qualified for propane system installations?
  • What standards and requirements exist for the construction of the tank? What is the service life of the tank?
  • Will you perform any required maintenance of the propane system?

For more information on the installation of propane tanks, contact a propane retailer in your area. And to learn how to incorporate propane products into your next project, be sure to check out our free online CEU courses, available at the Propane Training Academy.