Understanding the various propane tank sizes

Whether it’s being used in the home, on the farm, or in any variety of industrial/commercial applications, there are several uses for propane. That’s why it should be no surprise that there are a number of different-sized propane tanks to fuel these various uses.

Location, location, location

We’ll focus here on the tanks that are used by homeowners across the country. Where one lives plays a significant role in determining the size propane tank that’s needed. For example, a home in northern Michigan, where severe winters are common, would be a likely candidate for a tank that’s larger than the one placed at a similar-sized home in southern Arizona. But there are other factors that contribute to this decision as well.

Size of house

After the all-important geographic considerations are taken into account, total square footage and the number and type of propane appliances being used also influence the size of the tank that should be set at a home. The number of people living in the home can come into play as well. To exaggerate to make our point, a home containing half a dozen teenagers would more than likely consume more propane than the home occupied by a retired couple.

Common tank sizes

The most common aboveground tank sizes are 120 gallons, 500 gallons, and 1,000 gallons water capacity. Keeping in mind what we shared with you in a separate blog, propane tanks are filled to 80 percent water capacity. That means a 120-gallon tank is “full” at 96 gallons, a 500-gallon tank at 400 gallons, and a 1,000-gallon tank at 800 gallons.

Aboveground vs. underground

Not to confuse matters, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention that underground propane tanks are available in many markets. Typically found in 500-gallon and 1,000-gallon sizes, underground tanks are a great option for those homeowners who don’t want an aboveground propane tank taking up space in the yard or distracting their view. Because they’re exposed to an entirely different set of elements than aboveground tanks, underground tanks are different than aboveground tanks and require, among other things, cathodic protection that protects them from electrolysis.

Placement regulations

Finally, various rules and regulations dictate where tanks of various sizes can be placed. Tanks under 125 gallons water capacity, for example, must be located at least 5 feet from a crawl space opening and 10 feet from a window air conditioner. Tanks greater than 500 gallons water capacity, on the other hand, must be placed a minimum of 25 feet from a building.

Let the experts help you

While there are some important matters to consider and choose from, you can always rest easy knowing that the propane professionals at Ferrellgas have worked with customers for more than 80 years now to determine the best tank size solution. Give your local Ferrellgas office a call today to start the conversation.

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