How Much Does a Propane Tank Cost? (Updated In 2023)
Propane is a resource that is gaining popularity in today’s market. It is a clean burning gas that is fairly inexpensive and is being produced in large volumes thanks to the high demand for natural gas. The result is more people are looking at getting propane tanks installed on their properties. How much do propane tanks cost this year? The answer depends on a large number of factors. There is a diverse range of options when it comes to propane tanks. Propane tanks range in size from 5 gallons to 1000 gallons and range in price from $50 to $5000.
Here is what you can expect to pay for a propane tank this year, no matter what size or style you are looking for.
Propane Tank Sizes and Costs
Large propane tanks can be a lifesaver. But they can also be very expensive. Some people like to have propane tanks installed to heat homes in cold climates, power large backup generators in areas prone to severe weather or save money on power by fueling common appliances like dryers, water heaters, and stoves. In order to get the most benefit out of a propane tank, many people need to opt for large tanks that are 100 gallons or more in size. The largest propane tanks can be 1000 gallons or more. Large tanks can heat an entire home, power a generator for days on end, or run a large portion of the electrical appliances inside the house.
The cost to have large propane tanks installed can run anywhere from $300 to $5000, depending on the circumstances. Installation costs will vary depending on the cost of labor, the location of the tank, whether piping or additional infrastructure needs to be installed, or whether or not the tank needs to be buried or raised.
The average cost to have a large propane tank installed is $1800 on average. The average price reflects the fact that when people opt to get a propane tank installed, they choose to get large tanks installed and buried on their property. The cost to install small above-ground tanks can be as low as $700. The average cost of a 500-gallon tank is $1750, which shows you that most people decide to go with a large tank.
Large Propane Tank Costs (Installed)
|Tank Size (Gallons)||Average Cost||Typical Use|
|100||$600||Fireplaces, indoor appliances|
|120||$700||Fireplaces, heaters, indoor appliances|
|250||$1,200||Cooking appliances, heaters, dryers|
|500||$1,750||Small home coverage, heated pools, backup generators|
|1000||$2,500||Large home coverage, heated pools, backup generators, consistent indoor heat|
Once you get over the 1000-gallon threshold you start wading into the realm of commercial sized tanks. Commercial tanks come with a lot more regulations, restrictions, and requirements for their operation, and most tanks of that size will not be approved for residential use. Propane tanks can get even larger, going all the way up to 1500, 2000, and 2500 gallons in size.
Not everyone is looking to have giant tanks installed on their property. For those of you looking for the cost of smaller, more manageable propane tanks, we have you covered. Small propane tanks are used for everything from fireplaces to outdoor grills. Small tanks range in size from 5 lbs. to 100 lbs. and are generally swapped out by hand and or filled at filling stations and returned to the home. Small propane tanks are relatively cheap, especially compared to large tanks. If you want to buy a small propane tank, it will cost you between $40 and $150 on average. Those costs are for the purchase price of an empty tank. These tanks are reusable and refillable. Well-maintained propane tanks can last between 10 and 30 years.
Small Propane Tank Costs (No Installation)
|Tank Size (Pounds)||Tank Cost (Empty)|
* Cheaper than other sizes because it is the most common.
Burying the Tank
If you want to have your propane tank buried in the ground, it will cost you additional money. The cost of a buried propane tank usually runs 30% to 50% more than the cost of an above-ground tank. If the cost to bury an above-ground tank is $1500, you can expect to pay roughly $2000 for the same tank to be installed underground. Burying a tank requires heavy equipment and labor to dig the proper hole and get the tank rigged up to be functional while buried. Some people prefer or are required, to have their tanks buried. If that is the case, do not discount the additional cost it will take to have the job done.
Extra costs for burying the tank include trenching, excavating, and installing the tank. Excavation and trenching costs can run $75 per hour or more per person working on the job. For that reason, it is ideal for installing the tank in soft soil and in warm weather to avoid keeping the crews on the clock any longer than they have to be.
Estimated Costs for Underground Tank Installation
|Tank Size||Underground Cost|
The 3 Reasons to Bury Your Propane Tanks
1. They Are an Eyesore
Some people do not like the look of propane tanks. They are very distinctive. They are usually long, round, and white. They often have ugly piping, gauges, or cages around them. They usually need to be installed close to home to avoid large fees for piping. Some people do not want a large propane tank to affect their curb appeal.
2. You Live in a Very Cold Place
You do not want your propane tank to freeze up during the winter. Burying a propane tank prevents it from freezing because the earth keeps the tank warm enough to continue functioning. A frozen propane tank can cause damage or make the tank nonfunctional during the coldest parts of the year. Since propane is often used to power generators and heaters, you do not want to lose access to your tank when cold weather requires you to access backup power and heat.
3. It Keeps It Safe from Damage
A damaged propane tank can be dangerous and expensive. Propane tanks can become damaged from things such as hail, lightning strikes, tree falls, and high winds. The last thing you want is a tree limb falling on your valve and causing a large propane leak near your home. Burying the tank prevents this kind of damage by keeping the tank out of the way and under a safe blanket of dirt.
If you have a propane tank installed, but do not have any gas lines already in the ground, prepare to pay to have those lines buried. Gas lines can run anywhere from $15 to $30 per foot, depending on the area and the ease of access for the installer. Gas lines are important because they carry the propane from the tank to wherever you are using it. Without the proper piping, your propane tank will be nearly useless. Gas lines can be very short, just a few feet, connecting a tank to a heater or generator. On some properties, the gas lines can be very long, depending on where you install your tank.
Before ordering your propane tank installation, check to see how far it will be from the tank to the intake for the propane in your house. Also, check to see if the company is including the cost of running a line with the installation. Some companies will include the cost of running new gas lines while others do not.
Fill Up Costs
Do not forget to factor in the cost to fill up your newly installed propane tank. Propane is not free, and during some parts of the year, it is not cheap. Unlike natural gas, propane tanks need to be refilled by a servicing company on a regular basis to keep their levels high. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to schedule the fill-ups and pay the bills. Natural gas is billed from a meter like electricity. Propane does not operate that way.
Propane prices fluctuate like gasoline prices based on market pressures. The price of propane in the winter, when people use it in higher volumes to heat their homes, is generally higher than the price of propane during the summer months. Recently, the price of propane has hovered around $3 per gallon. The cost to refill your tank could get steep if you have a large tank and you need to have it refilled in the winter.
Annual Inspection and Maintenance
Large propane tanks often require annual maintenance and inspections. In some jurisdictions, propane tanks are mandated to be inspected by law. If you are looking at getting a large propane tank that is 250 gallons or more in size, you should anticipate having to schedule regular inspections to ensure that the tank is functional and viable and that it is up to code to meet local regulations. These inspections can cost anywhere from $25 to $100, depending on the location of the tank. Some states require that the tanks get certified and then recertified every few years to ensure that the inspection and maintenance have been kept up to date.
The inspection process might turn up things that need to be replaced or repaired, such as valves, burners, lines, gauges, or pipes. Repair costs could run anywhere from a few bucks to hundreds depending on the severity of the issues. You do not want to neglect your propane tank’s upkeep because a malfunctioning tank can become very dangerous or nonfunctional.
There are a wide variety of options for propane tank sizes and costs. Some people just want to install a permanent outdoor heater that is great for cozy winter nights and want a refillable 20-gallon tank to be hooked up. Other people want large 1000-gallon tanks to help them ride out the next blizzard or hurricane in relative peace and safety. No matter what propane tanks you are considering, there is an option and price that is right for you.
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