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Propane Use Information for New LP Gas Users

There's a first time for everything and some people buy or rent a home that has a big propane tank in the backyard and they have no idea what to do. In truth, it's almost exactly like natural gas or electric power with one major difference, propane power is delivered to you by a person, in a tank truck. There's no need for concern. In fact, just view it as the gas company representative paying you a visit to check on everything and make sure your energy supply is adequate and your gas system is functioning properly. The first thing you should do is learn a little bit about propane. It's just like electricity or natural gas - it can hurt you if you don't know what you're doing.

Propane - First Things First

When you venture out to the propane tank, check for a sticker or something that identifies the company servicing the tank. If there are no stickers on the tank, open the dome and see if there is anything identifying a propane gas company such as a tag, sticker or something that gives the name and number of a propane company. This will give an indication of who (or what company) is familiar with your tank and LP Gas system. Most propane companies keep records of tanks that they service by location and by the tank's serial number. Other firsts for new propane users after inspecting the tank and based on individual situations include:

  • If you rent the home, contact your landlord for information about the propane company servicing the tank.
  • If you bought the home, contact the propane company servicing the tank, provided you have that information.
  • If you don't meet either of the above criteria, see Choosing a Propane Company and go from there.
  • VERY IMPORTANT - When the gas delivery is made, have the driver show you what propane smells like.

Knowing what propane smells like will help you know if there is ever a leak in the LP Gas system. Don't be overwhelmed or feel unsafe by seeing a propane tank on your property...there's nothing to be afraid of. Contrary to first time propane user beliefs, propane tanks do not explode. Look around this site to see that propane is safe and reliable when understood and respected, just like electricity or natural gas.

Your First Propane Delivery

There are many instances where a residential propane delivery is made while the customer is not at home. This is very common and quite often the norm regarding most propane deliveries. There are several things that the propane company needs to know about your property before delivering to your home, especially if it's a new driver or a new propane company servicing your tank. First of all, propane companies will keep a record of certain instructions you have for them but you may need to meet the driver at your home the first time a delivery is made. Remember that a propane delivery bobtail is is a big and heavy truck that doesn't turn on a dime or go under trees and overhangs as easily as the family car can. Several things you definitely need to inform the delivering propane company of include:

  • Septic Tank Location - A propane truck is heavy enough that thick concrete septic tank covers and lids are easily broken through when run over by a gas delivery truck.
  • Overhead Power Lines - When a delivery is made at night, which is sometimes the case, the driver may not see low hanging overhead power lines. Also, if power lines are hidden by low hanging trees, the truck tank may hit these causing a power loss.
  • Sprinkler Systems - Many yards with sprinkler systems can be damaged if a bobtail or service truck runs over any part of the irrigation system.

Some propane companies may ask that somebody be home if it's the first time to deliver. Although it may be an inconvenience, it is strictly for the protection of your property and should be viewed as such. It will also help the homeowner acquaint themselves with the company representative as well as provide the driver with any direction they may need for future deliveries.