It’s been one of those summers in Michiana. Storms and power outages have been frequent– and for some Franger communities more than they can count!
During these times, our customers can enjoy the benefits of propane as their power source. Propane is a reliable power source during storms – both in winter and summer – to heat your home, run your refrigerator and operate your stove so you can continue to cook. You might also be able to maintain hot water for showering or cooking and even power your lights and air conditioner.
While powering your home with propane can certainly help you avoid the headaches and frustrations that come with a power outage, there are still several safety precautions we want our customers to understand.
We all know the basics when it comes to preparing for a power outage. Flashlights, and batteries on hand – in an easily accessible spot should the lights go out unexpectedly at night. But, when we are talking about homes fueled by propane, there are other safety precautions your family should take during and after a power outage.
By taking a few simple propane-related safety precautions, and discussing them with your family, you can reduce the potential for property loss, personal injury, and even death. These helpful tips from the Propane Education & Research Council are excellent guidelines to follow.
Before a Storm – Be prepared
Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and indoor propane appliances. For more information, contact us here at Franger Gas. Our team will happily walk you through this and answer any of your questions.
Make SURE that you and your family know what propane smells like. Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell similar to rotten eggs, spray from a skunk or even a dead animal.
NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
Have a list of instructions on how to turn off electricity, propane, and water. Review suggested preparations for weather hazards and natural disasters with us here at Franger Gas, and any other utility suppliers connected to your home. Advise your utility companies of any special needs you may have.
Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to keep them safe during a potential disaster.
During a Power Outage – What should you do?
If a power outage occurs due to a severe weather-related condition, tune in on a battery-powered radio for instructions from local authorities on the appropriate course of action to take. You can use data from your mobile device to access weather updates as well – but we recommend conserving your battery charge if you can and opt for the old-school radio.
During these periods, it is recommended to turn off all the lights and appliances on your property that were operating before the outage occurred (with the exception of one light—to help signal when the power returns). This will reduce any type of power surge from occurring once the electricity is restored.
During extended power outages, some people may choose to use a portable generator, allowing them to keep food from spoiling, computers and other appliances working, and, in some cases, life-supporting medical devices operating. Use extreme caution when operating portable generators.
To help reduce the potential for injury or death, there are additional safety rules you should observe at all times:
• NEVER use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning or death.
• NEVER use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators.
• NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
• NEVER use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.
Since there are several types of severe weather-related conditions that can cause power outages, and other types of damage and destruction, it is important to use caution in the area surrounding your home or farm. If you have any doubts about your safety, leave the area immediately and have your property inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before re-entering. Take the time to carefully evaluate the condition of all the structures on your property. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles.
Look carefully around the entire area. Check for downed power lines; they can create major safety hazards. Some severe weather- related conditions such as high winds or tornadoes can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist.
After a Power Outage – What to do, and what safety concerns remain
A power outage can cause appliances such as a refrigerator or freezer to leak water, or a sump pump to stop working, which may cause propane appliances to get wet, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
To help reduce the potential for injury or death, there are general safety rules you should observe at all times:
Do NOT under any circumstances, try to modify or repair valves, regulators or other appliance parts.
NEVER turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.
DO inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard.
If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or they have been damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply:
DO schedule a time for a qualified service technician from Franger Gas Company to perform a complete inspection of your propane system. The technician can also perform a leak test on the system and re-light your pilot lights.
• DO NOT use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician from Franger Gas Company.
Be prepared with Franger Gas!
Make sure your supply is full and contact Franger Gas with any remaining questions about propane safety during a power outage. You can have peace of mind that you are powering your home the best way possible with propane from Franger Gas!
Should you Refill or Exchange your Propane Tank this Summer?
Whether you are preparing for a backyard barbecue or a road trip in the camper with the family – when you find that your small propane tank is empty, a decision must be made. Should you refill your propane tank, or exchange it for a new one?
The choice between propane tank exchange versus refill has two main arguments: convenience and cost savings. Without a doubt, refilling your propane tank is more cost-effective – but let’s take a closer look at the choices.
Refilling your Propane Tank – Pros and Cons
It’s cheaper. On average, it is about $1.76 per gallon cheaper to refill a propane tank versus exchanging. Refilling your own propane tank costs about $3-$4 per gallon while exchanging at a third-party retailer is usually around $5-6 per gallon.
When you refill your tank at Franger Gas, we guarantee you get a full tank every time. You will also avoid flat rate fills. That means you pay only for the gas we put in your cylinder, which we measure by weight.
Unmeasured Quantity. Sure, you know that it is propane, but you also aren’t exactly sure how much is really in it. Exchange tanks are partially empty to allow room for the gas to expand, but exchange tanks are only filled about ¾ of the way. An exchange tank is only guaranteed to be about 15 pounds out of a max of 20 pounds. A refill tank can be filled more, and the cost per gallon is quite a bit lower.
You may not be able to. If you have an older propane tank that has not been inspected in a long time, you will likely not be able to exchange it. Instead, you will be left having to purchase an entirely new tank and have it filled.
Convenience. Instead of finding a fresh tank of propane when you need it at your nearest hardware store, gas station, or grocery market, you’ll have to take your tank to a retail location set up for refills, during normally scheduled business hours.
Convenience. Exchanging your propane tank is quick and easy. You can have a spontaneous barbecue, and quickly find the propane you need just moments before guests arrive and the grilling begins. The process only requires you to drop off your old tank and pick up a new one.
Exchanged propane tanks are regularly inspected, so you’ll know that the tank you pick up has a lot of life left. Remember – Franger Gas can inspect and recertify your existing tank for you!
Less cost-efficient. Exchanging a propane tank can be less cost-efficient in several ways: higher price per gallon ($5-6 vs. $3-4 per gallon), not a full fill – and the potential of not using all of the propane prior to the exchange.
Find a Franger Gas location near you
Whether you choose to refill or exchange your propane tank, propane is the best way to fuel your summer. Propane is an affordable, easy-to-use, and efficient fuel. Contact Franger Gas today to for a propane tank refill – and don’t miss a beat in powering your summer activities!
Summer is underway, and we know you have been busy grilling! You may have been so anxious to fire up the grill, that you forgot to make sure your grill cylinder certification is up-to-date. Or maybe you only recently bought your first propane grill and the process of recertifying a propane tank is completely new to you.
Franger Gas is here to help! We can walk you through the process of recertifying your propane tank, and bring you up to speed on all there is to know.
Why does a Propane Tank need to be recertified?
Portable propane tanks like the 20 and 30 lb tanks on the front of travel trailers or connected to your grill are known as DOT cylinders, or Department of Transportation cylinders – because they are meant to be transported and carried around.
Because propane is a highly flammable liquid and gas that’s stored at a high pressure the Department of Transportation requires all portable propane tanks to be recertified periodically to make sure tanks used out on the road are safe.
So while it might seem like a simple process to take your tank to a local retailer to have it refilled when it runs dry, the process is actually monitored by the United States Department of Transportation. If you try to refill a tank that is due for recertification, you will be turned away until that tank is recertified.
How often does a Propane Tank need to be recertified?
Propane tanks are good for 12 years from the date of manufacture. After that, tanks typically need inspecting and recertification every five years. To check your tank’s status, look at the collar at the top of the tank. You’ll find the date of manufacture stamped into the collar using the typical month and year code. A tank stamped 08 18, for example, was manufactured in August 2018.
When the tank is recertified, the company certifying it will either add a sticker to the tank with the inspection date on it or stamp its own mark into the top of the cylinder. A recertified date code consists of the letter A, B, C, or D as well as a two-digit number. The letter in the code indicates the quarter, and the number signals the year that the tank was recertified. A stamp that reads B 20 indicates certification during the second quarter (April, May, or June) of the year 2020.
There are a few more things to note about the dates/tags listed on your propane tank, and how it indicates the propane inspection type performed on your tank:
If your propane tank shows only a date, with no letter following it – this is typically the manufacturing date and indicates you will need to have your propane tank recertified within 12 years of the date on the tank.
Date followed by a Letter
An “S” on the tank after the date indicates an internal hydrostatic method was used for inspection. This means you have 7 years before needing your DOT propane tank checked again.
An “E” following the date listed on your tank means the tank was inspected only visually and externally. This means you will need your propane tank inspected within five years of that date.
The codes are meant to let you and any future technicians who examine the tank know when it was last checked and in which way.
How to Recertify a Propane Tank
Now that you understand the reason and timing behind recertification – we will explain the simple process of having your propane tank recertified. You can follow these quick and easy steps and you will be back to grilling or RVing in no time!
Bring your tank to one of our refilling locations for recertification. We will inscribe your tank with the inspection date and recertification date. Note: There is a nominal fee for recertification.
Once your tank has been recertified, it’s time to get grilling!
Why Choose Franger Gas?
Recertification is necessary if you want to be able to refill your DOT propane cylinder. When it is time to refill your propane tank, there are many reasons to choose Franger Gas. In fact — you can save money every time you refill your propane tank at Franger Gas.
Exchanging cabinets at a nearby store might seem convenient. But you usually don’t get a full cylinder when you replace your tank at one of those cages.
Refill your grill tank at Franger Gas to guarantee you get a full tank every time. You’ll also avoid flat rate fills. That means you pay only for the gas we put in your cylinder, which we measure by weight.
For more information on re-certifying your propane tank, contact us!
Energy prices are skyrocketing – and for our Franger Gas customers, this means an impact on your finances. You aren’t alone. Millions of households are facing rising energy bills. Across the board, energy prices are rising in ways we have not seen previously. No source is immune — gasoline, propane, natural gas, and heating oil are all reaching record costs.
We encourage every one of our customers to take advantage of our Guaranteed Price Program now. We want to give you peace of mind and predictability. When you pay for propane gas as it is delivered, that can be hard on the budget and difficult to forecast.
Guaranteed Price Program is available now! GPP runs May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023.
What is GPP? It is our budget billing program that allows you to get a predictable energy bill. There is no cost to join and allows you to make the same payment every month. GPP is designed to offer a capped price and break down your total season’s heating bill into monthly payments. As a GPP customer, you are automatically enrolled in our worry-free Automatic Fill Service.
How does Guaranteed Price work?
We estimate your propane gas usage for the next 11 months, based on your past usage and tank size as well as factoring in weather and propane price forecasts. Prices will vary based on individual residential customer accounts.
We divide that amount by 11 to determine your monthly payment amount.
We review your plan throughout the year to make sure your budget amount is keeping pace with your actual usage. Guaranteed Price is settled in April and recalculated for the new plan year that starts on May 1.
The Enrollment Period is extended this year until June 15.
This is a free service for residential customers whose accounts are up to date, and you can discontinue it at any time
What are the benefits of the program?
Benefits to our Guaranteed Price Program include:
A Guaranteed Price (No higher than $2.599 for 250+ gallon tanks, and $2.999 for 100-gallon tanks, from May 1, 2022, through April 30, 2023.)
Equal Monthly Payments (you can also make payments in advance)
Automatic Fill Guarantee (No extra cost for this great service)
Use our GPP payment calculator to determine if you qualify. You will receive an estimate of your monthly payment plan, and your estimated payment will be sent to a Franger Gas specialist who will be in touch to finalize your plan.
Winter is officially upon us! We know heating your home and keeping you family warm and safe becomes a top priority when wind chill and temperatures drop, and snow and ice become an issue. As your prepare for winter propane deliveries, we have some tips and advice for winter propane deliveries.
Consider our Residential Programs for Peace of Mind
Being on our residential program of tank monitoring and automatic fill will ensures you never have to go without heating during the colder months. You can guarantee to stay topped up and keep warm in the winter.
Tips For Winter Propane Deliveries
If you are expecting a delivery of propane, it is a good idea to prepare your property for easy access and installation.
If you need to schedule a propane tank fill-up, call us early. Schedule LP delivery when your tank gauge reads 30%. That gives you enough fuel to keep your home running until your propane provider can fill your tank.
Place a stake in the ground before the first snowfall
To ensure your propane tank is easy to find if snow cover the ground, you can place a stake or a flag in the ground. Doing this before snow makes sure your delivery driver can easily locate your propane tank no matter the weather conditions.
You will likely have a rough idea of when to expect snowfall. Therefore, make sure to place the flag/stake down before this occurs. If you don’t want to worry about the weather forecast, place it in the ground early in the winter season in preparation so that the propane delivery will not be delayed.
Keep the driveway clear of snow and ice
When the propane delivery truck arrives this winter, it will need a snow/ice-free place to park and unload. Should snow fall ahead of your propane delivery, please make sure to clear your driveway and any walkways of snow and ice to make it safe and convenient for the delivery drivers.
It is a good idea to salt any icy patches where you or the delivery drivers might need to walk. This will make the job as safe as possible and ensure that nobody gets hurt in the snowy and/or icy weather. We understand that isn’t always possible. Simply removing the snow and creating a clear pathway is enough to help the delivery drivers easily do their job – and we appreciate your care in keeping our team safe!
Clear a wide enough path
We recommend keeping your driveway clear of snow for a width of at least 8 feet. Remember propane trucks are wider than most vehicles – and do not turn as easily.
Make a clear walkway to the propane tank
Locating the tank will be easy if you have already placed a stake in the ground. However, it is important to make sure your tank is easily accessible, which is best with a clear pathway. Keep the pathway free of snow, ice or any objects that could be tripped over when covered by snow accumulation. Our drivers carry heavy propane hoses, and navigating through heavy snow can be difficult, and dangerous if the pathway is not clear.
Keep your gates all the way open
If you scheduled a winter propane delivery, and the driver must pass through a gate to access your propane tank , keep your gates fully open. This is especially helpful if your gates are vulnerable to freezing shut or being blocked by snow accumulation. Frozen over gates might prevent you from getting your propane delivery. We don’t want to bump your gate while driving through!
Apply salt to hilly entryways
If your home has a hilly entryway, you can increase safety by applying salt to the area. This will increase the grip for the delivery vehicle to remain safe upon entering, unloading, and leaving the property during snowfall.
Propane Emergencies & Safety
Contact us immediately if you think something is wrong. You should not smell propane in your home, so do not think that it might be normal if you do. Call us and report an issue. Never disconnect your propane tank and hook up a spare or small tank to get by. When a propane tank runs out of gas or is disconnected, the piping system must be checked to make sure there are no leaks caused by the interruption.
Find out more about program options to keep you and your family safe and warm this winter. Call us today at (574) 264-2118 to discuss your winter propane delivery!
A number of our customers have been inquiring about the difference between Natural Gas and Propane when it comes to providing heat for the home. There has been a marketing push for the conversion to natural gas as it becomes available in the local area. As a marketer of propane, we certainly want to help our customers understand what is involved in possibly making the switch from propane to natural gas. Customers often ask these common questions:
What is the difference between natural gas and propane?
Both fuels are clean burning gases! They burn at different pressures but otherwise are extremely similar. Both are naturally odorless and colorless (but usually have a chemical odorant added for safety). Natural gas is sourced from the ground while propane is a by-product of either crude oil or natural gas. Natural gas is brought to you via pipelines connected to your home but propane is brought to homes on trucks and then stored in pressurized tanks.
Do my current appliances work with both choices?
While there are exceptions to everything, generally speaking the answer is no. Another difference between natural gas and propane is that the fuels burn at different pressures. This means, usually at a minimum you need conversion kits to move to the specific fuel. A lot of appliances are not convertible, so they would need to be replaced.
Is the gas line installed in my house compatible with both fuels?
In some cases, yes. If the house is older, the line would need to be upgraded for the new fuel. But you would certainly need to make sure that compatible line is sized correctly for the appliances in your home.
Which one is less expensive?
Even though they are billed differently (Natural Gas Therms versus Propane Gallons), the pricing for natural gas per unit is less than propane.
Because propane delivers more BTUs for your dollar, it is often the choice fuel to run your home appliances more efficiently. It is also typically better for cooking, especially if you utilize an outdoor barbeque, as it is more cost-effective for high-heat grilling. Additionally, propane is seen as an “off-the-grid” heating solution. Meaning propane is portable and can easily work if other systems in your house malfunction, or if you need to move to another location.
Should I switch from propane to natural gas?
The last question is the toughest, because the answer is dependent on the customer. We have compiled a set of questions below that may help inform a customer so that they may make a good decision:
1) How is the service level of the company that supplies my propane? Do they take care of my needs? Do they answer the phone, or am I stuck in a call center? 2) What is the cost to hook up to natural gas? What are the application fees? 3) What is the amount of repair to my yard for the piping? 4) What is the cost to convert or replace my appliances? How much is it to inspect and/or upgrade the lines inside my house? 5) How many years will it take to break even on the expenses paid to make the change?
Franger Gas is here to meet your energy needs
If you are struggling to choose between propane or natural gas, our team is here to help. Let us answer any questions you might have. Call us today.