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!
Switching your propane provider to Franger Gas is simple and rewarding. In just three easy steps, you can have the best propane service around:
1. Sign up with Franger Gas.
After choosing to end your existing contract with your old provider, take a minute to enjoy the decision to switch from a company that doesn’t care about its customers to one that does. You’ll need to contact us to let us know exactly what you will need, such as a new tank or lease agreement on one of ours. If you already own your tank, get an online quote for our Guaranteed Pricing Program, or talk to one of our specialists at (574) 266-2118.
2. Schedule propane tank set up and installation.
If you do not already own a tank, your new propane tank will be provided for you. We will schedule a tank set up when you call us. This is the first step when a customer is changing companies. We will unhook the old company propane tank, move it aside to where they can retrieve it and then set our propane tank in its place. Then, the outgoing company can come and remove their equipment. Tank set up is always done before removal to eliminate a gap in service for the the customer.
Step 3. Enjoy the switch to Franger Gas.
You’ll get exceptional customer service that you can’t find at big companies. You’ll talk to a real person. We understand that when it comes to your home, you want personal service from a local business you can trust. With Franger Gas, you’ll always have someone there to help you with your needs. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re dealing with a company that’s been in business for over 75 years. You won’t regret your choice to switch propane companies to Franger Gas!
Franger Gas is a family-owned propane company that provides top-quality service to residential, commercial, and wholesale customers in the Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan areas. We are committed to providing our customers with outstanding customer service from a team of experts who care about you. We strive to live up to our motto: Large Enough To Serve, Small Enough To Care.
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!
At Franger Gas, we understand that every large-scale propane user has their own particular set of needs. In your search for a wholesale propane supplier, assessing your business needs is first and foremost. How much propane do you use? What is your preferred delivery schedule? What are your existing storage and staffing capabilities?
Even if you do not have every answer, Franger Gas Wholesale can help you assess your LP operational needs. We have been the go-to wholesale propane supplier for retail propane marketers and farmers for over 75 years. What has propelled that longevity?
Here are just a few components to our success as Wholesale Propane Suppliers:
Relationships. We have built relationships with the large suppliers and terminals in customer service areas. This allows us to offer competitive and convenient options in the tri-state area.
Experience. We have been selling propane – both on the retail and wholesale side – for decades. We bring that knowledge to every scenario you might come up against. Facing supply shortages and allocation? We have seen it. Terminals running out of product and needing to divert to another supply point? Happens all the time, and we take care of it. Dramatic swings in pricing? We can help bring more certainty to your bottom lines with our pre buy options. Concerned that you need more storage at your facility? We can advise AND install if necessary! There is little we have not seen and/or experienced in the propane industry. At Franger Gas, we have the experience to help your company navigate the peaks and valleys of the propane industry.
One stop shopping. Other than propane for your plants, do you need other services? We offer safety training like CTEP for your team. Need advice on running a retail operation? We can offer consulting services that leverage our 75 years of success.
The Mentone Rail Terminal. Our terminal is one of the most efficient in the area, and allows us to be a reliable wholesale propane supplier. Trucks are loaded fast and back on the road, with no detention time. A strategic partnering of Franger Gas and NGL Supply in Sarnia, Ontario along with Ceres Solutions and Norfolk Southern rail, the Mentone Propane Rail Terminal meets the energy needs of our customers and is one of the best supply points in the area.
We are a family company. At Franger Gas, we understand what it takes to run a propane company and be a positive part of your community. We know our customers well and develop trusted, lasting relationships.
When your operation needs to select a liquid propane gas supplier, choosing the right one not only matters to you, it matters to your customers. If you are looking for a reliable, competitively priced wholesale propane supplier that understands what the retail propane marketer needs, contact Franger Gas today. We offer a comprehensive approach for our customers and our goal is to help each one succeed.
Customers are often asking the propane industry “How can you make my life easier?” We would like to spotlight one solution that answers that question – as we have seen in two separate situations. The solution we will be talking about is remote monitoring of propane tanks.
Remote propane tank monitoring helps take the unknown out of gas delivery. It is a technology that allows a company to track of the amount of propane left in a propane tank without having to travel to the tank’s location. This provides peace of mind for both customer and supplier – and helps the propane supplier deliver propane more efficiently. The efficiencies gained with this remote propane tank monitoring technology help us provide better service and grow to serve even more customers. More efficiency means more customers getting a needed delivery each day.
Let’s look at how this technology has helped in two real world situations:
A customer with a large, but sporadic consumption pattern asked Franger Gas to provide service after multiple run-ins with another supplier. They would receive large material shipments at once and would then run out of forklift gas from their refueling station with trucks still waiting to be unloaded. Their previous supplier was not always able to respond in time, which resulted in unsatisfactory levels of service. Franger Gas offered the solution of the use a refueling station tank with a remote monitor on it. Instead of the old model of either estimating when they needed a delivery or only receiving a delivery on a specific day of the week, they were assured that as soon as they required a refill, one would be scheduled. Their supply was monitored in real time, and any dramatic swings in consumption were accounted for seamlessly.
Our auto-fill residential customers are already taking advantage of our tank monitoring technology – but we have customers who have, or will, invest in a second home. Often a lake property, a second home comes with additional, frequently unconsidered challenges. How do you maintain a home that is not your primary residence? Hire a management company for thousands of dollars per year? Rely on a neighbor to check your tank when you are not there? As a propane supplier that ensures homes have heat, we have utilized the remote monitoring technology to make life easier and help the customer sleep with a peaceful mind for a fraction of the cost of a manager. Now, customers can be on our automatic fill program with a monitor, which means they do not have to keep an eye on their tank level or worry when they are away from their property. In addition, our latest monitor provider offers a smart phone app that allows the customer to monitor the level from their own device.
Franger Gas Company values the service nature of the propane business. We continue to reinvest in new ways to meet our customers’ needs while always retaining the home-town feel we have established over the last 75 years. We’re looking ahead to many more years together! Contact Franger Gas today to learn more about remote propane tank monitoring.