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!
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.
How does a propane company continue to grow in strength and reliability? By sourcing supplies of fuel, and understanding the importance of consistent propane supply.
That’s what we do every day at Franger Gas Company. We saw a potential propane supply problem following the winter of 2013-2014. As a result, we partnered with a supplier to build the Mentone Propane Rail Terminal.
Today, the Mentone terminal gives us access to a reliable propane supply. Customers in northern Indiana, southern Michigan, western Ohio and neighboring regions receive propane through the Mentone terminal. Additionally, the terminal helps stabilize propane prices by reducing transportation costs to service agricultural and other rural customers.
We continue to invest in the future, and focus on propane supply with our storage tank farm under construction in northern Indiana. The first phase of the site will expand storage capacity by 700,000 gallons. That security of extra propane supply simply means plenty of fuel to heat homes and businesses, even when demand increases in cold weather.
At Franger Gas, we live by our company motto – large enough to serve, small enough to care. It reminds us that your community is OUR community too. That’s why we continue to look for better ways to source, supply and service your energy needs, whether it’s in your home, on a work site or at a wholesale storage facility.
We are honored by the trust you place in us. We look forward to the delivering excellent service you have come to expect from us for another 75 years.
One of our best pieces of advice for our wholesale customers is this – there is no such thing as too much bulk tank propane storage.
“Storage and storage upgrading are the most important investments a propane company can make in its business,” explained Jeff Franger, owner of Franger Gas.
More capacity gives you more buying power, and the ability to save money during times when propane is priced lower. Additional storage can also allow you to ride out times of high demand and high gas prices – saving even more money and eliminating the stress of locating hard to acquire peak-demand propane.
Having more supply security of your product is crucial, especially with the potential of supply issues. Supply is predicted to be very tight this coming season, noted Franger. Already, Franger Gas is seeing major suppliers limiting the number of gallons available for purchase.
“We have had supply issues of some kind in this region in three of the last 5 years,” said Franger. “One of the surest ways to get ahead of that is with bulk tank storage.”
Propane companies who have bulk tank storage – and an onsite propane supply – can offer better customer service options including auto delivery, budget plans and timely refills.
“For our wholesale customers, the benefits of increasing their storage speak for themselves. And we are able to help, whether it’s an upgrade or completely new bulk plant construction,” said Franger.
Franger Gas has been involved in bulk plant construction for well over 40 years – and you can count on our experience to get your project done correctly. Our expert team will help you choose a proper location and each system will be designed to meet the specific requirements for your wholesale energy needs.
We source the tanks, arrange all transportation and delivery, install the tanks and then design the system to meet and exceed your filling expectations. Once complete, Franger Gas can arrange transports to fill the tanks as well.
Don’t be caught in short supply. Call Franger Gas and let our team of experts help you upgrade your propane storage or begin your bulk plant construction project today.