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Your In-Depth Guide to Common Propane Tank Questions

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You’ve got questions … From where to put the tank in your yard ... to propane refilling and maintenance schedules and costs. We’ve got answers.



How far from my house do I need to place my propane tank?

If you have a 250-gallon or larger tank, the magic number — or rather, distance — is 10 feet. When planning your installation, make sure you lay out the space so that the tank will be at least 10 feet from the house; 10 feet from the property line; 10 feet from exhaust vents and windows; and 10 feet from any ignition source, like window air-conditioning units, compressors, or open flames.

Where does my propane tank need to be placed for refilling and maintenance? 

Make sure the tank is near the driveway or a road, preferably flat and paved, while still following the 10-feet rule above.

What if my propane tank is smaller than the 250-gallon size?

If we go down a size from 250, we’re talking about 125-gallon tanks. According to regulations set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), liquid propane gas cylinders whose capacity is less than 125 gallons may be stored and used alongside a building — provided they meet these criteria:

  • The propane tank’s pressure-relief device discharge must be at least 3 feet from any building openings below it.
  • The area surrounding the propane tank must be well ventilated — anything surrounding it must enclose less than 50 percent of the container.
  • The tank’s pressure-relief valve and any discharge from it must be at least 5 feet away from any ignition or ventilation source.
  • If your 125-gallon tank will be filled on site, the filler connection has to be at least 10 feet from any exterior ignition source.

A certified contractor should be well acquainted with all the rules, and your AmeriGas consultant definitely is — we’re always happy to help.

How close can my propane tank be to my appliances?

There’s no strict requirement about this (other than the 10-feet rule), but many people like to get as close as they can to whatever appliances the tank will be connected to. This is mainly to keep the cost of materials down. 

I need to move my propane tank. What should I do?

Contact AmeriGas to schedule the service and get a quote. We can have your tank and connections reinstalled and get you safely up and running again, typically in a few hours.

I’ve added (or upgraded) appliances, and it seems like I’m not getting as much power as I used to. Do I need a bigger tank?

If you’ve added appliances to your home, or if a technician thinks the BTU load of your current system is not sufficient for the amount of propane needed to power your home, then we may suggest an upgrade to a larger propane tank.

What’s involved in switching propane tanks?

After we’ve determined the right size tank for your new needs, the old tank would be removed and the new one installed. This may be a relatively simple process; or we may need to find a new location for the tank in order to comply with safety regulations.

This works in the reverse as well: If you’re going down to a 125-gallon or smaller propane tank, you may want to move the tank so it’s closer to your house and appliances. There may be other fees in addition to tank and installation costs. Please contact us for more information.

When you install my propane tank, does that include installing the gas lines into the home, too?

AmeriGas takes care of everything up to the home itself. So if you don’t already have a propane gas line in place, we will install one for you. You’ll need to have a contractor handle the appliance installation and propane gas lines within the home.

Whom should I contact to install or convert appliances?

Depending on your specific needs, reach out to an HVAC specialist, plumber, or other home contractor. Make sure they have experience working with propane gas lines; they can do the work and answer any questions about installing appliances. (Learn more about converting to propane.)

What’s the best material for a propane gas line?

For underground propane lines, copper tubing or plastic polyethylene piping are most commonly chosen for their durability and weather resistance. AmeriGas uses copper in its propane gas line installations.



Is my valve open or closed?

The valve should be turned all the way counterclockwise (to the left) at all times. This means the propane gas supply is open and flowing correctly to all connected appliances.

You should never have to touch this valve. If there’s an emergency and you need to turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, turn it clockwise (to the right). Note: ONLY do this in an emergency or if AmeriGas tells you to. Turning it off will stop the flow of gas, and a field technician will perform a leak check and make sure the system is safe to put back online.

I’m getting a new [generator / stove / water heater] and I want to connect it to my propane line. Can I do it myself?

We are all for DIY spirit, but in a word no. Strict safety regulations apply to liquid and gas propane, and only certified technicians and contractors should handle liquid propane or the equipment and systems that run propane into your home.



Is there a limit on how many propane refills I can schedule?

No. However, we encourage you to schedule Automatic Delivery to avoid additional fees. In addition, there is a Special Trip Charge if you request deliveries within 48 hours of a previous one or request non-emergency service after business hours or on weekends.

Also, if you find you’re refilling frequently, you might think about upgrading to a larger tank. Unfortunately, because usage varies widely both across individual households and from season to season, there isn’t really an average expected usage. If you’re renting your tank, you may need to stay within guidelines of the contract. Either way, if you have questions, check out our FAQs or reach out to us to get advice about your account.


What other fees can I expect?

You can learn more about all our fees and rates here.

What are my payment options?

We offer a variety of plans to suit your needs and preferences, including making a fixed monthly payment or paying as you fill your tank. Read about pricing and delivery plans here.


Still have questions? Connect with an AmeriGas propane expert.