Choosing the right propane supplier can be a tough decision to make. Most people tend to go with either the cheapest option or the first one they come across. The problem here is propane gas isn’t just some regular commodity which you can be over the counter at your corner store.
What is Propane Gas?
Propane is a potentially dangerous substance, a flammable gas which can cause serious problems if not handled properly. It can be used to fuel cars, heat buildings and for cooking. It’s a natural gas which is stored as a compressed liquid within steel bottles of various sizes. The sizes change depending on your needs, with everything from small hand-held bottles for portable barbeques to big, heavy bottles used for commercial cooking stands or to refuel large vehicles.
The gas and liquid are both flammable and must be stored safely. The bottles are also highly pressurized, and they have to maintain this state, so seals must be of the best quality and bottles should be well maintained at all times.
Warnings About Propane Use
We’ve already covered a couple of basics, such as using a good quality pressurized steel bottle for storage. You also have to keep a few other things in mind for storage, like keeping the bottle out of direct sunlight. Bottles also shouldn’t ever be in the vicinity of flames, excessive light or heat for prolonged periods. The only time this can be excused is when the bottle is in use. Then you might be able to get away with it being in a warmer area for a short time, but this isn’t recommended because if it causes problems, the bottle can end up exploding.
Handling the bottles can also be difficult during delivery and return phases since the bottles are often returned to the vendor (you buy the gas, not the bottle). Bottles can also be incredibly heavy, so using a supplier who offers delivery is a great idea.
What to Look For in Propane Suppliers
Obviously, you want bottles/tanks that are in great condition and are regularly maintained. If you aren’t comfortable collecting the tanks and transporting them yourself, it’s a good idea to choose a supplier who offers delivery too. This propane company is a good example, and they also offer the opportunity to buy your tanks (so you can keep them and get them filled anywhere you like) or to lease them, keeping your costs low and following the traditional model where you get the same tanks or bottles refilled each time.
Remember that if you need a big tank on-site, there are likely to be installation costs involved too. While nobody likes to pay more than they have to, this is again an area where safety and quality are much more important than cost.
Other considerations are maintenance and warranties. Find out upfront if your tanks are going to be maintained by the supplier, and what coverage you get under the warranty.
Likewise, you will want to find out what your supplies safety record is like. Accidents can happen to anyone, but if they have a bunch of past issues you might want to avoid them.
Likewise, if their explanation of past incidents seems off, it’s better to play it safe and go elsewhere – gas explosions are no joke, and you do NOT want to be involved in one!