New to Propane?
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New to Propane?

By: Amy Duda, Service Manager at Dead River Company

Are you new to propane? You may have recently upgraded, may be thinking about upgrading, or potentially moved into a residence where you’ll be utilizing propane for the first time. If this is all new to you, then you’ve come to the right place! As a Service Manager at Dead River Company, I’m going to be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about residential propane.

  • How do I read my tank gauge?
    • Did you know? Propane tanks are considered full at 80% to leave room for the gas to expand. So, if you’ve received a delivery where you asked your provider to fill your tank, don’t be alarmed if the tank is only at 80%. To learn more about reading your tank gauge, visit our website for a helpful graphic.
  • If I have two tanks side by side, is the propane drawn from both tanks equally or will one be used first?
    • The propane will be drawn from both tanks equally. The gauge reading should be around the same level on both tanks but it may not always be exactly the same.
  • At what point should I request a delivery?
  • If I am on automatic delivery but this is a new construction, should I watch my tank level?
    • We recommend checking your tank gauge periodically for the first year to ensure you don’t run out of fuel. We do the very best we can to ensure that we have calculated your estimated usage properly, however through the first year periodic monitoring can be helpful when determining usage for a new construction.
  • Do I need to be home at the time of delivery?
    • No, you don’t need to be home at the time of delivery as long as you’ve made payment arrangements with your local office.
  • What happens if I run out of propane?
    • If you run out of propane, you should shut your tank off by turning the valve on top of the tank to the off position. When a customer runs out of propane, it is a fuel provider’s legal responsibility to perform a leak test before filling the tanks and turning the appliances back on. This will likely require access to the inside of your home to ensure all of your equipment restarts properly. Keep this in mind if you are a customer who prefers to call ahead for deliveries – you’ll want to be sure to order product before you run out completely.
  • Are there any safety tips to be aware of?
    • Propane is a very safe fuel source. The Propane Education & Research Council has outlined propane safety information on their website. Also, be sure you and your family know what propane smells like. Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray. For more information, call your local office to receive a scratch-and-sniff card simulating the smell of propane.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • It’s important to keep the outside venting and surrounding area clear of snow and ice. Depending where your vent is located, it can easily become covered with snow, which is a common cause of no heat calls during the winter months.
  • Be sure to shovel a path to your propane tanks in the winter. Not only is it safer for the delivery driver, but if you ever smell propane, you will be asked to turn off the tank if it’s safe to do so.
  • Make sure your tanks are clearly marked with a ground stake or brightly colored fiberglass pole. This alerts both the delivery driver and snowplows to your tanks’ location.
  • Has your usage changed? Let us know! Expanding the square footage, installing a new propane appliance, or an increase in the number of people in your home can all affect usage and your optimal delivery schedule.

If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!