Propane tank removal

Propane tanks are large and cumbersome especially if they are aboveground (underground tanks are far more discreet). Given that they store hazardous material (propane is a flammable gas) it is often difficult to know exactly what to do with one if you have no use for it.

Propane tank removal: summary

Your situation

Contact

Process

Costs

Alternative

Your tank is rented as part of a propane contract.

Your propane company.

  1. Excess propane to be pumped out of the tank.
  2. Propane tank to be disconnected from propane system.
  3. Propane tank to be physically removed from property.
  1. Drainage fee.*
  2. Pick up fee.

None.

Your tank is rented and you have been a client for over a year.

Your propane company.

  1. Drainage fee.*
  2. Pick up fee.
  3. Propane company may reimburse excess propane at wholesale or initial purchase price.

You own your tank outright.

A licensed propane company to avoid safety risks.

  1. Drainage fee.*
  2. Pick up fee.
  3. Propane company may accept to purchase excess propane.

Keep your propane tank and camouflage it to make it less visible.

*Drainage fee usually applies if the level of propane in the tank is above 5%.

Use a licensed propane company

Removing a propane tank is not as simple as having garbage collected. This is not only because propane tanks are large (120-1,000 gallons); propane tank disposal is often regulated since there are safety considerations to take into account. Whatever your situation, it is in your interest to have your propane tank removed by contacting a licensed propane company.

Indeed, licensed propane companies have technicians with the requisite qualifications and materials to remove propane tanks safely. There may be leftover propane to be removed, which is best pumped out by experts.

Check what fees apply

If you have a propane supply agreement you should check what your propane company charges for emptying and removing a propane tank.

Usually, propane tank removal involves emptying the propane tank first. You are likely to be required to pay a pump out fee to cover the labor and administrative costs for draining your tank. This is either a fixed fee or a price charged per gallon. Companies also charge pick up fees for tank removal.

Depending on how old your contract is, a propane company might offer to buy the leftover propane in your tank at the wholesale price. This is considerably lower than the retail price since in November 2012 the wholesale price for propane was $0.923 per gallon whereas the average retail propane price at the same time was $2.409 per gallon.

Keeping your propane tank without using it

Having your tank removed by a licensed propane company might end up being fairly expensive. If you own the propane tank it could be cheaper to keep it, fill it with sand and camouflage it. This is what the American Fire Protection Association recommends, in fact.

Underground propane tanks are well hidden so it may not be worth your while to have it removed. Most homeowners that decide to stop using their propane tank choose fill it with sand and hide it better by planting shrubs or placing something else over the tank opening. Aboveground propane tanks are more difficult to hide but can be camouflaged in such a way that they are no longer an eye-sore, as you can see below.

Hidden propane tank