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  #1  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:44 AM
soulmurk soulmurk is offline
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Is My Propane Company Ripping Me Off?

I recently moved from a home that used two 100 gallon propane tanks for all of its heating, hot water and cooking.

The gauge on the tanks ran from 0 to 80, and I was assured that 80 = 100%--that the tanks were actually slightly larger than 100 gallons but had to allow for the gas to expand.

Upon moving out the gauge read 25, and while math has never been my strong suit, it seems to me that if 80 = 100% = 200 gallons, then 25 = ~20% = 40 gallons... however I was just informed by the company that my refund would be for 25.4 gallons.

Am I just failing at math or am I getting worked over by a system they know probably confuses most customers?

And don't even get me started on the 4-6 weeks it's going to take for them to "process" my refund...
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2011, 01:01 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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No. The person telling you that the tank is actually larger than 100 gallons is incorrect. It is 100 gallons, but they're not allowed to fill any size tank above 80% capacity to allow for gas expansion.

Here's a quck link showing some tank volumes -v- 'full' capacities.

The people they send out to fill the tanks usually know what they're doing, but it's pretty much a minimum wage position that doesn't attract the sharpest tools in the shed.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2011, 01:25 PM
soulmurk soulmurk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Projammer View Post
No. The person telling you that the tank is actually larger than 100 gallons is incorrect. It is 100 gallons, but they're not allowed to fill any size tank above 80% capacity to allow for gas expansion.

Here's a quck link showing some tank volumes -v- 'full' capacities.

The people they send out to fill the tanks usually know what they're doing, but it's pretty much a minimum wage position that doesn't attract the sharpest tools in the shed.
Maybe I'm just dense, but even in that link the 100 gallon tank is actually a 125 gallon tank, making 80% capacity exactly 100 gallons.

If 80% capacity of two tanks is 200 gallons, shouldn't 25% capacity be more than 25 gallons?

I'm fully willing to accept that they're correct, but I just can't wrap my head around how the math works or where I might be misinterpreting something.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2011, 07:46 PM
Projammer Projammer is offline
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Tanks are sold by their actual capacity. If you want to check you can measure the cylinder and calculate the volume.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2011, 03:27 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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As was stated before, 80 represents 80 gallons of a 100 gallon tank. They can't fill it beyond 80 gallons for safety reasons so when you ask for your tank filled to capacity then you get 80 gallons. The use of the word "100% full" just means you got 80 gallons. There is no math conversion involved. The meter doesn't read in percentage of the tank. It reads in actual units and you're charged in actual units. If you had 25 gallons left then that is what you have.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2011, 06:22 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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the tank capacity is the total volume.

a meter on the truck or fill station governs the amount billed.

80% on the tank gauge is the maximum fill amount. tank gauges can read maybe up to 5% off.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:35 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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I'm just curious here, not having propane tanks that service my house. Uh, companies, and refunds, and all that. How's that work? I would just imagine -- in my ignorant way -- that when you need propane, you call someone to fill your tank, and they charge you for what they filled, and that's the end of it. Want to sell your house? Well, your tanks are 50% full, and that's part of the purchase price.

Obviously I'm not from an area of the state/country where whole-house propane tanks are common, so I'm genuinely interested.

Also, I'd like to consider a propane tank. Since I installed the geothermal system, my natural gas usage is about $5 per month, just for drying clothes and I'll never, ever give up my gas stove. Yet, my "customer charge" for just being a customer is about $10 per month. What a damnable ripoff!
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:54 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
The meter doesn't read in percentage of the tank. It reads in actual units
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
80% on the tank gauge is the maximum fill amount. tank gauges can read maybe up to 5% off.
I concur with johnpost. I'm pretty sure my gauge reads percentage, rather than gallons. (124 gallon tank, BTW.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
I'm just curious here, not having propane tanks that service my house. Uh, companies, and refunds, and all that. How's that work? I would just imagine -- in my ignorant way -- that when you need propane, you call someone to fill your tank, and they charge you for what they filled, and that's the end of it. Want to sell your house? Well, your tanks are 50% full, and that's part of the purchase price.
I want piped-in gas, if only so I could cook on a gas stove again! But although there's piped in gas on this street, they won't pipe it in to the whole street. Bastards.

I used to call when the tank got down to 10%, figuring that they'd get there by the time it hit 5% and worrying about the first couple of winters when it was snowy. Now they come by every month or so and fill the tank if it needs it. Propane is expensive. The last bill, for a month, was over $200. Granted, it does get chilly up here. And I have a roommate now, so the house needs to be heated most of the time. (She paid the last two bills.) Only the furnace runs on propane.

I don't know what happens to unused gas in the event of moving. But the tank is rented ($45/year, I think). Presumably the propane company could pick the tank up from a vacant house. I don't know if they do, or if they just leave it on the property and give the next owner/tenant the opportunity to rent it from them.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2011, 12:28 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post

I want piped-in gas, if only so I could cook on a gas stove again! But although there's piped in gas on this street, they won't pipe it in to the whole street. Bastards.
Funny story about that. When we moved into our little cottage (small country town in NSW, Aus) it had propane (bottled) gas that was costing app $180-$200 AUD to fill every couple of months. And that was just for a hot-water service and a gas stove. No heating whatsoever.

Horrendously expensive, so I enquired about a natural gas (piped-in) service.

First I rang a couple of service providers (Origin and AGL) to be precise, fuckers, and they informed me that nat. gas was not available in this town AT ALL. Now I knew that wasn't true, because I knew folks in town who were indeed connected. So I called the companies (and a couple of others) again, only to be given the same spiel.

I asked the neighbours to my left and right, and they were both connected to natural gas, even showing me their accounts to prove it! So called AGAIN to inform the various companies that this street AND this town has nat. gas connectivity. But they argued with me again. Turns out that the callcentre is not really kept up to date about areas that are or are not yet connected to their energy service. But seeing as gas has been available in my STREET for at least THREE YEARS (and the rest of the town many years longer), that's a seriously long time for their data to be updated.

Long story short, it took THREE FUCKING MONTHS, many phone calls and emails to get a gas supplier to concede that, "Yes, you can be connected to natural gas Ma'am, we'll have our tradies out in a few days to hook you up". Which they did, and now my gas-account is app $50 for the same time frame.

And when I called the propane blokes to take away the cylinders, I didn't get a refund on the remaining gas either.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2011, 12:40 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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There's a gas main that runs under the beach road, about 100 m from my house. At the other end of the street, three blocks inland, there's another gas main. The people at the ends of the street, and not just the very ends, have natural gas. The gas company (Cascade Gas, IIRC) said that maybe someday they'd run a line between the mains, and my street is the one they'd use. But they're in no hurry.

Apparently they don't want to provide natural gas on this street because nobody uses natural gas on this street -- because they don't provide natural gas to this street.

So no natural gas heater, no gas stove, no gas oven, and no gas drier. (The electric water heater is efficient enough.)
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2011, 02:39 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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As per my post earlier Johnny, just give them a hard time. If you pester them enough, they'll have no choice but to connect you to the gas-line, if for no other reason than to shut you the fuck up.

Works wonders.
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