Propane Frequently Asked Questions


Enclosed are some tips to make propane installations as simple and easy as possible.
We have categorized this to fit most applications. If you don't see your typical installation listed below, please feel free to contact your representative for proper information.
Townsend Oil is committed in providing great customer service at reasonable prices with the hometown friendly atmosphere. Your business is a valuable asset to us. We look forward to a very long lasting relationship.


If you are leaving an existing company to switch service, in most cases, we will provide the identical equipment to service your needs including the necessary regulators. In the process of the switch over, before it actually takes place, our representative will conduct an on site visit to evaluate your existing equipment. i.e.: tank(s), regulators etc.
This is an outside evaluation only. We do not need to gain access on the interior at this time. Our presence will be marked with a business card if no one is home. From that point on, place yourself on a will call delivery with your current supplier to stop the automatic delivery. Furthermore, place a paper plate under your propane tank cover stating, "Please Do Not Fill". Check your tank % weekly. Use caution checking your gauges especially during the summer months as bees & wasps like to nest there. When your current supply is @ 20% (not less), contact your Townsend Oil representative immediately to schedule for your installation. Our experts will then guide you through the step by step switch over process. The actual switch over process takes no longer than 90 minutes. A switch-out is limited to existing gas lines.
It is required that the customer or appointee be present at the actual time of the installation so our officials can gain access inside to be certain appliances are in good working order after the new service has been started. At this point, contact your previous supplier and notify them that their equipment is ready for pick up. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS UNTIL OUR EQUIPMENT IS UP AND RUNNING.


Cylinders or vertical tanks that do not hold more than 125 gallons can be placed right up against the structure. In certain applications where horizontal tanks cannot be placed nor required, numerous cylinders can be tied together in a series to ensure adequate fuel supply. The most common sizes are 125 gallon and 57 gallon tanks. There are some regulations as to placement of these cylinders.
A) Tanks cannot be within 10' of an ignition source such as dryer vent, outside A.C. Unit or power-vented
exhaust such as a generator, hot water heater or furnace.
B) Tanks cannot be placed within 3' of a venting window or door.
We provide the foundation or blocks for the tank(s) to sit on. You will need to provide a level area of 3' X 3' for each tank. Outside gas line and regulator(s) we furnish to your connection which is located on the side of the house or structure.
Cylinder applications are very common especially if LP is not being used as a primary heat source.


The most common size tanks in this category are the 330, 500 & 1000-gallon vessels. These vessels are commonly used for primary home heating and commercial applications. Vessels are issued on a case by case basis.
For example: a home with approx. 800 ­ 1200 sq. ft. a 330 would be a common installation. 1201 to 1600 sq. ft. would require a 500 gallon vessel. Anything above 1600 sq. ft., a 1000 -gallon vessel would be considered. Vessels have certain requirements for installation.
If you are issued a 330 or 500, the tank cannot be within 10' of the structure or property line. Cannot be within 10' of an ignition source outlined in the cylinder application. When the delivery vehicle backs in the driveway, filling hoses are 100' in length. We have to make certain we stay within the maximum hose distance. We cannot pull filling hoses through garages or structures to make a delivery.
Delivery vehicles cannot fill from the side of the road especially on main roadways, highways or thoroughfares.
The 1000-gallon vessel installation is very similar to the 330 and 500, the only difference is that the distance is 25' from the property line and structure. Rarely are 1000 ­ gallon vessels issued for typical residential use. Again, we provide all outdoor necessary equipment including the blocks or foundation for the tank to sit on.


Congratulations if you are building a new home, barn, business or just adding gas for the first time. This is an installation where virtually you are starting from scratch. There are no existing tanks or gas lines to work with. Everything is all - new.
First of all, an on site evaluation from one of our representatives is required prior to installation. Some of the items to discuss is size of tank(s) to be issued and tank placement, underground gas lines from the tank to the structure if necessary, outside gas connection on the structure and so forth. This can be achieved in a relatively short time since a lot of this is just basic.
All interior gas lines to the outside connection is the responsibility of the customer. In most applications,
a _" black iron gas line is stubbed outside usually through the basement wall or skirting, a max. of 2" in length with a minimum height of 18" above final grade, the gas connection pipe must be threaded. 1" gas line is not an acceptable for a gas connection and is limited to natural gas applications only. However, once inside, up sizing to 1" is acceptable but in majority of cases it is not necessary and deemed excessive and bulky. Copper line regardless of size cannot be used as a main gas connection through a concrete wall.
The gas connection cannot be within 3' of a venting window or door and cannot be within 5' of an ignition source outlined in the cylinder application.
Once the outside gas connection is in place, the new tank or vessel can be delivered and installed.
A required pressure test is performed and must pass to initiate service.

On the inside
Shutoff valves need to be placed at every appliance hook-up. Drip legs are not necessary and are limited to applications where the propane tank is higher than the actual appliance. For instance, if the tank or vessel is situated in the yard or next to the building and the basement is underground, if your water heater, furnace or dryer is down cellar, drip legs would be a good idea to install. Drip legs act as sediment traps.
Appliances, such as dryers, ranges, furnaces when purchased new are commonly set up for natural gas and have to be converted to LP use. Sometimes conversion kits do come with these appliances, in the event they don't, we can get them for you. The information we need is the make and model #. Our pro service department can do the conversions and hook ups for you. Your heating contractor has to do the converting and initial test fire on the central heating unit because adjustments may need to be made.


Underground propane storage vessels are becoming a popular item especially in new construction. This hides the tank from the landscape.
The most common sizes are 500 & 1000 gallon- tanks. The riser cover, which is 12" in diameter and extends above the ground 12", is the only thing visible. This cover can be easily concealed.
Underground tanks if installed properly have an indefinite life span. They come complete with cathodic protection, which is an anti corrosion protectant.
We do not provide these tanks free of charge, they are for purchase only. We do offer a special program available that is interest free and many people are taking advantage of it. Please contact your representative for the financials.
The installation clearances are the same as the above ground vessel. The only one difference is that an underground 1000 vessel does not have to be 25' from the house or property line. The clearance gets reduced to 10'.
On the day of installation, a backhoe operator along with sand at the site must be ready to go. Installations are done on an initial visit.
Additional visits may require a service charge.
Coordination with your contractor and our install dept. must be scheduled in advance.
A 500-gallon tank, the dimensions of the cavity are as follows. 5' wide, 5' deep (Critical) and 10' in length and 8 yards of masons sand.
On the 1000 ­ gallon tank, the dimensions are the same as above. The only two differences are the length gets increased from 10 to 18' and 12 yards of sand is required.
In both cases, the contractor or customer must provide the trench from the tank to the house. The depth of the trench can be as little as six inches providing there are no driveways or roadways to go under.
Once the tank is installed, it must be filled immediately.


Most tanks have gauges, they are located under the tank lid itself. If the gauge is not there, chances are it may be on the side or if it's a real old tank, it may not have one at all. All our tanks are equipped with gauges. Anyhow, the gauge represents how much fuel you have in your tank. These gauges read in percent.
The gauge reads 10 ­ 90% in 10% increments.
For instance: 20% 0n a 125 gallon tank represents 25 gallons of product
20% on a 57- gallon tank represent approx. 12.5 gallons
20% on a 330- gallon tank represents approx. 70 gallons
20% on a 500 ­ gallon tank represents 100 gallons of product
20% on a 1000 ­ gallon tank represents 200 gallons of product.

Because propane is a liquid gas, tanks are filled to 80% of its total capacity for expansion purposes. They are never filled all the way to the top.
Think of the BBQ Gas grill cylinder, it never feels full after having it refilled. This same filling principle lies within.

The average home heating customer uses anywhere from 6-8 gallons a day during the typical heating season.
The average hot H2O customer uses 300-400 gallons annually.
The average cooking customer uses 70 gallons a year.
To get a general idea for an annual usage, take the total square footage of the dwelling, divide it in half and add 100. This is a quick formula of one might use in gallons if they were using total propane. (Primary Heat, H20, Cooking & Dryer.)

We hope to have answered a lot of your questions regarding propane. If you should have additional questions, please feel free to contact our propane dept.