The Boulden Brothers has been taking care of our area since 1946, and one of their cornerstone products, of course, is the propane service that they provide, and we have Mike Boulden as our guest today, talking about propane safety.
Thank you, glad to be here.
So, one of the things when you’re using a propane grill, it’s one thing to tell when that little tank is getting empty, but what about that big behemoth next to my house. How do you figure out when that thing needs to be refilled?
Well almost all modern propane tanks are equipped with a gauge that will help you identity the level of the propane in the tank. Reading your gauge is really pretty simple. It’s usually under the lid on the top of the tank, next to the fill pipe. It’s usually a white face with black or red numbers, and it’ll have an arrow, whatever direction that arrow is pointing just look at the number. One thing that is important to remember, propane tanks are never filled to 100% capacity, so we leave room for expansion. So they’re usually going to be anywhere between zero and 85%. If you want to figure out the gallons you just multiple the tanks total capacity by the percentage. If you have a 500 gallon tank, it’s at 50% you know you have 250 gallons left in the tank.
Nobody told me there would be math.
Well we try and keep it simple.
Okay, so if you know how much propane you use in a week, is it possible to calculate those refill needs myself?
You can but there are a lot of factors that determine how long that’s going to last. With the temperature you set your thermostat, the size of the home, how much insulation is in the home, what appliances are being use, and probably the most importantly, if you use it for heat, is the weather, the colder it is the faster you’re going to use the gas that is in the tank.
So when my tank level seems low, when it is the right time to call for a refill?
We always recommend people call us when the tank is around 25%, that gives us time to work the delivery into the schedule, and minimize the possibility of you running out of gas before the delivery is made.
But the most you’re going to fill it is about 85%?
Correct, we always need to leave room for expansion, since propane is a liquid it does expand with temperature.
When the tank gets down to 20% though there’s still plenty of time for you to come refill it?
Sure, again depending on the factors that you talked about before, but usually 20 to 25% gives us plenty of time to come out and get it filled.
What if I’m just tired of doing this. I’ve got this big tank I’m going out and I’m checking it all the time, is there a way that I don’t have to do that?
Sure, most of our customers actually are on automatic deliver. We monitor change in temperature and calculate through degree days when a delivery is needed, and if your usage is not consistent enough for us to use the degree day system we also have a remote tank monitors, which call in our cellular service to our office, and updates the tank level in our computer system so we know when to come out even before you do.
That’s something you provide if I sign up for automatic monitoring?
All right you can learn more about that here at the website of bouldenbrothers.com.com it’s on there, so monitor your level, and if you don’t want to you can have them do it automatically. Mike, thanks a lot for helping us out today.
Mike: Thank you.