Mail payments to:
Po Box 333
Diamond Springs CA. 95619
Physical address:
570 Truck St
Placerville CA. 95667
Hours of operation:
Monday thru Friday
8am-5pm
Saturday and Sunday
Closed

530-622-1353

Emergency 24 hour
On-Call service

What exactly is Propane?

Propane is one of the liquefied petroleum gases (LP-Gas or LPG) that are found mixed with natural gas and oil. Propane and other liquefied gases, including ethane and butane (such as is used in lighters), are separated from natural gas at natural gas processing plants, or from petroleum at refineries. The amount of propane produced from natural gas and from oil is about equal.

Propane naturally occurs as a gas. However under pressure or lower temperatures, it becomes a liquid. Because propane is 270 times more compact as a liquid than as a gas, it is transported and stored as a liquid. Propane becomes a gas again when a valve is opened to release it from its pressurized container. Propane burns cleaner than gasoline and other fossil fuels. It emits lower levels of carbon dioxide and particulates and doesn’t produce sulfur dioxide, a primary cause of the greenhouse effect. Propane is non-toxic and vaporizes quickly, so it won’t contaminate soil or groundwater. It is in plentiful supply - there’s enough propane to meet America’s needs in the 21st century. Most of the propane used in the United States is produced right here.

Why does Propane smell?

For safety reasons pure and simple. In its natural state, propane is odorless. As a safety precaution, an odorant called Ethyl Mercaptan is added so any presence of propane may be easily detected. Interestingly, while most of us are able to detect even the slightest propane odor, some people can’t smell it!

What are some basic propane tank requirements?

Here are several things that you should know about your propane tank easily seen without having to know the technicalities of propane tanks and the regulations tanks are subject to. Listed below are simple tank related safety and compliance items consumers can see for themselves without having to know technical details.

  • Manufacturers Nameplate - Containers without nameplates are not permitted to be filled
  • Tank Paint Color - Propane tanks are required to be painted a reflective color
  • Regulator Position - Propane regulator must be covered and protected or pointed vertically down
  • Level Placement - The tank must be placed above the soil and on level ground

What are the main parts of a Propane Tank?

The visible parts of the propane tank as shown in the picture above play a vital role in the usability and serviceability of the gas tank. All of these parts are attached to the tank at the manufacturer with threaded fittings. These specialized propane tank parts consist of the following replaceable fittings and connections.

  • Fill Valve - Point at which hose from delivery truck is attached to the tank for re-fueling
  • Relief Valve - Safety relief mechanism designed to vent propane in an over-pressure situation
  • Service Valve - Point at which propane is converted to vapor for use with appliance(s)
  • Fixed Liquid Level Gauge - Indicates the level of propane is at or above 80% capacity
  • Float Gauge - Presents a visible indication of the propane volume in the tank. Also called a dial gauge
  • Vapor Return Valve - Connection used during propane delivery to remove excess tank pressure
  • Liquid Withdrawal Valve - Used to withdraw liquid propane from the tank

How to check your propane tank gauge.

If you are a Will Call customer, 49R Propane recommends that you regularly monitor your tank level. Look for the round dial attached to the tank with numbers from 5 to 95 (Not all tanks have gauges. If your tank does have a gauge, it is located on the top of the tank, usually under a liftable hood. Please be careful when you lift the hood—insects sometimes nest there). To allow for propane gas to expand with temperature fluctuations, a propane tank is considered full at 80% of its capacity. For example if your tank gauge reads 70% and you have a 124-gallon tank it has 86.8 gallons in it. For your convenience, comfort and safety 49R Propane recommends that you always maintain at least 20% in your propane tank. We can help you not worry about running out of fuel. Call us to become a “Routed” customer and we will make sure your tank has propane at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Out of Gas, now what do I do?
If your tank is out of gas, 49R Propane will need a responsible adult to be at the delivery address when we deliver to perform a leak test to ensure the integrity of your propane piping system when your propane service is reinstated. If you are not an On Route customer in good standing, there may be a charge for this. Regardless of account status, this practice is required by 49R Propane for your safety and in compliance with the National Fuel Gas Code.
Can I relight my pilot lights?
We strongly recommend that for safety reasons you avoid unnecessary risks by having a trained professional relight your pilot lights, especially if your tank has run out of gas. Please contact 49R Propane.
Why isn’t my tank filled to 100%?
Propane is delivered and stored in liquid form. Propane liquid, for example, will expand nearly 17 times more than water at the same temperature rise As a result, tanks and cylinders are never completely filled with propane-gas liquid. Tanks are filled to about 80 to 85 percent of their capacity. This leaves a space above the liquid, allowing it to expand freely due to changes in temperature. One of the important things to remember about Propane is that any change in temperatures on the outside a container is transferred directly from the air surrounding the container. Hot days, cool nights, rain and snow are a few of the many factors that affect the temperature of the liquid. Because of these temperature changes, you may see fluctuations in your container gauge.
Is propane safe to use in my home?
Propane is a safe fuel to use in your home. Propane has a narrow range of flammability and cannot be ingested like gasoline because it is released as a vapor. With proper care and maintenance of your tank and pipes, Propane is worry free.
Who uses propane?
Millions of Americans each day just like you. Propane fulfills energy needs by burning cleanly and efficiently, giving you more value for you energy dollar. People use propane in or outside their homes for furnaces, water heaters, air conditioners, outdoor grills and appliances; on farms; for industrial uses such as forklifts and fleet vehicles; and in millions of commercial establishments, including restaurants and hotels that depend on propane for heating, cooking and other uses.
Why chose propane over electricity?
According to the US Department of Energy it could cost up to twice as much to operate your range, water heater, dryer or furnace with electricity than with propane gas. Propane gas furnaces and heaters provide more consistent warm air throughout your home at a lower cost and more effectively than electric heat pumps (especially in this region!) and have a longer average life span of 20 years as opposed to an electric heat pumps’ average 12 year life span.
How does Propane compare to other forms of energy?
Propane can be up to 25% cheaper than electricity in regions. In addition, when tank levels are properly maintained such as on our “Routed delivery” program, propane provides a virtually uninterruptible power supply. That is reassuring when “brownouts” or “blackouts” occur when too many users are drawing electricity during high consumption periods, like cold winter months.
Is Propane dangerous to the environment?
No. Propane is an approved, alternative clean fuel listed in the 1990 Clean Air Act and the National Energy Policy Act of 1992. Propane is one of the cleanest burning of all alternative fuels.Propane is also nontoxic, so it’s not harmful to soil or water.
What can I do to conserve energy costs?
Here are some “Energy Saving Tips.” For additional tips you may want to visit the Home Energy Saver website
• Change or clean furnace filters once a month during the heating season.
• Replace old, outdated appliances with high-efficiency models.
• Close vent and doors in unused rooms and dampers on unused fireplaces.
• Lower the thermostat on water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Check to see if your attic and basement have the recommended levels of insulation.
• Keep the lint filter on your dryer clean. Dirty lint filters restrict air flow and can also be fire hazards.
• Lower your thermostats when away from the house for more than a few hours.
• Install a programmable thermostat.
How is Propane Distributed?
There are 56,000 miles of pipeline used to transport Propane. Propane is also moved by ship, barge, and railway to many U.S. areas and then trucked to nearly 6,000 retail dealer locations nationwide.
How and when was propane discovered?
From Wikipedia: Propane was first identified as a volatile component in gasoline by Walter O. Snelling of the U.S. Bureau of Mines in 1910. On March 31, the New York Times reported on Snelling's work with liquefied gas and that "a steel bottle will carry enough gas to light an ordinary home for three weeks." It was during this time that Snelling, in cooperation with Frank P. Peterson, Chester Kerr, and Arthur Kerr, created ways to liquefy the LP gases during the refining of natural gasoline. Together they established American Gasol Co., the first commercial marketer of propane. Snelling had produced relatively pure propane by 1911, and on March 25, 1913, his method of processing and producing LP gases was issued patent #1,056,845. A separate method of producing LP gas through compression was created by Frank Peterson and patented in 1912.

Some information obtained from www.npga.com