But once you get up to the 500+ gallon size, you have a decision to make…
Do you want the propane tank installed aboveground or underground?
Both forms of installation have their pros and cons for your property. Let’s take a look at which option is best for you.
Have a better looking yard with an underground 500 gallon propane tank
When deciding whether to install your 500 gallon propane tank aboveground or underground, consider how your yard is going to look.
Many people don’t like the look of the aboveground tank. It can be a bit of an eyesore. An aboveground tank can require some creative landscaping approaches to hide.
On the other hand, underground propane tank installations require you to dig a hole in your yard. The hole for a 500 gallon propane tank will measure 11 feet long by 4 feet wide and 5 feet deep.
In the short-term, excavating your yard will cause the most damage, leaving a large patch of dirt you’ll need to fill in. But in the long-term, you can plant grass seeds or sod, and eventually you’ll be able to plant and landscape. In which case your yard may look even better than before. And keep in mind that sometimes underground propane gas tanks can raise the value of your property.
Save on the cost of installation with an aboveground propane tank
An aboveground propane tank installation costs a good deal less than its buried counterpart, and it’s obviously a quicker process. Installing an aboveground tank is like dropping and dragging compared to the amount of work involved when installing an underground tank.
The underground tank requires professional propane gas providers to excavate your lawn, plant the tank on a firm foundation, and backhoe a smooth fill on top of the gas tank. There’s also extra layers (sacrificial nodes) which need to be lined around the tank for long-term protection. These extra add-ons nearly double the cost compared to an aboveground tank.
But the cost won’t change after the installation. Regular refill and maintenance costs will be the same for both tanks once they’re ready for use.
Underground 500 gallon propane tanks handle extreme temperatures better
You might be wondering why someone would want to pay extra to put a propane tank underground. One reason is underground tanks are surrounded by earth, and it’s much easier for these tanks to stay temperate in extreme weather, especially freezing cold. Obviously, aboveground tanks aren’t protected or contained by any barrier and are exposed to all weather conditions.
Underground propane tanks are also safer underground when it comes to potential damages like propane leaks since a gas leak would be more contained by the soil. And that isn’t a problem since propane is harmless to your water and the environment.
Aboveground tanks handle flooding better
But, one concern you might have with underground tanks is “floating”. Floating means the tank could shift under the ground if it’s not settled on a sturdy foundation.
Most propane providers will position the underground tank properly so that it’s unlikely to move. However, if you’re in an area prone to flooding, an underground tank can float if the water rises above the propane level in your tank.
Because aboveground tanks are higher up, they are safer for flooding conditions. Aboveground tanks stand a few inches off the ground and are bolted down at the feet.
Choose the 500 gallon propane tank that works best for you
Both aboveground and underground propane tanks have their pros and cons, it really comes down to what’s right for your property and your personal preference. Whether you decide on an aboveground or underground propane tank, makes sure you choose the right size for you.
If you’re property or propane usage is a bit larger, you may want to consider a 1,000 gallon tank before you make the purchase. If you decide on installing a 500 gallon underground tank, don’t miss out on Kauffman’s free installation.