Your questions answered about installing an propane gas tank underground
Underground propane gas tanks are an out-of-sight out-of-mind alternative to above ground propane gas tanks. While digging a big hole in your yard might not be appealing, after it is installed it is only marked by a simple dome that can easily blend into your yard’s landscape.
Underground propane tank installations require a professional. Here is what to expect when you get an underground propane gas tank installed on your property.
An underground propane tank is right for you if…
- You have a place to install the tank where it won’t be near vehicles or traffic
- Your propane tank is 500+ gallons (most underground propane tank sizes are 500, or 1,000 gallons)
- You don’t want a propane tank to be seen above ground
- You have at least 12x5 feet in your yard to install the tank.
Installation of your underground propane tank should only take one day
Before you select your propane gas supplier, ask them what the installation process looks like. Installing your propane tank should be a minimal inconvenience for you!
Step 1: Choose your underground propane tank size
You should only consider propane tank if you need a 500 Gallon tank or more. This applies to many home owners that use propane for whole house heating and two or more other appliances. Learn what size propane tank you need in your home.
Step 2: Excavate your yard to make room for your propane tank
The first step for installing your underground propane tank is excavation. Your propane gas supplier will map a place in your yard where the propane gas tank can fit and will not interfere with other systems for your home.
Your underground propane gas tank must be installed a minimum of 10 feet from your home (and exterior appliances) and 10 feet from the edge of your property.
Here are the excavation dimensions for different size underground propane gas tanks.
|Tank Size||Underground Propane Gas Tank Dimensions||Approximate Excavation Dimensions|
|1,000 Gallons||9’10’’ Long x 6′-17/8” Tall||17’ Long x 4’ Wide x 5’ Deep|
|500 Gallons||8’ 10 ¾”’ Long x 5’ Tall||11′ Long, X 4′ Wide X 5′ Deep|
Step 3: Install and hook up the underground propane tank
Your propane gas supplier should follow all safety regulations when installing your tank to ensure it is not damaged and is not at risk for leaking. This includes:
- Ensuring the foundation is firm
- Properly securing the container to prevent movement or “tank floating”
- Hole is backfilled with earth free from rocks or other abrasives
- Container is covered with 1’ or more of earth
After the tank is installed in the ground and hooked up, a dome will be placed to protect the valve and fittings that sticks out from the earth.
Frequently Asked Questions about underground propane gas tank installs
Do I need to be home? It is preferable that you are home during the installation process. To successfully hook up your propane, the technician must conduct a leak test which requires access to your house. If you aren’t going to be home, you should allow the technician entry into your house.
I have a finished basement. Is this a problem? No, it is not a problem. However, properly fitting the pipes might require removing and repairing the drywall.
Is it safe? Will it affect my water? Propane gas is environmentally safe. Underground propane gas tanks do not pose a risk to your water or soil.
Maintaining Underground Propane Tanks: The Sacrificial Anode
If you lease your propane gas tank, your propane vendor will check the tank every 2-3 years. Propane tanks have a very long life. But to protect your underground propane tank, a sacrificial anode bag is attached to the tank before installation. The anode bag acts as a decoy, absorbing natural electric currents in the ground and water that would otherwise deteriorate your tank.
These bags help prolong the life of your underground propane tank.
A sacrificial anode is also found in your hot water heater.
Best time to install and underground propane gas tank
April thru October is the best time to install an underground propane gas tank. As long as the ground is not frozen, excavation can happen!