A common question for homeowners is about the life expectancy of their buried propane tank.
Propane tanks are generally very durable and manufactures have learned how to make them last 30 or even 40 years. Made primarily of corrosion resistant steel, these tanks are treated with special coatings to resist the elements.
How to spot the early signs of trouble.
The portion of the tank that is unburied is the percent full gauge and the fill valve. These exposed components themselves are coated with a water resistant material at the point where they are fixed to the tank. However, if it is scratched or in harsh environments, it will begin to degrade and surface oxidation (rust) will appear. It is for this reason homeowners are advised to keep their tanks covered to minimize water contact.
Should you own your own tank?
Owning your own tank is a decision every homeowner will have to make. Generally speaking, if you intend to spend more than 3 years at the same property, you will be better off owning your own tank because you will save in the tank rental fee your propane supplier charges you. The rental cost exceeds the cost of owning your own tank in about 36 months. Because tanks are virtually maintenance free, you will enjoy multiple decades before the equipment requires replacement.