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Is my propane company committing fraud or creating a safety hazard? (New Hampshire vanity)
My propane tank | 2-6-2013 | AlmaKing

Posted on 02/06/2013 8:52:17 PM PST by AlmaKing

Yes, this is a vanity, but I figure some Freepers might have better answers than what I'm finding in web searches.

EnergyNorth Propane made a delivery to my tank this morning. My tank was already 70% full. I have not been using my furnace for heating this winter, not once. I've relied on 2 space heaters, so I have essentially converted to 100% electric heat which is a lot cheaper than using the propane furnace that came with the house.

The bill indicated 70 gallons of propane was delivered at $3.17 per gallon and also indicated the initial tank fill percentage was 70% and the final fill percentage was 80%. I knew something was wrong because my tank holds only 220 gallons and 70 gallons would be a 30% fill-up.

I inspected the regulator and found the tank fill percentage was 100%. I took pictures of this. Per my contract, they are supposed to fill the tank to a max of 80% to avoid leakage.

They've done this two months in a row. They know I have not used propane for the whole winter, so they're losing money on me.

Is this billing illegal?

Is filling a residential propane tank to 100% capacity a safety hazard and/or illegal?


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: newhampshire; propane
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Thanks
1 posted on 02/06/2013 8:52:28 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

I have a propane tank.
They top off
There is evaporation
None of what you state seems out of the ordinary


2 posted on 02/06/2013 8:55:20 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: svcw

Dangit. I can’t get away from these folks.


3 posted on 02/06/2013 8:56:46 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing
How much you can get in the tank depends on the temperature, if it's cold you can get a bit more in.

I think you are correct about the 80% max fill, because if filled in cold late winter and not used ...high summer temps could cause excessive pressure.

Your local state regulator should have the details....also should have this info on the original contract with your gas supplier..

4 posted on 02/06/2013 8:58:22 PM PST by spokeshave (The only people better off today than 4 years ago are the Prisoners at Guantanamo.)
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To: AlmaKing

Unless your furnace is incredibly old and/or bad I can’t believe electric is cheaper than propane. I switched to it from oil and I’m saving hundreds of dollars a year.


5 posted on 02/06/2013 8:59:31 PM PST by TheRhinelander
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To: AlmaKing

Unless your furnace is incredibly old and/or bad I can’t believe electric is cheaper than propane. I switched to it from oil and I’m saving hundreds of dollars a year.


6 posted on 02/06/2013 9:00:57 PM PST by TheRhinelander
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To: AlmaKing

100% full...!

Preper?


7 posted on 02/06/2013 9:02:55 PM PST by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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To: AlmaKing

80% is the highest they ever take mine. I switched to wood heat so only use the propane now for cooking and water heater. I also switched to on call so they only come out if I call them, with my guarantee that I wouldn’t let it go below 20%.


8 posted on 02/06/2013 9:06:36 PM PST by Duchess47 ("One day I will leave this world and dream myself to Reality" Crazy Horse)
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To: TheRhinelander

It’s a 4 year old furnace.

My propane bills by month starting in November are typically: $500, $650, $700, $750, $600 with the first one being a fill-up for the time from the previous March to end of October.

This winter so far, my electric bills with the space heaters are $137, $224, $230.

I switched to a new electricity supplier after de-regulation and chose to experiment with the space heaters. They are actually more efficient at heating the rooms we use and cheaper as you can see above.


9 posted on 02/06/2013 9:07:08 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

Is there other propane companies in your area? Talk to your neighbors and friends see if who has the good reputation in your area.

If your company isn’t one of the recommended ones then it is time to switch. Have them empty the tank and give you a refund for that gas. If the tank is theirs have them remove it. Arrange for the new company to bring in a tank and fill it to your specifications. Stipulate in your contract that they are only to fill it per your request not when they feel like it.

Good luck. If they give you grief go up the change of command by talking to a supervisor, then a manager/owner.

We had one of of our local propane companies decide that they were going to dump the high priced product into all of their customer’s tanks before a price drop. They lost a lot of customers as a result of that action. Numerous people were threatening to sue them for their actions.


10 posted on 02/06/2013 9:09:12 PM PST by notpoliticallycorewrecked (Our military does not kill babies, those that commit abortion kill babies.)
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To: Duchess47

I’ll enquire about that on-call option tomorrow. Thanks.


11 posted on 02/06/2013 9:09:31 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

Don’t know if the law allows it in your state, but in mine they can’t fill more than 80%. I also tell them when to come fill up my tanks - once in Spring and again in the Fall.


12 posted on 02/06/2013 9:11:05 PM PST by GreyHoundSailor
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To: notpoliticallycorewrecked

Yep. I intend to huddle with the neighbors in our small enclave, after this supposed blizzard moves through. I suspect, though, that many might not be paying attention like myself until I got fed up with the bills.


13 posted on 02/06/2013 9:12:02 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

Impressive!


14 posted on 02/06/2013 9:13:12 PM PST by TheRhinelander
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To: AlmaKing

The propane bills seem excessive, especially for a relatively new furnace. Is it perhaps not functioning properly?


15 posted on 02/06/2013 9:14:13 PM PST by Valpal1
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To: GreyHoundSailor

I’m trying to find out if that is the law here, but having no luck. If it’s not a law, then I won’t complain because I’m not a fan of more laws. I’ll just go with a new company where I can negotiate the contract better as another poster suggested.


16 posted on 02/06/2013 9:14:27 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

Well, you’ve replaced central heat with zone heat, so it’s like comparing grapefruit to grapes.


17 posted on 02/06/2013 9:15:59 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: svcw
There is evaporation

What sort of evaporation? If no vapor is being drawn nothing is leaving the tank.

18 posted on 02/06/2013 9:17:10 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
True, but comparing the bills is like comparing dollars to dough-nuts.

Get it? Doughhhhhh-nuts.

19 posted on 02/06/2013 9:18:34 PM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: AlmaKing

Want to get away from them? Don’t pay them. Also,If you own the tank, Buy a new lock for the top filler. Call them and tell them not to deliver anymore. then buy a shot gun.

Problem solved.


20 posted on 02/06/2013 9:19:48 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Valpal1

I’ve been studying that for a while now. At a block party last summer, us neighbors shared our propane bills and found them to be comparable. We have similar model homes in a 25 home cul-de-sac. I also monitor the price of propane regularly.

One thing I am suspicious of is that the heat could be going right out the windows since all the floor vents are situated next to windows. The two space heaters keep the living spaces warmer with much less effort than the furnace.

I’ve checked for adequate and correct attic insulation, I caulked around all my windows, I even put up insulation on the windows last year to no effect, and I checked the whole house for drafts and leaks without finding any. I just think the whole system is somehow inefficient.


21 posted on 02/06/2013 9:20:47 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing
I have not been using my furnace for heating this winter, not once. I've relied on 2 space heaters

We've done the same -- using three oil-filled DeLonghi space heaters at 300w or 900w each and have only turned on the furnace/heat pump for a few minutes on a couple of really cold mornings.

We also have a propane tank and it is filled to the 80% mark on the gauge and no more.

22 posted on 02/06/2013 9:21:17 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: Jim from C-Town

I’ve contemplated those options all day!

But, I signed the stupid contract when I moved into the house without knowing the extent of the bills. It felt like having to join a union just to get a job.


23 posted on 02/06/2013 9:24:18 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: TigersEye
GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAN
24 posted on 02/06/2013 9:26:19 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: AlmaKing

How long is the contract? What are the terms? Is there an early exit clause? what is it? Having a bill in the $500 range for heat a month seems rather high. Especially if you are able to heat the home with a couple space heaters. It can’t be a large home.


25 posted on 02/06/2013 9:29:25 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Yes, that was the point. And now the propane company has discovered my plot and intends to extract money from my pocket any way it can.


26 posted on 02/06/2013 9:30:12 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Sorry. []:(

It was a block-headed joke.

27 posted on 02/06/2013 9:31:38 PM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: AlmaKing

Or it was a stupid delivery person who didn’t expect an occupied home to have used no propane. You ought to ask them to take enough back to bring it to 80% and pay you for it.


28 posted on 02/06/2013 9:33:23 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: Jim from C-Town

It’s a 5 year contract, so that’s coming due sometime soon. The house has 1900 sq. ft. excluding the basement and attached garage. It just seems like maybe the house is poorly insulated. I even thought about filling the walls and attic with that spray in foam insulation at one point, but that costs something in the range of $15k.

The best thing is to just move the family to a better state with a more moderate climate, but that takes time.


29 posted on 02/06/2013 9:34:54 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: steve86

Propane should not evaporate from the tank. That would sure create a fire danger. Maybe a piping leak, might want to have it pressure tested. Have the propane supplier check all fittings on the tank with soapy water.

My neighbor is on auto fill and the propane truck seems to put more than a few gallons every month. I always prefer to call when I need gas. They are happy to bring a 100 gallons or more anytime.


30 posted on 02/06/2013 9:35:39 PM PST by X-spurt (Republic of Texas, Come and Take It!)
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To: AlmaKing
One thing I am suspicious of is that the heat could be going right out the windows since all the floor vents are situated next to windows.

I know that seems counter-intuitive but that is normal. The idea is that windows chill the air and cold air falls so the heat vents are located below them to put rising warm air there cutting the amount of cold transferred from the window to the air.

31 posted on 02/06/2013 9:36:56 PM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: TigersEye

Quite interesting.


32 posted on 02/06/2013 9:39:47 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: X-spurt; AlmaKing

Ooops meant to CC AlmaKing.


33 posted on 02/06/2013 9:41:27 PM PST by X-spurt (Republic of Texas, Come and Take It!)
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To: AlmaKing

Here’s another thought. From where does your propane furnace get its combustion air? Fire eats air, which will be made up through crevices in the construction from the outdoors, which is cold. Electric heat eats no air. Ideally the furnace would be located in a room sealed off from the rest of your living area, having an outdoor vent to get combustion air with. Then the cold air isn’t mixing with your living space air.


34 posted on 02/06/2013 9:42:38 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: TigersEye

But normally the vents don’t blow right up against the window. That would increase heat loss.


35 posted on 02/06/2013 9:44:05 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: AlmaKing

Most do. They only come when called. We had that in the beginning but we weren’t watching it closely at all and then opted for the automatic refill.


36 posted on 02/06/2013 9:46:37 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Vents in a central heating system are always located under windows as well as other locations. At least in every house I have worked on.


37 posted on 02/06/2013 9:53:17 PM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: svcw

I sold my propane co a few years ago to a major national co who are mostly all crooks and opportunists. They will play many pricing games.

Try to own your own tank. Only order after calling each co in your area.
don’t let tank run out

Re price of elect vs LPG - if memory serves me there are 3400 btu’s in 1 kilowatt and price per KW varies per your location. LpG has 91,000 BTU’s per gallon.

So about 27KW to equal 1 gallon of propane.
do that part of the math based on the prices in your area.
Usually tough for elect to be cheaper except certain regions of our country. Wholesale cost of propane goes
Up further away from oil refinery

Also look at the efficiency rating of each appliance ie water heater, furnace. Good lpg furnaces can be 95% each appliance has an info tag that if you’re willing to take the time you can zero in on good cost accounting.

The heat loss of yourhome will be the same whether you use gas or elect.

Most people live in areas served by natural gas - always much cheaper than eeither propane or elect


38 posted on 02/06/2013 9:54:01 PM PST by jcon40
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I don’t know much about furnaces. The furnace itself is actually in the cold concrete basement. The basement temp probably remains at 45 degrees in the winter. Now, there is a large vent in the living room which I’m guessing is some type of feeder since no air comes out of it when the furnace is on and I think I feel air moving into it.


39 posted on 02/06/2013 10:02:43 PM PST by AlmaKing
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To: AlmaKing

Re: return air - be sure to keep the filters clean or replaced regular. Follow mfg info on filter for how many months between filter changes
This willhelp efficiency of your furnace.


40 posted on 02/06/2013 10:08:26 PM PST by jcon40
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To: AlmaKing

Did you ever think about moving to Texas?


41 posted on 02/06/2013 10:17:08 PM PST by Grams A (The Sun will rise in the East in the morning and God is still on his throne.)
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To: steve86

It’s not a lot but there is some


42 posted on 02/06/2013 10:27:21 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: jcon40
We have five companies (to choose from) it's amazing how much competition improves service and price.
43 posted on 02/06/2013 10:29:57 PM PST by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: TigersEye

Given that most floor registers are located at the outer walls of the house, that is also where one would expect windows to be. It’s not always exactly that way.


44 posted on 02/06/2013 10:50:10 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: AlmaKing

Well that might be where much of your air gets scarfed up by your propane furnace, if it isn’t an ordinary cold air return.


45 posted on 02/06/2013 10:52:47 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: AlmaKing

Also, if the hot air ducts pass through that chilly crawl space, they could lose heat to the crawl space by conduction and leakage — and if the cold air ducts also do, they could be feeding needlessly cold return air to the furnace. Covering them with insulation would fight this.


46 posted on 02/06/2013 10:54:39 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I always put windows on the outer walls.


47 posted on 02/06/2013 10:55:56 PM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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To: TigersEye

That makes sense, unless you are mounting an aquarium.


48 posted on 02/06/2013 10:57:13 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: TigersEye

BUT, registers might be on the outer walls and still not exactly under windows. I had a house like that. One notable register is located to the side of the dining room by the stair well rather than under a window. Another is in front of a closet at the end of a hall that is windowless except for the window in a door leading to the outside.


49 posted on 02/06/2013 10:59:21 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (How long before all this "fairness" kills everybody, even the poor it was supposed to help???)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I believe those are called ‘pass throughs’ in the building trade not windows.


50 posted on 02/06/2013 11:00:37 PM PST by TigersEye (The irresponsible should not be leading the responsible.)
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