The prices of propane tanks run between $275 and $8,150
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A propane tank costs about $2,750 on average, though most homeowners pay between $275 and $8,150 for the tank and installation. Whether you want your home to feel warm and toasty, you want to crank up the grill, or you just want to relax in your hot tub, propane tanks are a surefire way to heat things up. Learn more about the cost of a propane tank and what may impact the price.
|Low Cost||Average Cost||High Cost|
Propane Tank Cost Factors
There are many cost factors that can impact the price of your project, with your propane tank’s size and capacity, labor, prep work, and location being some of the biggest factors in your total spending. Let’s break down the most significant cost factors.
Tank Size and Capacity
The tank can cost anywhere between $25 for a 15-pound tank to upwards of $4,700 for a 1,000-gallon tank.
It can feel a little confusing when comparing propane tank prices because some tanks might be labeled by the gallon while others are labeled by the pound. For the most part, larger tanks for whole-home systems will use gallons, while smaller tanks for outdoor grills and backup generators are more likely to use pounds. But this isn’t true in all cases, so you’ll want to keep a close eye on the propane tank you plan on purchasing to avoid buying the wrong size.
Propane Tank Size by Gallons
Propane tanks can cost as little as $25 for tanks under 100 gallons and upwards of $4,700 for 1,000-gallon tanks. Here is a chart breaking down the cost of your propane tank by the gallon.
|Propane Tank by Gallons||Average Price Range|
|Under 100 gallons||$25 – $275|
|100 gallons||$300 – $500|
|120 gallons||$400 – $800|
|250 gallons||$500 – $1,000|
|500 gallons||$700 – $3,000|
|1,000 gallons||$1,500 – $4,700|
Propane Tank Size by Pounds
One gallon of propane is roughly a little more than four pounds. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to label 100-gallon units by the pound, so be on the lookout for a 420-pound tank size on the label to quickly identify the correct tank size. Here’s a breakdown of common propane tanks by the pound and their average price range:
|Propane Tank by Pounds||Average Price Range|
|15 lb||$25 – $55|
|20 lb||$30 – $60|
|100 lb||$100 – $150|
|200 lb||$350 – $700|
|420 lb||$400 – $800|
Whereas the price of the tank itself only costs between $30 and $3,500 depending on the capacity, the price for labor can range anywhere from $250 to upwards of $5,000.
If you’re just installing a small propane tank for an outdoor grill, you might only pay for the tank and the propane. Installing a propane tank underground is where you’ll see the biggest cost disparity—underground tank installations cost $1,100 to $4,700 more than above-ground tanks.
If you’re installing an underground propane tank, anticipate spending more to prepare the site for the installation. You’ll spend anywhere between $50 to $200 per cubic yard to excavate the area. Some above-ground tanks require a concrete slab, which costs $50 to $175.
Inspections and Permits
You’ll also want to budget for permits, which can cost around $25 to $50, and around $50 to $75 a year for an annual inspection if you opt for an underground propane tank. This inspection checks for leaks and inspects the valve for signs that it’s disconnected or uncapped.
Above- vs. Below-Ground Propane Cost Factors
You’ll see a noticeable difference in the cost of your propane tank depending on whether you choose an above-ground or below-ground propane system. Again, underground tanks cost $1,100 to $4,700 more than above-ground ones. Let’s look at what plays a part in impacting these price differences.
Above-Ground Propane Tanks
The price for an above-ground propane tank falls between $400 and $3,500 for a 100-gallon and 1,000-gallon tank, respectively. If you live in a region prone to flooding, installing an above-ground tank is likely your best option. The main downside is that above-ground tanks aren’t hidden from view.
Below-Ground Propane Tanks
Underground propane tanks cost more than above-ground propane tanks. You’ll spend between $1,500 and $8,150 to install one. This comes down to a few additional labor expenses:
Excavation costs: $500–$2,400
Plumbing costs: $45–$200 per hour
Trench costs: $400–$1,200 per 100 linear feet
Gas line costs: $120–$1,350
You might want to choose a below-ground tank if you don’t want your tank to be visible. These tanks are also temperature controlled. At the same time, it’s harder to know when there’s an issue with an underground tank, making it important to stay on top of yearly maintenance services.
Additional Costs to Consider
In addition to the primary costs of a propane tank, you’ll also want to factor in the price of a concrete pad for above-ground propane tanks, gas line installation costs, maintenance costs, operational expenses, and other potential factors that could increase your total budget.
Concrete pads cost anywhere from $50 to $175 on average or between $4 and $25 per square foot, depending on how thick you pour them. Before you can install an above-ground tank, you’ll need to make sure you have a place to put it. Concrete pads—also called concrete slabs—are required by most municipalities. The size you need depends on the number of gallons your propane tank holds:
120-gallon tank: $50–$75
250-gallon tank: $75–$125
500-gallon tank: $125–$175
Gas Line Installation
The average cost to run an underground gas line is $540, but it can range anywhere from $250 to $800 for the average homeowner. How much you’ll pay depends on how long you need the line to be in order to operate, with costs between $15 and $25 per linear foot.
For propane tank owners, you’ll spend between $50 and $75 on average for a yearly inspection of your tank. You’ll circumvent these costs if you choose to rent a tank, as this is included in the rental costs.
Filling the Tank
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price of propane is $2.68 per gallon as of October 2022. It’s important to note that prices vary greatly depending on where you live, with some states averaging roughly $1.90 per gallon and others averaging over $4 per gallon. You might end up paying more depending on the company you choose to refill your tank with, so ask around for competitive prices.
Propane Tank Removal
If you’re replacing an old propane tank with a new one, you could pay as little as $100 or as much as $1,500 to remove the old one. The vast price difference comes down to the cost of excavating the area to remove a below-ground tank versus the cost of simply unhooking an above-ground tank and having it hauled away. If you need to replace the concrete pad, that will be an additional expense of around $200.
Propane Tank Rentals
In some cases, you might decide to rent your propane tank. This leaves the installation hassle for the company you’re leasing from, but it also means you’ll pay more overall. You’ll spend between $150 and $180 yearly for a rental tank—though some companies only charge you for the cost of propane. You might find that they charge you a higher rate per gallon than you’d get if you filled a tank you owned.
Cost to Install a Propane Tank Yourself
Photo: tab62 / Adobe Stock
Unless you’re installing a small propane tank for grilling, you’ll want to avoid installing a propane tank yourself. While it might be tempting to rent an excavator and try to save on expenses, you’ll find that the cost to rent one can be as much as $350 per day—and that doesn’t factor in the cost to remove dirt and rocks, which can add another $400 to $800 to your project.
At this point, you’re already spending $750 to $1,150 just for the excavation alone. Add in the costs to dig the trench, the gas lines, and other expenses, and you’ll find you won’t save much, and you’ll invest a lot of time and labor into trying to do it yourself.
Also, natural gas lines are just plain dangerous and should be handled by a professional propane installer near you. Your pro will know the safety precautions needed to keep your propane tank leak-free. They’ll also know your area's restrictions and the proper licensing requirements.
Cost to Install It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor
Again, a propane tank installation isn’t a DIY project unless you already have a concrete slab, a natural gas line up and running, and it’s just a matter of unplugging your old tank and plugging in the new one.
The cost to hire a contractor can range anywhere from $250 to upwards of $5,000, depending on the level of work and the complexity of the job. Hourly rates may vary depending on where you live, but you can anticipate paying a professional contractor between $120 and $150 per hour.
Cost of Common Propane Tank Add-Ons
If you hire a propane tank installation pro to install your tank, they may offer related services. Most propane installation companies are happy to remove old propane tanks, service your existing propane tanks, and provide propane delivery services.
Remove old propane tanks: $100–$1,500
Service existing propane tanks: $50–$75
Provide propane delivery services: $5–$100 per delivery
5 Ways You Can Save Money While Installing a Propane Tank
There are admittedly few ways that you can save on the cost of a propane tank, but you’ll find trying out the following tips can help make a difference:
Choose an above-ground propane tank to avoid excavation and trench costs.
Pick a smaller-sized tank that still meets your needs.
Consider a combination of small tanks and medium-sized tanks.
Shop for the best propane tank prices in your area.
Don’t rent if you can afford to buy a propane tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
On average, you can buy a 20-pound propane tank for between $35 and $60, not including the propane. The cost to fill the tank is around $7 to $20, so the total cost for a full 20-pound tank of propane runs between $42 and $80.
It costs anywhere from $600 to $1,600 to fill a 500-gallon propane tank. Keep in mind that tanks can only hold up to 80% capacity due to the propane expanding when temperatures increase.
In the long run, buying your own propane tank is generally less expensive than renting one. Often, a propane supplier will charge more for refill costs on rental tanks than for customers who own their tanks.
The average home uses roughly 1,400 gallons of propane annually for cooking and running heat. This comes out to about 3.5 gallons of propane per day. Remember that the average price of propane per gallon is about $2.68, so it would cost about $3,750 in propane each year.
Buying your propane tank incurs significant upfront costs. Leasing has very low or no initial fees. By renting the tank, companies may insist you only use their propane refill services. If you prefer the freedom to shop around, purchasing a tank might be worth the initial cost.