Learn how much it costs to Buy a Propane Tank - Compose: SEO. (2023)

Updated May 17, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

A propane tank costs $1,770 on average but can range from $30 to $3,500. In this guide, we'll explain the cost of propane tanks for various uses, from outdoor cooking to whole-home heating.

2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging

Demand for siding and other building materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 10% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.

Average Propane Tank Prices

Factors That Affect the Cost of Your Propane Tank

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The size and whether the tank is above or underground will determine propane tank prices. The pricing will also differ whether it's new or used.

Propane Tank by Gallons

When you compare propane tank costs, size is the most significant price determinant. Smaller bottles range from $5 to $700. They usually don't carry additional installation costs since most homeowners can hook them up without much effort and are generally portable, so you have the option to take them to a filling station or exchange them for a refilled one.

Larger tanks like 100-gallon ones cost around $400, and 1,000-gallon tanks can cost up to $3,500. Most larger models will require installation.

See the following list to figure out the best tank size for your needs:

  • 1-gallon propane bottles: Ideal for people who want to do a little cooking while camping

  • 5- to 50-gallon tanks: Ideal for running an outdoor grill or providing fuel for the cost of a backup generator

  • 120- to 325-gallon tanks: Can take care of heating, cooking, and using a fireplace, dryer, and standard hot water

  • 500-gallon tanks: Great for a whole-home system for a small home

  • 1,000-gallon tanks: Great for a whole-home system for a larger home

You may also find propane tanks sold by the number of pounds instead of gallons.


Get a Quote for a Large Propane Tank

Propane Tank by Pounds

One gallon of propane weighs a little over 4 pounds, which means that a manufacturer or reseller might label a 100-gallon unit as a 420-pound tank. Confirm you have the right measurement before you buy. A conversion error might result in purchasing a much larger or smaller model than what you need.

Tank Location

The price of your propane tank will also depend on whether you install it above or below the ground. You’ll make this decision based on the conditions where you live.

Aboveground Propane Tanks

Aboveground propane tanks range from $400 for a 100-gallon tank to $3,500 for a 1,000-gallon tank. We recommend an aboveground installation if you live in an area with frequent flooding.

These propane tanks can handle flooding better than underground tanks because they stand a few inches off the ground and are bolted down at the feet. An aboveground tank will need to be a certain distance from your home and septic system. Since you can't hide this tank close to a wall of your home, this might mean your aboveground tank will be very visible in your yard.

Underground Buried Propane Tanks

The price to install a propane tank runs from $1,130 to $5,150, with an additional unit cost of $500 to $3,500. Tanks between 250 and 1,000 gallons are often installed underground, which is ideal if you want to maximize yard space or live in a region with freezing temperatures. Remember that you'll need to pay for the cost of digging a trench and the cost of land excavation.

Buying Used vs. New Equipment

A used 1,000-gallon tank could cost around $750 to $1,250 compared to $1,500 to $3,500 for a new tank. Well-kept old units can last many decades, so you may save a lot of money by purchasing a used model. In fact, older tanks may have thicker steel and a higher safety rating. This is due to gradual increases in steel price, which dictates changes in manufacturing standards.

However, smaller tanks are relatively inexpensive to buy new, meaning you may not save as much by looking for a used one.

Other Propane Tank Cost Factors

Handling the propane tank and taking care of its maintenance can add extra fees on top of the unit price. Keep reading to find out the details.

Filling the Tank

Most of the time, the prices for propane tanks concern an empty unit. Transport safety and the weight of larger models demand that delivery (and installation, as needed) happen separately from fuel delivery.

The propane price varies throughout the year but hovers around $2 to $2.75 per gallon. Companies offering refills may charge as much as $3.25 to $4 per gallon. Keep in mind that your refill will only reach 80% of capacity per industry standards. This means that a 20-pound refill may be closer to 15 or 16 pounds.

Moving a Propane Tank

Moving a propane tank ranges from $100 to $1,500, depending on the size, whether it's above or underground, and how far you're moving it. Moving a small aboveground tank is closer to $100, including unhooking the tank, moving it, and reconnecting it. If the tank needs a new pad, it'll increase the cost upwards to $200.

Moving an underground tank will cost you between $1,000 and $1,500. This includes digging it up, excavating a new hole, moving and reconnecting the old tank, and refilling the old hole. If you just want to remove an old underground tank, you'll pay for the excavation and removal, costing up to $500.

Renting a Propane Tank

Homeowners may decide that it's more cost-effective to buy smaller tanks and rent larger ones.

Rental companies often allow you to get a tank installed, hooked up, and ready to fill without paying anything except the cost of the propane. Some other companies could charge a rental fee of $150 to $180 per year.

But one disadvantage of renting is you may not be able to switch propane providers as costs fluctuate. You're locked into the lessor's propane prices when you lease a tank. For example, if another company offers less expensive propane, you first need to break your current lease and contract with the other company. Meanwhile, you can switch between propane companies if you own your tank.

Annual Maintenance

If you own your tank, you must have it inspected yearly for around $50 to $75. This doesn’t apply if you’re renting a tank.

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Find Local Pros to Install a Propane Tank

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I exchange or refill my old tank?

Exchanging your old tank is suitable if you only want to keep one small unit. Otherwise, you might choose to pay the extra money for one you can refill on your own. Homeowners who maintain several small tanks or have easy access to a propane company may prefer this option.

Buying a 15- to 20-pound tank you can exchange at the store could cost as much as $30 less than buying the same size outright. Exchanging an empty tank for a full one ranges from $10 to $25.

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How much does propane tank recertification cost?

Recertifying a propane tank costs around $35 to $60, depending on the pro doing the work. Once the unit reaches an expiration date (typically 12 years for 15- to 20-pound propane tanks), you must request an inspection before you can refill it. Larger models may not have an expiration date.

Recertification could be a good idea if you’re uncertain of the condition. The price of 15- to 20-pound tanks may make recertification about the same as buying a new one.

Does propane go bad?

No, propane doesn’t expire as long as you store it correctly. Unlike diesel and kerosene—which do go bad eventually—propane has a very long shelf life. If you do see an expiration date on the propane tank, it’s just a reminder to change the tank.

How can you tell how much propane is left in the tank?

There are several ways to determine how much propane is left in the tank. Try one of the following methods listed below:

  • Use a propane tank gauge to see how much propane you have left. This costs around $30, and you can find one at most hardware stores.

  • Weigh your tank on a scale, then subtract that number with the tare weight to determine how much propane you have. You can find the tare weight marked “TW” on the tank itself.

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Does propane freeze in cold weather?

Yes, propane can freeze in extremely cold weather, with the freezing point being -44 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, it’s likely you won’t have to deal with this issue if you live in the U.S.


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