Can I switch to propane?

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From Concerned,

I do not live in one of the towns affected by recent gas leaks and explosions, thank goodness. But hearing that some home owners will not have gas restored for months has me thinking about a few things. I have also heard a few stories about people with gas appliances and heating systems changing over to propane in case something like this ever happens again.

My gas has been shut off several times over the years, luckily only for a short time because they were doing work further down the line. I feel bad for the people hearing they may not have heat for several months, I never want to find myself in that position.

I have friends using Propane and they all seem to be happy with the cost and the service. Now I am thinking of changing over and want to know will all my appliances and especially my heat and hot water system still work on Propane or do I have to change everything? Also, I know I need to put a tank somewhere on my property, so what are the rules as far as where a tank can be located, and are they always buried, most of my friends have their tanks buried.

Dear Concerned,

If you have gas appliances and heat and hot water you should be fine, however a conversion kit will be needed, mechanically this is not a big deal. Personally, I like using Propane for heat, hot water, the clothes dryer, and cooking. Some customers I have even use Propane to heat their pool and their gas grill. When I first purchased my home, I removed the Oil tank, Oil fired boiler and an electric range and dryer. All those systems were up graded using Propane gas which is cleaner, much more efficient and my provider has been excellent.

In recent years, any customers we have converted from Oil to Propane have been glad they made the switch. You can have a tank or two installed on the side of your home or if you choose, you can bury a tank (up to 1,000 gals) underground.

The unfortunate citizens of the recent disaster have viable options, electric or Propane (LP as it is called) for hot water and heat. Those affected are currently being offered electric hot plates and heaters for their homes. They should check with their local inspection service department to make sure their electrical system can handle this new equipment.

Should you decide to make the change from Natural Gas to either Propane or Electric, you should consult with and then hire a Licensed and fully insured Heating and Plumbing Contractor. If you do decide to make the change, consider going with a “Tankless On-demand System” that heats the house and supplies hot water as well. These “Tankless On-demand Systems” burn cleaner, are very efficient and can be wall mounted taking up far less space than a traditional system with a boiler.


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