The tank or cylinder is where the propane is stored. It is equipped with a main shutoff valve, which turns the gas “on” or “off.” The regulator controls the gas pressure, while the gas piping carries the gas to your appliance(s). It is important for you to know the location of the main shutoff valve on the tank or cylinder. Please become familiar with how to shut it off in an emergency situation.
How can I tell if there is a gas leak?
By the smell. As a protective measure for your safety, a strong odorant is added to propane so that you will easily be able to detect the smell. Make sure your entire family can recognize the odor of propane gas. Under some conditions, such as when suffering from colds, allergies or sinus congestion, or when strong cooking odors are present, you may not smell a leak. Therefore, it is recommended that you install a propane gas detector in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Carbon monoxide detectors are also recommended for oil, natural gas, propane or any other solid, liquid or gas-fueled system.
How do I know when I’m due for a delivery?
If you are on Automatic Delivery, we will know when to refill your tank(s). Paraco monitors your consumption and refills your tank accordingly. However, it is important that you notify us of any changes in routine usage; for example, the addition or removal of an appliance or increased usage of appliances. If you are on Will-Call Delivery, call our customer service department when your tank gauge is at 30% to schedule a delivery. Pool customers should check their gauge weekly. Ask about Paraco’s peace of mind “Tank Butler” … it calls us automatically when you need a delivery!
Who do I call if I have a question about my invoice or statement?
Billing questions should be directed to the customer service department in the Paraco location printed on your invoice. Paraco Gas utilizes a mobile customer management system that will provide you with an invoice immediately upon the completion of your delivery. You do have the option of receiving an invoice in the mail if your billing address is different from your delivery address. At the end of the month, if there is an outstanding balance, you will receive a statement showing all deliveries/ services for the month plus any prior balance.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept checks, cash and major credit cards (Visa® and MasterCard® only). You can select Paraco’s Direct Pay Program and have the same budgeted amount deducted directly from your checking account automatically each month. You can also elect to have payments automatically deducted from your credit card after each delivery and/or service call. Please indicate your selected method by completing and returning the Easy Pay/Direct Pay Program Authorization Agreement, found in the back pocket of this booklet.
Can I bury my current aboveground propane tank?
No. Your aboveground tank is not coated or manufactured to be buried. We carry underground propane tanks in various sizes; please contact our sales department to learn more.
Can I connect my barbecue tank to my main propane tank?
Only built-in or secured stationary units can be connected to the main propane supply. Installation options include quick disconnect and barbecue box models. Contact us for information.
My tank has been locked out. Why do I need to have someone home to unlock it if you were able to lock it when no one was home?
We can disconnect service at the propane tank or regulator and install a lock on the tank without entering your home. To resume service, we must remove the lock and perform a leak test, which requires us to shut off gas flow to each appliance. Once the leak test is completed and the propane is turned back on, all pilots must be re-lit.
I don’t want to turn my tank off every time I leave for vacation or the season. Is there a way to save money and not heat my hot water when I am not home?
Many hot water heaters have a vacation mode, where the pilot remains on but the burner does not. When you return, turn the valve on and the hot water heater will work as normal.
I received a change-out letter. What does that mean?
To remain in use, DOT propane tanks must be recertified 12 years after the original manufacture date and then either every five years for a visual inspection or 12 years for a hydrostatic inspection. We need to schedule an appointment when someone is home to remove your current propane tank, install a new one and to do a leak test. You will receive full credit for propane that is in your current tank and billed for the propane needed to fill the new tank.
My tank gauge reads 45% but my appliance is not working. What should I do?
See if your other gas appliances are working. If they are, call your HVAC service professional to fix the broken appliance. If they are not, contact us as soon as possible.
What is the wait time for a delivery if I am a “will-call” customer? Is there a way to shorten the wait time?
We do our best to service you within a couple of days. The typical wait time depends on the location of your home, but is usually two to three business days. Paraco does offer next-day delivery service for $75 plus tax and same-day service for $150 plus tax. Please note that same-day service is dictated by driver and truck availability and is at the discretion of Paraco dispatch.
My delivery is scheduled for today, what time is it coming?
Unfortunately, due to the uncertain nature of our business and the possibility of emergency calls, it is not possible to accurately predict a narrow delivery time window. If you are not out of fuel, you do not need to be home for the delivery driver. If you run out of fuel, a general time window will be given—for example, 8am to Noon, or Noon to 5pm.
Why isn’t my tank filled to 100% capacity?
Propane is delivered and stored in liquid form. Propane liquid expands (becomes a gas) nearly 17 times more quickly than water over the same temperature increase. As a result, propane tanks are filled to about 80 to 85% of their capacity. This allows the propane liquid to expand freely with changes in temperature caused by hot days, cool nights, rain, snow and other factors. Because of these temperature changes, you may see fluctuations in your tank gauge—this is normal.
What is a safety check? Do I need one?
During a safety check your technician will test your propane system for proper operation and safe installation. They will perform a test on your gas line and tank or cylinder to ensure they are leak free. They will also make sure that both the propane tank and your appliances meet all National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines.
Before we make the first propane delivery to your house, we must perform a safety check no matter how recently your former company delivered to you. If it has been a few years since your last delivery, we will also make sure your system is up to code.
Do I need to be home for a service call or safety check?
If your whole propane system is in an accessible area outside your home (as in a pool heater or generator), you don’t have to be home—just make sure any gates are left unlocked and dogs are put away. However, if we find a problem and can’t reach you, we will have to turn the tank off as a precaution until we can arrange a time to meet with you. If you have an indoor appliance, someone 18 or older must be home so our technician can enter your home and verify proper operation and compliance with NFPA code for all appliances. Paraco offers after-hours safety checks and resume service in select markets—contact us for details.
Your technician “red-tagged” my tank/appliance. What does that mean and what do I do now?
If a technician finds the tank or appliance in an unsafe location, leaking or in violation of code, he must turn off the system until a repair, relocation or replacement can be arranged. The technician reports red tags to your local branch manager, who will schedule a follow-up call to remedy the situation as soon as possible.
What is a monitor and how does it work?
A monitor is a cellular receiver that reads the amount of propane in your tank and sends us a report each day. It is a great solution for customers who aren’t eligible for automatic delivery because they have a “sporadic use” appliance such as a fireplace, pool heater or generator. Contact your local branch for information about an optional monitor service. You do not have to be home for any monitor installation or service.
How can I pay my invoices automatically from my checking account or credit card?
Contact customer service to request an authorization form. You can supply your credit card or checking account information, sign the form and return it in the envelope provided. Although there is no charge for this service, you must be a credit-approved customer.
How do I pay my bill online?
You need to be a My Account customer. You can quickly and easily sign up for My Account here.
Why do I need to have a leak test?
Leak tests are required any time there is an interruption of service—meaning any time the flow of gas in your home is stopped for any reason. NFPA 54 (2006), 8.2.3 states, “Immediately after the gas is turned on into a new system or into a system that has been initially restored after an interruption of service, the piping system shall be tested for leakage. If leakage is indicated, the gas supply shall be shut off until the necessary repairs have been made.”
The leak test is billed at Paraco’s standard service rate.
I have two large propane tanks in my backyard and would like to switch companies. What do I have to do?
Inventory the tanks to determine who owns them (you or the supplier), what the gas used for, how many gallons you use yearly, where the tanks are located on the property, whether they are aboveground or underground, and if they meet all the code requirements. Paraco can survey your site at no charge to make sure your tanks are up to code.
I have had these propane tanks for a long time. Why do I need a permit now?
The gas company installing tanks is required by law to pull a storage permit with the fire department or with the authority having jurisdiction. If new gas piping is needed, a permit is also required from your town or city.
What is an ECC fee, and why am I being charged for it?
Insurance and regulatory compliance greatly affect the propane industry, and these costs continue to rise. To ensure safety in all aspects of our operations, we pass along a portion of our expenses in these areas to our customers in the form of a Safety and Maintenance/ECC charge. Some companies build the cost of compliance into their propane price; Paraco prefers to bill for this cost separately. Compliance expenses include insurance, Hazmat registration, HUT (Highway Use Tax) permits, Auto Fuel Carrier permits, International Fuel Tax Authority permits, local licenses and more.
Does the propane shortage affect my ability to get supply?
Because Paraco Gas sources its fuel from more than 10 supply points, we are somewhat insulated from the shortages that other propane suppliers experience. While no propane company is immune to these shortages, we generally have enough fuel on hand to satisfy our customers’ needs throughout the winter. Diversifying our supply this way is a little more costly, but it is necessary to ensure you have the supply you need, when you need it.
There are propane companies offering partial tank filling for customers. Can we expect the same?
No. Paraco Gas fills your tank to its full capacity to reduce the number of deliveries we make so we can be available for you when you need fuel most.
Why have my propane costs gone up?
Inventory supplies in the United States and Canada are often depleted faster than they can be replaced, which drives up prices. This affects transportation costs as well, since the trucks used to transport gas to our storage tanks have to travel greater distances to pick up supply. Prices in the Northeast are high, but not as high as they are in the Midwest, where wholesale propane is being sold for more than $5 per gallon.
When will my propane pricing come down?
If the price of propane rises, the higher costs will likely last through the winter. Once demand decreases and production outpaces demand, prices should return to lower levels.
How can I help Paraco to help me?
Keep your driveway and a pathway to your tank clear so our driver can easily access your equipment. Alert us to any changes in your account, such as the addition of appliances or any other known change in usage. Please pay your bill on time; during these times of high-cost product, our suppliers pay very close attention to their credit terms.
What is a lease fee?
Companies charge this fee to offset the high cost of purchasing, maintaining and replacing the equipment installed at your home or business. Propane tanks need to be recertified or replaced after their original test date expires. If the tank is in good condition, we can sometimes recertify them on location, but in many cases, they are rusted or in poor condition and need to be changed.
If I increase my usage will the lease fee be waived?
Yes. By adding uses such as heating or hot water, you can eliminate lease fees and decrease your price of propane. Changing your old oil system or electric heat to propane can not only save you money, but it can help the environment and reduce our country’s demand on foreign oil. Read about more of propane’s benefits here.
I found a company that said it doesn’t charge a lease fee—why shouldn’t I change companies?
Ask yourself why that company does not charge a fee that almost every other company charges. How much insurance does it carry? How many tanks a year does it change out just for maintenance? Are its service technicians and drivers trained and qualified to handle emergency situations? At Paraco, serving you quickly, safely and properly is our top priority.
Can I purchase my tank?
Yes, you can call your local office to get current pricing. It’s important to note, however, that once you purchase your tank any maintenance work, leak repairs or tank and parts replacement will be a billable service, which can get very expensive (especially after hours).
“My tank has been installed here for a very long time—shouldn’t it be paid for by now? Why am I still being charged a fee?
Propane tanks need to be recertified or replaced after their original test date expires. If the tank is in good condition we can sometimes recertify them on location, but in many cases, they are rusted or in poor condition and need to be changed. We charge a fee for these services.
You may also be charged a fee to cover problems with your tank or regulator. When you own your tank, the cost to replace a regulator could exceed $250 (including labor). Tank replacements can cost more than $700, depending on your tank size.
Isn’t the cost of the equipment factored into the price per gallon?
No, the price of propane is based on changing market conditions, estimated annual usage and what it costs us to deliver it to you. Our cost for the truck, the driver and other related delivery expenses stays the same, whether we are delivering 40 gallons or 400. That’s why the more propane you use, the lower the price per gallon is. This principle applies when you buy almost any commodity—even milk (compare the price of a quart of milk to the price of a gallon, for example).
What will happen to the cost of my fuel once the introductory rate has expired?
Your price will revert to the market rate. The price you pay will be based on the market cost plus your annual consumption; the more propane you use, the better of a rate we can offer you.
How often will the price of propane fuel fluctuate?
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how often the price will fluctuate. However, we can guarantee that we will always give you a fair, competitive rate.
Why am I being charged a restocking fee?
A restocking fee is a service charge that covers the cost of the technician coming to your home and safely disconnecting the equipment. The fee also covers the cost of pumping out the gas and restocking both the propane and the tank itself.