Frequently Asked Questions
How do I find out if a heating & cooling technician or plumber is qualified to work on propane systems in my home?
Any technician or plumber who installs, modifies, repairs or services equipment and appliances for use with propane must be registered with the Missouri Propane Safety Commission. If you are not sure if your technician is qualified to work on your propane systems, call us at 573-893-1073 and we can verify the company or individual in question.
We are a public entity. Are we required to have a leak test completed each year?
Yes, a leak test is required annually for each LPG piping system of public institutions and a test report is to be sent to MPSC. See more information in the Leak Test section of this site.
I don't believe I received the same amount of propane for which I was billed. Can you check this out?
The Weights and Measures Division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is in charge of proving meters. Contact the MDA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-751-4211.
How do I file a complaint regarding my propane provider?
The Commission only has jurisdiction on safety issues, not business practices. Business practice issues could be referred to the Better Business Bureau or the State's Attorney General's office.
My propane company says they are required to check my gas system for leaks.
The National Fire Protection Association and the Missouri State code requires a leak check be performed on new systems, or after an interruption in service. An “interruption of service” is commonly interpreted to mean that the pressure in the gas system had dropped to the point that the appliances can no longer operate. This typically happens with an “out of gas” situation. Many companies charge a fee for performing a leak check.
Why can’t I get a simple answer to “How much is propane per gallon?”
A propane supplier considers many factors to determine the cost to a customer. This could result in neighbors with the same size tanks getting different prices depending on a number of circumstances:
How many gallons a year is the customer expected to use?
Is the propane for needs (large uses, such as home heating, cooking appliances, water heater) or for decorative appliances (small uses, such as gas logs, gas lights)?
Is the customer on a scheduled delivery plan or do they deliver only upon customer request?
What is the size and frequency of deliveries?
Does the company or customer own the tank?
Is the price quoted an “introductory offer” good only for a certain period that may go up later?
Are there additional fees, such as a fuel surcharge, regulatory compliance fee, etc., or are they included in the price already?
Which has a lower price, a larger delivery or smaller delivery?
A larger delivery usually means a lower cost per gallon than a smaller delivery. Each time the truck stops to make a delivery, there are certain fixed costs that must be covered. These include, but are not limited to:
Tank inspection time
Hook-up and unhooking time
Completing the delivery ticket and giving it to the customer.
If these fixed costs must be covered by the price of a small delivery, the amount per gallon will probably be pushed higher.
Why won’t another propane company fill the tank at my house?
State law prohibits one company from filling a tank belonging to another company. This is as it should be. The company that has their tank at your house deserves a return on that investment, and their margin on the propane they sell you is a large part of that return. They may also charge rent on the tank if you do not buy a prescribed amount of propane each year. That is their privilege. You do not have the right to ask another company to fill that tank, no matter how much less they charge. You may shop around for the best price if you own the tank yourself, and that is the return you get for your investment of buying a tank.
My old propane tank is disconnected but the former supplier hasn't picked it up. What can I do?
Your problem is not a new problem. Former propane suppliers are sometimes slow to remove their tanks when the account is taken over by a new supplier. They are busy in the winter, so that could be a reason for their delay.
There is nothing in the state laws that gives us authority to require a propane company to remove a tank not in use. The LP-Gas Code does give us authority to require that some unsafe situations be corrected and we will send a field inspector to inspect your property and assist in resolving the issue.
What constitutes a full grill cylinder?
Grill cylinders are typically referred to as “20 lb.” tanks and hold 20 pounds of propane, a little over 4 ½ gallons, when full. For safety reasons, a “full” tank is about 80% liquid so there is expansion space if the liquid warms. There is an Overfill Prevention Device (OPD) built into the valve that will limit the fill to a little less than 20 pounds on a warm day. Also, there are cylinders that are larger or smaller than the “20 pounders” and hold appropriately larger or smaller amounts.
Most cylinders for sale at exchange cabinets contain less than 20 pounds of propane. Part of the reason for this is the OPD limitation mentioned above. The other reason is competition. Be aware that an exchanged cylinder probably contains about 15 to 17 pounds of propane and is required to show this in the net weight statement the label.
I took my cylinder to get it filled and they turned me down. What happened?
There are a number of things that make a grill cylinder unfit for filling. These include, but are not limited to:
The cylinder is out of date. A DOT-specification cylinder, which every grill cylinder is, has a manufacturing date stamped into the collar. The cylinder may be filled for 12 years after that date. Then it must be visually inspected and requalified. Getting a cylinder requalified (A new date will be stamped into the collar.) will usually cost you something and not all filling locations are able to do it. Requalification is usually for 5 years and will extend the life of the cylinder that long before it must be requalified again. It may continue to be requalified for as long as the person doing the requalification feels it is safe to fill the cylinder.
The cylinder does not have the required OPD valve. All cylinders up to and including 40 pounds propane capacity must have the OPD.
The cylinder may be damaged or corroded. Even if it is still in its qualification date, a cylinder with a deep dent, gash, or severe corrosion may be unfit and unsafe to fill. Check the bottom for deep corrosion pits, too.
The collar or foot ring may be loose or damaged.
The valve may be damaged.
If any of these are the case, you should not have the cylinder filled. Unfortunately, you may be able to find or convince another dispenser operator to fill it. They will not be doing you a favor if they do, as the cylinder may leak or have other problems that could end up harming you, your car, or your house. The place that denies filling your cylinder is required to give you the reason(s) in writing for turning down your cylinder. Ask them for this document.
When I buy a house, does the propane tank become mine?
You probably don't want this answer, but it depends... Most of the time, when a propane company sets a tank, they keep ownership of it. This is especially true for above ground tanks. Buried tanks become the property of the homeowner more often, but not always. If you are going to have a tank buried, ask your propane company what their policy is and what the advantages and disadvantages of tank ownership are.
If the propane company intends to keep ownership of the tank, they will ask you to sign a tank lease or agreement and they will have clear documentation that they intend to keep ownership of that tank, even if the house sells and a disclosure statement does not point out that the tank is not included in that sale.
There is a requirement to disclose what equipment is not included in the transfer of the property, especially those items that are attached to the house or property. A change in the law in 2012 added the following statement in the "Fixtures" section of the 2-T Realtor Offer to Purchase and Contract form:
"NOTE: Seller and Buyer should confirm whether fuel tanks, antennas, satellite dishes and receivers, alarm systems, and other items listed above are leased or not owned by Seller and should be entered in the blank above."
This includes the propane tank. Already in that section was other wording about fixtures. A partial quote of that section is:
"The following items, if any, are deemed fixtures and are included in the Purchase Price free of liens: ... fuel tank(s) whether attached or buried and including contents, if any, as of Settlement, ..."
There is also a requirement for a Disclosure Statement when a house is sold. The Real Estate Commission requires the following statement to be in the section that identifies the house's fuel sources:
"If the fuel source is stored in a tank, identify if the tank is above ground or below ground, and whether the tank is leased by the seller or owned by the seller."
If you are unsure or if there is no mention of the status of the propane tank or its contents, ask the real estate agent to provide the required disclosure before closing day.
You should note that these statements put some burden on the buyer to make sure that they ask for confirmation of full disclosure. If the buyer makes it clear that they have made the effort to confirm the status of fixtures, and if the propane tank and its contents were not excluded, then they may have a legitimate claim of ownership should the question come up. However, do not consider this as legal advice. Work with your attorney and realtor to assure compliance with legal requirements during negotiations, settlement, and closing.