FAQs on LPG tanks

When is it worth using a gas tank?

If you use more than two tonnes of propane a year we recommend that you acquire a propane tank. In spite of the maintenance and inspection costs, you will benefit from much lower gas prices.

Should my tank be above ground or below?

Above-ground tanks cost less overall than underground tanks. At a later date an above-ground tank can be exchanged for one of a different size. Above-ground tanks take up space and are visible to the neighbours.

Underground tanks are more discreet: once installed in the ground only a shaft cover remains visible. For that reason they tend to receive planning permission more readily than above-ground tanks. Exchanging the tank or decommissioning it at a later date is very expensive.

Are underground tanks safer than those above ground?

The incident statistics show that the vast majority of gas leaks occur from pipes or appliances, regardless of which type of tank is used. If your underground tank was sunk into the right kind of ground and you arrange for it to be regularly maintained and inspected, you will never have any problems throughout its useful life. Similarly, if you have an above-ground tank that is properly secured, maintained and inspected, you will never have any problems with it.

Can I install an LPG tank without planning permission?

No, in all cases you will need permission from your local authority, because the tank will alter the built landscape of your locality. The same applies to underground tanks. The local authority must be informed that you intend to alter the subterranean environment.

How big does an LPG tank have to be?

Unlike heating oil tanks, LPG tanks are filled several times a year, since a gas tank big enough to meet your entire annual needs would be hugely expensive. Depending on the precise geographical location, you can expect the tank to be filled six to eight times a year.

For smaller and medium-sized residential properties a 5 m3 tank is normally installed. Industrial and commercial users may use larger tanks (up to 150 m3, occasionally even larger).

What should I pay special attention to when planning my LPG tank?

The most important criterion is the safety distance between your tank and the nearest building. This will depend on the type of construction involved, but can be up to ten metres (in the case of wooden structures). On this point underground tanks have a clear advantage, since the required safety distance for them is generally only one metre.

Another requirement is that, in the event of an unintentional loss of gas, the immediate environment is not endangered. There must be a minimum of three metres between places where gas may escape and any source of ignition or cavity into which escaping gas might seep, although larger minimum distances may be imposed depending on the nature of the surrounding terrain. Since gas can escape equally well from underground tanks, these minimum distances apply to both types of tank.

Please contact us with your specific questions!

What calorific value can I get from propane?

The calorific value range is from 12.87 kWh per kilogram at the lower end to 14 kWh per kilogram at the upper end. You should use this upper value only for reference if your entire gas consumption is via an appliance set up for condensing operation. When comparing product offers, make sure that all energy sources are compared on the basis of the same calorific value.

Can I set up my LPG tank in the cellar?

As a general principle, an above-ground tank has to be installed in a well-ventilated space. It is exceedingly rare that a cellar will satisfy this requirement. An underground tank may never be installed under a building.

May I install an underground tank under a car parking space?

This is generally possible, subject to fulfilment of two conditions. Firstly, the tank must be able to support the weight of the vehicle, which will require costly modifications. Secondly, the tank cavity has to be constructed so that it is gas-tight and a discharge outlet pipe will need to be installed at a sufficient distance from the car parking space. Again, this feature will cost substantially more than a standard tank. This option only makes sense if there is genuinely no other place to locate the tank.