Propane Tank: Aboveground or Underground?

Written on: May 2, 2022

Make the Best Choice for Your Home

propane tank texasAdding or switching to propane is a great decision for homes in Texas and New Mexico. How so, exactly? Propane is extremely versatile, eco-friendly, and an efficient choice to power a variety of your home’s systems and equipment. So, when you’re looking to make the switch to propane, there’s a good chance that your biggest decision is whether your propane tank should be aboveground or underground. While aesthetics might make putting your tank underground seems like the obvious option, safety and budget are important considerations to factor in.

Here’s everything you need to consider before you make your choice:

Cost Differences Between Aboveground or Underground Propane

The cost of your tank mainly depends on its size but opting for an underground tank will cost as much as twice as much. Here’s why:

If you’re locating your tank underground, you need to plan a budget for excavation costs, including contractors and extra labor to bury your tank properly. In addition, “sacrificial anodes,” which help to prevent corrosion over long periods of time, need to be buried near the tank as well. An underground tank also needs a special anti-corrosion coating and regular maintenance checks.

An aboveground tank simply needs to meet distance requirements and have appropriate permits. Sometimes, a concrete base is needed for stability, but the cost is relatively small, and we can usually handle it for you. Because its aboveground, maintenance is not a problem. However, aboveground tanks are more exposed to the elements, which can make them a little less durable if they’re subjected to extreme or extended heat and cold.

Safety Factors of Propane Tank Location

Aboveground tanks are extremely safe, so long as they’re inspected periodically for signs of damage or corrosion to avoid a leak.

Underground tanks are just as safe—if not safer—than aboveground tanks. One reason is that they are protected from temperature fluctuations. Underground tanks are also safer in the event of a leak. Unlike oil, propane can’t harm soil or water, and since the tank is buried, leaking propane can’t escape into the air, which helps minimize fire hazards.

However, if you happen to live in a flood-prone area, an aboveground tank might well be the safer option. That’s because an underground tank can actually float away if the water rises above the propane level in your tank. Aboveground tanks stand a few inches off the ground and are bolted down making it more stable and less exposed during flooding conditions.

Fuel Tank Curb Appeal

When you invest time and money in making your home and yard look nice, chances are you don’t want a hunk of metal ruining the view. But sometimes there isn’t the space—or the budget—to bury your tank. We get it. And we’ll work with you to help situate your tank at the side or the back of your home, in as unobtrusive a place as possible while adhering to all local and federal safety rules.

So…Which Choice is the Best Choice?

There are pros and cons to both aboveground and underground propane tanks. For aesthetics and safety, underground tanks are a great option. However, if you’re on a tight budget, live in a flood-prone area, or can site your tank in a less prominent spot, an aboveground tank may be more practical.

Whether you decide on an above-ground or underground propane tank, know that the pros at Pico Propane and Fuels can help you make a selection, as well as provide the installation and maintenance of your tank—100% hassle-free! What’s even better? We’ll provide reliable propane delivery services, too. Contact us for more information today and ask about our convenient wireless tank monitoring.