Thinking of an Underground Propane Tank? This is How it’s Done

And another thing: Bury your tank where the propane truck can make easy deliveries. (image: lakearthurbutane.com)

It’s a common propane dilemma: You want to use the gas, but you don’t want a thousand gallon tank sitting in the front yard. And it’s a dilemma that propane-using homeowners have solved a few ways. Some will go with tank camouflage, like a large fake rock. Others may choose tank beautification, like a painted mural. And most propane customers — especially those with a tank over 250 gallons large — will bury the thing.

There’s a lot to like about a buried propane tank. It leaves a minimal footprint on the lawn, with nothing but the dome peeking out, like the periscope of a submarine. But it’s also a project with its own set of concerns: Can I dig my own hole? How can I prevent the tank from corroding? Will it ruin the wife’s rose bushes?

Tevis Propane, a dealer serving parts of Maryland and Central Pennsylvania, has put together a short movie that demystifies the process. The video offers a glimpse of the tank installation, from the dig to the refill. The company has a backhoe on site, and starts with the digging of the pit. “We’ll then set the tank in the hole using the backhoe, fill it with sand, connect the supply line, and back fill the dirt,” the site manager explains.

Handy viewers may start thinking how much of the work they can do on their own. Jobs for the DIYers include excavating the hole, handling the backfill, and picking up the fill (the on-site dirt is a no-no, since it may contain rocks that could damage the tank). But there are several tasks that should be left to the propane pros, like setting the tank and piping, running the safety checks, and activating the anode bags that protect the tank from corrosion. For a thorough breakdown, try this article from finehomebuilding.com.

As for protecting the roses, just make sure the backhoe operator knows where they are before he gets too enthusiastic with the shovel.

Here’s the video. Nice work, Tevis!