How Much Does It Cost to Install a Buried Propane Tank in 2024

How Much Does It Cost to Install a Buried Propane Tank

Let’s break down and summarize the estimated costs associated with items III and IV, which cover the initial installation and additional cost factors for a buried propane tank:

Initial Installation Costs

  1. Purchasing the Tank:
    • Different Sizes (e.g., 500-gallon, 1000-gallon): The cost can range from approximately $1,500 to $3,000 for a 500-gallon tank and from $2,000 to $3,500 for a 1000-gallon tank.
  2. Installation Expenses:
    • Excavation and Preparation: This could cost between $500 and $1,000, varying based on the complexity of the site.
    • Labor Charges: Typically, labor can range from $1,000 to $1,500.
    • Required Safety Features: Additional costs for safety measures might range from $100 to $300.

Additional Cost Factors

  1. Permits and Regulations:
    • Permitting Fees: These can vary widely but often range from $50 to $200.
    • Compliance Costs: Additional costs for ensuring compliance with local regulations are hard to estimate but could add several hundred dollars.
  2. Distance and Accessibility:
    • Transportation Costs: Depending on distance, this could add $100 to $500.
    • Remote Location Challenges: For hard-to-access sites, costs could increase by several hundred dollars.
  3. Landscaping and Property Restoration:
    • Site Restoration: Costs here can vary widely, from $500 to $2,000, depending on the extent of landscaping required.

Total Summary

  • Tank Purchase: $1,500 – $3,500
  • Installation and Labor: $1,500 – $2,500
  • Safety Features: $100 – $300
  • Permitting and Compliance: $50 – $400+
  • Transportation and Accessibility: $100 – $1,000+
  • Landscaping and Restoration: $500 – $2,000

Total Estimated Cost Range: $3,750 – $9,700+

Based on the breakdown provided, the total estimated cost range for installing a buried propane tank, including the tank purchase, installation, labor, safety features, permits, compliance, transportation, accessibility, and landscaping, falls between approximately $3,750 and $9,700+.

This range accounts for various factors and can vary depending on specific circumstances such as local market conditions, the complexity of the installation, and individual property characteristics. It’s important to note that these figures are estimates and actual costs can be higher or lower. To get a precise figure, it’s best to consult with local professionals and obtain detailed quotes based on your specific needs and location.

Factors Determining the Cost of Installation

1. Size of the Tank:

  • The size of a propane tank can vary, from smaller 100-gallon tanks to larger tanks that can hold up to 1,000 gallons or more. The larger the tank, the higher the cost for both the tank itself and the installation.
  • Bigger tanks require more extensive excavation, longer installation times, and potentially more equipment or specialized machinery to set in place.

2. Labor Costs:

  • Regional Variations: Labor costs can vary significantly based on the region or city. More densely populated areas or those with higher expenses of living might have higher labor rates.
  • Specialized Labor Needs: Some installations might require specialized technicians or workers with specific certifications.
  • Complexity: If the installation presents unique challenges, it could take longer and increase labor costs.

3. Soil Conditions and Preparation:

  • Soil Testing: Before installation, some regions might require soil testing to ensure the ground can support a tank. This can add to the expenses.
  • Excavation: The expenses will depend on the depth and width of the excavation and the type of soil. Rocky or clay-heavy soils can be more challenging and costly to dig.
  • Soil Treatment: In some cases, the soil may need treatment or stabilization before tank installation, adding to the expenses.

4. Tank Materials and Quality:

  • Materials: Tanks can be made from various materials, including steel or fiberglass. The choice of material can influence the tank’s price.
  • Build Quality: Premium tanks with better construction, rust resistance, or other features might have higher upfront expenses but could offer long-term savings due to fewer maintenance needs.

5. Required Permits and Fees:

  • Types of Permits: Depending on the region, you might need building permits, environmental permits, or other specific clearances.
  • Cost Variations: Permit costs can vary widely based on the municipality or region.
  • Inspection Fees: After installation, an inspection might be required, incurring additional expenses.

6. Safety and Compliance:

  • Special Equipment: To meet safety regulations, you might need pressure relief devices, specific types of piping, or other equipment.
  • Safety Procedures: This can include ground testing, distance regulations from buildings or other structures, and more.

7. Site Accessibility:

  • Access Challenges: If the installation site is hard to reach (e.g., a backyard with no direct access), it could require more labor or specialized machinery.
  • Land Modifications: In some cases, structures or landscaping might need modification or removal to facilitate tank installation.

8. Additional Equipment or Features:

  • Anti-Corrosion Systems: To enhance the lifespan of the buried tank.
  • Leak Detection: Devices or systems that can alert homeowners to potential leaks.
  • Enhanced Safety Features: Such as additional shut-off valves, grounding mechanisms, or overfill protection devices.

Each of these factors can influence the overall expenses of installing a buried propane tank, so it’s essential to obtain detailed quotes and understand all potential expenses before starting the project.

Installation Process and Cost Factors

1. Excavation and Preparation

  • Overview of Excavation Needs: Begin with an explanation of the excavation process required for installing a buried propane tank, including size and depth considerations based on different tank sizes.
  • Cost Breakdown of Excavation: Detail the costs involved in excavation, such as hiring excavation services, equipment rental, and labor charges. Discuss how factors like soil type and terrain can influence these costs.
  • Site Preparation: Describe the steps for preparing the site, including clearing vegetation, leveling the ground, and ensuring safe access to heavy equipment.
  • Potential Additional Costs: Address possible unforeseen expenses, like dealing with rocky terrain or discovering underground utilities that need rerouting.

2. Professional Installation vs. DIY

  • Pros and Cons of Professional Installation: Outline the benefits of hiring professionals, such as expertise, speed, and guarantee of work, against the higher cost.
  • DIY Installation Considerations: Discuss what a DIY approach entails, highlighting the necessary skills, tools, and time commitment. Stress the importance of adhering to safety standards and local regulations.
  • Cost Comparison: Offer a comparative analysis of the costs associated with professional versus DIY installation, factoring in time, materials, and potential risks.
  • Risk Assessment: Emphasize the risks involved in a DIY installation, particularly concerning safety and compliance with local codes.

Potential Hidden Costs

1. Unforeseen Excavation Challenges:

  • Rocks: Hitting bedrock or large boulders during excavation can slow down the process and may require specialized equipment to break or remove them.
  • Groundwater: Encountering groundwater can complicate the installation process, possibly necessitating the need for dewatering procedures or changes in the tank’s placement.
  • Other Obstacles: Existing underground utilities, old foundations, or tree roots can add complexity and cost to the excavation process.

2. Changing Regulations:

  • Updated Standards: Municipalities and regulatory bodies might update installation or safety standards, possibly requiring modifications to an existing tank or its ancillary equipment.
  • Permit Renewals: Some regions might require periodic permit renewals or inspections, incurring additional costs.
  • Fines and Penalties: Non-compliance, even unintentional, can lead to fines or other penalties, leading to unexpected costs.

3. Insurance Implications:

  • Premium Adjustments: Installing a propane tank, especially a buried one, might affect your homeowner’s insurance premiums due to perceived risks.
  • Coverage Limitations: Some insurance policies might have specific exclusions or limitations when it comes to propane tanks, potentially requiring additional riders or coverage.
  • Claims: In the unlikely event of an incident related to the tank, there might be deductibles or other costs not covered by insurance.

4. Tank Maintenance Over Time:

  • Routine Inspections: To ensure the tank’s integrity and safety, regular inspections might be necessary, leading to recurring expenses.
  • Repairs: Over time, tanks can experience wear and tear, corrosion, or other damages that might necessitate repairs.
  • Component Replacements: Parts like valves, gauges, or connections might wear out and need replacement sooner than the tank itself.
  • Decommissioning: If there’s ever a need to remove or replace the tank, there will be expense associated with safely decommissioning the old tank.

Being aware of these potential hidden costs can better prepare homeowners for the financial responsibilities associated with installing and maintaining a buried propane tank. It’s always wise to budget a little extra for unexpected expenses, ensuring a smoother and more predictable project.

Read related article: Can You Drive Over a Buried Propane Tank

Additional Cost Considerations

1. Proximity to Supply Lines

  • Introduction: Explain why the distance from existing gas supply lines is a significant factor in installation costs.
  • Distance and Cost Relationship: Delve into how greater distances require more materials (piping, labor, etc.) and therefore increase the overall cost.
  • Cost Calculation Examples: Offer examples or case studies showing how varying distances impacted the installation costs for different projects.
  • Strategies to Mitigate Costs: Provide tips or strategies for managing costs related to the distance from supply lines, such as strategic placement of the tank.

2. Landscaping and Property Restoration

  • Impact of Installation on Landscaping: Describe how the installation process can disrupt existing landscaping and property aesthetics.
  • Restoration Costs: Break down the potential costs involved in restoring the property to its original state, including landscaping, reseeding grass, repairing any damage to driveways or walkways, etc.
  • Planning for Restoration: Offer advice on how to plan and budget for these restoration activities. Include tips on working with landscaping professionals or choosing cost-effective restoration methods.

How to save money in underground propane tank installation

If you’re looking to save money on the installation of an underground propane tank, there are several strategies you can employ. Here’s some advice to help you reduce costs while ensuring a safe and efficient installation:

  1. Do Thorough Research: Before you begin, research different suppliers and installation companies. Compare their prices, services, and customer reviews. Sometimes, local companies may offer better deals or packages compared to larger, national firms.
  2. Choose the Right Size Tank: It’s important to select a tank size that fits your needs. Larger tanks cost more to purchase and install. Assess your propane usage and choose a tank that meets, but doesn’t greatly exceed your requirements.
  3. Consider Seasonal Timing: The cost of installation can vary depending on the season. Typically, demand for propane tank installations is lower in the spring and summer, which might translate into lower prices and more availability of contractors.
  4. Get Multiple Quotes: Don’t settle for the first quote you receive. Obtain multiple quotes from different companies to ensure you are getting a competitive price. Be sure to ask what is included in the quote to avoid any hidden costs.
  5. DIY What You Can: While the actual installation of the tank should be done by professionals, you can save money by handling some of the preparatory work yourself. This might include clearing the installation area or doing basic landscaping post-installation.
  6. Inquire About Rebates or Incentives: Some states or local governments offer rebates or tax incentives for installing energy-efficient systems. Check if there are any such incentives available in your area that could offset some of the installation costs.
  7. Negotiate Payment Plans: If upfront costs are a concern, ask if the installation company offers a payment plan. Spreading the cost over several months can make the financial burden more manageable.
  8. Seek Referrals: Ask friends, family, or neighbors for referrals. Sometimes companies offer discounts to customers who come through referrals.

By following these tips, you can make more informed decisions and potentially reduce the costs associated with installing an underground propane tank. Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Prioritize safety, reliability, and quality to ensure your investment is worthwhile in the long term.

You Need to Be Aware of These Dos and Don’ts

Financial Assistance and Incentives

When considering the installation of an eco-friendly energy solution like an underground propane tank, it’s wise to explore financial assistance and incentives that can make the project more affordable for you. Here’s some guidance on how to navigate these options:

Government Subsidies or Tax Breaks

  1. Research Local and Federal Programs: Start by researching government programs that offer subsidies or tax breaks for eco-friendly installations. These programs vary by location, so check both your local and national government websites for up-to-date information.
  2. Understand Eligibility Criteria: Each program will have its own eligibility criteria. Ensure that both you and the type of propane tank installation you’re considering qualify for the subsidy or tax break.
  3. Application Process: Understand the application process for these subsidies or tax breaks. Some programs require pre-approval before installation, while others may allow you to apply retrospectively.
  4. Seek Expert Advice: If you find the process complex, consider consulting with a tax professional or an energy advisor. They can provide valuable insights and help you maximize your benefits.
  5. Keep Documentation: Maintain thorough records of your installation, including invoices and certification of the system. This documentation is often required when applying for these incentives.

Financing Options

  1. Installation Company Plans: Many installation companies offer financing plans. These plans can spread the cost of installation over a period, making it more manageable for your budget.
  2. Compare Interest Rates and Terms: If you opt for a financing plan, compare interest rates and terms from several providers. Look for plans with the lowest interest rates and the most favorable repayment terms.
  3. Credit Unions and Local Banks: Check with your local credit union or bank. They often have competitive loan options for home improvement projects, including eco-friendly installations.
  4. Government-Backed Loans: Some government programs offer loans for energy-efficient home improvements. These loans may have lower interest rates and more favorable terms than standard bank loans.
  5. Consider Personal Loans: If other options aren’t available, a personal loan can be a viable alternative. Be aware that interest rates may be higher compared to other financing options.
  6. Budget Accordingly: Before committing to any financing plan, ensure that the monthly repayments fit comfortably within your budget. Avoid overextending your financial commitments.

By taking advantage of these financial assistance programs and incentives, you can significantly reduce the financial burden of installing an underground propane tank. Always stay informed about the latest programs and offers in your area, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice to navigate these options effectively. Remember, a little bit of research and planning can go a long way in making your eco-friendly investment more affordable.

Is It Worth Installing a Buried Propane Tank?

From personal experience, I’d recommend considering a buried propane tank if you’re in it for the long haul. It’s a significant upfront investment, but it pays off in terms of aesthetics and practicality. You won’t have a tank sitting in your yard, which is a big plus for maintaining the look of your property.

I’ve also found that buried tanks are less worrisome in terms of safety. They’re protected from the weather and accidental impacts, which gives a sense of security. However, do keep in mind that maintenance is a bit trickier. You can’t just visually check it as you would with an above-ground tank, so regular professional inspections are crucial.

If you’re environmentally conscious, be aware of the potential risk of leaks. Though it’s not common, any leakage can be more problematic to detect and address.

Before I installed my tank, I checked local regulations and permits, which can vary greatly depending on where you live. This process can be a bit of a hassle, but it’s crucial for ensuring everything is up to code and avoids any legal complications down the line.

One thing I didn’t anticipate was the impact on property value. Some potential buyers might see a buried propane tank as a positive feature, while others might be turned off by the idea of dealing with an underground fuel source. It’s a bit of a gamble, but generally, if your home is in an area where propane is a common energy source, it’s likely to be seen as a plus.

Lastly, think about your future needs. If your energy usage is likely to increase, investing in a larger tank now can save you trouble later. On the other hand, if you’re not sure about your long-term plans or if you might switch to a different energy source, an above-ground tank might be a more flexible and less costly option.

In my case, going with a buried tank was the right decision. It’s unobtrusive, efficient, and fits well with my long-term plans for the property. If you’re in a similar situation and ready to handle the initial investment and maintenance, it could be the right choice for you too.


Investing in a buried propane tank represents more than just an immediate financial decision; it’s a long-term commitment that can have lasting implications for both your wallet and your property. As with any significant investment, it’s essential to consider not only the upfront costs but also the ongoing expenses that may arise over the lifespan of the tank.

While cost-saving strategies can indeed be beneficial, it’s paramount to remember that safety and quality should never be compromised. Opting for the cheapest option might seem enticing initially, but cutting corners could lead to higher maintenance costs, potential safety risks, and a shorter lifespan for the tank. Instead, homeowners should seek a balance between cost-effectiveness and ensuring the reliability and safety of their propane system.

At the end of the day, a well-researched, carefully planned, and quality-focused approach to installing a buried propane tank will yield the most benefits. Not only will this ensure the safety and functionality of the tank, but it can also provide peace of mind, knowing that the investment will serve reliably for years to come.

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