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Propane

Enjoy the comfort of your home with the quality, value and energy efficiency that propane offers.

Propane is an excellent option as a reliable and efficient secondary source of heat for your home. It provides value for your energy dollar and exceptional performance. With propane fireplaces, ambiance meets heat efficiency. Add elegance to any room with an easy-to-use, heat efficient propane fireplace.

Columbia Fuels provides home comfort that you can count on. Comprehensive service includes automatic delivery or on-call delivery, budget payment plans, ebilling and 24 hour emergency service.


Propane FAQ

Why did my tank percentage fall so quickly?

This question is often asked during the period immediately following delivery, especially during periods of cold weather. So while your tank gauge may read 80% right after a fill, inspecting the gauge the following morning may show a percentage drop of up to 5%, even if no gas has been used.

This occurs because your propane gas is delivered as a liquid. Like all liquids, it expands as temperatures rise and contracts when temperatures fall. (Actually, the liquid propane in a tank will expand 270 times its volume as it vaporizes into a gas. The vaporized gas is what your equipment and appliances burn in order to operate).

You will still have the same number of litres of propane, but it will occupy more or less volume depending on changes in temperature. Liquid propane expands and contracts 1.5% for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2.7% for every 10 degrees Centigrade.

It is for this reason - whether the propane tank is being filled partially or completely - the delivery driver uses the bleeder valve (and not the gauge) for measurement during the delivery process.

It is important to note the gauge reading on your tank only measures the level of liquid remaining in the tank.

What does propane smell like?

In its natural state, propane is odourless. For safety precautions, an ordourant called Ethyl Mercaptan is added so any presence of propane may easily be detected. It is gives propane a Sulphur based smell that some people have described as similar to rotten eggs or boiling cabbage.

Is there a simple way to detect propane leaks?

Most of us are able to use our eyes and nose to help in the detection of a propane leak. For peace-of-mind there are gas detectors available at retail stores. Leaks are uncommon, but a simple way to check piping, fittings or a tank for a leak is to mix dish soap with water and spray it on the area of concern. If bubbles form, you may have a leak and should take immediate action: Turn off propane supply to that appliance or at the tank and call Columbia Fuels immediately. Important note: This is not intended as a comprehensive commentary on leak detection and response but as general information to provide an overview for information purposes only. Contact Columbia Fuels for further information or assistance.

What are the effects of breathing propane?

Propane is non-toxic, non-poisonous and non-narcotic. Propane is heavier than air and will displace the air out of a confined space. If you were in a room filled with propane, it may displace sufficient amounts of air, and you may become light-headed or unconscious. If this occurs remove yourself to a well ventilated area and call for immediate assistance. If you smell propane in your house, ventilate the area and call for immediate assistance.

What size of propane tank do I need?

There are many factors that determine what size of a propane cylinder or tank best suit your requirements. The size of tank you need depends on the requirements of your appliances, location of the tank, and the area you live in. In sizing the correct tank it is best to have a qualified technician look at your propane system and measure the BTU load of all the appliances. Columbia Fuels can assist you in properly sizing the tank for individual application.

How do I read the gauge on my propane tank?

Not all propane cylinders / tanks have gauges and not all gauges look the same. With different manufacturers the gauges vary in style, size and look but all have the same purpose, to allow the user to see how much propane fuel is in the tank at a given time. Most gauges on tanks are a float gauge style, which is a basic concept of an arm inside the tank that as the level of liquid propane drops the floating arm drops reducing the indicated number on the dial of the gauge. Propane tanks are filled to 80% capacity of the tank to allow for expansion of the liquid propane. The numbers on the dial of the gauge indicate the percentage of liquid propane in the tank or cylinder. Most dials on the propane gauges range from 10 to 80 on cylinders and 5 to 95 on tanks.

Gauge Reads:40 Gallon80 Gallon500 Gallon1000 Gallon
80% 176 360 1512 3023
70% 154 315 1323 2645
60% 132 270 1134 2267
50% 110 225 945 1890
40% 88 180 756 1512
30% 66 135 567 1134
20% 44 90 378 756

Order propane when gauge reads 20% to 30%.

Is propane a solvent?

Propane is a solvent and will dissolve natural rubber products and may affect some petroleum based products resulting in product failure and appliance malfunction. All seals, o’rings, diaphragms, and hoses should be made from synthetic compounds, neoprene, that are resistant to the action of propane. Type one rubber propane hoses like the type used on bbq’s, camping equipment, and rv’s are designed for short term usages and should never be used on permanent installations such as your house. That is why all hoses, fittings and material must be designed, manufactured and be approved for specific use with propane, in accordance with all safety requirements and laws.

Why do cylinders require re-certification and inspection?

Each time your propane cylinder and tank is refilled a visual inspection is conducted. The cylinder date, evidence of damage or lack of maintenance may obligate the propane delivery driver to decline the refill and advise why. Every 10 years, the service relief valve on your propane cylinder must be replace and the cylinder be re-inspected, in accordance to safety regulations. The service relief valve is a safety valve in the uncommon event that the cylinder pressure is too great it will release pressure.

What determines propane prices?

Propane prices, like all energies are influenced by several primary factors, including supply and demand. In recent years, consumers have also seen the influence of "geopolitical" factors on energy prices. These complex factors may be described simply as any real or perceived threat to peace, reliable access to the oil and gas, steady refining, production, and distribution.


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Columbia Fuels - A Brand of Parkland Fuel Corporation
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Since 1993
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