Posted 01-14-2004 at 09:10:57
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It seeems as the insurance companies have clamped down on propane dealers, and have a bunch of requirements to keep liability costs down. In our area, several dealers have just quit, and some have merged with bigger outfits.
I am about as cheap as they come, but those prices don't seem entirely out of range for retail prices. For the safety of your own butt, a new regulator every 15 years is probably not a bad idea. I have seen several stick due to crud, and recently got a call from an elderly neighbor who smelled propane. Turned out to be a ruptured diaphragm in the regulator. I think that one was, like 20 years old.
So I think while there may be some profit motive behind the 15 year replacement, it does have it's safety merits, too.
A small leak in a natural gas system often will just rise up and blow away with the wind, but propane is heavier than air and any leakage will sink to the lowest area it can get to, and collect there, unless there is enough air movement to sweep it away. Therefore, safety with propane is usually considered an even bigger issue than with natural gas.