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how much for this tank?
May 8, 2009 9:21 AM   Subscribe

How much should I charge for a 57 year old 1,000 gallon propane tank in perfect working condition, but poor cosmetic condition?

At the full tilt household we just switched over to natural gas. So we now have a 57 year 1,000 gallon propane tank sitting in our backyard that we'd like to unload.

It's in excellent working condition, all seals, gauges, and regulators work great. The tank has been re-certified in the last ten years, and our propane provider filled it up with 200 gallons about three months ago so it's obviously in good shape.

I've looked around and seen that a brand new 1,000 gallon tank sells for about $1000-1300, so I figure that $550 is a fair price.

Am I wrong? How much is this thing worth?
posted by tylerfulltilt to Work & Money (11 answers total)
 
Given its age, I wouldn't pay much for it, considering I would have to move it and have it recertified after relocation. It might be hard to insure. The extra cost of a new one with a warranty would strike me as worth it. As a starting point, scrap value?
posted by sagwalla at 9:51 AM on May 8, 2009


You would probably have to start with the local propane dealer. Would he facilitate a sale? Would he have a problem if your tank showed up at another location, as far as certifications are concerned?
posted by Midnight Skulker at 9:54 AM on May 8, 2009


Would he have a problem if your tank showed up at another location?

Well it's our tank. We own it outright. So I don't see what the problem there would be.

I have a guy who's interested in the tank. He buys them, refurbishes them and resells them. He told me, before I knew the age of the tank, that he was interested in it if it was less than 25 years old. It clearly isn't.

Just wondering what I should email him back with as a price since it's really below the age range he was looking for
posted by tylerfulltilt at 10:27 AM on May 8, 2009


It's pretty old, so you probably could count yourself lucky that someone will haul it away for free. I'd guess something like $100.
posted by electroboy at 10:59 AM on May 8, 2009


57 years is a lot of time for corrosion to build that you can't see.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:41 AM on May 8, 2009


I'd hit it with a coat of paint and Craigslist it for $550. Worst case, it doesn't sell, and you relist.
posted by scarabic at 11:43 AM on May 8, 2009


Something that old and if it's cosmetically ugly, I'd pay close to zero for it. I think $550 is ridiculously high.

I'd tell the guy that's interested that it's 57 years old and that you'd take $250.00 for it. See what his response is. If he doesn't want it, ask him his opinion on a good price for it. Seeing as how he buys and refurbishes them and all that he might have some good ideas for you.

Also, to make it more easily sellable - not necessarily more valuable - I'd give it a new paint job. Spruce it up a bit.
posted by Sassyfras at 11:47 AM on May 8, 2009


I haven't used a tank that big, but smaller gas cylinders --- the five-foot ones --- can last basically forever. It's not uncommon at all to see those be thirty or fifty years old. I think a few hundred dollars is not unreasonable. You might share the risk with the buyer by making the price contingent on passing its recertification before the sale. Or something.

The guy who refurbishes has a reason for cutting off at 25 years old. Ask him what it is.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 12:06 PM on May 8, 2009


The guy who refurbishes has a reason for cutting off at 25 years old. Ask him what it is.

I can't speak to the 1000-gallon ones, but for the smaller ones at least in GA, they can't be filled up after they're like 20 years old. Yea, we'd get those 30 year-old ones, but they were always rusted and told them Too Bad.
posted by jmd82 at 12:35 PM on May 8, 2009


A 1000 gallon propane tank weighs about 2350 lbs empty (older ones maybe more), and scrap steel goes for around $200/ton.

Minus breakdown & hauling fees, hmmmmm...
posted by Aquaman at 12:48 PM on May 8, 2009


I'm sure you could get someone to dispose of it for free for the value of the scrap. But by all means list it on Craigslist for $550 first to see if someone buys it.
posted by mrmojoflying at 5:47 PM on May 8, 2009


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