An Intro to a Versatile Fuel

Where does propane come from? Hopefully the propane you use in and around your Connecticut or Western Massachusetts home comes from Hocon. We’re the region’s largest independent propane and heating oil company. Our family business has been providing our customers with top-quality service for decades. So you can trust Hocon for your propane delivery and know that you’ll get outstanding service every time.

Now, where does the propane Hocon delivers come from? And what is propane exactly? Keep reading to find out more about this versatile fuel and the benefits it offers.

Propane 101

Propane is produced during natural gas processing and petroleum refining. It’s routinely compressed and stored as a liquid. So you may also hear it called liquefied petroleum gas, LPG or LP. Propane is nontoxic and colorless. In the rare event of a spill, it poses no threat to the surrounding soil, water, or organisms.

Uses of Propane

Propane’s versatility makes it extremely useful in residential and commercial contexts. Homeowners and business enterprises alike use it for heating (both permanent and temporary), water heating, cooking, and powering a variety of appliances. Propane Autogas is also an efficient alternative motor fuel ideal for commercial fleets like delivery trucks, school buses, taxis, and forklifts.

Propane’s Benefits

Propane is clean, efficient, and safe. In addition to running a variety of appliances, propane comfortably heats your home and water, powers gas fireplaces, and give you the precise temperature control for cooking that only gas offers. And all of that comes at a reasonable price when you’re a Hocon customer.

Let’s take a closer look at propane’s benefits:

Hocon Is Here for You

Hocon is here for all your residential and commercial propane needs in Norwalk, Torrington, Waterbury, Danbury, Guilford, Suffield, Shelton, or the surrounding towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Contact Hocon today to request a propane delivery or to learn more about the residential and commercial propane services we offer.

A Versatile Fuel for Your Business

Whatever business you’re in, chances are you could benefit from using propane. A wide variety of businesses need a bulk propane source. They take advantage of propane’s versatility and affordability. If your business uses propane, Hocon provides commercial propane in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.

Here’s just a selection of the different commercial uses for propane:

Commercial Propane from Hocon

If your business relies on propane to get the job done, then make Hocon your propane supplier. We back our propane products with highly trained service technicians who have been rigorously trained in safety procedures. We’ll also be sure clean up once the job is done.

Hocon offers the following commercial propane services:

Let Hocon Handle It

Whatever business you’re in, make Hocon your partner for low-cost, clean, and reliable propane energy. We offer convenient bulk propane delivery to businesses of all sizes.

Hocon has six strategic locations that serve our commercial customers throughout Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts and New York.

Contact Hocon today to learn more about what we can do for you and your business.

Don’t pack away your outdoor grill just yet. Autumn is a great season for grilling. There are still mild days in the forecast for Connecticut. And there’s just nothing quite like a meal cooked out on the grill.

If you’re new to grilling, you might not know what size propane tank you need for your grill. Don’t worry. Hocon can help. We sell grills and propane tanks. Let’s take a look at some of the more common propane tank sizes and their various uses.

A Summary of Tank Sizes

Hocon sells propane tanks in a wide range of sizes. Everything from the small tanks used for grills and patio heaters to large volume tanks with the capacity to heat a large home and run multiple appliances. Here’s a summary of the more common propane tank sizes and their uses:

If you’re still not sure which propane tank size is right for you, ask the experts at Hocon. We will set you up with the right size propane tank and ensure prompt delivery.

Do You Have Enough Propane to Grill?

How do you know how much grilling you can accomplish with the amount of propane in your propane tank? On average, a medium-sized grill on high heat will use approximately two pounds of propane per meal. That means you can get 18 to 20 hours of cooking time on a medium grill with a 20-pound propane tank. With a larger grill, that 20-pound tank may only last for roughly half the time (closer to 10 hours). The best way to make sure you’re always ready to grill is to have a backup cylinder ready to go.

Hocon Is Here for You

Hocon is here for all your propane tank needs in Norwalk, Torrington, Waterbury, Danbury, Guilford, Suffield, Shelton, or the surrounding towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Visit one of our locations today to refill your tank or request a propane cylinder delivery.

Are They Right for Your Home?

When looking for ways to add comfort and charm to your Connecticut home, Hocon offers a number of propane hearth products that provide the look and warmth of a real fire without the danger, mess, and expense associated with wood-burning units. Choose from propane gas fireplaces, gas log sets, and fireplace inserts.

What Is a Gas Log?

A gas log includes piping and ceramic logs. The pipes direct propane gas through holes in the logs. Once ignited, the ceramic logs produce a steady flame as the propane burns harmlessly on the surface of the ceramic logs.

Igniting a gas log is much less involved than getting a traditional fire started. Gas logs can be ignited with the turn of a knob or the push of a button on a remote control. It’s really that easy!

Gas Logs vs. Firewood

Traditional fireplaces that use firewood have some drawbacks. A propane gas log set is easy to use and can look like burning wood. A propane gas log set also offers the same comfort of a traditional fireplace without the cleanup and other disadvantages.

Here are five reasons to consider gas log sets as an alternative to wood:

  1. Gas logs are cleaner and more convenient. With a propane log set, you don’t have to purchase or chop wood, clean up any ashy messes, or pay for chimney maintenance. You don’t even have to find a lighter or matches to get your fire started.
  2. Gas logs save you money. Many of the expenses associated with a wood-burning fireplace get eliminated when you switch to a gas log set. For every hour you use your fireplace, you’ll be saving at least 30%–40% in costs. And that’s before you consider the higher maintenance fees for wood burning fireplaces.
  3. Gas logs are eco-friendly. Propane is a clean-burning fuel that produces no harmful particulates. The carbon emissions associated with gas-fueled fireplaces are 35%–40% lower than those for traditional wood-burning fireplaces.
  4. Gas logs are safer than wood. Especially if you have children or animals in your Connecticut or Western Massachusetts home, you’ll appreciate the safety of a gas log set. It’s also a smart and safer choice for small spaces. There are no flying sparks.
  5. Gas logs can be customized. With gas logs, you have full control over what your fire will look like. Realistic-looking ceramic-fiber logs come in a wide variety of configurations and even different species of wood. Choose your favorite type of wood and the size and style you prefer. Contact Hocon or visit one of our showrooms to learn more about the different options we carry.

It’s Easy to Convert

Already have a fireplace designed for wood? That’s okay. It’s easy to convert a conventional wood fireplace to a gas-fueled system with propane gas logs or a propane fireplace insert. Hocon can install a propane fireplace in any room in your home!

Come to Hocon

Hocon’s six locations serve Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts and New York.

Contact Hocon today or visit one of our showrooms to learn more.

Picking the Right Size

Propane is an extremely versatile fuel. There’s so much it can do in and around your Connecticut home. It can heat your pool and your home. It can cook your food and dry your clothes. Propane is also extremely efficient, so you get a lot for every dollar spent. During financially uncertain times like this, value like that is even more important.

Considering how versatile and cost-effective a fuel propane is, you might be looking for ways to have it do more in and around your Connecticut home. Perhaps you’d like to add some additional propane appliances like a cooking range, clothes dryer, or fireplace and you need a propane tank with a bigger capacity to handle all that. Or maybe you’re building a home and want to use propane for whole house heating, water heating, cooking, et cetera. Or maybe you’re looking to convert your current home to propane.

If you’re facing any of the above scenarios, chances are you’re in the market for a new propane tank. It’s important to choose the right one for your household’s needs. The experts at Hocon can make sure you get the right size propane tank and will ensure prompt delivery and installation.

Quality Matters

Hocon sells and installs propane tanks that are made to last for decades. We offer both aboveground and underground tanks made of heavy gauge steel that are specially coated to prevent corrosion.

Size Matters

Hocon sells propane tanks in a wide range of sizes. Which size is right for your Connecticut home depends on a few factors. Smaller tanks can fuel several appliances. Larger tanks can provide whole house heating and run appliances. They can even provide the fuel to heat your pool.

Not sure which size is right for you? The experts at Hocon can help. We can also help you decide whether it’s better to purchase or lease your tank.

Hocon Is Here for You

Come to Hocon if you’re looking for a new propane tank in Norwalk, Torrington, Waterbury, Danbury, Guilford, Suffield, Shelton or the surrounding towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Contact us today or visit one of our showrooms, and we’d be happy to answer your questions or help you decide which propane tank is right for your home.

No! Leave It to the Pros!

If one of your propane appliances is starting to let you and your family down, you’re probably weighing your options. Should you replace it? Should you call for repairs? Should you try to fix it yourself? If you’re tempted to go the DIY route when it comes to fixing one of your propane appliances, please don’t. You could end up further damaging your equipment or putting your safety and health in serious jeopardy. Propane appliance repairs are best left to the pros. The expert technicians at Hocon can handle any troubleshooting or repairs your propane appliances need.

You can trust your propane appliances to Hocon. We’ve become one of the largest family-owned propane and fuel oil suppliers in Connecticut. We also sell a wide variety of propane appliances. And our expert technicians are equipped to service and repair those appliances.

Safety Matters

No matter how tempted you are to try and fix your propane appliances yourself, please don’t. It could prove dangerous for you and your family. Or you might end up further damaging your equipment. All of your propane appliances should be installed, maintained, and repaired by a trained professional like the ones at Hocon.

Hocon cares about the safety of our customers. That’s why we strongly discourage you from trying to fix your propane appliances yourself. Leave it to the professionals instead. A professional will have the proper knowledge and the correct tools for the advanced technology used in most modern propane appliances. And many of the required tools aren’t available at your local home improvement store. A trained professional will also be better able to identify any safety concerns you might miss as an amateur. Any money you might save trying to do it yourself isn’t worth the potential harm a mistake could lead to for you or your family.

Appliance Care

Repairing your propane appliances yourself might look like a fun challenge. Or you might think it looks very straightforward. But the truth is propane appliances often contain delicate parts that require expert handling. You simply won’t get enough skill or expertise by watching videos online. Our professionals have extensive training. And they are constantly adding to their knowledge base to keep up with the latest technology. This allows them to perform their work as efficiently and safely as possible.

As an amateur, you could easily make a costly or dangerous mistake when trying to repair your propane appliances yourself. And chances are you’ll end up needing to call a professional to fix the original problem as well as any new problems your failed attempts lead to. So trying to save money could end up costing you more in the end. Don’t risk it!

Your propane appliances are an investment. You should protect that investment by getting professional repairs. Think about how much a new water heater or furnace would cost. Weigh that against your temptation to try and fix it yourself and imagine if your attempts forced you to have to replace the appliance.

Finally, trying to repair your propane appliance yourself could void the warranty.

Let Hocon Handle It

Don’t try to repair your propane appliances yourself. Let Hocon handle it. Our staff is expertly trained and will get your appliance back up and running again or let you know if it’s time for an upgrade.

Hocon has six strategic locations that serve residents and companies throughout Connecticut and in parts of Massachusetts and New York. Click here to find the branch closest to you.

Contact Hocon today to learn more or request service.

Make the Best of Your Backyard

The past few years have highlighted the importance of having an outdoor space. And perhaps the higher cost of travel has prompted you to stay local this summer. Well, there’s still plenty of ways to experience vacation mode at home. And there’s still plenty of time to enjoy spending the summer and fall months outdoors in your backyard.

In addition to being clean-burning, cost-effective, and efficient, propane is also safe and very versatile. There are lots of propane appliances you can add to your outdoor space to take it to the next level. Here are a few propane appliances you may want to consider for your Connecticut home:

Come to Hocon

Get even more out of your outdoor space while there’s still plenty of summer and autumn left. Hocon Gas can help you choose the best propane product for your backyard and help you enjoy it even more. So whatever your propane needs are, come to Hocon.

Contact us today to learn more. 

Summertime Is the Best Time

Summer is probably not the time you spend thinking about how great your propane fireplace is. Right now you’re most likely looking for ways to stay cool—not get warm. Heating the spaces in your Connecticut home is probably one of the furthest things from you mind.

But winter will be here in the blink of an eye, and once things cool down again, you’ll want to be able to depend on your propane fireplace to provide warmth and ambiance. You’ll start to remember how much there is to love about your propane fireplace:

Perfect Timing

Why are we bringing up your propane fireplace now? Because summertime is actually a great time to schedule your fireplace maintenance. Why? Because it’s a quiet season for us. Our service technicians are more available. Once things cool down in the fall and early winter, that’s when homeowners tend to schedule their installations, deliveries, and maintenance visits. Why not beat the rush and schedule yours now? It will be much easier for us to accommodate your schedule.

Maintenance Matters

Maintenance for your propane fireplace is important. Not only will it extend the life of your fireplace, but it will also keep your fireplace more efficient and less expensive to operate because maintenance includes the following:

A well-maintained propane fireplace lasts longer. With regular maintenance, small issues are caught and addressed before they become big problems. A well-maintained propane fireplace also operates more efficiently because it’s clear of gunk and debris. That means it will consume less propane and keep your fuel costs lower.

As part of our Home Comfort Programs, Hocon provides a Hearth Products Fall Tune-Up plan that includes a comprehensive annual cleaning of fireplaces, stoves, fire logs, or gas fireplace inserts.

Hocon Is Here for You

Founded in 1952, Hocon has grown to be one of the largest family-owned propane and heating oil distributors in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. We also sell, install, and service an array of appliances and heating systems like propane fireplaces and other hearth products.

Contact Hocon today to learn more or to schedule a cleaning and inspection for your propane fireplace. You can feel comfortable with us.

Tips for Checking Your Tank’s Level

Hopefully, you’re having a fantastic summer enjoying your backyard and grilling up feasts for your family and friends. Firing up the BBQ grill is one of the great joys of the season. You don’t want to get caught without enough gas!

Checking Your Propane Level

Not sure if you have enough propane to make it through your next BBQ? Don’t worry, there are some easy ways to check your propane level.

Use the warm water method. This is a safe and simple way to determine how much propane is left in your tank.

  1. Fill a small bucket with warm to hot tap water.
  2. Pour the water down the side of the tank.
  3. Run your hand along the side of the tank and feel for a cool spot. The top of the cool spot indicates the fill level of the tank because the liquid propane inside the tank will absorb the heat from the water and make the metal wall of the tank cool to the touch.

Weigh the tank.  Most propane grill tanks come with two numbers stamped on the handle. One is the water capacity (WC) and the other is the tare weight (TW). Your tank’s tare weight is its weight when it’s empty. Most grilling tanks weigh about 17 pounds when they’re empty and can hold about 20 pounds of gas.

To calculate how many pounds of propane are left in your tank, simply weigh it on a scale. Once you have its weight, subtract the tank’s TW number from its current weight.

Install an external gauge. You can choose from a variety of gauge types:

  1. Inline pressure gauges install between the gas line from the grill and the cut-off valve on the tank, measuring pressures to determine how full the tank is.
  2. Analog propane scales look like luggage scales and are pre-set based on your tank’s TW.
  3. Digital propane tank scales give a digital readout of remaining cook time and gas fill percentage. Some even connect to smartphone apps.

How Much Grill Time Do You Have?

At the end of the day, what you really want to know is how much grilling can you do with the amount of propane in your tank?

Generally speaking, a medium-sized grill on high heat will use approximately two pounds of fuel per meal. That means you can get 18 to 20 hours of cooking time on a medium grill with a 20-pound propane tank. With a larger grill, that 20-pound tank might run out after 10 hours of cooking. However, all of these are just estimates, so it’s always good to have a backup so you’re always ready to grill.

Come to Hocon

Don’t get caught with an empty cylinder. Hocon offers propane refills in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. For your added convenience, we also offer GAS ON THE GO. With GAS ON THE GO, we deliver grill tanks to your home or business.

Contact us today to learn more.

Seventy years ago, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet made its television debut on ABC, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden was published, Eddie Fisher’s “I’m Yours” was released — and Hocon Gas was born.

The beginnings of our business

It wasn’t called Hocon at the time. Mike Gable had escaped the Nazis, joined the war effort and rose to become the personal driver for an army general. When the war ended, he moved to New York and soon found his bride. As luck would have it, her father owned a propane delivery company. He got a job as a propane delivery driver.

Eventually, Mike decided to venture into his own business. With the backing of his father-in-law, Mike bought the Connecticut Gas Co., a small propane company with 250 customers, in Darien, CT. A few years later, after merging with Home Oil Company, it was renamed Hocon.
Back then, propane was delivered exclusively in 100-pound cylinders and principally used for cooking and hot water. Mike saw the potential to expand the uses of propane for homes and businesses, and his entrepreneurial venture grew.

David Gable joins Hocon

David Gable, Hocon’s current CEO, didn’t think much of his father’s line of work.

“I had started a construction business in New Orleans after attending Tulane University,” he said. When a national propane show happened to take place there, Mike lobbied hard for David to check out the show with him. When he did, he was surprised by the national scope. It was a much bigger industry and had much greater potential than he had imagined. David ended up joining the business in 1982.

“I really started working on the ground floor,” David said. “I drove a truck, did installations, sales, among other jobs.” There were only around 3,500 customers at the time.
“I remember the feeling around the company was that I was a college kid, the boss’s son, the whole bit. I think most of the employees thought I’d move on to something else. But I liked the people, liked the customers, liked the business, and I saw some real opportunity to modernize and grow,” he said.

In the early 90s, Mike effectively stepped away from the business, and David fully took over the reins. Over the next decade, Hocon took off.

“I saw the boom in Connecticut real estate, with lots of new homes being built. I truly believed that propane would be the best option, and we needed to be the company that builders and homeowners could rely on.”

Growing and diversifying

The company expanded beyond its Norwalk base. We bought a small company in Waterbury and added significant storage. It was also unusual to have a service department that could fix things for customers. We created one. We started adding more locations throughout the state (there are now eight) and diversifying into industrial gases, propane Autogas, hearth products, pool and water heaters and heating oil. Today, Hocon has more than 30,000 customers.

We asked David what about Hocon makes him most proud. He said, “We’ve always tried to set a high bar — in safety, service, innovation, technology, training, and products. But I think it’s our people who make me the most proud. Our team goes through so much to take care of our customers. No matter what the weather, our people show up and put the customer first. My dad would have liked that.”

Richie O’Neil, general manager of our Waterbury location, has helped countless Hocon customers. It’s hard to imagine this place without him.

Richie joined us on July 11, 1988. He had worked for another propane company before taking a job as a serviceman at Hocon. He distinguished himself as a dedicated, engaging employee and moved up to service manager in Waterbury.

From there, he took on the role of general manager. Richie has a great rapport with customers and loves helping them.

“My favorite part of this job,” he said, “is helping customers solve some issues and also educating them on all the ways propane can benefit them.”

Richie’s hard work and leadership have made a big difference over the years. “When I started, there were two offices and about 30 employees,” he recalled. “We’ve grown to six offices and 200 employees, and it’s still family-owned!”

Richie has been here in good times and challenging ones. We’re honored he’s on our team!

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