Refilling propane bottles

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BjornBee
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Refilling propane bottles

#1

Post by BjornBee »

I had some propane bottles that had been hooked up to Lanterns for some period of time.
Once out, I was thinking of refilling them. Bottles look fine, no rust, etc.
But after I removed them, they wont stop hissing gas.
So I'm assuming the gasket was open for so long, they just wont simply reseat themselves.
Is this a normal thing to find with tanks attached to lanterns?
Is there anything I can do to "save" them, or just throw them in the recycle bin/trash when empty?
Thank you.
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Tgarner01
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#2

Post by Tgarner01 »

I have refilled the disposable tanks several times, but if they're leaking like you mention I would pitch them. Too cheap to risk it. I'll only refill them a couple times anyways. They do make refillable 1lb canisters the shape of Coleman's.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#3

Post by BjornBee »

Tgarner01 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:00 pm I have refilled the disposable tanks several times, but if they're leaking like you mention I would pitch them. Too cheap to risk it. I'll only refill them a couple times anyways. They do make refillable 1lb canisters the shape of Coleman's.
Have you ever tried "oiling" the gasket area to perhaps get them to reseat?
Thank you.
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Tgarner01
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#4

Post by Tgarner01 »

BjornBee wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:03 pm
Tgarner01 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:00 pm I have refilled the disposable tanks several times, but if they're leaking like you mention I would pitch them. Too cheap to risk it. I'll only refill them a couple times anyways. They do make refillable 1lb canisters the shape of Coleman's.
Have you ever tried "oiling" the gasket area to perhaps get them to reseat?
Thank you.
I have not..I would be cautious, certain gases do not play well with oil under pressure... Not sure about propane.
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Tgarner01
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#5

Post by Tgarner01 »

These are the refillable bottles I bought. I'm certain I didn't pay that much for mine.

https://www.menards.com/main/heating-co ... 053102.htm
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#6

Post by campinut »

A leaking tank can sometimes be resealed with a few oil drops into tank inlet. It might take a few times of installing into a lantern or refilling attachment. Some tanks will always leak due to a failed rubber seal in tank top. You can always fill and screw on an appliance if tank continues to leak..campinut..

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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#7

Post by BjornBee »

campinut wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:14 pm A leaking tank can sometimes be resealed with a few oil drops into tank inlet. It might take a few times of installing into a lantern or refilling attachment. Some tanks will always leak due to a failed rubber seal in tank top. You can always fill and screw on an appliance if tank continues to leak..campinut..

Image

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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#8

Post by Majicwrench »

Last year in the heat of summer I filled a bunch (15?) of small can from big can like so well pictured above. Only one leaked.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#9

Post by zoomkat »

"But after I removed them, they wont stop hissing gas."

The 1 lb propane bottles seem to have a Schrader type valve that can leak after refilling. The some of the ones I have refilled that leaked I popped the valve a couple of times and the leaking stopped. Before refilling I make sure the bottle is depressuried, then put a little oil in the connection hole and put the bottle in the refrigerator/freezer. When the bottle is cold, I slowly depress the valve pin and let the oil be pulled in across the valve poppet. The propane may actually wash this oil off the poppet, but it doesn't to try. As to the ones that continue to leak after refill, I have some brass bottle caps with gaskets I got on ebay that I screw on the bottle to cap any leakage until ready for use.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#10

Post by Pancholoco1911 »

I have a king flame kit that I’ve got when they were cheap before the national recall. Home Depot used to sell the kit for $39, the kit included tank stand, refilling valve and one pounder bottle which I bought 2 more separately.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#11

Post by curtludwig »

I've got some cans I've refilled many times. I do find that if its really cold out the bottles will hiss after filling no matter what. The same thing is true if you took if off a device when its cold out. I don't have a good marker for what "when its cold out" means. Certainly below zero F...
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#12

Post by Masseyhouse »

I also have the Flame King Kit
https://www.amazon.com/Flame-King-Refil ... 187&sr=8-1

Please keep in mind that while it is technically legal to refill a disposable cylinder, transporting it on a public highway is a very different matter.
Federal regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation, DOT, prohibit transport of refilled “DOT 39” cylinders.
Of which classification small cylinders fall under. Violate that regulation, may be liable for a fine of up to $500,000 and five years in prison.
As I am not a lawyer, no is this intended as legal advice, this was the way it was explained to our Haz-Mat Class for CLD License:
it would seem that as long you refill them ON and KEEP THEM on your private property and DO NOT transport them
(some may argue only Federal Roads) our instructor made the point of ANY public road;
you MAY refill them at your own risk, but do not break any laws.
Once they are EMPTY, even if they have been refilled previously, you may transport them EMPTY for disposal.
So please be safe.
Thanks as always
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JimL
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#13

Post by JimL »

I suggest you do not attempt to refill those bottles that are leaking. To me, that's a definite indication that the Schrader is too far gone to risk refilling. Not to mention the gas cloud you would develop if you filled a bottle and the entire propane contents sprayed out. A fireball encompassing your neighborhood might make national news and you'll get at least an honorable mention in the Darwin awards. :)

I also suggest that you do not follow the Youtubers that pull on the safety release valve (SRV) to refill a propane bottle. That's a reverse Schrader and is not intended to be used for anything except for an over pressure condition.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#14

Post by Phredd »

I always add a small drop of oil on the valve when I first connect a cylinder. And when disconnected most don't leak. Those that do leak I get rid of when empty. (I take em to haz waste recycling in my town).

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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#15

Post by pagrey »

Every torch propane cylinder I've ever used leaks at first when you take the torch head off. It's a pain. I just tap it with a screwdriver until it seats. Sometimes just turning them over stops the leak but other times I have to vent and wiggle the valve a bit to get a good seal. Store the tanks upside down if you are really worried, the liquid doesn't seem to pass the valve.

All the rules regarding filling these tanks are silly. You can carry a rusty old bottle just fine but a brand new one can't be trusted if it's refilled? You can't tell if they have been filled so just don't brag and you'll be fine. A good scale really helps for getting them topped off. You're doing everybody a favor saving them from the landfill.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#16

Post by 25_502s »

Are the little schrader valves completely removable? For a disposable propane tank it’s probably not worth it but if you had a cheap bulk source, could it be done??
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#17

Post by JimL »

Jason,

Most likely, but if doing so for the disposable bottles, you would need to find some reverse Schraders for the SRV's.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#18

Post by Deanofid »

I've refilled bottles (a batch of bottles) hundreds of times. If one leaks, just put it in a lantern or stove, squirt the neck with soapy water to make sure it isn't still leaking and then use it up and THROW AWAy the bottle when its empty. These things are too cheap to mess with when you get a leaker. Don't mess with them. Use the fuel out of them while they are on an appliance as long as they do not leak past the secondary gasket, (the large rubber gasket inside the appliance valve) and then dispose of the leak prone bottle.

Other than that, the bottles can be reused many times. I go through about two or three 20 lb bottles refilling my stock (about 30) of one lb and 14 oz bottles each year. Buying a new full bottle is cheap enough that there is no reason to take any chance whatsoever with a bottle that leaks.

Get rid of any leakers and replace them with new full bottles in your refill rotation. Not worth any consideration regarding safety or peace of mind when it comes to bottles that leak.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#19

Post by zoomkat »

"Are the little schrader valves completely removable? "

I've not been able to remove the valve core. They will unscrew, but won't come out due to the plastic pressure bushing that the appliance fuel stem fits into. I think the core is installed, then the plastic bushing is pressed in on top of it.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#20

Post by Lex71x »

@zoomkat do you have a link for these gasketed brass caps? i'm looking for a long term storage solution, sounds like a cap with a nice tight gasket and stored upside down after applying a pinch of oil to the valve would do the trick.

i had some refilled bottles lose most of their pressure after about 6mos+ outside in a metal storage cabinet, but i have also had these for 15+ years and they have surface rust on the threads so i think if they had a threaded cap for storage to keep the moisture out they would have lasted even longer.

new, the tanks are about 2/$7 here. refilling a bbq size tank at my local welding establishment costs about $11 and i keep 4 of them around. a lot of times i find 16oz empties next to the recycling bins while camping; basically used once and in great condition, so i take them home. technically im also saving these people from breaking the law by dumping them without first releasing residual pressure and removing the schrader valve for proper (legal) disposal at a non-hazmat facility.

as far as transportation goes, if you're crossing any borders with a bunch of refilled tanks leave your refill kit at home!

what kinda puzzles me is this:
49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 178.65: Specification 39 non-reusable non-refillable cylinders:

For cylinders manufactured on or after October 1, 1996, Federal law forbids
transportation if refilled with a fine up to $500,000 and five years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 5124).


were they built safer before 1996?
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#21

Post by zoomkat »

"@zoomkat do you have a link for these gasketed brass caps? i'm looking for a long term storage solution, sounds like a cap with a nice tight gasket and stored upside down after applying a pinch of oil to the valve would do the trick."

Below are the propane bottle caps that are available in various quantity's on ebay. After refilling, I put a little water in the bottle neck and look for small bubbles forming which indicate weeping and small leakage.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/333755179241?V ... 3755179241
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#22

Post by BjornBee »

zoomkat wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:11 pm "@zoomkat do you have a link for these gasketed brass caps? i'm looking for a long term storage solution, sounds like a cap with a nice tight gasket and stored upside down after applying a pinch of oil to the valve would do the trick."

Below are the propane bottle caps that are available in various quantity's on ebay. After refilling, I put a little water in the bottle neck and look for small bubbles forming which indicate weeping and small leakage.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/333755179241?V ... 3755179241
Thank you. Just ordered some.
Nice to know that anything I refill can be stored long term without leaking over time.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#23

Post by zoomkat »

"Nice to know that anything I refill can be stored long term without leaking over time."

For long term I would put a little bit of oil or Vaseline on the bottle threads as they may tend to rust over time.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#24

Post by propanestuff »

Just because you can refill disposable propane cylinders doesn't mean you should. It is illegal, per DOT, and dangerous, per all of the posts on this site explaining how to stop the leaks. Refilling these cylinder ranks right up there with, "Here, hold my beer." They are designed for single use. The websites that sell the refilling adaptors don't care too much about your safety. If you want to refill cylinders, which is good for the environment, buy the Flame King apparatus, or check with your local U-Haul. Some locations have an exchange service for small cylinders. I have no connection with Flame King or Uhaul. Stay safe.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#25

Post by 25_502s »

I don’t think it’s illegal to refill them, jut to transport them.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#26

Post by BjornBee »

25_502s wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:18 pm I don’t think it’s illegal to refill them, jut to transport them.
I think you are right.
A new just purchased bottle say that you should not refill.
Then goes on to say "If refilled, penalty.........if transported".
But it does not state it is against the law. Just not recommended.
If it was against the law...I'm sure it would say so. just like the law on transporting refilled bottles.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#27

Post by Deanofid »

It is absolutely NOT illegal to refill these bottles. It is just illegal to transport them over any road/highway/airway/railway. Big difference in transporting them and using them at home, and that is the only difference in what the law actually says. There is nothing whatsoever in the law that says you can't refill them. Just can't transport them per DOT rules.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#28

Post by zoomkat »

The difference between the disposable bottles and the flame King bottles may only be that Flame King went to the trouble (and $$$) to get their bottles "certified" for transport. The actual construction may be identical.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#29

Post by Pancholoco1911 »

zoomkat wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:46 pm The difference between the disposable bottles and the flame King bottles may only be that Flame King went to the trouble (and $$$) to get their bottles "certified" for transport. The actual construction may be identical.
Thicker material, also you unscrew a bolt to let the air out while refilling. I have the kit and I recommend this to anyone. Flame king one ponder bottles can be bought online for less than $20 shipped each. My last purchase of two was $35 shipped
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#30

Post by JimL »

Another option if you want cheap propane is to get propane bottles at yard and estate sales. Although yard sale season is over for most of us right now, estate sales still go on but at a much slower pace. I've gotten several full or nearly full propane bottles for a buck each. I only go for the old, long, slender ones that will fit a Bernz-O-Matic rocket launcher, and now have far more than I need.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#31

Post by dbhost »

The discussion of refilling DOT 39, AKA the little green bottles, keeps coming up. I did a safety presentation for my old job where I reached out to the DOT and asked them about this issue, I have posted it in this forum and elsewhere, but here is the email I got from the DOT representative. Please know I fabricated the header 100% to keep my contact information private. Mr. McKinney knows I was going to use the email however for purposes such as this, the body of the email is verbatim with some formatting tweaks as copying from my email client to here introduced a LOT of extra newlines that are not visiible in the email client.

From: james.mckinney@dot.gov
To: dbhost@somedomain.org
Subject: RE: Not sure if this is FMCSA or FHMSA FW: Inquiry regarding legality of refilling and transporting 1lb disposable propane cylinders.

"Hi David,

It is illegal to transport refilled DOT-39s. We have many resources on the subject:

49 CFR 178.65 specifies (A) For cylinders manufactured prior to October 1, 1996: ‘‘Federal law forbids transportation if refilled-penalty up to $25,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 1809)’’ or ‘‘Federal law forbids transportation if refilled-penalty up to $500,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 5124).’’ (B) For cylinders manufactured on or after October 1, 1996: ‘‘Federal law forbids transportation if refilled-penalty up to $500,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 5124).’’

We produced a poster and video warning about the dangers of refilling these cylinders, as well as putting out a safety alert in 2014, notifying the general public about the safety hazard of refilling and transporting DOT 39s.

We have worked with retailers to warn them of the danger of selling such devices, but the punitive section of the regulation directly applies to the transportation of refilled cylinders.

Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance.

Cheers,

Jim

Jim McKinney
Public Affairs Specialist
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
Department of Transportation
James.mckinney@dot.gov
202-366-9423 (desk); 202-875-3769 (cell)"

So what can you take away from that email?

The most critical part LEGALLY at least is this... and take this for what it is, I am NOT offering legal advice, I am simply forwarding information I was given by an agency spokesperson and giving my opinion on it....

"the punitive section of the regulation directly applies to the transportation of refilled cylinders."

From that it would seem you are kosher to refill and use in place refilled DOT39 cylinders. But transporting them on a public road, and I suspect this applies to any public road since state and local roads typically fall under the DOT and NHTSA jurustdictions as I understand it, although legal scholars might have a fair argument they aren't, I am not willing to sacrifice the finances of my family, and potentialy my freedom to find out.

I am prety certain the concern is that the DOT39 canisters are made of much thinner metal than refillable cylinders, and may rupture after repeated pressure / depressure cycles, also even factory fresh, the seals on a good number of them never fully seal, and will seep gas once removed from the appliance it is fueling, which is why I never like to store any propane canister inside my home, or workshop. I am actually considering building a dog house of sorts to hold the bulk tank, and a few 1lb cylinders...

And FWIW, I am considering at some point getting the Flame king rig
Love my old school Coleman liquid fuel gear. Looking for tips and tricks to make the most of it.

-Dave
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#32

Post by xvz12 »

I bought one of the refill adapters, & used it for a season, but frankly, it's just a PITA to refill the little buggers. The only propane appliance we use with any frequency is our Blackstone tabletop griddle, so I bought a small 5lb refillable tank, & adapter hose for it, much less hassle for me in the long run...YMMV
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#33

Post by zoomkat »

"We produced a poster and video warning about the dangers of refilling these cylinders, as well as putting out a safety alert in 2014, notifying the general public about the safety hazard of refilling and transporting DOT 39s."

This subject has been around in the forums a number of times in the forum. An interesting point is that the poster referenced above, at least in the past, actually says it is illegal to refill the cylinders. It points up that the communication between the code people and the graphics/information people was/is apparently weak. A google search should locate the poster.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#34

Post by Deanofid »

Zoomkat, please reference any code that says it is illegal to refill the common 16 oz and 14 oz can/bottles made for propane, not in reference to transportation.

IMO: it is nonsense to think that a one pound bottle is only good for one filling. The STEEL that is used in these bottles is still as strong as is ever was after the bottle has been used one time. I say this from a college class in engineering and practical mechanical drawing. That does not mean I have a degree in anything at all, but I did get some education in this matter.

Thank you.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#35

Post by zoomkat »

"Zoomkat, please reference any code that says it is illegal to refill the common 16 oz and 14 oz can/bottles made for propane, not in reference to transportation."

Deanofid, please read what I posted. I did not reference any DOT regulation or any Code of Federal Regulations. What i said is that the DOT information people made a *poster* (referenced in another post) that incorrectly states that refilling a disposable cylinder is illegal. Details... ;)
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#36

Post by zoomkat »

Just for a little further information, I found a copy of the "poster" and itself does not state that refilling the cylinders is illegal, it just says don't do it as it is dangerous. On that pdf poster (shown in the below video, but probably too large to post here at 454kb) is a link to their video (below). At about 3:30 in the video, the incorrect statement that refilling disposable cylinders is illegal is made. Also, the "investigation" findings , as reported by the video producer, are suspect, as the cylinder exploded because it was in a fire stated as being started by a leaking 20# tank, with no real linkage to a refilling activity. Just saying that if one statement is incorrect, what else is incorrect.

https://youtu.be/g2_GhyAw3vM
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#37

Post by Deanofid »

Thanks Zoomkat.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#38

Post by johneliot »

I just picked of a 3 pack of the flameking bottles for $40 from costco.com.

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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#39

Post by zoomkat »

Just to round out refilling issues, don't over fill old cylinders with the expectation that the installed relief will operate to prevent pressure excursions.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#40

Post by Karlm »

Tgarner01 wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:09 pm These are the refillable bottles I bought. I'm certain I didn't pay that much for mine.

https://www.menards.com/main/heating-co ... 053102.htm
I use a refillable cylinder that's almost identical. I think I paid $15 at the local ACE. When empty I can exchange it for a filled one for about $3.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#41

Post by Deanofid »

Karlm wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:00 pm I use a refillable cylinder that's almost identical. I think I paid $15 at the local ACE. When empty I can exchange it for a filled one for about $3.
Not to pop your bubble, but if you are trading refillable 1 lb bottles for $3 each, then you might as well be buying new 1 lb bottles, which you usually get from Ace for 2 for $5.

The whole thing with refilling your own bottles is it only costs about 60¢ per bottle to refill a 1 lb bottle with propane. I get a 20 lb bottle refilled at my Ace store for about $9. You get about 18 one lb bottles out of that. $9 divided by 18 one pound bottles equals 50¢, but the last couple pounds won't come out of the 20 lb bottle, so you loose a little unless you use the rest on the BBQ. Still, .50¢ or .60¢ per 1 lb bottle, what the heck? It's almost free compared to $3 per 1 lb bottle.
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Karlm
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#42

Post by Karlm »

Deanofid wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:15 am
Karlm wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:00 pm I use a refillable cylinder that's almost identical. I think I paid $15 at the local ACE. When empty I can exchange it for a filled one for about $3.
Not to pop your bubble, but if you are trading refillable 1 lb bottles for $3 each, then you might as well be buying new 1 lb bottles, which you usually get from Ace for 2 for $5.

The whole thing with refilling your own bottles is it only costs about 60¢ per bottle to refill a 1 lb bottle with propane. I get a 20 lb bottle refilled at my Ace store for about $9. You get about 18 one lb bottles out of that. $9 divided by 18 one pound bottles equals 50¢, but the last couple pounds won't come out of the 20 lb bottle, so you loose a little unless you use the rest on the BBQ. Still, .50¢ or .60¢ per 1 lb bottle, what the heck? It's almost free compared to $3 per 1 lb bottle.

Oh I know. I'll get to refilling my own at some point. I do the exchange because where I live the single use bottles are not likely to be recycled due to the cost to recycle them. While I'm not a super greenie, I hate waste when there is an alternative. Refilling is on the short list though as I have some Bernz-O bottles that I need to refill for lanterns.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#43

Post by Lex71x »

For cylinders manufactured on or after October 1, 1996, Federal law forbids
transportation if refilled with a fine up to $500,000 and five years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 5124).


does anyone have any of these pre-1996 cylinders that ARE legal to transport after refilling?

im wondering how they've changed since then..
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#44

Post by outlawmws »

Um, do the math - 2021-1996 = 25? they are technically past the age for any propane cylinder to be refilled without being re-certified?
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#45

Post by Deanofid »

Karlm wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:27 pm
Deanofid wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:15 am
Karlm wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:00 pm I use a refillable cylinder that's almost identical. I think I paid $15 at the local ACE. When empty I can exchange it for a filled one for about $3.
Not to pop your bubble, but if you are trading refillable 1 lb bottles for $3 each, then you might as well be buying new 1 lb bottles, which you usually get from Ace for 2 for $5.

The whole thing with refilling your own bottles is it only costs about 60¢ per bottle to refill a 1 lb bottle with propane. I get a 20 lb bottle refilled at my Ace store for about $9. You get about 18 one lb bottles out of that. $9 divided by 18 one pound bottles equals 50¢, but the last couple pounds won't come out of the 20 lb bottle, so you loose a little unless you use the rest on the BBQ. Still, .50¢ or .60¢ per 1 lb bottle, what the heck? It's almost free compared to $3 per 1 lb bottle.

Oh I know. I'll get to refilling my own at some point. I do the exchange because where I live the single use bottles are not likely to be recycled due to the cost to recycle them. While I'm not a super greenie, I hate waste when there is an alternative. Refilling is on the short list though as I have some Bernz-O bottles that I need to refill for lanterns.

Well then, either way you are doing a good job at being a good recycle dude. Only thing is, you can do the same with so-called single use bottles and pay less for refilling. If you just want to support the economy, you are doing a good job. If you are hoping to "be good" to the recycling effort, I'd say reusing the so-called "Non-refillable" bottles would be a better bet, as far as impact on the environment.

Now, for sure, I'm not a greenie type of person, but it has always made sense to me to use up something completely before turning it over to the recycle depot. We all do it our own way, or if we don't even give a poop, well, shame on us. Nothing wrong with recycling. Lot of good to be said about it. Just seems to me might as well take advantage of the superior engineering put into things like "disposable" propane bottles and the like from the get go.

The way I see it is, throwing out things like perfectly reusable propane bottles is like throwing away dishes just because they are dirty. We can apply this in many areas without becoming some kind of greenie nut.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#46

Post by Lex71x »

outlawmws wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:58 pm Um, do the math - 2021-1996 = 25? they are technically past the age for any propane cylinder to be refilled without being re-certified?
is it possible to get a disposable cylinder of any age recertified? i would imagine even attempting to stamp it would ruin the tank.

im just wondering why 1996? were they indeed constructed differently?

i had a full size tank that was last recertified 8/1984; they guy at chevron said, 'my friend, your tank is VERY old' but refilled it anyway. i eventually did an exchange after which that old tank probably did get recertified and put back into circulation with a new label as there was nothing inherently wrong with it.

my point being if you dont beat them up or expose them to extreme temperatures, its possible that any tank could potentially be usable for a very long time.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#47

Post by outlawmws »

Lex, I can't imagine any tank certifying service taking it on, and even if they did, it would be cost prohibitive.

The test is not using pressure in an empty tank, as then if it fails it's a bomb. They completely fill the tank with water and apply over pressure, and if it bursts then, the water has not stored any energy, and it simply spills out.

As to if its safe to use past the date, if not rusted INSIDE or OUT, then its likely good to go, unless it has stress cracks forming. The over pressure test is to find these incipient cracks and force the issue.

Compressors are notorious for failing catastrophically and it can demolish buildings and kill easily. even those "little" home compressors of only 20 or 30 gallons will go through a wall or roof. I knew one guy that had his go off, tear up his leg up, and go through the roof of his garage. It wasn't even operating at the time, it simply blew. His kids were in the garage with him and were LUCKY to escape unscathed. The big 100+ gallon tanks store a LOT of energy...

We recently had a thread here of one of these "small" disposable tanks that expounded in a campfire. It wasn't the residual propane that did the damage, it was the shrapnel and pressure explosion from the tank failing under pressure.

Personally I think Dean's methodology works, as he gets a few uses out of them, and then moves on. A new tank for theses is easy. A failed tank is a disaster.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#48

Post by Lex71x »

i'm not trying to question the safety issue of refilling a really old 1lb cylinder; i'm just trying to figure out why there are 3 different laws, depending on pre- or post- 1996 production. the purpose of my question of whether anyone here has a sample of a 1lb tank from <1996 is to see if they were designed any differently.

i agree with dean, don't reuse any funny tanks.

water heaters have also been known to explode and fly several hundred feet after being ejected right through the roof of a building.

i would consider throwing a propane cylinder in a campfire improper use, and if this was thought by the said user to be a good idea i doubt their ability to use a compressor safely as well.

my compressor is from 1961. it also gets regular oil changes and i don't usually throw it on top of a campfire.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#49

Post by outlawmws »

The tank I spoke of was left buried for others to get the "benefit" of. Malicious sabotage.

They did change the seam design at some point - The later long cylinders do not fit the "slant" (Bernz-o-Matic = edited) lanterns and stoves. The old ones did. No clue if that was the change that caused a change in the law...
Last edited by outlawmws on Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Refilling propane bottles

#50

Post by JimL »

Outlaw,

I think you mean the Bernz-O-Matic lanterns and stoves, in particular, the rocket launchers. I thought the change was that Worthington began making the propane cylinders. I have no problems getting the long slender tanks. I get the old ones at estate sales for a buck each, still filled.

This is Bill's (austinsuri) Bernzo stove and an example of what I think you meant:
5546812-bernz 1.jpg
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