Author Topic: Propane Tanks  (Read 53208 times)

smoker pete

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #15 on: 06/03/11 13:57:09 »
How to tell if your propane tank is out of date

This is important, especially locally here in Central California, cause my Ace Hardware store will NOT refill a tank that is out of date.  Found this out the hard way when I took 3 tanks to be filled a few weeks ago.  My tanks were out of date and I was rejected  >:(



Yes, propane tanks do expire! Federal law requires all propane tanks to be re-certified after 12 years of original manufacture date. The expiration date is stamped into the metal collar around the the valve at the top of the tank. Expiration occurs at the end of the month that is stamped on the tank. This particular tank expires after the last day of May, 2021. At that point this would either need to be re-certified or disposed of and a new tank purchased. When a tank has been re-certified it will have another date stamped or engraved into the same general area and will then be good for another 5 years after the last day of the month of re-certification. Hardware stores do not do re-certify propane tanks. Been informed that it will probably cost more to have the tank re-certified than to just buy a new tank :-\

You need to be careful where you purchase and refill your tanks.  A story relayed to me from my local Hardware store was of a woman who bought a new grill from them which included a propane tank.  It became empty and the Hardware store was closed so she chose to swap it out at one of those Blue Rhino places at Home Depot.  Then when that tank was empty she brought it back to the local store to have it refilled only to find out that the propane tank was out of date and she couldn't get it refilled.  Talk about a Catch-22 situation ... She had to buy a new tank!!

How to tell how much propane is in your tank.

If you are uncertain how much propane is left in your tank here is an easy way to tell. Take a look at the metal collar at the top of the tank. There will be markings stamped into the collar. The particular mark you ar looking for will be the letters "TW" followed by numbers. This particular tank shows TW18. This means the weight of the empty tank is 18 pounds. When a regular 20 lb tank (gas grill size) is full it will weigh 38 lbs. A simple bathroom scale can be used to weigh your tank and determine how full it is. If your scale is too small or uneven for the tank to sit on the scale, weigh yourself first, then hold the tank and step on the scale again. Subtract your own weight and that will be the weight of the tank.

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LostArrow

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #16 on: 06/03/11 13:57:27 »
Susie Q your gas grill sips propane.
It won't be worth your time or money to go out of your way to refill tanks!
Exchange at the most convenient place to your errands. The $ 2-3 you spend extra a year won't matter.
If an academy sports is nearby they have the cheapest price on exchanges.

MidKnightRider

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #17 on: 06/03/11 14:12:34 »
On a side note, did anyone read or hear about the guy in East Texas that was stopped by the police for dragging a large propane tank he had chained behind his truck? Apparently, he had stolen it from a friend's house over some dispute. It was full of propane (over 100 gallons). I read this a few days ago in the Houston Comical...err, I mean Chronicle. Smart fella!!! That must be another one of those "hold my beer and watch this" episodes.

Sounds like someone was trying to have a rocket powered truck!
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Susie-Que

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #18 on: 06/03/11 14:41:46 »
"Gawwllee", Seargent Carter that sure is a lot of good information" ;D  I knew all of you would come to my rescue. (remember, I was afraid of the tank and didn't hook it up for a week  ::) Then called my brother and told him I hooked it up and didn't die  :D)

Thanks for the quick and detailed replies.  I didn't know the tanks expired or needed recertification but it makes good sense.
I figured I wouldn't need a refill for a long time but didn't want to wait until I needed more fuel before looking into it.  

The photos were very helpful.... thanks, smoker pete


I'll check out the gauge as well.  I knew you could weigh the tank and I read somewhere about warm soapy water to tell the level but I think I'd rather go by weight and a gauge.
You never know...I may get an SRG or something like that and will need multiple tanks.  See what this forum does to people...it makes them buy more cookers.

Oh...and the guy pulling the tank behind the truck is a favorite to be a Darwin Award winner.

I just did a forum search for "propane" maybe I should have done that first....Thanks for that suggestion Dee.

Happy Grilling
« Last Edit: 06/03/11 14:46:03 by Susie-Que »

drholly

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #19 on: 06/03/11 14:52:12 »
"Gawwllee", Seargent Carter that sure is a lot of good information" ;D  
Wow - this HAS to be a first - a Gomer Pyle reference.... loved that show.
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Susie-Que

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #20 on: 06/03/11 14:58:50 »
 'Wow - this HAS to be a first - a Gomer Pyle reference.... loved that show.
David'

:D  Shazam!

BTW I looked a the grill gauge.  It is sold at several local dealers including Norther Tools.
« Last Edit: 06/03/11 15:03:13 by Susie-Que »

LostArrow

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #21 on: 06/03/11 15:01:09 »
Susie rather than spending the money on a gauge, buy a spare tank.

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #22 on: 06/03/11 15:05:30 »
Where does one store a spare tank?  If you read the manual that comes with the grill it makes you afraid to have one near the house. ???

scamp

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #23 on: 06/03/11 15:16:16 »
Smoker pete only problem with bathroom scale was when I got on with the tank I was overmax.  LOL when one goes out of date I would just take it to an exchange the propane companies that refill them here also recertify them.  I bought 3 extra bottles off craigslist for 5 bucks a piece took them to the local walmart swapped them out and now have a spare for all but one of my cookers.
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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #24 on: 06/03/11 15:21:51 »
Susie Que,  Store the cylinder anywhere outside you want.  If you want to put in the shade fine.  I just don't worry about it.  I've seen the big tanks about 10' from a house.  Alot of warnings of for legal purposes rather than safety.  Just my two cents worth.  Dee
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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #25 on: 06/03/11 15:29:16 »
I had a problem with the threads on a tank I owned, so I swapped it at a tank exchange.  Now I have a mix of ones I get refilled and ones I just swap out, depending on whats going on.  If not in a hurry, I drive down to the local u-haul and get refilled, If in a hurry I go to the neighborhood store with a Blue Rhino exchange.  You have to be careful with the prices on those.  Near my house an exchange costs over $20bucks, in the town I work in, it costs $17 bucks, so I sometimes take an empty to work with me and do the exchange so I will have a full tank when I get home. I all boils down to a balance of convience and cost.
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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #26 on: 06/03/11 15:32:14 »
Susie Que,  Store the cylinder anywhere outside you want.  If you want to put in the shade fine.  I just don't worry about it.  I've seen the big tanks about 10' from a house.  Alot of warnings of for legal purposes rather than safety.  Just my two cents worth.  Dee
Susie Que - I am with Dee. I have been using propane for cooking and for my work (commercial cleaning) for decades, never a problem. There are legal reasons for doing things and there is the practical reality. This is one of the safest fuel sources available, and I would not spend a lot of time worrying about it. (Enter Alton Brown Lawyers...) Keep the bottles outside, away from your house, you'll probably be more than safe for many many years...
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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #27 on: 06/03/11 16:49:26 »
A truckstop in the last town I worked in, had a super giant propane tank.  It was probably the biggest I have ever seen.  We always worried what would happen if it caught fire, and one day it did.  But insteadd of the huge explosion we all feared (like you see on tv, :D), all it did was have a large jet of flame coming out of it.  the fire department just kept everything near it sprayed down and let the tank burn itself out.  that flame went on for a long, long time and was something to see, but no explosion and they were even able to repair and continue to use the tank.  After seeing all that, I have learned to respect but not fear a propane tank, also google "Myth Busters", they had an episode one time where they try to blow up propane tanks, pretty interesting stuff.
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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #28 on: 06/03/11 16:55:59 »
Thanks for that information.  I am not afraid of them like I was at first but I still consider safety a top-priority.

I love myth busters so I will be sure to look that up. (I bet they were disappointed that it didn't blow up)

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Re: Propane Tanks
« Reply #29 on: 06/03/11 19:12:45 »
On a side note, did anyone read or hear about the guy in East Texas that was stopped by the police for dragging a large propane tank he had chained behind his truck? Apparently, he had stolen it from a friend's house over some dispute. It was full of propane (over 100 gallons). I read this a few days ago in the Houston Comical...err, I mean Chronicle. Smart fella!!! That must be another one of those "hold my beer and watch this" episodes.

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