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Old 24-01-2008, 22:46   #1
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Refilling Propane cyls

I use a small 1 gal. cylinder to provide gas for the boat, Its simple and fits nicely in a rack on the rear rail. In the past I've refilled the smaller units with a 20 lb cylinder by inverting the larger tank and letting the fluid run to the smaller tank via a hose I made.. Its been working fine for years but recently when trying to refil the larger tank, I was informed it no-longer meets the new standards as it has NO auto shut-off built into the fill system.. was told its just a float to shut it off at the 10 percent area.
Question is, will the newer tanks with the auto shut-off allow you to invert the tank and transfer the fluid?
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Old 25-01-2008, 04:57   #2
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Quote:
was told its just a float to shut it off at the 10 percent area.
Propane tanks should never be filled more than 80%. It's dangerous to so and the new OPD valve makes sure of that. There needs to be expansion room inside the tank. The new OPD valves automatically do that for you when the tank is upright as you fill them. This isn't something new it's always been true. The valve change has been more than a few years ago and they eventually said it was ilegal to refill the old style valves it now is.

The new valves (that you can buy and have installed) basically connect up to an old style connector and the new style OPD connectors. Nothing on the boat changes just the connector used to fill the bottle. All new Backyasrd grills are set up to use the new connector. You no longer need a wrench. The inner part of the fitting is just like the old ones.

Right now here in the US it is not legal to fill a tank that does not have the valve unless the filing station feels the condition of the tank is such that it is safe. They won't fill the tank as full. Many won't fill them at all. I had an old style Aluminum tank and the dealer fillers a lot less but will. They could switch it when I went in so I had one old and one new.

If you are filling your own tank by transfering from another I don't see how that changes anything. The OPD valve only changes how they fill not anything else. It's pretty cheap to switch valves on a tank if you go to a real propane dealer. I think I spent $15 to replace the valve and purge the tank. Using the standard bottles it's foolish to do that since they are so cheap and being steel turn to a pile of rust in a short perod of time. If the tank isn't steel you can change it over and then not do it yourself.

If your little tank is steel I would work on a replacement because steel tanks don't last. Certainly how you have been doing won't be effected. Given you have not blown yourself up just yet. It sure be nice to keep it that way. Personally, I think handling dynamite is a whole lot safer than propane. Just like gasoline the static electricity that can build up can ignite propane and it's immediate. You won't live long enough to hear the explosion.
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Old 25-01-2008, 05:21   #3
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Ahhh... my main reason for disliking propane.

It works well, but tank filling (or being refused) is quite a headache.
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Old 25-01-2008, 06:06   #4
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I think if he inverts a tank with the new OPD valve it will close the valve and not allow the liquid to flow. The OPD has a little float in it, that float dosen't know the difference between full or inverted.
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Old 25-01-2008, 06:23   #5
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I think bmiller is right

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Old 25-01-2008, 06:31   #6
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How to Transfer Propane From Tank-To-Tank
Goto:
propane

Some OPD valves will close the flow of propane if placed horizontally, but all OPD valves will close the flow if the cylinder is inverted.

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Old 25-01-2008, 06:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Ahhh... my main reason for disliking propane.

It works well, but tank filling (or being refused) is quite a headache.
Every fuel has it's issues.
Some folks just shouldn't be allowed to do their own re-fueling (left)
Others shouldn't be allowed near appliances (right)
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Old 25-01-2008, 07:49   #8
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Quote:
How to Transfer Propane From Tank-To-Tank
The artical is incorrect in one respect all tanks are applicable to the law not just above a certain size. This is not new law. It was phased in over a long period of time and it has been mandatory for at least 5 years.

It is not illegal to fill a tank if the judgement of the operator indictes the tank is sound. That said don't expect too many people to go for it especially with a steel tank. The age of the tank is a factor and at this point any 20# steel tank not refitted is pretty much beyond limits. An empty steel 20# tank around the US is under $30. The cost for a valve refit and purge the tank is about $15. You should never attempt to fill a brand new tank yourself. It has to be purged before it can be used. My propane dealer will purge a tank for $2 and a fill is about $15.
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Old 25-01-2008, 08:17   #9
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It has to be purged before it can be used.
Is the tank puged with air? And why?
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Old 25-01-2008, 08:42   #10
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NO, don’t purge with Air.

Both water and air are contaminants, which can seriously interfere with proper operation of the system and the connected appliances.

Purging involves the removal of air and moisture from a cylinder. The presence of moisture and air in a propane container can lead to operational problems such as:
- Erratic or poor operation of appliances.
- Air pressure build up in the cylinder could cause the relief valve to open sooner than it normally would.
- A mixture of the moisture, air and propane could create a chemical reaction inside the cylinder and result in the loss of the effectiveness of the odorant*.

* If the tank is not purged of moisture, it will reduce the efficiency of the oderant.
Propane itself is oderless. But an oderant is always added to help detect propane leaks. At 0.5% (by volume) you can begin to smell it. Oddly, women tend to detect the odor of propane before men.

Always tightly close cylinder valves, when not in use, to prevent air & moisture contamination.
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Old 25-01-2008, 08:45   #11
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I thought purging was just to get the wet air out of the cylinder but this website says that there is more to it than that:

Changing valve on 30 lb propane tank - Topic Powered by eve community

Edit: I see Gord got the above info out before me.

Horizontal tanks made before 1998 are not required to have the new valve.

John
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Old 25-01-2008, 08:52   #12
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Thanks John. That is a great link.
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Old 25-01-2008, 10:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Every fuel has it's issues.
Some folks just shouldn't be allowed to do their own re-fueling (left)
Others shouldn't be allowed near appliances (right)
Arugably the funniest post of the year so far! ha ha
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Old 26-01-2008, 01:10   #14
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I have to disagree with some on this thread (that's what it's all about right?).
I have three aluminum 10lb. tanks I rotate as needed. At the time they started the OPD valve requirement it was going to cost over $100 to convert so I decided to service them myself. I bought a new 20lb. bottle at Home Depot for $20 as the refill source. It works fine when inverted as the liquid propane causes the float to open. I can service about 1 and 1/2 10lb. bottles. As the liquid level drops the float shuts off near the bottom (inverted top). I use the rest on the home BBQ (right side up). Works for me not withstanding Gord's wonderfully illustrated cautions!

Andy
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Old 26-01-2008, 04:41   #15
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I have three aluminum 10lb. tanks I rotate as needed. At the time they started the OPD valve requirement it was going to cost over $100 to convert so I decided to service them myself.
I paid $15 to convert both of my aluminum tanks. It's the same OPD valve. Anyone saying it would cost you $100 saw you coming. I drive 2 miles down the road and they fill them for me and it costs about $10. Since you have to refill the 20# tank you make extra work out of it.

It's OK to disagree as I won't say it does not work, but you can't fill the tanks as much as can be filled if you go to the propane station. The transfer process is not wthout some risks and a minor accident always ends with a large explosion. Around here propane dealers are common and you can take a tank in and they fill them for a lot less than you can do a 20# exchange tank. They also can switch a valve while you watch cheaply. There are enough problems with propane that looking for more just seems not worth the hassle or the risk. RV stations often also sell propane and can change valves.

I do miss my 10# aluminum tanks too.
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