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Old 27-04-2012, 16:08   #1
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Returnable Propane Tanks

Anybody use returnable or exchangeable propane tanks?

If you return them frequently enough seems like you shouldn't need to worry about corrosion so much. I'm talking the kind in a cage outside the builder's supply place or hardware store.
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Old 27-04-2012, 16:10   #2
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

We do exchanges all the time while in the US. Once in the Bahamas, etc. you are pretty much going to need to just fill them. Chuck
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Old 27-04-2012, 19:09   #3
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

Plastic tanks here. Exchangeable and returnable/refundable. Spain.

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Old 27-04-2012, 19:10   #4
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

BTW never had any tank issues steel tanks 10 years old.

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Old 27-04-2012, 20:31   #5
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

If your tanks are too old they won't refill them at BJ's. THere's some age limit. Rhino and ameri-gas are less stringent or maybe just take the older ones out of circulation.
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Old 27-04-2012, 20:42   #6
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

Exchangeable tanks $eem to be about double of refilling in my area.
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Old 27-04-2012, 20:53   #7
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

Exchanges are the only thing I do. (WA State). If the tanks are too old, it just means the valves are incorrect and not updated. They take the old tanks at the exchanges and you get a shiny new one. I live aboard and change mine every couple months with a new one. It's not much more per tank than filling, and no waiting in lines for attendants.
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Old 28-04-2012, 07:33   #8
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

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Exchanges are the only thing I do. (WA State). If the tanks are too old, it just means the valves are incorrect and not updated. They take the old tanks at the exchanges and you get a shiny new one. I live aboard and change mine every couple months with a new one. It's not much more per tank than filling, and no waiting in lines for attendants.
Too funny very different experience in my area of Northern Va. The storage shelves/grates are locked. There is no automation like I've seen elsewhere. You have to wait in customer service who then has to get the attendant with the key to come help you.

The BJ's associate said it was beyond the over-fill protection valve, something about the age of the tank too; maybe that is self imposed as he fills the tank to full capacity. Maybe there are regional regulations? If there is a chance of an additional regulation Arlington Va will ensure it is in place. Also the re-fills are not fully filled to 20 lbs. It's all about a balance of convenience and value.
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Old 28-04-2012, 08:19   #9
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

When the price of gas spiked several years ago, the amount of LP gas in 20# tanks started to drop, so pricing could remain the same. Then some places the price went up as well, for less fuel. At no point did the price ever come down or the tank volume return to anywhere near 20#. Basicly the swap tanks are the worst deal, followed by filling a 20# tank, it's way better to fill any other size. Bigger or smaller, they will charge you by weight, not the preset pricing of standard grill tanks (20#). Some 20#er's get as little as 13.5# gas. I use 40# and holds the volume of allmost 3 -20# tanks filled to new standard. Tank swap is real easy, but not good value.
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Old 28-04-2012, 08:24   #10
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

Also here (Canary Islands, Spain) re-fills are cheaper. The point is there is only one re-fill station and far from town. When we add transportation cost then the re-fill comes nearly break-even.

When we started back in 2003 re-filling was possible everywhere, now it is becoming an issue. Freaking European Union ;-(

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Old 28-04-2012, 09:16   #11
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

The only advantages to the exchangeable tanks are getting clean and certified ones in return.
I know as i used to deliver them by the thousands everyday not long ago.
As to regulations,i am glad of them as you don't get second chances very often with an explosive fuel.
You would be amazed what some people try to bring in for refilling,
I have had many arguments and almost knockdown drag outs with some people, when i have had to tell them, that their tank was beyond unsafe.
But then...most people have never seen the results of a leaky tank and a source of ignition first hand as i have many times.
So for me,,,exchangeable is worth the extra few bucks for safety and cleanliness.
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Old 28-04-2012, 09:54   #12
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

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Too funny very different experience in my area of Northern Va. The storage shelves/grates are locked. There is no automation like I've seen elsewhere. You have to wait in customer service who then has to get the attendant with the key to come help you.
We do have some of those places too. Fortunately (for me anyway) the Home Depots here have automatic ones that are 24/7 and you use your debit/credit card to access. You can place any used tank in the cage and get a new one.

I had been suspicious about the fill levels a few years ago, but I think there has been a lot of publicity about that lately, so I'm guessing the bigger stores tend to keep them fairly full to prevent bad publicity. Mine seem to always be pretty full these days anyway.
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Old 29-04-2012, 16:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel
Also here (Canary Islands, Spain) re-fills are cheaper. The point is there is only one re-fill station and far from town. When we add transportation cost then the re-fill comes nearly break-even.

When we started back in 2003 re-filling was possible everywhere, now it is becoming an issue. Freaking European Union ;-(

b.
Refilling is actually banned in the EU but like everything theres still a bit around.

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Old 29-04-2012, 16:20   #14
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

I have used exchangable tanks for three years. I heat with them in the winter. The only problem was some tanks were just a bit taller than others so my lazarette hatch would not quite close. Other than that they were convenient to swap out at the local hardware store. Last winter I only needed two tanks. Global warming is a good thing. Sunshine and deep water. Gotta love it.
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Old 29-04-2012, 16:40   #15
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Re: Returnable Propane Tanks

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Refilling is actually banned in the EU but like everything theres still a bit around.

Dave
Yes. You know, Canary Islands ... just one look at the chart ... ;-) we are Africa at least as much as we are the EU.

DISA still fills them but very unwillingly if the bottle is not a DISA one. Spain has at least four distributors with four different fittings.

I think, at least here, with so many passing international boats, they could be a bit more cruiser-friendly. But it is actually the other way round.

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