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Old 07-07-2008, 11:15   #1
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Propane cylinders

I've just rescued a couple of US aluminum propane cylinders from the marina skip. I know one of them has the old style valve and probably can't be refilled in The USA. The other has the new OPD type.

Is there a website where I can decipher the numbers stamped on them? What is the service life/inspection regime of these things?
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Old 07-07-2008, 11:59   #2
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PROPANE CYLINDER MARKINGS
Goto:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery...age.php?i=4527
And:
http://www.propanecouncil.org/files/gc2.4.3.pdf

Note: “WC” The amount of water in pounds the cylinder can hold. For Propane, filling is limited to 42 per cent of the water capacity.

Typical stamp:
MM XXX YY E

MM ~ 2 digit recertification month
XXX ~3 character Re-qualifier’s registration number
YY ~ 2 digit recertification year
E ~ States the cylinder has been externally examined

And:
WC ~ Water capacity of the cylinder.(The amount of water in pounds the cylinder can hold, filling is limited to 42 per cent of the water capacity)
TW ~ Tare weight of the cylinder (what the tank weighs empty)
ICC, DOT, BTE, CTC or TC ~ Specification number eg. TC4BA240, where the numeral indicates the working pressure (eg 240 psi)
10 89 ~ Date of manufacture (October. 1989)
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Old 07-07-2008, 17:45   #3
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You can also take them to a propane place - for a nominal fee, they will recertify them.
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Old 07-07-2008, 19:34   #4
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I believe you can have the valve replaced and upgraded to an OPD style valve. Normally, the cost is not warrented in a steel tank where the valve upgrade cost something on the order of +$35. But in the case of an aluminium tank, the cost is very well justfied. Probably should have the tank hydrostatically tested, but I have never been seen a propane filler inspect for the cert.

Better yet, just get one of the kevlar/composit tanks!
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Old 07-07-2008, 20:48   #5
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When I was in Fort Lauderdale, I went to the gas man and purchased new aluminium propane tanks for less than one-half the price of the same tank at West Marine.

If you are going on a long voyage, I think it's worth getting new cylinders. The dates on the cylinder are important in many destinations around the world. When I was in Australia and New Zealand, they took the dates very seriously.

I also take the cylinders seriously because I sail in a catamaran, and I feel that my greatest offshore risk is fire and explosion. That's the main reason I carry a life raft.

I reckon that if I have new cylinders and valves before I set off on a long voyage, I substantially decrease the risk of offshore disaster and the risk of onshore hassles in faraway places.
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:48   #6
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Thanks guys; that's a great help. I'm keen to hang on to these cylinders as in Europe we only have the crummy steel ones, on an exchange basis.

All I have to do is persuade the gas depot to fill them up for me.
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