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Propane Refills

matthfam
Explorer
Explorer
After reading on this site about what a propane tank should weigh when empty/full, I decided I should weigh mine. I had used one tank only with the other one shut off ... The "full" tank weighed in at 44 lbs. the used one at 35.5 lbs. While it makes sense that I used about 8-9 lbs from the tank I was using, it makes no sense that they weighed 44 lbs when full. I was ripped off.
There could be a small difference to the 55 lbs supposed weight when full, but 11 lbs? They advertise as the cheapest propane in town. Not cheap at all! Take a scale with you when refilling!
29 REPLIES 29

StirCrazy
Navigator
Navigator
theoldwizard1 wrote:
opnspaces wrote:
They can only fill to 80 percent.

ABSOLTE BULLSH!T !!

It is call a "20 lb tank" because it is design tested and certified to hold 20 lbs of propane ! Some refill stations just crack the overfill screw and fill until liquid vents. This is usually very close to 20 lbs.



actually by cracking the bleed screw it vents at 80%. I used to have my propane certification for work so we could fill the bottles for the forklifts and other things. the bleed screw is to be used in the absence of a scale to ensure filling to no more than 80%.

here is a Q and A from Texas propane if you don't believe me.

"How does a bleeder valve work on a propane tank?

The bleeder valve is built so that during the filling process, when the propane is going into the tank reaches 80 percent, liquid will come out of the opened valve. This allows the delivery driver to know that the tank has reached its maximum filling capacity."


Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

StirCrazy
Navigator
Navigator
matthfam wrote:
After reading on this site about what a propane tank should weigh when empty/full, I decided I should weigh mine. I had used one tank only with the other one shut off ... The "full" tank weighed in at 44 lbs. the used one at 35.5 lbs. While it makes sense that I used about 8-9 lbs from the tank I was using, it makes no sense that they weighed 44 lbs when full. I was ripped off.
There could be a small difference to the 55 lbs supposed weight when full, but 11 lbs? They advertise as the cheapest propane in town. Not cheap at all! Take a scale with you when refilling!


That's actually not far off, I am assuming a 30lb bottle which weighs in the range of 25 to 28lbs empty and up to 55lbs 100% full. since you can only fill them to 80% by law that is about 23.4lbs of propane add this to your 25lbs tank is 48lbs. now have you had your home scale certified, if not the numbers are not accurate so that could account for the other 3 lb. I know the propane scales here must be certified every so often, the same as gas pumps and everything else.
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

time2roll
Nomad
Nomad
matthfam wrote:
After reading on this site about what a propane tank should weigh when empty/full, I decided I should weigh mine. I had used one tank only with the other one shut off ... The "full" tank weighed in at 44 lbs. the used one at 35.5 lbs. While it makes sense that I used about 8-9 lbs from the tank I was using, it makes no sense that they weighed 44 lbs when full. I was ripped off.
There could be a small difference to the 55 lbs supposed weight when full, but 11 lbs? They advertise as the cheapest propane in town. Not cheap at all! Take a scale with you when refilling!
How is the price set?

If 7 gallons goes in and you pay for 7 gallons that seems fair.

Or if you pay for 30 pounds of propane and get 30 # of propane that seems fair also.

If all cylinders are filled for a flat fee.... bring in a 100# rated cylinder for the best value.

So before you decide if you are ripped off how exactly is the price set?

ktmrfs
Explorer
Explorer
MrWizard wrote:
Tanks marked in gallons of water capacity, meaning total enclosed volume,
Not the propane full volume, full volume is 80% of water capacity,, that's the law,
Butane is also an LP Gas , in warmer climates the propane you buy will contain some butane, its lighter in weight per gallon than propane and doesn't vaporize at the same temperature as ,propane, so what your bottle weights when full is dependent on location and climate , the lp you are getting can vary


and a propane/butane mix has a higher boiling point than propane, So.... if you get LPG (note most places say LPG NOT propane, therefore they can sell a propane/butane mix) in a cylinder fill with a high % of butane and then hit a cold spell,...... you may find the boiling point is to high to get much vapor and don't get much flow.
Pure butane boils at 30F.... get near that temp and you've got a problem. Pure propane boils at -40F.

Similar to the problem of using to small a bottle of propane for the expected flow rate. e.g. disposable bottle on small patio heater. Propane boils fast, cools way down, vapor pressure drops like a rock.
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MrWizard
Moderator
Moderator
Tanks marked in gallons of water capacity, meaning total enclosed volume,
Not the propane full volume, full volume is 80% of water capacity,, that's the law,
Butane is also an LP Gas , in warmer climates the propane you buy will contain some butane, its lighter in weight per gallon than propane and doesn't vaporize at the same temperature as ,propane, so what your bottle weights when full is dependent on location and climate , the lp you are getting can vary
I can explain it to you.
But I Can Not understand it for you !

....

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JimBollman
Explorer
Explorer
Before I switched to an all electric B, I had four 20lb tanks that I used one at a time in my camper. I kept a chart of the 4 tanks and how much they weighted when full and after each outing and notes on the trip. So I knew were I was for the next trip. Repeat trips that I did every year I knew about how much LP I would probably used. Some trips I used partial tanks others I started full. I tried to get close to empty before refilling and more than one tank before I made a trip for refilling at a location that filled by meter. I stoped using one supplier when my records showed they consistently under filled for what they charged. I like several above only used the prefilled tanks to get better expiration dates. Using the above record keeping, I only ran out on the road once.

CA_Traveler
Explorer III
Explorer III
From AmeriGas Website

Review the propane tank size guide below for more information on propane tank sizes. It is important to note that a propane tank is only able to be filled to 80%. The tanks details will highlight how many gallons you get when full.

20 lb Propane Tank
Dimensions: 1' 6" in height and 1' in diameter.
Uses: Propane grills, generators, patio heaters, and other outdoor equipment. To purchase or exchange a 20 lb tank, find a location near you.
20 pound propane tanks are often referred to as grill cylinders and hold 4.6 gallons of propane when full.

From another website: 1 gallon of propane weighs 4.11 lb.
Therefore; 4.11*4.6 = 18.9 lbs of propane plus the empty tank weight.
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Bob

StarkNaked
Explorer II
Explorer II
theoldwizard1 wrote:
opnspaces wrote:
They can only fill to 80 percent.

ABSOLTE BULLSH!T !!

It is call a "20 lb tank" because it is design tested and certified to hold 20 lbs of propane !


The 80% rule is mandatory and is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the United States and by similar organizations in other countries. Propane retailers and suppliers are required to follow the 80% rule when filling tanks, and customers should expect that their tanks will not be filled to capacity.

To calculate the approximate fill capacity of your propane tank, you can multiply the tank’s total capacity by 0.8 (80%). This will give you the maximum amount of propane that the tank can safely hold, taking into account the 20% head space required for expansion.

For example, if your propane tank has a capacity of 100 gallons, the maximum safe fill capacity would be 80 gallons, which can be calculated as follows: 100 x 0.8 = 80.

theoldwizard1
Explorer
Explorer
matthfam wrote:

There could be a small difference to the 55 lbs supposed weight when full,

You can not know what the "full" weight is without knowing the TARE Weight.

theoldwizard1
Explorer
Explorer
opnspaces wrote:
They can only fill to 80 percent.

ABSOLTE BULLSH!T !!

It is call a "20 lb tank" because it is design tested and certified to hold 20 lbs of propane ! Some refill stations just crack the overfill screw and fill until liquid vents. This is usually very close to 20 lbs.

All certified portable tanks are require to have a TARE Weight permanently stamped on them. If you weight the tank immediately after filling, that number minus the TARE Weight is how many pounds of propane you received.

opnspaces wrote:
Many prefilled tanks (Think Blue Rhino) under fills to 15 lbs. And it is disclosed on all the signage.

But they have many people CONVINCED this is correct ! BUYER BEWARE !!

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
A 20 pound tank holds 16 pounds when filled.
The Tare weight (Empty weight) is stamped on the tank.
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ktmrfs
Explorer
Explorer
CA Traveler wrote:
I only exchange tanks when they are out of date. Otherwise use a metered fill by gallons. The MH tank date is not checked since it's not portable.


yup, IMHO the only good use of tank exchange. I get rid of an out of date tank and get a newer mostly full tank (I check the date on the tank) at a reasonable price and don't have the hassle of recyling the old tank.
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CA_Traveler
Explorer III
Explorer III
I only exchange tanks when they are out of date. Otherwise use a metered fill by gallons. The MH tank date is not checked since it's not portable.
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Bob

ktmrfs
Explorer
Explorer
a)I have never been to a propane station that charged by weight. It's always been by gallons. They may weigh the tank during fill but still charge by gallon.
b) propane tanks cannot be filled to full capacity, the overflow valve prevents that. IIRC a "full" propane tank is about 80+% of capacity in gallons.
c) places that sell prefilled tanks don't fill to even nominal capacity, and they so state the fill. You do pay a PREMIUM for that convienence!!! Blue Rhino states on the website that since 2008 they only fill to 15lbs. prior to that they filled to 17 lbs.
d) the actual capacity of a 20 and 30 lb tanks is less than 5 and 7.5 gallons of propane if it is filled till the overflow float shuts off fill, about 4.5 ish gallons and 7ish or less gallons.

e) propane only weights about 4.1lbs/gallon,
2011 Keystone Outback 295RE
2004 14' bikehauler with full living quarters
2015.5 Denali 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison
2004.5 Silverado 4x4 CC/SB Duramax/Allison passed on to our Son!

opnspaces
Navigator II
Navigator II
They can only fill to 80 percent.

Many prefilled tanks (Think Blue Rhino) under fills to 15 lbs. And it is disclosed on all the signage.

In your example do they charge one price for a refill? Or do they charge by the weight or by measuring the fill?
.
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