More Propane Issues - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-16-2013, 03:20 PM   #15
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Name: Imogene
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Thanks for the information on propane tanks. I often wondered why my house propane tank was only filled to 80%.....figured it was for expansion of the propane and not so the propane company could charge me those additional fees for delivery a couple of times a year.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Kevin, thanks for taking more care in the propane filling job than most.


Something doesn't make sense here. If these tanks were properly filled by weight, they would not get overfilled, and so even if the OPD was completely non-functional they would not open the relief valve (vent). How did the ones in which OPDs apparently failed get "completely filled" if you were shutting off the fill at the correct weight?
Not sure, I was running another filling station, and they started talking about the cylinder "leaking". I walked over, and after moving it to the wooded area nearby for safety, I realized that it was noticeably heavier. Cracking the valve open let liquid shoot out of the tank. It stopped venting after a couple hours in the shade, then was moved to the shop to be emptied and taken out of service.

Perhaps the other worker had the scale set too high, we had weights for other cylinder sizes, perhaps had the wrong one on there. It should have never happened, but these things do.

People are kind of paranoid about gas. My mother would never allow any gas appliances in the house, claiming they'd "blow up". People used to call 911 all the time when distributors got shipments in during the day. People would get a whiff of odorant and freak out. Interestingly, most of the "old timers" I know that fill small cylinders all day can't smell the odorant anymore.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:31 PM   #17
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... Perhaps the other worker had the scale set too high, we had weights for other cylinder sizes, perhaps had the wrong one on there.
That's a generous interpretation; it seems likely to me that while the wrong weight may have been set in some cases, in others the other worker was not nearly as diligent as Kevin, and just rammed those cylinders full without even checking the weight, counting on the OPD to stop the fill. Members of this forum have reported that their cylinders are filled this way, and even that they believe it is the correct method . Two problems with this:
  • an OPD in a portable DOT cylinder is a secondary safety device, not the primary method to stop the fill (in contrast to fixed ASME cylinders, which do now come with stop fill devices)
  • there are likely lots of 20-lb cylinders still out there without OPDs; as far as I know, an OPD is still not required in Canada (in any size), and new non-OPD cylinders were available quite recently
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:34 PM   #18
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there are questions about traveling with the tank be used; what are your opinions in this area?
This (going down the road with the propane tank open to supply propane to run the refrigerator) has been rehashed many times in this forum. Perhaps we could keep this topic to the condition of propane tanks and how they are filled?
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
. Perhaps we could keep this topic to the condition of propane tanks and how they are filled?
Thanks Brian; I decided to start this thread after I discovered a serious rust issue on one of my 11lb tanks. I wanted to point out an issue that others may not be aware of, because how many of us actually examine our tanks, especially the bottom, before taking it for a refill. And we can see by some comments that some of the people filling tanks aren't paying attention to any problems either. And as Kevin has experienced, most people are only interested in getting their tank filled, and more so if it is a bargain price, never mind the condition. Another question is how do we transport our tanks to and from the filling station or exchange location? I've found that a 20lb or smaller tank fits nice and tight in a milk crate, keeps it from tipping over. I'm happy to see there is some interest in this thread, be safe!!
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:05 PM   #20
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I wanted to point out an issue that others may not be aware of, because how many of us actually examine our tanks, especially the bottom, before taking it for a refill.
A couple of winters ago I realized that some small cylinders that I was using around my property were accumulating mud frozen into the bottom, within the foot ring. This is bad because it means I get less propane when the tank if filled by weight, but more importantly because the condition of the bottom can't be inspected... although this didn't bother anyone filling them.

Removing the frozen stuff by chipping it out risks scraping the paint and starting rust, so I made a point of cleaning the bottoms with a pressure washer (at a car wash in winter) and keeping them clean by placing the tanks on pads (such as concrete blocks) rather than directly on dirt or gravel.

We had our motorhome in an RV park over a winter season, and used propane from an external 240 pound tank. The tank was rented from a propane supplier, and when they delivered it they placed it on a concrete sidewalk block. This both keeps the bottom clean and stabilizes the tank. I'm not suggesting that anyone travel with concrete blocks, and it isn't an issue for us when traveling with the Boler (because the tanks stay on the trailer), but people who use separate tanks (such as to run a barbecue or outdoor stove) might use something like a jack pad for this purpose.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:22 PM   #21
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Another question is how do we transport our tanks to and from the filling station or exchange location? I've found that a 20lb or smaller tank fits nice and tight in a milk crate, keeps it from tipping over.
It is certainly good to use something to give the easily-tipped cylinders a larger base for stability, and a crate also protects the sides. I have two issues with milk crates:
  • It is now possible to buy "milk crate" style products, but genuine milk crates belong to the dairies, so the ones used by individuals for storage are generally stolen.
  • Although a milk crate is assumed to be a standard size, that size changed decades ago in Canada, to suit the adjustment in packages sizes that accompanied our conversion from Imperial to metric measurements. People were surprised that their 12" record albums no longer fit nicely in the new crates, which are smaller.

I have tried the TankFoot base sold for 20-lb cylinders and provided with some Mr Heater tank-mounted radiant heaters, but it doesn't fit very well and the internal braces break; it seems to have been designed for a slightly different set of cylinder dimensions than my cylinders.

Following the link in another discussion to a propane-related gadget, I noticed a substantial looking folding holder: Tank Talon. I'll try to remember to report what I think of this when I get one and try it.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:46 PM   #22
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Here is my undereducated question. This is my first trailer and I've not had to fill my tank yet. Where do I look for the data on how long it's been since it was inspected??
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:38 PM   #23
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Date of manufacture is stamped on the top ring. First inspection is due 12 years after that. I think, but not sure, that the next inspection date may be in 7 years. When a tank gets inspected that new date gets stamped on next to the original date. The main point of my original post was that a tank may have rust issues making it unsafe even though it may not yet be due for an official inspection, and that most filling stations don't bother to look for any problems when they fill your tank, so doing your own inspection may be a good idea. As for my milk crates, one of our lease customers was a dairy, and gave me a few when I asked.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #24
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It's 10 years in PA, 12 is the federal reg, states can be more stringent. If a tank was only a couple months out, and was otherwise in good condition, you might get a pass for one fill. If the cylinder was rusty, damaged, or otherwise in poor condition, I wouldn't fill it for any reason. Don't want to be a part in causing an accident.

I have a large number of milk crates, all from defunct dairies. Got most of them at auctions, full of old tools and such, or from my dad, who used them to organize the back of his truck. Most of the ones from him are metal, and have no owner name on them. The ones for sale in stores are almost always cheap and thin and don't hold up to sunlight. I really like the 6-gallon size, 4 of them fit perfectly under the table in the Scamp. 2 of them stacked up make a nice stand for the water jug, too.

I recommended using a crate to lots of people last year, especially those that felt the only way to keep the tank upright was to wedge it behind the driver's seat. I have one that I strap to a hand truck, use it for starting brush piles with a big roofing torch, keeps it all organized and out of the mud, plus I can strap my potato hooks that I use to stir the fire right on the side.
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