Propane fast facts
- Propane is a vapour at room temperature, however in your tank it is a liquid because it is under pressure.
- The level of propane in your tank will fluctuate with temperature, the higher the temperature, the higher the liquid level in your tank.
- When your tank is filled, it can legally only be filled to 80% of it’s total volume to provide space for expansion.
- The valve on your cylinder has 3 safety devices: an overfill protection device, a pressure relief valve and flow lock out.
- Over time, these safety devices deteriorate and so the valve must be replaced after 10 years; this is why they need to be re-certified.
- Tanks are stamped with their manufacture date, 10 years after that date, they must be re-certified before they can be filled.
- When re-certified, the tank is inspected, minor repairs are made, the old valve is replaced, the tank is purged to remove contaminants, and then re-stamped (Tanks Again attaches a stamped metal tag) with the re-certification date. The tank is then again “good” for 10 years.
tank exchange programs
Propane exchange programs have become popular in recent years because they are generally convenient. However, there are some things that everyone should know about these programs and why they are costing you more that you may realize.
- When you “buy” into a propane exchange program, you are only buying the propane in that tank and renting the tank from the supplier; you do not own that tank.
- Most propane exchange tanks are not full, research of this industry has shown that these tanks are routinely filled to only 60% rather than the 80% that a tank can legally be filled. In the case of a 20 pound tank, you are only getting 15 pounds but paying for 20.
- For the average propane user, over the course of a ten year period, the cost to use an exchange program will be more than double the cost to refill your own tank, including the cost to buy the tank and then have it re-certified after 10 years.
Why throw away your money?
As mentioned above, it is cheaper in the long run to buy a tank and have it refilled when needed than to use exchange programs. When buying a tank, however, there are a few things to be aware of.
- As mentioned above, tanks are stamped with their manufacture date. This is the date that the 10 year life of the tank starts.
- Depending on how fast a retailer turns over their inventory, or how long it sits in a warehouse before getting to the store’s shelf, tanks can be “stale” dated, meaning that you may get less than 10 years from the tank you purchase. In one instance we found a “new” tank at a big box store that was already over 2 years out of date.
At Tanks Again, we recondition old tanks. This means making repairs, painting (if required) and re-certifying the tank. When we sell you a reconditioned tanks, we guarantee that the tank you purchase will have a fresh certification, giving it a full 10 year life. Our reconditioned tanks that are less expensive than purchasing a “new” tank from retailers, and also are much less expensive that buying into an exchange program. Buying a reconditioned tank is also environmentally responsible as the tanks otherwise end up in the landfill.