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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Problem with U-Haul refill. Time replace my propane tanks?

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Sjm9911

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Posted: 07/12/21 06:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

philh wrote:

2oldman wrote:

Take them to any exchange place like Blue Rhino, located at stores everywhere.

and only get 15 lbs of propane instead of 20lbs


But you get a tank that is usable, and propane for 15$ better then 30 for a new tank and a fill.


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CharlesinGA

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Posted: 07/12/21 07:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

afidel wrote:

It's actually 10 years with recertification extending the expiration 5 years for a visual inspection with 2 recertifications allowed or a 10 year extension for a proper pressure test with both giving a maximum life of 20 years.


For many years, it was 12 years. Then about 4 years ago, the DOT issued a Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) making changes including reducing the time to 10 years. Apparently the propane tank industry watchdog organization was asleep, as there were no comments on the NPRM during the 90 day comment period. As soon as the rule went into effect, the industry went bananas and the DOT issued a new NPRM to change the time back to 12 years. At the same time, the Administrator of DOT issued a "do not enforce" letter to DOT employees to not enforce the 10 year rule, and after the second 90 day comment period the second NPRM became regulation changing it back to 12 years. I just recently looked in the eCFR and indeed it is 12 years for the particular DOT classification that covers typical propane 5 to 40 lb cylinders.

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afidel

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Posted: 07/12/21 07:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Weird, I see that now that I look for the rulemaking. What's odd is phmsa still has PDFs up with the 10 year timeframe.


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dougrainer

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Posted: 07/12/21 09:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

philh wrote:

2oldman wrote:

Take them to any exchange place like Blue Rhino, located at stores everywhere.

and only get 15 lbs of propane instead of 20lbs


Lets see, They shortchange you $10 worth of LP but you get a certified tank that costs on average of $50. So, instead of paying $50 for a new cylinder you pay an extra $10 for lost LP and come out $40 ahead. I guess that is NOT a good deal to your way of thinking. Doug

bobbolotune

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Posted: 07/13/21 03:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m the OP.

I took another look at the “ding” on the tank that U-Haul complained about. I think it would more properly be described as chipped paint than a dent or damage. Then it rusted a little where it chipped. There are small impressions less than the size of the head of a pin. Maybe it was set down on a rock at some point.

The lesson learned might be to inspect the tanks after each camping trip and use some touch up paint on any chipped paint.

However, the U-Haul website says “If a propane tank is uncertified, damaged... excessive rust or ***has been painted*** violates national propane gas rules and policies and will not be refilled.”. So it is unclear if touch up paint will get you grief when trying to refill.

I have gotten tanks from cylinder exchange for the BBQ in vastly worse shape than these tanks. Tanks with paint over rust then the paint chips so the tank is covered in rust.

(I am surprised that some responses said they use cylinder exchange. I have always assumed that I should use tanks that I have owned since new so that I know they have been carefully handled. Which can be a pain because propane refill can be harder to find than exchange. Maybe for a trailer where the tanks are outside, but in my truck camper I sleep literally a few feet from the propane tanks so I am hesitant to trust propane exchange.)

I am sure that my tanks are ok. On the other hand, I looked it up and the local U-Haul sells new tanks for $35, so for $70 I can have two new tanks and not worry about it. I’ll probably do that.

Thank you for the help! I was getting nowhere with google searches about this topic.


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Sjm9911

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Posted: 07/13/21 04:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You do what you feel is good for you. But i will say the exchange tanks are fine. There is no records of then failing more then a reguler tank. ( and that os rare to non existent, so maybe the rules keep that from happening. And for the most part propane is pretty darn safe if used corectly. The most problems people have are with the conection lines. Have fun.

NRALIFR

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Posted: 07/13/21 05:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never use cylinder exchange. I want to keep mine, thank you.

Blue Rhino and the other exchange companies have admitted that they underfill the cylinders for “safety” reasons. Being a cynical person, I say it’s more likely they underfill them for profit reasons. At one time, they were also using valves that couldn’t be refilled by normal propane suppliers. It took some type of magnetic gadget in order to refill their cylinders, and of course only Blue Rhino had it.

Atlanta Urinal-Constipation article on this subject

I don’t participate in underwear exchange programs either. Keeping those too. [emoticon]

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Tvov

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Posted: 07/13/21 05:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do propane tank refill places refill exchange tanks? I always assumed you need to bring an exchange tank back to an exchange place.

Around me, exchanging a tank costs more than refilling one, and the exchanged tank is only 3/4 filled. After the initial cost of having to buy a tank, and if you use a lot of propane, refilling is a substantial cost savings.


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Tom_M

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Posted: 07/13/21 05:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought two used outdated 20lb tanks on Craig's List and exchanged the worst one at Menards. Picked out a brand new tank. I always have my tanks refilled so I get the maximum allowed. Tractor Supply is usually the cheapest and they refill.


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NRALIFR

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Posted: 07/13/21 05:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tvov wrote:

Do propane tank refill places refill exchange tanks? I always assumed you need to bring an exchange tank back to an exchange place……….


As long as the exchange cylinder has a “normal” OPD valve, it can be refilled anywhere. It’s your tank, you can do what you want with it. As I mentioned though, at one time Blue Rhino was trying to lock you into exchanging tanks with them by using a proprietary valve. I believe it was called a Trisafe2, and it took a magnetic “key” to unlock it for refilling. And then there’s their practice of “short filling” that I don’t like.

Some like exchange, some don’t. I’m on the “don’t” side.

[emoticon][emoticon]

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