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Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 27, 2021 06:59AM
So now that I have a dual fuel inverter, I do not want to mess around with gas unless I run out of Propane. I need to buy 2-3 tanks of propane, I estimate a tank will last me a full day and after 2-3 days I will switch to gasoline if I have to.

Anyway, I see the 20 lb tanks need to be re-certified after 12 years. I need to buy tanks, if I go to Home Depot or Lowes, do they sell NEW tanks, or there is a chance I get old tanks?

what is involved in the re-certification process and how much does that cost?

I also vaguely recall that Blue Rhino or similar brands may not come full, I think it's better to fill your old tanks than exchange, right?

Thanks



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2021 06:59AM by space-time.
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: September 27, 2021 07:28AM
Most places around here don't have 20# tanks anymore to swap out, they quietly went to 15# tanks. I have one 20# Blue Rhino and one 20# Worthington that I bought. One needs re-certification but one station will fill it anyway, they never check. I never swap out tanks, I always refill. My Blue Rhino came free with a grill I bought long ago.



Grateful11
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 27, 2021 08:08AM
You may want to just get a 30lb tank, it is a bit larger but still manageable.

and yes, you want refills instead of trade-outs



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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: MartyStickle
Date: September 27, 2021 08:22AM
It seems to me that Ace Hardware rectified my tanks for free when I refilled them recently.



Asheville, NC Area
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 27, 2021 08:28AM
I go to my local big box store (Menards) where they sell either an exchange/refill or if you don’t have a tank, you can buy a filled tank that you exchange next time you need a refill.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 27, 2021 09:09AM
Since you've set on propane fueling, look at your local supply houses. The big box stores will sell 15# swap. Propane supply houses (welding gas suppliers too) will give you a 20# fill. And sell newer tanks.

The main benefit of a swap system is you get a certified tank for the price of the propane, when your old tank is past certification. Most gas suppliers won't fill a past certification tank. Some hillbilly suppliers don't care...
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 27, 2021 10:40AM
If the local hardware store doesn't sell them Amazon has some tanks and I assume others online also sell them. Tank exchanges are done as a local convenience but you always pay more for the fuel.

Just look around for places that will refill; they will probably be places you don't frequent but aren't too far away. Co-ops, U-Haul stores sometimes, various hardware or Tractor Supply stores. It varies. Some will recertify, some will not.
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: September 27, 2021 11:40AM
In my town, we're down to two places that do tank refills. The big propane companies don't have staffing to do small refills. One gas station has propane but only one person certified to use the dispenser, and they can't do it unless there is another employee around to cover the store. The hardware store does it, but it's often a long wait.

For these reasons I am happy to just do quick exchanges.



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Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: wurm
Date: September 27, 2021 12:22PM
I don't know if you have a Tractor Supply Company near you, but that's where I got my 20# tank a couple of years ago (It's gone up in price by $10). They also filled and refilled it for me.
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 27, 2021 12:53PM
Larger truck stops may fill propane because there are refrigeration units that use it.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 27, 2021 01:55PM
U-Hauls are an excellent option, esp compared to the Despot. I get my 20lb refilled quickly and no pressure to buy a new tank (although they will not refill out of date tanks, of course).
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 27, 2021 02:22PM
I exchange when the tank date is due, otherwise I refill. If I am really being anal about it, after I swap a tank I will take it to the refill place, 2 blocks from where I swap it, and put in the missing 5#. I like the idea of 30# tanks for the generator though.

We have I think 3 20# tanks. The youngest "step son" is 23, and has a small forge that runs off of propane. I always make sure all 3 are full in the fall, in case we lose power. No generator, but we can cook on the gas grill, which has a side burner. If things are worse, I have a number of camp stoves that will run on any flammable liquid. Just swap to the right jet.



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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 27, 2021 11:58PM
Another vote for one (or even two) 30# propane tanks. Check the date stamped on the tank(s) and buy new. Unlike gasoline, propane has a virtually unlimited shelf life.
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Re: Propane tanks: manufacturing date, re-certification, refill versus exchange?
Posted by: Michael
Date: September 28, 2021 06:28PM
Got a Costco nearby? They sell tanks and (around here in GA) fill them for a pretty low price.
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