Re: Re; Propane Tanks
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@NYC.PIPELINE.COM)
Sat, 19 Oct 1996 20:00:21 GMT
On Oct 18, 1996 13:15:14, 'billw <firstname.lastname@example.org>' wrote:
>I see a lot of "badmouthing" the practice of refilling propane tanks.
>This is something I have been doing for over 1 year now. I have not had
>any trouble. No Leaking or nothing. All the talk has made me wonder if
>I should be doing this, so I just asked a local propane supplier. He
>said "you can legally refill them, I can't sell them" He also told me
>to be careful to keep the adaptor clean, as dirt on the valve could do
>some damage and cause leakage. He also said that I should put the small
>canister in the freezer for a wile to cool it before filling. And that
>I should always check for leaks after filling a can.
>Based on what he told me I will continue to fill them. Again I have
>been doing it for over 1 year with no problems.
Okay, I believe I was one of those who said it was illegal to refill the
small (14.1 or 16.4 oz cylinders) that are sold in camping, hardware,
plumbing, etc. stores. I might have been incorrect. It might not be
illegal to REFILL them, but it is definitely illegal to TRANSPORT them once
refilled. From the label on the Bernzomatic 14.1 oz tank (yes, I still use
these because I have several of the only lantern I have found which won't
accept the wide tank - the TX-750):
"Federal law prohibits transportation if refilled. Penalty up to $25,000
fine and 5 years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 1809)."
So, I guess if you want to bring the bulk tank with you to your
destination, fill the small cylinders, use them, and then SOMEHOW empty
them before you go home, you can do so legally. Or, you can use these
refilled cylinders in your back yard, or wherever else you refilled them.
But you CANNOT fill them in one place and take them to another place if you
have to take them in any place where the US Code is enforceable, which
might be the entire country, or maybe only on US highways, Interstates,
etc., possibly including any state roads built or improved with federal
I think, clearly, the federal law should give good warning that the
DISPOSABLE tanks are not viewed as being safe and, rather than take a
chance, we just should not use them as refillable cylinders.
As I stated in my earlier post, there are (or were) cylinders available
specifically designed to be refilled. These have a hex nut over the
pressure release valve (the pin valve on the side of the top of the
cylinder) which allows it to be opened during filling to prevent the
pressure from building up and allowing a more complete filling of the
ALL the instructions I have ever seen for using the refill adapter requires
this valve to be open during refilling. Since the disposables have no way
to easily open or close this valve, this can create a problem. Also, the
thickness of the metal in the refillable cylinders is much heavier,
obviously because they are manufactured to be used and reused over a long
period of time, as opposed to the disposable cylinders which are rather
thin because they are designed to be used once and then properly disposed
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City