Originally Posted by Hippo
I kept my orginal tanks and installed new OPD valves in them. I had the tanks recertified by a propane dealer. You can search the threads from last summer on propane tanks there is a lot of info.
A little more help or even a link to those threads would sure be appreciated Hippo.
There is so much LP tank misinformation and confusion out here.
According to one girl I talked with at Blue Rhino customer service it is amazing how many numbskulls have exchanged their valuable Aluminum tanks for the Steel versions in the retail racks. Probably oblivious to what they just tossed away.
Another interesting item is that at Wal Mart and most Lowes and Home Depots you do not need to pay extra if you exchange an old type valved bottle or an old out of date (even junk) bottle for a current refill. But if you do it at your small convienence store or gas station Blue Rhino rack, there is a sizeable conversion charge. But by all means remember that if you have an Aluminum bottle it is probably most wise just having that bottle upgraded at a local LP specialist shop.(That means new valve and possibly a new inspection certification where they scope the inside of the tank and stamp it with updated expire dates). Look in the yellow pages under Propane and call a few to get a feel for their attitude and expertise if possible in your area.
Another (very stupid) thought is to buy a new empty steel bottle with the new valve and switch/install the valve onto your existing Aluminum tank. This way you get around the inspection fee (until your next fill up anyway) if you so risk and choose. You can then still take the steel bottle to Lowes exchange it and end up with a spare tank of gas for an extra 14.95. Let me caution you that this is a very dangerous alternative. First the dip tube (float) length inside the tanks needs to be the correct length for each bottle size or the tank can easily be overfilled. Thus cancelling all the protections that necessitated the OPD valve in the first place. A 20# valve assembly will fit into a 30# tank but it will alter the calibration of filling. i.e. it AINT worth it. Just take your tanks into a reputable Propane dealer (NOT a U Haul or Lowes etc) and do it right. Re-inspection is usually only about 17.00 and the Valve is about 15.00.
Also keep in mind when comparing prices that the Blue Rhino and similar exchange companies bottles which are 20 pound, (aka 5 gallon),
are "filled" with only 17 pounds of propane(4.25 gal). That's 15% less than capacity. If, instead, you go get it refilled for approx. 10.50 I supposed you get most of that capacity filled. Quite a difference in real cost. You do the math.