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Old 07-26-2019, 10:31 AM   #1
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Two Quick Propane Tank Questions

Taking advantage of the expertise here.

(1) One of my propane tanks needs recertification. Walmart sells them for $44.00. Seems like it makes more sense to just buy a new one. Are the Walmart tanks OK?

(2) The other tank is stuck in some way. Itís full but doesnít flow. Is there some internal valve that can jam?

Thanks!

John
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:48 AM   #2
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All these tanks that Wallmart and others sell have to pass some type of tests to be legal to sell. I would go with the one at Wallmart.


If you are having problems with the other tank go to one of the major propane dealers like air serve or whoever sells propane to homes/business etc they should be able to tell whether yours is just stuck or needs replacing.


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Old 07-26-2019, 10:59 AM   #3
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Are both tanks roughly 30 years old?



Just replace both at that great price and be done with it IMO.

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Old 07-26-2019, 11:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John&Vicki View Post
Taking advantage of the expertise here.

(1) One of my propane tanks needs recertification. Walmart sells them for $44.00. Seems like it makes more sense to just buy a new one. Are the Walmart tanks OK?

(2) The other tank is stuck in some way. Itís full but doesnít flow. Is there some internal valve that can jam?

Thanks!

John
Turn it upside-down, leave it for a while and ck again.

If the tanks intact with only surface blemish and the valve works get it certified. Most welding shops will do it free or for charge a minimal fee.

I had to change the valve in one of our 30# Worthington tanks and haven't been questioned about the dates stamped on the tank.

Bob
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:10 AM   #5
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some big box store dont have staff trained to fill tanks.
as long as your tank is still valid, drop yours off and pick up another prefilled tank.

just make sure its expire date is later. keep doing that and you never have to buy a new tank
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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some big box store dont have staff trained to fill tanks.
as long as your tank is still valid, drop yours off and pick up another prefilled tank.

just make sure its expire date is later. keep doing that and you never have to buy a new tank
????
Not a cost efficient way to purchase....Filling by the gallon is the most consistent.
One of the few things I go to CW for, they will fill to the bleed valve and only charge you for what is pumped.
Handy for topping off for an extended trip.

Bob
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:45 AM   #7
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The caveat when looking at buying new propane tanks is to look ahead as to whether you want to go to Canada in the future and will need a propane fill there. Some of the cheaper tanks are not certified for Canada. Worthington's are, other brands require a check (a TC meaning Transport Canada stamped somewhere on the tank).
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:51 PM   #8
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What Robert Cross says, as is usually the case.
By the way it would not be a good idea to trade your Airstream propane tanks at a big box store if you still have the 30# tanks that came with the AS.
All the propane exchange services here in Albuquerque have the 20# tanks commonly used with gas grills. You would be trading your perfectly good 30# tanks for smaller, 20# tanks.
Just get your tanks recertified.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Are both tanks roughly 30 years old?



Just replace both at that great price and be done with it IMO.

[ Labor rate for further discussion is $100 per hour, per participant . . . ]

Some vintage things are cool - others not so much.

Tank recertified and filled for $40.00. Nothing is cheap in Bend, Oregon.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:03 AM   #10
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I really don't know much about tanks. I have 2 30# aluminum tanks on my '71 Ambassador. It bothers me to "discard" old things which work well from an ecological perspective. It took a lot of energy to make those tanks to begin with.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John&Vicki View Post
Taking advantage of the expertise here.

(1) One of my propane tanks needs recertification. Walmart sells them for $44.00. Seems like it makes more sense to just buy a new one. Are the Walmart tanks OK?

(2) The other tank is stuck in some way. Itís full but doesnít flow. Is there some internal valve that can jam?

Thanks!

John
Are the propane cylinders on your Excella aluminum or steel? If you have aluminum cylinders, get them recertified. A replacement aluminum cylinder is $200ish. Most of the propane distributors licensed to recertify will charge only a nominal fee for the re-cert if you're also buying a refill.

If you have 30-year-old steel cylinders, $45 is a pretty good price as long as it's a quality replacement.
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:30 AM   #12
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I really don't know much about tanks. I have 2 30# aluminum tanks on my '71 Ambassador. It bothers me to "discard" old things which work well from an ecological perspective. It took a lot of energy to make those tanks to begin with.
Those aluminum cylinders will last indefinitely if they're not damaged. Eventually the valves need to be replaced but other than that they should last. I used the original aluminum cylinders on my '75 Argosy until I sold it. If/when the steelies on my 2017 get rusty I'll probably splurge for aluminum replacements.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:14 PM   #13
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Easy Street

With both tanks functioning properly and full I feel like Iím living on Easy Street. Maybe we just donít use that much but propane seems to last a long time. I doubt that we will need to fill again this season.

I have a dial gauge on one of the tanks and the technician told me it was worthless, that it all depended on the ambient temperature. True? Iím not looking for a precise measurement, just a general idea.

Thanks for the input!

Off to the Rogue River,
John
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John&Vicki View Post
With both tanks functioning properly and full I feel like Iím living on Easy Street. Maybe we just donít use that much but propane seems to last a long time. I doubt that we will need to fill again this season.

I have a dial gauge on one of the tanks and the technician told me it was worthless, that it all depended on the ambient temperature. True? Iím not looking for a precise measurement, just a general idea.

Thanks for the input!

Off to the Rogue River,
John
It depends on the gauge. If it's the pressure-based gauge, it does indeed vary with temperature. If it's an in-tank float that drives the dial gauge, it's a good indication of the level.
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:08 PM   #15
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30lb Worthington...the gauge has always worked very well.👍

Bob
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:49 PM   #16
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Hi

I'd check around. Apparently re-certification prices vary more than a bit. The last number I got quoted was $10 for a normal 20 LB tank. If it's a steel one and it's got significant rust .... don't bother, just replace it.

Bob
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:02 PM   #17
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I just had my two aluminum tanks re-certified. The tanks are from 1977 and in great shape. Unfortunately, he said they also needed new valves as my propane guy wouldn't fill them anymore and they hadn't been used in a long time. The new valves were relatively inexpensive and were made specifically for aluminum tanks. I am not sure how they differ from the steel tank valves. The labor was the killer but it was a lot less expensive than getting new aluminum tanks.

Finding a place that would re-certify was the biggest problem for me .Most propane distributors said they no longer do re-certification for customers but do it only for themselves due to the perceived liability. I guess that they feel new steel tanks are so cheap it is not worth any hassle. Aluminum tanks aren't cheap so re-certification and new valves was the route I took.
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:56 PM   #18
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I just had my two aluminum tanks re-certified. The tanks are from 1977 and in great shape. Unfortunately, he said they also needed new valves as my propane guy wouldn't fill them anymore and they hadn't been used in a long time. The new valves were relatively inexpensive and were made specifically for aluminum tanks. I am not sure how they differ from the steel tank valves. The labor was the killer but it was a lot less expensive than getting new aluminum tanks.

Finding a place that would re-certify was the biggest problem for me .Most propane distributors said they no longer do re-certification for customers but do it only for themselves due to the perceived liability. I guess that they feel new steel tanks are so cheap it is not worth any hassle. Aluminum tanks aren't cheap so re-certification and new valves was the route I took.
The difference is the 'valve' is now an OPD. Overfill Protection Device.
I did have to replace one on our 30lb aluminum tank.

Bob
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I self re-certified 😏 Never have been rejected.
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:10 AM   #19
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.....

Finding a place that would re-certify was the biggest problem for me .Most propane distributors said they no longer do re-certification for customers but do it only for themselves due to the perceived liability.......
Hi

The local Agway is "the place" to get tanks filled back home (it's at least 500' shorter a drive than the next alternative). I take no credit for working that out. The neighbor also has an AS and *he* figured it out.

If you show up with an out of date tank, they do not re-certify them. The guy takes a look and checks for "lots of rust". Not quite sure what the dimensions are on "lots" . If it passes his visual it goes on a rack. The wholesaler shows up once a week to haul them over for recertification. A week later they come back.

My guess is that an aluminum tank would pass the "rust check" with flying colors

....

Looking at the readout, I need to go poke the tank I just got filled. The sensor ground is out yet again ....

Bob
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:57 AM   #20
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Exchange Tank Rip-off

This may be idiosyncratic to our location, but we found out that when you do a tank exchange, the tank you get only has 15# of propane vs. the 20# it should have. Thus you are paying significantly more per pound than you need to. But if that is the only recourse due to day of the week or whatever, not much choice but to pay the penalty. The other reason I dislike exchange tanks is that often the tank you get is pretty crappy compared to your own. We always take our tanks to the local propane dealer and he fills them to the correct weight, charging only for what he puts in. Obviously this is much more economical, especially with partially filled tanks.

Finally, our tanks are 30#. I haven't seen tank exchange for that size, but again, maybe not typical everywhere.
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