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Old 11-01-2012, 08:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,
Mr. Marin. What is this "cut off date" for tanks with an OPD? I'm assuming tanks so equipped are set up for the OPD to function in a vertical position as this is the attitude in which they are filled or need they be filled in the horizontal position (doesn't seem likely)?
I know some juristictions will not fill a vertical steel tank over X years old but what about the aluminum ones?
RTF--- The cut-off date as I used it in my post is the date after which all new propane tanks (with possible exceptions) had to be fitted with an OPD. At some point after this date it became illegal to refill vertical propane tanks made without an OPD.

Propane tanks also have a date after which they must be re-certified. According to the propane dealer next to our studios where I fill our boat and home tanks the certification process takes about five minutes.

Our two Worthington aluminum horizontal 2.4 gallon tanks were made as horizontal tanks. As such, they are exempt from the OPD requirement although the newer of the two has an OPD. The propane service next door fills them with them standing vertically. The other nice thing is that they apparently have a way of filling propane tanks, including standard OPD BBQ tanks so they are totally full. As they would have been before OPDs were used. So if you have a five gallon tank, they can put five gallons in it.

Below is a tiny off-the-web photo of the type of tank we installed in our boat. When we bought the boat it had a standard 5-gallon BBQ tank on its side on home-made feet. Actually very dangerous as I learned later. We changed to the Worthington tank at the same time we changed out the original stove/oven, which was within two weeks of us buying the boat. A few years later after running out of propane one too many times while cooking a meal we added a second identical tank only this new one has an OPD. Worthington horizontal aluminum tanks are not cheap which is why we are glad there is the OPD waiver for the old one.

One other thing. If you have a vertical non-OPD tank that you want to keep-- in our case it was a Worthington aluminum 1.5 gallon vertical tank in a rail mount for the boat's BBQ--- you do not necessarily have to get rid of it and replace it with a new OPD tank. We found a place in Seattle--- a welding shop in Ballard--- that for about $25 removes the tank's old valve and installs an OPD valve. The tank is then checked and certified. May not be worth doing with a steel backyard BBQ-type tank. But an aluminum tank can be pretty pricey so it was a whole lot better to have it re-valved for twenty or thirty bucks than to plunk down a hundred-plus for a new tank.



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Old 11-02-2012, 07:18 AM   #22
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....The other nice thing is that they apparently have a way of filling propane tanks, including standard OPD BBQ tanks so they are totally full. As they would have been before OPDs were used. So if you have a five gallon tank, they can put five gallons in it....
Propane cylinders should not be filled more than 85%. Liquid propane can expand 5-10% just on temperature.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:34 AM   #23
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This came from the Suburban Propane web site:

Why isn’t my tank filled to 100 percent capacity?

Your propane is delivered and stored in liquid form. Propane liquid, for example, will expand (become a gas) nearly 17 times more than water over the same temperature increase. As a result, tanks and cylinders are never completely filled with propane liquid. Tanks are filled to about 80 to 85 percent of their capacity. This leaves a space above the liquid, which allows the propane liquid to expand freely due to changes in temperature.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:05 AM   #24
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20 lb of propane is 20 lb of propane regardless of what percentage of the tank is filled.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #25
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Propane is a liquid when stored at pressure. Each gallon weighs about 4.2lbs. They measure them in pounds because you need to account for the expansion of the head gas. Vapor pressure of propane varies GREATLY. You can easily add 100psi between shade and sun. One of the worst things you can do to a propane tank is over fill it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:20 PM   #26
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The propane dealer we use (Suburban) does not fill portable tanks by weight. They fill them by amount (gallons and fractions thereof).
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:31 PM   #27
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They all do. It's pumped in under pressure, vented by a relief screw and stops when the OPD valve closes. It's not possible to overfill them in that way.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:37 AM   #28
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I use a 10 pound composite propane tank just for my grill. Very light weight, much cheaper than aluminum and the best part is you can see how much fuel is in the tank right through the bottle.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:45 AM   #29
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We've been jammed!

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