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Old 01-12-2020, 11:05 AM   #21
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I've got one of the early models that I use to refill 1# bottles. A trick I learned was to freeze the empty 1# bottle before refilling. The cooler bottle allows more liquid propane to enter. At least that is the theory behind it. As always, do your refilling outside in a well ventilated area. BTW, I'm in Baja also and the 1# bottles sell for about $10USD, if they are even available. So it makes good sense to keep several small bottles onboard to be refilled.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:59 AM   #22
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I've got one of the early models that I use to refill 1# bottles. A trick I learned was to freeze the empty 1# bottle before refilling. The cooler bottle allows more liquid propane to enter. At least that is the theory behind it. As always, do your refilling outside in a well ventilated area. BTW, I'm in Baja also and the 1# bottles sell for about $10USD, if they are even available. So it makes good sense to keep several small bottles onboard to be refilled.

Cheers, Bill
I tested this method a few years ago and found that the frozen cans held about 30-50% more than stock (I weighed them). The problem was that after a few refills, they bulged and leaked. I just refill them now without the freezer.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:16 PM   #23
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As most of you know, propane cylinders are not designed to be completely full! Overfilling beyond the designed capacity can result in leakage (at best), or in extreme cases, cylinder failure (usually a previously damaged cylinder) from overpressurization or from flame impingement should a leak ignite. The one pound cylinders are made for single use so I would suspect they might be more prone to failure and problems (cheaply made) than the cylinders designed for repeated use. Over the years (of use of one pound cylinders), I have had several leak for various reasons (none from being very old). By the way, I did not refill them. Now, I avoid them totally and use a 10 lb. cylinder stored on my swim grid to operate my BBQ. Lasts for about 2 months of relatively heavy use, and I feel is much safer and avoids the garbage associated with the 1 lb disposables. Safe storage is a concern when it comes to the 1 lb bottles. Ensure they are stored in a well ventilated area where any leakage can make it's way quickly overboard (remembering that propane is heavier than air) and also away from ANY potential ignition sources.

A little storey. On one boat we looked at when boat shopping (happened to be an American Tug 34), when I looked into the cockpit lazerette (a totally enclosed space) I found that the current owner stored a plastic gas can (about 10 liters) and a 20 lb propane bottle down there. Also in the space (laz) was an electric stern thruster motor, 2 lead acid batteries, and a dedicated battery charger. What a recipe for disaster!!!! Open ignition sources in the same enclosed space as he chose to improperly store flammables (gases from the liquid fuels). Darwin at work, IMHO.


There is enough energy stored in a 1 lb propane bottle to potentially do very serious damage to any boat (including destroying most smaller boats), so ensure you store them properly (safely), replace them often (routinely) and at the first sign of any damage or deterioration of condition, and treat them with respect for their potential.


FYI, I strongly advise against freezing the bottle to try to "squeeze in" more propane than was designed should you decide to refill them, especially in hot climates where the contents are more prone to increases in pressure caused by the heat or sun exposure!
There is a reason why propane tanks (refillable) must be tested and certified, personnel doing the refilling must be properly trained (certified), and the cylinders are NOT filled beyond their listed (stamped on the bottle) capacity. Propane is quite safe if used and stored properly, but it can have severe results if not!
I am not being overly dramatic here, I have seen first hand the results of the careless use of propane and it isn't pretty.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:52 PM   #24
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I've got one of the early models that I use to refill 1# bottles. A trick I learned was to freeze the empty 1# bottle before refilling. The cooler bottle allows more liquid propane to enter. At least that is the theory behind it.

This is easy to check out, fill one the "normal" way and the other the "freezing" method and weigh both. Report back.
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Old 01-12-2020, 08:54 PM   #25
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I've got one of the early models that I use to refill 1# bottles. A trick I learned was to freeze the empty 1# bottle before refilling. The cooler bottle allows more liquid propane to enter. At least that is the theory behind it.

This is easy to check out, fill one the "normal" way and the other the "freezing" method and weigh both. Report back.
Sorry to say this, but to try to refill cheap, "non-refillable", disposable cylinders (especially) to over design capacity is just plain irresponsible. If you do this, please don't dock, anchor, or moor near me
I do not understand the thinking involved in this danger. Why risk your lives, your boat, and your neighbours to save a very, very small amount (when talking about boat costs)?

I will defer to Peter about insurance, but I would suspect that by refilling what is in essence "non-refillable" propane cylinders, if a mishap were to occur and cause was determined to be the cylinder in question, you may find coverage denied??
Don't know for sure, but often insurance companies retain their own private investigators to determine cause. I have dealt with several when I was involved in fire cause determination. I am sure they don't do that just to spend more money?? Just saying, another reason I don't advise "risking it". Life is not without risks, but why take unnecessary ones, especially when the consequences of a problem could be disasterous.
I worry about all of you
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Old 01-12-2020, 09:42 PM   #26
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Taking risks with propane/LPG bottles via unintended use like refilling single use bottles or freezing them to accept more liquid with the obvious changes normal temps will bring, is just asking for trouble. I`ve seen the aftermath of an insidious LPG leak in a house,the gas accumulated at floor level, slowly rising until it reached cigarette level, when there was an almighty fireball. There is good reason to comply with LPG bottle safety standards.
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Old 01-13-2020, 02:05 AM   #27
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I was dubious, then bought the fill device and used it last summer. I used the same two one lb cylinders all summer, weighing the bottles after filling every time. They filled to two exact decimal places (ounces on the digital scale) to the exact weight of a new bottle every time. For me it was the waste of a perfect appearing bottle being thrown away, not the 50 cents (or less) it took to refill the bottle from a 25 lb cylinder.

The ball valve in the one lb bottle can get worn and leak after several refills. Tapping it until it sets and seals works to get them to seal. I avoid making garbage for the landfill, the cost of the fuel wasn't a consideration. Here the bottles are about $4-5 each, shipping them in isn't an option in Alaska. Along with batteries and most other stuff involving chemicals, pressurized, or batteries...

If your goal is be environmentally friendly, they do work well.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:56 AM   #28
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Sorry Doug, but ....
Having to "tap" the bottle to get it to seal is, to me, just an indication that this isn't entirely safe!! How reliable does that sound????
I would not risk my wife's life (or mine for that matter) to "be environmentally friendly" in this way when there are other options such as use a "proper" propane cylinder. This is really about convenience and reducing the "fussing about" with moving things around (at least as stated by some earlier in this thread)?? Personally I use a smaller 10 lb tank for the BBQ.
Everyone has their own tolerance for risk. Good luck, I hope you don't need it.
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:12 PM   #29
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Having been a firefighter for 30 years, and understanding the issues, I am not concerned by refilling bottles. From the very first time you use a one pound bottle, the seal may leak once the valve in the bottle has been opened as you screw it onto your device. If you are concerned, simply place the refilled one pound cylinders in your propane locker until you are ready to use them, it is vented.

The "tapping" is on the valve itself, not the bottle, and can easily be checked with a couple of drops of water onto the top of the bottle. You are correct in the statement that we all have our own tolerance for risk. Nothing in life doesn't have risk involved, some folks are afraid to anchor out since they consider it to be too risky :-)

I too, have seen the dangers of LPG and Natural gas leaks. There are no mysteries involved...
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Old 01-13-2020, 12:50 PM   #30
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Been using one of these for years now. Some of my bottles are getting to the point of concern for refilling, mostly the rust. I weigh mine during the refilling process also, just another safety measure.
Me too. With the price of $7 at Wal-Mart for two bottles, I fill my bottles for about $0.61 each. Been doing it for years with no issues.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:08 PM   #31
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"From the very first time you use a one pound bottle, the seal may leak once the valve in the bottle has been opened as you screw it onto your device."


I found this to be true also!! I used them (but did not refill) many years ago, and had some leaks that were troublesome. To me, a strong indicator of the dependability and true safety of these cheap bottles.
Like you, as indicated by the profession we chose, and the fact that I used to sky dive, scuba dive, etc., I am not risk adverse. However, having been a professional risk manager, the (potential) cost to benefit just does not weigh out for me on this one.
From the sounds of this thread, I am in the minority in this opinion, but I just don't understand the thinking especially since the gain is actually very minimal (convenience really).
Enjoy and be safe!
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:20 PM   #32
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Maybe because those of us that have been doing it for decades hardly ever have a bottle that is a problem. If one does I toss it and use a newer or different one.


But just to be more "legally compliant" and a hair more safe I guess (really just added benefit)...I ordered 2 SPECIFICALLY designed to be refilled bottles that are engineered differently and certified to be transported by the US DOT.


However I have no qualms about refilling relatively new bottles....and my safety quals are somewhat lofty too.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:06 PM   #33
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Quote from my earlier post:
"A little storey. On one boat we looked at when boat shopping (happened to be an American Tug 34), when I looked into the cockpit lazerette (a totally enclosed space) I found that the current owner stored a plastic gas can (about 10 liters) and a 20 lb propane bottle down there. Also in the space (laz) was an electric stern thruster motor, 2 lead acid batteries, and a dedicated battery charger. What a recipe for disaster!!!! Open ignition sources in the same enclosed space as he chose to improperly store flammables (gases from the liquid fuels). Darwin at work, IMHO."


This guy didn't have any problems either!! For him, relying on dumb luck worked......... this time. Doesn't make what he was doing right, wise, or, in my opinion, even sane
Just so no one gets offended (because that is not my intent), I am only using this as an example (albeit extreme) for the explanation that "I haven't had any problems so far", and am only talking about the (then) owner of that boat in this post

Nuff said, signing off on this thread as my dead horse is getting tired of being beaten.
Scott, good call on getting the "refillable" bottles.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:30 PM   #34
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I don’t have any issue with refilling small cylinders, but why not just use a hose from the big bottle to the device instead?
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:06 PM   #35
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I don’t have any issue with refilling small cylinders, but why not just use a hose from the big bottle to the device instead?
Previously discussed.

Post 17
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:47 AM   #36
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post #17 Being able to use the portable grill out of the wind and not relocate everything.
Being able to use the grill, despite being out of propane in little bottles without running to a store (not always convenient).
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I donít have any issue with refilling small cylinders, but why not just use a hose from the big bottle to the device instead?
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Previously discussed. Post 17
Please explain post 17. I do not see how it answers the question. A hose off the main bottle can be run anywhere a 1lb can be used.

All this discussion on filling 1lb bottles, why no discussion on filling a 5 or 10lb bottle off a 20lb.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:33 AM   #37
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Please explain post 17. I do not see how it answers the question. A hose off the main bottle can be run anywhere a 1lb can be used.

All this discussion on filling 1lb bottles, why no discussion on filling a 5 or 10lb bottle off a 20lb.
I don't think it would make much sense to fill a 10 lb from a 20 lb.
A 5 lb perhaps.
I've refilled 1 lb bottles for almost 30 years. Yes I understand the risks but I also did my homework/research (I'm an engineer I do my homework). I also stored them where they could vent overboard.
A 1 # bottle fits under the 20 lb tank when you turn the tank upside down. It takes a few minutes to fill, so this means you don't have to hold the big tank.
You'd have to make a special holder to fill a 5 pounder most likely.
I guess everyone's mileage varies.
I also like single engines, Danforth anchors, one battery bank, etc.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:18 PM   #38
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I had a propane journey....maybe something here is useful to another. I use 20# cylinders hosed to a weber Q grill that was designed for 1# tanks.

My boat came with three ~20# fiberglass propane tanks. 2 fit in the propane locker, 1 in a locker next to it. The boat originally had a propane stove, but it was removed >10y ago.

One fiberglass tank was a "Lite Cylinder" brand, subject to a recall, company out of business. Two were Viking Cylinders (some sold under Trident brand by West Marine, ~17#). All were full and expired.

Viking tech support was great, introduced me to Propane Ninja's in Tampa. Ninja's accepted my "Lite" for proper emptying and disposal. They emptied my Vikings, tested & re-certified them for 5y and refilled them. All for about $40!

Ninja's had a ~50 used Viking fiberglass 20# tanks they were selling for $25/ea, filled with a fresh 5y certification. They had come off some program. If near Tampa, that's a good deal.

I like the hose to grill set up. I installed a quick-connect fitting, so the hose is off and stored in the propane locker unless I'm grilling. I grill 2x/wk. It will be a challenge to use the propane in two 20# tanks with the mini weber before they are up for new 5y certifications. Everyone's circumstances are different; nobody wants to run out of gas while cooking....
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:41 PM   #39
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Previously discussed.

Post 17
Still donít get it. When tent camping I had a manifold that attached to the 25 lb bottle and then ran hoses to stove, lights, Buddy Heater and Coleman water heater. One hose was 25í long to the wall tent from the kitchen area by the picnic table. This cannot be done on a boat?
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:00 PM   #40
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So there is a company that says there one pound bottles are DOT approved to be refillable. I have to wonder if they are the same as the standard one pounder. So I thought I would google and what I found floored me. The price for the one pounder - Canadian - is roughly the same price as a 20 pounder.

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=refillable...l_1dpmsmqae0_e

I wonder how sales are going?
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