Refilling Propane Bottles

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Gator 45/70, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Just thought I would throw this out there for the new people.
    Great way to save some money on 1# propane bottles,Thanks'

  2. 3cyl

    3cyl Monkey+++

    Just chill the bottle and let the 20 pounder heat up in the sun before filling.
    no chance of over filling which can cause the bottle to vent.
    And no tampering with the pressure release which is designed to vent only to prevent the bottle from exploding in a fire and not to reseal itself after activation.
    If you feel the need to get a few more ounces in chill bottle again,top off and weigh it on an accurate scale.
    Aeason and Gator 45/70 like this.
  3. William Warren

    William Warren Monkey+++

    Guys, can we back up a bit here? I was raised in a place where only Propane dealers were allowed to refill anything, and one-pound tanks had to be discarded when empty.

    If there's a way (and I guess there is) to refill those one-pound tanks, I'd like to hear about it: God knows that I burned through enough of them on Boy Scout outings when my kid was in scouts.

    Thanks in advance.

    William Warren
    Aeason, Heads Up and Gator 45/70 like this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    It remains illegal to refill 1 lb bottles. That said, it can be done given a couple safety precautions and a refusal to get stupid about it. Rather than clutter the thread with details, I'll go no further down that road other than to say do not fill any propane cylinder, regardless of size, to more than 80% of capacity.
  5. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    That was a good video, I never knew how that pressure relief valved worked, or how to fix one of the valves when they end up leaking after filling.

    Edited to add: After reading the 2 comments made while I was making this one I have been re-filling the 1# bottles for probably more than 35 years.

    You must check for leaks, and don't store any propane inside.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  6. 3cyl

    3cyl Monkey+++

    Its illegal to transport commercially a refilled cylinder
    To refill, use an adapter and refill like the video
    I feel messing with the valve has no value that out ways the risk
    Wear heavy gloves to prevent accidental frostbite from liquid propane spill
    And Stay Far Away From Any Ignition Source
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  7. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Just to clarify, unless you have state or local laws that apply it is not illegal to refill these...just illegal to commercially transport them after refilling. Title 49 US Code.
    Heads Up, Gator 45/70 and 3cyl like this.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    True, and I should have said it above.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  9. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Am I in the right Monkey Tree? It's illegal to exceed the speed limit, it's illegal to add an air vent to a gasoline can, it's illegal to spit on the sidewalk, it's illegal to store preps (hoarding), it's illegal to sleep with your neighbors wife... oh wait I guess that's only immoral.

  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You're in the right place. If the improbable (but possible) that we all are readying ourselves for happens, the laws go out the window. Morality may also go, but I sure do hope not. In the meantime, thumbing your nose at the law is something that the monkey does NOT advocate.
    Motomom34, Gator 45/70 and BTPost like this.
  11. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    My apologizes , If this is illegal in your state, Then don't do it.
    When TSHTF all bets are off
    I work with high pressure natural gas
    , Its not for everyone to do this....ever.....
    Right now we are burning off areas in our woods and we are using propane torches to fire up the pine straw and leaves.
    Its nice to refill on location for 1/4 the cost to buy a new 1# bottle.
    Tully Mars likes this.
  12. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Excellent video! Very practical and useful! Thanks for sharing. - Rick
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  13. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I've been refilling for 20 years. Have used both the vent trick and the chilling trick. Frankly, the vent trick is often a bit hard to do getting and keeping it up, the 20 pounder still upside down, reach in with needle nose pliers, etc. I generally just do the freezer thing, I don't worry about getting the thing full as I have a dozen and a half 1 pound bottles and it's no big deal if they are only 1/2 to 3/4 full.

    I think the sweet setup would be a hose direct to 20 pounder on one end and small cylinder attachment on the other maybe with a remote valve at small cylinder end. Could just put small bottle in ice water periodically weighing it and be done quick and easy. Threatened to just make one, haven't done it yet.

  14. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    1384314674142. Gentlemen, I have been refilling one pound tanks from bulk tanks for many years (since I was a Boy Scout). I have a refilling adapter that I have never seen for sale anywhere, it's that old. (It was my father's).
    I recently attended a survey for bezomatic propane torches (I have several), and they wanted the know how to package their product better. (Should it be torch only, with flux and sodder, or a full kit kind of questions.).
    We got down to questions about what tools and gas should cost. "Would you think @$5.00 per 1# bottle would be a bargain?" I started laughing my fool head off. "Mister are you crazy? I can fill a 20# bulk tank for about $12.00, then decant off at least 20 one pound bottles off that". (Each fill is @3/4 full without venting or chilling, so it ain't worth the added work. And you can not overfill that way.)
    "You refill the one pounders?" "Absolutely. At a cost of about $.75 each? You bet your butt I do. I might pick up a couple factory fresh bottles on a trip, or when I run low and they are on sale for 2 or 3 for $5, and if one ever leaks after filling, it will be discarded, but few ever leak. But pay $5.00 for one bottle? Never! I wouldn't pay that for Mapp gas which burns hotter. "
    (By the way, benzomatic has a new micro automatic torch that looked quite interesting, and very portable. I carry a simple torch head when on hunting trips, for hard starting fires, or minor repairs)
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
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  15. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    I have one of those refill adapters and it works great. I have no idea if it is illegal in my state or not. But it's done all the time. No biggie.
    Gator 45/70 and 3cyl like this.
  16. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I used to refill 1# tanks for stove, lanterns etc. and still do if I need to carry it. If you're refilling for a camping stove, lantern or heater; there is an easier way.
    I have a 5' hose with a black regulator. It let's us use a 20# tank with a stove or lantern that normally uses a 1# bottle.
    Here's an example: Bulk Tank Hose Adapter
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  17. Georgia_Boy

    Georgia_Boy Monkey+++

    For those with large propane tanks (500+ lbs) on their property, have your propane supplier add a wet-leg to the tank(s). I refill my 20 lb-ers from the 1000 lb tank setup. I don't have to carry those buggers to & from the truck if I had to refill at a supplier. I simply use my two wheel truck to get one or more 20lb tanks to my big tanks and hook up the wet-leg to refill.
  18. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Harbor Freight used to sell those Refill Adapters, but I haven't seen them in the Book for a few Years... I suspect that they are no longer For Sale. I wonder if one of the Monkeys will post a link to some place that does sell them...
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Heads Up, Gator 45/70 and BTPost like this.
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