Step 6: Weight Empty Cylinders

Weight the empty cylinders.
I give you my result after I weighted about 24 tanks :

Type #1 With plastic Base (Coleman Type)
Average empty weight : 384g
This mean a 100% full tank will weight 849g (384g tare weight + 465g of propane)

Type #2 With metal Base
Average empty weight : 417g
This mean a 100% full tank will weight 882g (417g tare weight + 465g of propane)
<p>thnx for sharing</p>
<p>Thanks for sharing. I have an electric one. But to be honest I didn't install it by myself, I used services of heating denver http://www.summitheatingco.com/ to accomplish this task. And I'm completely satisfied with its work. It's very fast and not expensive. Plus, they helped me with all the settings</p>
<p>I wanted to show folks a couple of photos of our refillable propane cylinder valve. I am a factory rep and also sell these on my website propane-refill dot com as a safer alternative to refilling single-use cylinders. Not to mention that these cylinders are DOT &amp; TC certified like your BBQ tank as refillable and legally transportable so they save you money over time without violating any regulations. There is also another company making one pound refillable's but they do not work like ours do in nearly every appliance made for these cylinders. Our cylinders can be filled with our refill adapter, the small brass adapters mentioned below, as well as anything you can build yourself using industry standard fittings. I am only trying to get the word out to folks that they do exist so you do have a choice. Do what you like with the information.</p>
<p>OK. Enough nonsense about the dangers of overfilling. </p><p>Valid Concern #1) Vented propane is flammable and is a hazard once it's out of the tank. It's more of a hazard than you might think because once it's out of the tank it mixes with oxygen in air. Rather than the calm flame you see in a stove or lamp it can explode as it burns all at once.</p><p>Nonsense #1) The tank can explode if overfilled.</p><p>No one has been able to find a photo of a failed tank because there's a safety pressure-relief valve to vent it if need be. The tank itself will never fail. OK. Maybe if you remove the safety valve and replace it with a bolt. Somewhere around a thousand PSI.</p><p>Nonsense #2) <u>The pressure after filling is important.</u> </p><p>The pressure of propane vapor (a gas over some amount of pure liquid) is a function of temperature. Only. There's a graph. In the tank the molecules of propane go back and forth between the liquid and the gas. There's a balance reached between the evaporation and condensation rates. The evaporation rate depends on temperature but the condensation rate doesn't so the balance depends on the temperature. The warmer it is, the higher the pressure of the vapor. If there is <em>any</em> amount of liquid and <em>any</em> amount of gas, that graph is obeyed. Nothing you can do will change the vapor pressure. All tanks containing between 1% and 99% liquid have the same pressure if they are at the same temperature.</p><p>Nonsense #3) <u>The relief valve is carefully calibrated at the factory</u>. </p><p>It's set to a quite high pressure. It's there to stop the tank from rupturing. It's a steel tank. That pressure is high. It's somewhere around 360-480 PSI. That's something like 25 bar if you're looking at the vapor pressure graph. Put the tank in boiling water and the pressure will want to rise to double that. (The valve should open to prevent that). The tanks are required to have a minimum burst pressure of 960PSI so they are actually designed somewhat higher. Call it 1200PSI. There's a wide difference between those pressures.</p><p>Valid Concern #2) If the pressure relief valve opens it might not reseal well.</p><p>These tanks are meant to be discarded after a single use. The valves are c*ap. They aren't meant to open and close repeatedly so when they do open they have a closing-failure rate. Over time a small leak can release the entire contents into an enclosed area like your trunk or a storage cabinet and you're facing Valid Concern #1.</p><p>THE REAL PROBLEM WITH OVERFILLING </p><p>If you fill the tank to 100% with liquid, there is no vapor and the graph above no longer applies. I don't have the complete data on the physical properties but Wikipedia says that the volume wants to expand 1.5% for each 10 &deg;F. (there should be some pressure/compressibility terms decreasing that for our situation). If you nearly fill the tank then warm it up the liquid will expand, shrinking the gas until you have liquid pressing in all directions and then the pressure can rise very rapidly. How many 10's of degrees are between a frosty tank and the temperature in your car parked in the sun on a hot summer day? Looks like 80-85% full is about right.</p><p>Then Nonsense #4)<u> the tank will shred sending shrapnel in all directions</u>.</p><p>When an explosive bursts a container sending shards, it is, at its heart, an expanding ball of high pressure gas. Like a compressed spring, when you release it, parts fly around. </p><p>A 100% full tank though is filled with liquid. When the liquid ruptures the tank (if you defeat the safety relief valve) it's filled with liquid and it's just going to tear the tank and leak out. The liquid propane will want to change to a gas and throw bits around, but it needs heat energy to do that. It gets that heat from the liquid so the liquid cools down and that lowers the vapor pressure. Only some can evaporate before the bulk liquid is too cold to worry about. Its bomb-like-ness is limited, but again you're back to Valid Concern #1).</p><p><strong>My actual contribution</strong>: Put a piece of scotch tape over the safety valve to keep dust out of it. That might help it not leak.</p><p>Many of my numbers came from this report </p>
<p>Is it safe to remove a bbq tank from a bbq and move it to another bbq if its not empty?</p>
<p>Of course, Just close the valve. </p>
Does the BBQ tank have to be upside down?<br><br>I can't get more than 100g into my empty Coleman cylinders.<br><br>I just had my BBQ tanks filled by U-Haul.
<p>The usual recommendation is not to fill to more than 85%.</p><p>By experimenting with a pickle jar filled with water and a hole in the middle of the cap, I had to tilt it to 74 degrees off the vertical before 15% of the water left the bottle. I used an electronic angle gauge to measure the angle.</p><p>Worthington cylinders weigh around 31.7 oz new. I refilled a cylinder to 32 oz. When I fitted a torch and lit it, I found I could tilt it 74 degrees before the flame went from [gas] blue to [liquid] red.</p><p>This is another way to test a cylinder to see if it is overfilled. It is a bit surprising how close to level you must be able to bring it [i.e. 16 degrees] for it to be safely filled.</p><p>The pickle jar had proportions similar to the Worthington. The results are probably different for different shape cylinder.</p><p>Ken</p>
you know there's a little shrader valve in the side of most of thoes tanks so you can get the AIR out of the tank when your filling it any propane tank has a bleeder valve, that's how you get the tank full even if you had a propane pump to help fill it up
<p>There shouldn't be any &quot;air&quot; (nitrogen+oxygen+carbon dioxide+water vapor) in the propane cylinder. It should be 99.999% propane and other flammable petroleum gases. If there's air in the cylinder, it needs to be purged before putting the cylinder to use.</p>
It's not a bleeder it is a safety vent for DOT regulations.
Correct. The valve is to vent excess pressure so the tank won't burst. <br>The valve may have been used to bleed air on the first factory fill. <br>But as you use the original fill, propane gas exits only. No air enters the tank. <br>The &quot;air&quot; in the tank is simply leftover Propane gas at a pressure of approx 1 atmosphere. <br>To vent this gas is wasteful and you run the risk of overfilling the cylinder too. <br>What happens then? As the temperature rises the pressure valve releases the extra, wasting more gas.
Chilling is unnecessary. <br>Hook up a full tank (under high pressure) to an empty tank (under less pressure relative to the full one) and open the valve between them and the pressures will equalize. Some of the contents of the full tank are forced into the empty one until the pressures are equal. Close the valve and disconnect. Done.
The <a href="http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/45000-45999/45989.pdf" rel="nofollow">instructions</a> on the adapter specifically say to chill the empty tank.
Thereby lowering the pressure some more allowing a little more to be drawn in from the fill tank. <br>If one wanted to go overboard they could use a vacuum pump on the empty tank first. But that may cause it to overfill, who knows.
<p>Show us a SINGLE photo of an over pressurized and burst disposable tank.</p>
Because of the possible damage and death, overfilling is just not worth the little bit extra. Be safe, live long, and prosper.
OK, bottom line. I'm a propane supplier and I honestly hate this idea, but I'm also realistic enough to know that people will still do it, whether I like it or not.<br /> <br /> #1 Do not, under any circumstances, a cylinder to 100 %! Propane has a high temperature/volume expansion rate. Too full when cold means it pops off when it goes hydrstatic (liquid full @ high pressure). 85% MAXIMUM!!!<br /> #2 propane expands at a ratio of 1 to 270 when it goes from a liquid to vapor. Stack up 270 of those little cylinders in your trunk behind where your kids ride in the car on a good hot day.<br /> #3 There is a technical explanation as to why you find half full 1# cylinders in the forest, I mean besides the fact they are wasteful litterbug jerks. <br /> It goes like this, If you know the physical properties of propane, you know that propane appliances burn propane vapor. At atmospheric pressure propane is a vapor. At -44 degrees it is a &quot;0&quot; pressure liquid. Pressurize propane in a tank and you can keep it liquid at higher temperatures. Think thermodynamics. Small tanks, small volume, gas cools in cylinder faster, chills gas to -44, no vapor, no burn. No burn, must be out of gas, throw away 1/2 full tank. (yes, I've seen it! Over and over!)<br /> Big tank, big&nbsp; volume,gas cools slower, doesn't get to -44, burn hotter longer<br /> <br /> Better yet, just don't do it. state an federal agencies do'nt write rules to &quot;big Brother&quot; us. They may seem misguided sometimes but they really want us tobe safe
<p>I always think of compressed gasses as the perfect vehicle for a Darwin moment. That I survived adolescence (OK, young adulthood, too - I'm a slow learner. ) was purely due to my good fortune. But passing laws against being stupid is just wasting your time.</p>
You're observations are correct. I've seen 1-pound cylinders develop frost on them when both burners on the camp stove are wide open. As the expanding gas chills the cylinder, the gas pressure drops and the stove heat output starts dropping, although it doesn't quit completely. I like to pick up other folks' discarded &quot;empties&quot; and put them to use on my propane appliances to get every last bit of usable fuel out of them. <br> <br>The small, disposable cylinders are handy for picnics and camp-outs, but if one wants to do some serious cooking, an 11-pound or 20-pound cylinder is a better choice, since their larger surface area makes them less likely to chill to the point of freezing.
In the early 1980s, Cleanweld Turner offered their LP1501 propane refill adapter that worked far, far better than the stubby thing offered by Mr. Heater, shown in this instructable as a &quot;Mac Coupler&quot;. It was intended to be used with their LP4585 refillable propane cylinder &mdash; the tall, narrow type typically used with propane torches. This cylinder had a hex-nut relief valve that could be operated with a small wrench. Disposable cylinders have a recessed valve stem that can only be operated with needle-nose pliers, or a special valve core tool that can reach deeper than the ones used on automobile valve stems. The main feature of the LP1501 was that it kept the cylinder being refilled upright, with the relief valve topmost, so one could bleed gas off while filling and get a 100% fill each time. The instructions that came with the L4585 cylinder said to weigh it after filling and bleed off gas until the net weight of propane did not exceed 13 oz. For a nominal 1 lb cylinder, that represents an 81.3% fill, leaving some headroom for gas expansion if the cylinder were left in a warm room or car trunk, without having the relief valve open at an inconvenient time. <br> <br>Cleanweld Products, Inc. sold their Turner division to Cooper Industries in 1984 and the product line was folded into Cooper Tools in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sadly, their refill adapter and refillable propane cylinder disappeared from the market not long after that. I've attached a photo of my Cleanweld Turner refillable cylinder and adapter for your enjoyment, purchased sometime around 1981-1982.
were can you find the adapter?
Harbor Freight Tools has them for 20.00.
this is a dangerous thing to do, if you aren't careful about it<br>follow the rules and play it safe and go easy and you'll be alright<br><br>the only reason i wont do this is because i'm pretty lazy
after lots of experience refilling paintball CO2 tanks, refilling disposable propane canisters seemed simple enough, so I gave it a try . Yes, there's danger from the flammable propane, but if we're careful, it's possible to refill the 1 lb cylinders from a 20 lb tank. <br> Weighing the small cylinder helped to determine how much propane went into it---only about half its rated capacity, despite chilling it.<br> As others have noted, the Schrader valve on the little cylinder could be opened during filling, and that would allow more liquid propane to fill the small tank. It's awkward to open the Schrader valve, though, since it needs to be pulled out, rather than pushed in, to vent propane vapor, which would allow enough liquid propane for a complete fill. <br> For filling paintball canisters with CO2, a big tank with a siphon tube was used, so that liquid CO2 came out the valve---not just vapor. Inverting the 20lb propane tank produced the same effect of dispensing liquid, not gas vapor, but the little tank still needs to be vented, it seems, to allow for a full liquid fill, to the small cylinder's rated 1 lb. capacity.<br> With CO2, it's possible to arrange a couple of valves that can be opened/closed in sequence, to purge the vapor, and allow liquid fill, but with the brass adapters sold to refill disposable propane cylinders, there's no similar venting /purging option, other than opening the Schrader valve during filling.
Just a comment to try to offset the hysteria about overfilling: <br>If you're not sure how much is in the bottle (the usual case) <br>then just take a cup of hot water (or some of your hot coffee) <br>and slowly pour it over the top of the bottle on one side. <br>Then quickly (before it cools) run your hand down the side <br>of the bottle. It will get noticeably cooler at the liquid level. <br>(the metal is quite thin so it heats/cools rather quickly) <br>This makes it easier to keep below the magic 80% rule. <br>At least you can get a good idea how much is in the bottle <br>before you embark on transferring the liquid without a scale. <br>-works equally well on a bigger (supply) bottle.
FYI, here is a news story about the deadly consequences of refilling non-refillable tanks.<br><br>http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/02/06/1-dead-1-injured-in-polk-county-garage-explosion/<br><br>
This is illegal in some states - either as a citable infraction or a crime. Be sue to check your local laws before attempting this process.
I'm this practice causes cancer in California. :)
I spent several days with the guys at Worthington, including their production manager and several of their engineers. It is perfectly safe to refill the cylinders as long as you do not exceed the Net weight of the container. Freezing the containers was laughed at and they said its a waste of time. Just take the net weight of an empty container and add the contents (900 something grams comes to mind, check the label). The containers go through many tests, one of which is after they are filled on a rotary filling station they go into a 140* F bath to find any leakers and to make sure they can handle the pressure. I spoke with the production supervisor and he said he filled his own all the time. He even converted his engine driven bike to run on these cylinders. <br> <br>Jeff
your crazy to even think about refilling these tanks. If you make a mistake, your playing with a small bomb.
You know nothing of this so you should consider keeping it to yourself. I have worked with Worthington Cylinder, who supplies most all the tanks discussed here. Even Colman buys from them from Worthington when they cannot keep up with supply.
Ok, but you drive a car with 30 gallons of one of the most flammable liquids around. Use your head don't try to fill any tank that you don't feel 100% about.
I've been refilling small tanks for years and never any problems. When you refill them, you are refilling to a pressure that is <less then the original pressure of the tank when it was new. So its not going to explode. When the treads get worn or you drop the small tank its time to get a new one just in case. The older 20 lb tanks seemed to work better probably because they were not fitted with the new over fill valves.
Alright Guys if you feel unsafe doing this then DON"T do it thats your choice no one can make it for you. But for others have at it, If there is any data showing this is a bad idea then show it but otherwise shut up about how unsafe it is. How many people have gotten blown up from refilling these bottles? anyone... I'm sure there's alot more people out there that do it. The device for refilling them is sold all over the place so it can't be that dangerous.
Well... I was thinking only in refill one supposedly &quot;non-refilable&quot; baloon hellium tank with compressed air at 10 psi from my air compressor to operate a small air tool for a minute on a remote location. I guess the is no risk using compressed air a 10 psi, but if someone thinks other way, please let me know.<br /> They even seem to be welded.<br />
You will have much better results renting a CO2 tank from a homebrew store, soda supplier, or beer store. One 5lb tank holds a LOT of gas that can run your tools. You just have to get the regulator of course. I'd check ebay.
I imaging that 10PSI would be pretty safe for some time. Putting plain old air in the tank might accelerate corrosion from inside which you won't see, so you'd have to be cautious with the tank over time. <br> <br>But it seems to me that you could come up with containers that are a lot more portable and easier to use than a non-refillable helium tank at 10PSI. Those tanks aren't spectacularly heavy, but they weigh more than they need to for a 10PSI application. <br> <br>A mountain bike tire (not just the tube, you need the tire and rim assembly as well) could easily keep 50-60PSI without strain, weighs a lot less, and can be refilled many times. And you can refill it in the field with a bicycle pump. <br> <br>Heck, you could probably use a couple of mountain bike tires on a cart that would carry your tools around. Get to the job site, hook your air tool up to one of the tires, drain that one, hook it up to the other, drain that one, then use the bike pump to pump the tires back up as needed (and when you're done, so the cart works properly again). <br> <br>I realize it probably wouldn't carry a lot of volume, but if you can regulate it to your 10PSI the tire would probably last quite some time starting at 50PSI.
I used to refill the 20lb tanks, and all the new ones have the OPV valve inside. Sometimes the valve would stick and we had to bang the tank on the ground to open it. If I'm not mistaken, the valve closes if you turn the tank upside down so I'm not sure how this would work.<br><br>
Thanks I' have also done this for years. I don't weight them though I go under the assumption that there is not enough pressure in one tank to blow up the other. Once they hit equilibrium the transfer stops. I do it when they are cold in the morning But I will put the big one in the garage from now on to keep it a bit warmer.
I'll just point out that pressure is not the only part of this equation. <br> <br>If you invert the original tank as pictured in the ible, you're filling the tank with pure liquid, not partly vaporized, propane (the liquid settles to the bottom and will flow as a liquid into the recipient tank, much like water). The ible is carefully taking both temperature and weight into account, and they are both really important things you really want to consider when refilling a tank. <br> <br>Therefore, your refilled tank is going to end up with pure or near-pure liquid propane and a lot less vapor. You need that vapor, it is your expansion space. As the propane warms up, it's going to expand, and the vapor in the tank gives you a place for the pressure to go (it compresses the vapor). <br> <br>In other words, if you want to use the method of purely equalizing pressures while not paying attention to the weight of the tank, I'd think you'd be a lot better off NOT inverting the 20# tank while doing it. You'll end up with a tank that's a lot less full, but with plenty of expansion space. <br> <br>I'll let others who know more about such things chime in and maybe I'm wrong, but filling any propane tank with more than its rated capacity (which includes space necessary for expansion) just feels like a recipe for disaster if it ever gets warmer than the temperature you filled the tank at. And inverting the tank means you're putting a lot more liquid propane in the tank than it's rated for.
I agree that it seems there's a danger of leaking or overfilled cylinders. Where this makes a lot of sense is while camping- especially with a big group. We do a group campout twice a year where there are 3 lanterns and a few portable stoves going. Over 5 nights we probably burn through 15 1 lb cylinders. I'm going to set myself up to refill them AT THE CAMPSITE so we aren't transporting refilled cylinders. I'll also bring my digital scale so I can be sure they aren't overfilled.
If you're with a big group, wouldn't it make more sense to simply pick up a propane tree/adapter kit and use 20-pounders to start with? <br> <br>I work on an AT maintenance that can have as many as 20 people in a group (though usually around 10), and we use one of those temporary tarp &quot;garages&quot; as our kitchen. We set solid folding tables down the middle and have propane lanterns on the top of the &quot;tree&quot; and Coleman propane stoves set on the tables, all hooked to a couple of 20# tanks. Then our folding chairs go along the sides of the tent. It gives us a centralized, protected, and comfortable area to prepare and eat our meals and socalize. <br> <br>Using the 20# tanks directly means we don't have to deal with the hassle of refilling 1# tanks. A 20# tank can run a propane lantern and a couple of Coleman stoves for quite some time.
Wow! This is incredibly illegal! I design both of the cylinders you are picturing. In fact the BBQ cylinder is from one of my facilities and the 16 oz is from one of my competitors. Just to let you know the 16 oz is made to not be refilled. The valve and the thickness of the material do not do well cycling (empty/refill). Not to mention there is a federally enforced $500,000 fine and 5 year jail sentence. Hope you don't kill yourself and family.
do you have a source for this information? because if it was illegal i doubt cabellas would sell them without a big ol warning
Sure do!<br/>CFR49-178.65 (Non-reusable, Non-refillable cylinders)<br/>Look it up. It's free to access:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfr-table-search.html">http://www.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfr-table-search.html</a><br/>Quote from the specification:<br/>(A) For cylinders manufactured prior<br/>to October 1, 1996: &#8216;&#8216;Federal law forbids<br/>transportation if refilled-penalty up to<br/>$25,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment<br/>(49 U.S.C. 1809)&#8217;&#8217; or &#8216;&#8216;Federal law forbids<br/>transportation if refilled-penalty<br/>up to $500,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment<br/>(49 U.S.C. 5124).&#8217;&#8217;<br/>(B) For cylinders manufactured on or<br/>after October 1, 1996: &#8216;&#8216;Federal law forbids<br/>transportation if refilled-penalty<br/>up to $500,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment<br/>(49 U.S.C. 5124).&#8217;&#8217;<br/>
you need to read a little more carefully. the passage you provide does NOT say that refilling is illegal. it just says TRANSPORTING refilled bottles is illegal...which the author pointed out.
Depart of Transportation regulates if you transport the product because they can't regulate what you do on your own property. So if you refill a "non-refillable" and keep it on your property only (isn't the point to refill your cylinders for camping) you probably would not be prosecuted via this section. Do you only camp on your property? If so then maybe you are not breaking this section. The legal aspect aside, I would suggest you do not refill that cylinder because the valve, and deep drawn material do not like being cycled as well we braze these cylinder shells together instead of a weld. Bazed joints do not like cycling as well. I am trying to make you aware of both the legal and dangerous side of what this instructable is suggesting you do. You might have to prove that you didn't transport the product. Then the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) that also regulates the design of cylinders will have to get involved. If you refill these cylinders you have a greater chance of harming or killing yourself or others. Good luck.
Do you know where to get properly welded cylinders, rather than these wasteful brazed cylinders? If they're so dangerous to refill, surely your company produces a cylinder that <strong>is</strong> safe to refill, right?<br/>
True. I would like several official legal 1 lb propane refillable tanks.<br> Where may I purchase one? <br>Building a portable heater with a small form factor. I am looking forward to lighting up my little giant 120,000 BTU heater and switching propane tanks through out the day. Say 3 bottles max a day.<br>Electric or inline heaters are an inefficient use of electricity and are taking from amp usage that I want to reserve for more airwatts or more vacuum motors. <br>Im a carpet dyer, building a portable system with truckmount potential. Future Industructable......

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