Refill small propane tanks

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by bunkerbob, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    I've had this filler device for about 30 years now. Just connect to any 5 gallon propane tank, turn upside down, connect small bottle and turn on. It fills the tank in about 5 min, at first I opened the schrader valve to allow more propane in but I found it wasn't necessary. I just reuse the tanks over and over again, also a lot cheaper that new.:D
    I don't believe it would be hard for most to construct one, if they aren't available anymore.:scratch
     

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  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    Bob, that is awesome!!! :beercheer:

    I would love to have something like that. I've always been told that you cannot refill the mini-bottles, now, I know that you can :2thumb:
     

  3. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

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    Bob, I would love to have one of those. Perhaps even make one. all you would need is to find some one familiar with pneumatic and hydraulic systems and probably some custom machines parts.:confused: It would be a fun project to do. Sailaway
     
  4. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    I don't think it would take that much engineering. Let me look at it in detail and see what I can do, just what I need, another project, thanks alot guys.:D:beercheer:
     
  5. gcrmcc

    gcrmcc New Member

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    small propane tanks

    Harbor frieght and other places sell the refill adapters for $15-20.00. I am picking one up next time I get to San Antonio

    gcrmcc
     
  6. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    I found a youtube short on making one... [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKMmMmHB00o]YouTube- DIY propane tank refilling[/ame]

    The link didn't happen:confused:need some help here Administrators:scratch
    Found this at Harbor freight...- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices thanks, gcrmcc:congrat:
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  7. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Oh come on Bob, you don't have any thing else going on right now. :ignore:
     
  8. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Found all the parts in the shop to make one, not too bad, was that fast enough UncleJoe:D
    One of these days I'll take a photo of my shop. Need to have a little of everything, to be prepared. I don't throw much away.:2thumb:
    Matter of fact, I like this idea best, it has a valve at the small tank end, the other does not.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  9. youpock

    youpock Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes walmart has them for cheap.


    Hey how do you know when they are full? That's what I've always wondered lol
     
  10. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    It just stops hissing internally, you can put your ear to the small tank to tell. Also if you put the small tank in the freezer for about a 1/2 hour it will help.
     
  11. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

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  12. jebrown

    jebrown jebrown

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    What you are ignoring is that these disposeable tanks are not built to be refilled. The walls are not strong enough to withstand the differences in pressure fluxuation. The walls are not thick enough. Sure you can refill them severaal times and all is well but one day your luck will run out. The tank being reilled will blow. The sasfety valve will fail or the tank itself will fail. Then you will have a rocket on your hands and where it stops no one knows. It may even catch fire.
    Here is a positive thought. You can save all the money on propane tank purchases and put it in a rebuild fund for when the tank fails.
    Please do not be surprised if the local Fire Department shows up and fines you for arson, possisbley arrests you for the same reason.
    Also don't be surprised if your homeowners insurance company laughs in your face as they tell you that you are not covered.
    Before you relegate me to Village Idiot staus check with the local Fire Department as well as the state Fire Marshal for their opionon on what you are doing. Ask them which fire and building codes you are violating
    Just as inmportant check your homeowners poicy with your company's salesman to find aout ahead of time about you coverage or lack of.
    Also if there is damage ro property owned by some one else you are responssible for that damage even if you think it is an accident.

    Jerry
     
  13. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Jerry, I've been refilling small propane cylinders for 30 years with out incident. Some of my 16 oz tanks are years old, they will eventually not hold any pressure. As with any tool you need to take care of them and when not viable anymore replace or disposed of them properly. The beauty of propane is the low pressure within the tanks...Portable Propane Generator LP Kit. The refill adaptor I purchased actually came with a tank with a openable schrader valve, similar to the 20lbs ones.
    I agree with your cautionary comments though, and thanks for you input.
    More info...Refill Disposable Propane Cylinders! | Navagear.com
    I'm aware of local fire regs here in Calif which are among the most stringent anywhere, the items sold have all applicable safety listings, such as UL.
    I am only sending the original post as a suggestion on whats out there and my experiences with it, not a requirement to buy.
     
  14. jebrown

    jebrown jebrown

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    Bunkerbob
    You are living on borrowed time whether you are willing to believe me or not.
    Just because someone sells ssomething doesn't mean it is safe for use.
    You may be familiar with two of my past employers. Continental Truck & Towing and Cole-Schaefer Ambulance.There was not a day that went by on eithjer job that I didn't here the "But I've have been doing the same thing for... and this never happened." It eventualy catches up with you.
    I even heard the same comments made to the Fire Department from house fire victims in the 22 years with the Red Cross. I satarted my career with the Red Cross in Pasadena, CA.
    As far as California fire codes I am well aware of them too. I graduated from the Fire Sciece program at Mt. San Antonio Community college in Walnut, CA.,where I also graduated from the California State Fire Marshal's classes for Fire Prevention, all three classes. I am well aware of how stringent Caifornia fire codes are.
    From the reply you made I don't see you as seeing the need to heed my advice, therefore I will not offer any more. I just hope that when your luck runs out as it will that no one is hurt by your careless disregard for safety.

    Jerry
     
  15. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I never really thought about the little 2-pounders being all that dangerous. I have 2 dozen bottles in my camping trailer year 'round, bouncing and shaking and having the paint scratched off. I have a dozen of the 2-pounders in my basement in my "storage closet" right next to my portable propane stove, portable BBQ's, my catalytic heaters and my propane lanterns. That is all right beside my food-storage items and my deep-freeze - close to my canned goods (home canned as well as store bought).

    I have gone camping and placed the 2-pounder propane tanks near the firepit, walked 20 yards, turn, and shoot with a .22 and watch the fire-ball rise into the air. We have made firepit molotov's where we fill wine bottles with some gasoline, push the cork back into the bottle, duct-tape the cork down and place the bottle on the edge of a hot fire ... flames will shoot 500' up into the air .. again, never thought that it was dangerous, just lots of fun and much cheaper than fireworks.
     
  16. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Well I can not find any data about low pressure small 16 oz propane tanks exploding on the web, you know me I'll look until I can find hard data, but living on 'borrowed time' I might not have enough left. I will keep at it though.:D
    Over the years we have tried to 'blow' them up by shooting into them, no luck even with tracer rounds. I remember Mythbusters doing something similar, can't remember what happened.:dunno:
    What I can glean from the web is that they are safe because of the 'low pressure' property of them. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  17. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

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    I also use my Google-Fu to try to come up with facts, I also use local resources as well to locate information (businesses, emergency services, library, tech-date-sheets, etc).

    If you want to try to blow-up the 2-pounder propane-bottles (the little green Coleman propane bottles) - use a small caliber bullet to pierce the shell. The propane escapes, the fire lights the propane and burns it off quickly. Sometimes the propane bottle will spin, sometimes it just sits there - but - so far, I have never seen the bottle turn into shrapnel.
     
  18. youpock

    youpock Well-Known Member

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    When I was young we poured a bunch of lighter fluid on a small green tank, ignited it then shot it with a 308, it was pretty boring.. it made a short of pop and flames came out but it didn't explore or throw metal shards through the air.

    lol same day we did the same thing with a gallon of gas, explosion was way bigger and more exciting..

    Maybe if you were like standing over it and it failed while attached to a stove or something but it exploding and taking your house out.. I don't know.. lol mythbusters got a better explosion with a hot water heater
     
  19. Tribal Warlord Thug

    Tribal Warlord Thug Well-Known Member

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    i hope i can have some of the "borrowed time" bunkerbob's been livin' on.......i've also been refilling little tanks all the way up to the 1000#'ers.......never a problem in 20+ years. like he said....take care of yer s**t, and it will take care of you.
     
  20. longtime

    longtime Well-Known Member

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    The only possible problem is the valve not sealing. The tanks are not going to fail because of differences in pressure. Propane is ~ 200 psi @ 100 F in big tank or small. The valves are not made to be used over and over again. Having said that, I refill them on a regular basis, I just check for leaks, keep a brass cap tight. Must be living on some of Bob's time too.