Coupon for propane tank exchange
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NEW Blue Rhino Propane Coupon - Moola Saving Mom
After complaints, they do now list that the tanks are filled to 15 lbs, but very few people are going to realize this. They try to sell it as a feature. OK, ice cream and coffee companies have done this, but they made the package smaller also. The price of propane went back down. Did they go back to refilling the tanks to 20 lbs? No, they are still at 15 lbs. No company will be the first to go back to full because they know that the very few consumers would notice and it would put them at a competitive price disadvantage.
A store or company may try to tell you that the 20 lb cylinder can only hold 15 pounds because they cannot be filled all the way up due to safety. They are double counting. The "20 lbs" already takes this into account. I have seen many people online incorrectly make the argument that a 20 lb tank can only safely hold 16 lbs of propane. Note that even before dropping to 15 lbs, many tank exchange places were only filling to 17 lbs. Companies are in business to make money, pure and simple.
This is a technique to make more money that the customer rarely notices, but definitely pays for. So expect the amount to continue to go down. As you can see I highly prefer to refill.
It is cheaper and you get a full tank. But there are a few issues there also. The bleeder valve is opened when filling allowing some gas to escape, and a bit of liquid when full. When the tank is full there is some liquid in the nozzle that is wasted. Neither of these amounts to very much. Well under a pound. Some places charge by the tank, not by the gallon. There is a disadvantage here if you are refilling a tank that is not empty. You should also make sure that they will be filling the tank to the full capacity. For price comparisons between per gallon and per tank charges, consider that an empty 20 tank will hold about 4.
To keep the math simple if doing it in your head consider 5 gallons times the per gallon price and subtract about a dollar. Commercial propane distributors who also fill large tanks with delivery trucks. Refilling is generally the way to go, but always compare prices.
A tank exchange with 15 pounds contains about 3. Use the tank exchange when your tank is out of certification and cannot be refilled. Getting your tank recertified is not practical. You could buy a new tank, but you can just exchange the existing one. Check that you are getting a tank that is not close to its recertification date 12 years after the date stamped at the top.
That way you can refill it later. The propane exchange company will simply recertify your old tank and reuse it. They have people that can do that and it is very cheap for them due to their volume. It probably takes them 15 seconds. If you do refill a tank that you previously got from an exchange, you may want to remove their shrink wrap advertising wrapper, although there is no need to on your part. Besides advertisement the main purpose for this wrapper is to hide rust on the tank.
Notice that the plastic is NOT clear, it is mostly white.
Propane for You
Buy a spare tank. That way you can run your tank empty before refilling or exchanging, knowing that you have a spare to finish cooking that expensive steak. I have a total of 8 tanks. There are several reasons for this: I later exchanged them.
Propane – Tank Exchange
When you buy a new empty tank, the person filling it will have to purge the air from it first. The tank initially contains air, which will not compress to a liquid at anywhere near the pressure that propane will. If the air is left in you will not be able to get very much propane in the cylinder. The process takes several minutes, and wastes a little propane, but it is necessary. What they do is add some liquid propane, then open the bleeder valve to let out the air. Some propane vapor will also escape at that time.
Substitute that number in all rows of the exchange. I have nothing against the tank exchange companies. They have found a new business model that works for them and certainly has some consumer benefits, often at a price. Nothing wrong with that at all. I do not care for the practice of only filling the tanks to 15 lbs, even if they do clearly label it. For me, it doesn't pass the smell test, however.
The label should say "This 20 lb tank is only filled to 15 lbs for our benefit, not yours". If the propane exchange companies filled the tanks to the near 20 lb full, safe limit, I would have never written this web page. But stick to the facts. Don't call me an idiot because I used incorrect grammar somewhere. I have a wife for that.
I do not know if these still exist. I have not seem them locally, and most online discussions on them seem pretty old.
The purpose of this is to prevent you from refilling one of those cylinders at your local propane refiller. The tank can only be refilled by them due to some sort of magnetic interlock, for which they have the key. They will try to play the safety card. To force you to do a tank exchange with them instead of refilling. To reduce their theoretical liability a tiny tiny tiny bit.
The refiller may overfill or do something else wrong and then you the customer claim it was Blue Rhino who did it not the refiller.
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In reality the OPD prevents the overfilling, and if that fails, the bleeder valve tells them and you while you watch that the tank is full. Just an excuse by corporate lawyers to put in something that will prevent you from saving money. They claim that some of their tanks do not have the TS2 valve. I have read that it varies by distributor. I have asked the place where I refill and was told that they have never come across one that they could not fill. Apparently there is a triangular indentation on the value itself on the TS2 valves not to be confused with the triangular valve handle that you turn, which is on ALL newer tanks.
By the way, you OWN the cylinder. You are not borrowing it from them, so you have the right to do what you want. Some might hold slightly less than this as the OPD valve varies in size, but it is well over 19 lbs. The tank is NOT filled all the way to the top with liquid. That is for safety purposes. When filled the tank often gets cold due to some evaporation of the liquid. If the tank is then left out in the sun the liquid would expand. If all goes well, the safety pressure value would vent the excess liquid.
This would be somewhat of a safety problem as you have escaping highly flammable gas. However, if the safety value was not functional, the tank could, under extreme conditions, rupture causing an extreme safety hazard. Someone selling you a tank filled to 15 lb will try to tell you that.
The OPD valve is there to prevent accidental overfilling of the tank. With thousands of people filling these tanks, some would do it incorrectly and overfill them, causing the safety hazard mentioned above. The OPD value prevents this by using a float sort of like a toilet tank float there are multiple types, just like toilet floats. It is a good idea. The shut off valve handle is in a triangle shape if it has an OPD valve. Old ones were various shapes. You will only see one of those if you have a very old tank. The OPD requirements took affect as follows: The weight of the tank when empty.
Very useful when weighing a tank to determine how much propane is left. Typical values for a 20 lb tank are The capacity of the tank in pounds of water.