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BenCartwright

Senior Member
Registered: 08/11/13
Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #1 
I see adapters sold for refilling Propane 1 pound cylinders from a 20 pound tank, doesn't seem safe to me.

What is everyone's opinion on this?

I wonder if a propane dealer would be able to refill them, or would it be against the law?
Oldlanternman

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Lantern Rescuer
Professional
Mantle Destroyer

Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 1,527
Reply with quote  #2 
Propane dealers wont refill em. Its ok to do it at home, but if you get caught transporting em its like a 25000 dollar fine
perterra

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldlanternman
Propane dealers wont refill em. Its ok to do it at home, but if you get caught transporting em its like a 25000 dollar fine


How do they know it's refilled and not factory? Just curious.

I never have done it, wouldnt be too particularly afraid to, filling with gas instead of liquid I believe so expansion shouldnt be as big of an issue. I have been meaning to buy a valve to do it, never know when it might come in handy. I certainly wouldnt do it in an enclosed area for sure. I have been around guys lighting #55 propane rosebuds and if they dick around long before they get the striker to it they can cover about a 100 sq ft area in 4" of blue flame. Which if you are standing in the middle of will make you soil your silk drawers
ctp51

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Long Haul
Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 652
Reply with quote  #4 
I have 5 or 6 refilled while I watched my brother do it.Simple as falling of the porch and perfectly safe in my opinion.The only difference I can tell is they are not as full as the factory filled cylinders.As for being refilled,prove it.
FORCE316

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Registered: 11/05/12
Posts: 824
Reply with quote  #5 
Been refilling them for a few years. They are hard to get completely full.  Bought some nice brass caps to seal them after filling,because they would often seep fuel afterwards.
Deanofid

Midnight KeroseneRitualist
Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 5,260
Reply with quote  #6 
Perfectly safe for all but the dumbest people. 
You are not filling it with a gas.  You're putting in liquid propane.  The one pound cylinder
cannot get any more pressure than is already inside the 20 pound tank.  Also, every
one pound cylinder has a built in pressure relief valve.  If, somehow a person figured out
how to break the immutable laws of physics and actually get more pressure in the
cylinder than it can hold, the excess simply comes out the relief valve.

I've filled hundreds of one pound cyls from 20 pound tanks.  Never a mishap.  The
worst that can happen in the real world is you will let your propane out to atmosphere
because you didn't follow the very simple directions.  I get about 18 refills on the 20
pound tank.  The first few will be nearly a full pound of fuel.  The last one will be about
12-13 ounces of fuel.

Have your 20 pound tank at around 70 deg F or a little more, and put the one pound
cyl in the freezer for 1/2 hour.  That is the only way you will get the cylinder nearly full.
Filling my own cylinders makes the fuel for my propane lanterns under 70 cents a bottle.
Way cheaper than CF.
Radioactive228

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Senior Member
Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #7 
I have been doing that for a long time and not had a problem. One thing I do is to put the empties in the freezer for a couple of hours before filling and also while filling I put the can being refilled into a tub of ice water to lower the vapor pressure so it fills faster and more fully. On mine if you are filling several at a time the shutoff valve just above the empty canister saves the propane that is in the pipe already for the next empty canister and doesn't waste it while changing bottles.I also drilled a small hole sideways in the stem that goes into the one pound bottle to aid in filling which you can see near the end of the spud.

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mikeh

Senior Member
Registered: 07/13/13
Posts: 215
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanofid
Perfectly safe for all but the dumbest people. 
You are not filling it with a gas.  You're putting in liquid propane.  The one pound cylinder
cannot get any more pressure than is already inside the 20 pound tank.  Also, every
one pound cylinder has a built in pressure relief valve.  If, somehow a person figured out
how to break the immutable laws of physics and actually get more pressure in the
cylinder than it can hold, the excess simply comes out the relief valve.


"You cannae change the laws of Physics, Jim!"

Although, I still believe Scotty could do it.

Radioactive228

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Senior Member
Registered: 06/21/13
Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #9 
Beam me up Scotty this planet SUCKS[smiley_2013_03_26-04_03_zps847725d5]
weasel

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It's not rocket
science, it's nuclear!

Registered: 04/12/12
Posts: 1,892
Reply with quote  #10 
A little tug on the pressure relief valve and you won't need to freeze your 1lb bottle.
Jim_l

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Day Late and a Dollar Short
Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 6,589
Reply with quote  #11 
Hmmm. If I'm figuring right, a pound of CF at about $10 a gallon equals about $1.60 a pound, at an average of 6.25 lbs. per gallon.
RUG at $3.70 a gallon equals about $.59 a pound.
Both have more BTUs than propane so there's that, if that translates to light output.
Propane's not as messy, but it's not as fun either, sooo..??
Deanofid

Midnight KeroseneRitualist
Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 5,260
Reply with quote  #12 
It gets more fun when you fill your own bottles, Jim.  [wink]

Derek, if the relief valve ends up in the right place when the bottle is screwed onto the
20 lb tank, you can pull on its stem sometimes.  It often ends up in a position where
you can't get to it with needle nose pliers.  If the relief valve happens to be pointed
down after you screw on the cylinder, it will just let gas out fast as it goes in if you
pull it open. 
weasel

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It's not rocket
science, it's nuclear!

Registered: 04/12/12
Posts: 1,892
Reply with quote  #13 
I used bent needle nose pliers. One quick tug and let go quickly. It filled so fast, condensation appeared almost instantly.
perterra

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Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 1,595
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanofid
Perfectly safe for all but the dumbest people. 
You are not filling it with a gas.  You're putting in liquid propane.  The one pound cylinder
cannot get any more pressure than is already inside the 20 pound tank.  Also, every
one pound cylinder has a built in pressure relief valve.  If, somehow a person figured out
how to break the immutable laws of physics and actually get more pressure in the
cylinder than it can hold, the excess simply comes out the relief valve.

I've filled hundreds of one pound cyls from 20 pound tanks.  Never a mishap.  The
worst that can happen in the real world is you will let your propane out to atmosphere
because you didn't follow the very simple directions.  I get about 18 refills on the 20
pound tank.  The first few will be nearly a full pound of fuel.  The last one will be about
12-13 ounces of fuel.

Have your 20 pound tank at around 70 deg F or a little more, and put the one pound
cyl in the freezer for 1/2 hour.  That is the only way you will get the cylinder nearly full.
Filling my own cylinders makes the fuel for my propane lanterns under 70 cents a bottle.
Way cheaper than CF.



So you do fill with liquid. Okay, do you lay the tank on it's side? I didnt think 20 lb BBQ grill tanks had conductor tubes like residential or fork lift tanks?
lamplighter44

I'm Not a
Collector

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 1,798
Reply with quote  #15 
I've refilled for a few years. I like my propane hamburger cooker.  Refill on a very hot day with your 20lb in the sun a few hrs. Take your small tank out of a deep freeze, at, or near  zero F. Open the valve. Leave it a few minutes, and your done.. I've never tried the pressure relief idea.  I had one this year that wouldn't seal properly. Just left it attached to the cooker so that valve would contain it.. It's now gone.
Murff

 photo avatar_2298.gif
Administrator
Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 8,271
Reply with quote  #16 
LEGAL DISCLAIMER:

The owners and administrators of this Forum do not endorse nor encourage the refilling of the one pound disposable propane cylinders. This is due to the precautions advising against it on the propane cylinders themselves.

Murff
as Administrator
Deanofid

Midnight KeroseneRitualist
Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 5,260
Reply with quote  #17 
Perterra, the 20 lb tank has to be upside down.  You screw the refill adapter onto the
big tank, screw on the small bottle, turn it upside down and open the valve.  You can
easily hear when the small bottle is full.  It sounds like when a toilet tank is filling up,
and just stops.  Turn off the big tank valve, and remove the small bottle.  It all takes
maybe one minute.  If you don't turn the tank upside down, it will only put in a tiny
amount of vapor gas.  Your appliance will run a half hour and be out of fuel.

Having to turn the bottle upside down is one reason you can't get to the relief valve.
Plus, if the small bottle threads tight when the relief valve is pointing toward the
big tank valve, no way you can get to it.  Not on my 20 lb tanks, anyway.  There are
probably a lot of different kinds of tanks though.
ctp51

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Long Haul
Registered: 11/14/11
Posts: 652
Reply with quote  #18 
Murff,just gotta ask.Don't you refill propane canisters? I promise I wont say a word.
aephilli

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Registered: 11/16/12
Posts: 1,977
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctp51
Murff,just gotta ask.Don't you refill propane canisters? I promise I wont say a word.


Murff the private citizen may do so, but Murff the administrator emphatically advises against it!
perterra

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Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 1,595
Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanofid
Perterra, the 20 lb tank has to be upside down.  You screw the refill adapter onto the
big tank, screw on the small bottle, turn it upside down and open the valve.  You can
easily hear when the small bottle is full.  It sounds like when a toilet tank is filling up,
and just stops.  Turn off the big tank valve, and remove the small bottle.  It all takes
maybe one minute.  If you don't turn the tank upside down, it will only put in a tiny
amount of vapor gas.  Your appliance will run a half hour and be out of fuel.

Having to turn the bottle upside down is one reason you can't get to the relief valve.
Plus, if the small bottle threads tight when the relief valve is pointing toward the
big tank valve, no way you can get to it.  Not on my 20 lb tanks, anyway.  There are
probably a lot of different kinds of tanks though.



Thanks Dean, I wondered how long they would run on just gas. I'll pick up a valve this weekend.
jeepfreek

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Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 1,094
Reply with quote  #21 
I have 2 forklift propane bottles that I put standard POV valves on. One puts out liquid and one puts out gas. I fill as many bottles as I can then finish the forklift bottle off on my turkey cooker. Anybody have a cheap source for the brass caps for the 1 lb bottles?
g7nevada

Senior Member
Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 245
Reply with quote  #22 
I agree with Deanofid this is how i fill mine. Most come out full without freezing the cyclinder 
pickstr6

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That Nutty
Lantern Guy

Registered: 09/28/12
Posts: 644
Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepfreek
I have 2 forklift propane bottles that I put standard POV valves on. One puts out liquid and one puts out gas. I fill as many bottles as I can then finish the forklift bottle off on my turkey cooker. Anybody have a cheap source for the brass caps for the 1 lb bottles?
Here's ebay link for a package of two at $9.99 & free shipping. I have seen these somewhere else, just can't remember where. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Propane-Tank-Mac-Caps-1-lb-Cylinder-Seal-Protect-Save-Stove-Lantern-Camping-/250896116967?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6a92ece7
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