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Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

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  • Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

    i apologize to the op as i have a stupid side question for you guys on propane filling. now it is only 5 gallons and is for my propane grill, but i only went to one place all of these years to fill it. in recent years i began to suspect them of not filling the tank all of the way and charging full price to fill it. other places to fill it are not close by so i stayed at this one place for saving on the gasoline. when they filled it the last time it went to just a bit over 4 gallons on a 5 gallon tank and i burned off any and all that was left inside for this instance. now it needs refilled again and i'm unsure if i should go elsewhere due to being ripped off or not.
    NIEL

  • #2

    Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

    Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

    Places here in Los Angeles, rip you off. It's a $5 service charge, and about $3 gallon, and 5 gal tanks only hold 4 ga, reserving some expansion space in the tank. I never ger out for less than $22. Blue Rhino exchange is only $29, so when my tank gets nasty......
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    • #3

      Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

      Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

      Yea--I have gotten to the point where I bring at least two 20 lb (4 gallon effective capacity) tanks to get refilled because some places have a 5 gallon minimum charge.

      I had one guy that stuffed in 5 gallons (doing me a favor?)--and a few days later it was venting propane spray on a warm day (a lot--like in no open fires within 20 feet a lot).

      -Bill
      20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

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      • #4

        Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

        Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

        Yea--I have gotten to the point where I bring at least two 20 lb (4 gallon effective capacity) tanks to get refilled because some places have a 5 gallon minimum charge.
        Does a 20# tank hold 20 pounds of propane or doe it weigh 20# total when full? I have always wondered this
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        • #5

          Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

          Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

          I believe it is 20 lbs of propane. Around 4.24 lbs per gallon of propane.

          -Bill
          20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

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          • #6

            Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

            Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

            Originally posted by mike90045 View Post
            Places here in Los Angeles, rip you off. It's a $5 service charge, and about $3 gallon, and 5 gal tanks only hold 4 ga, reserving some expansion space in the tank. I never ger out for less than $22. Blue Rhino exchange is only $29, so when my tank gets nasty......
            I go to TGP (Trans-Gas Propane) where San Fernando Road meets the 134 fwy (San Fernando & Doran). Technically the address is Los Angeles, but it's right on the border of Glendale.

            http://www.transgaspropane.com/

            I was there a couple weeks ago and the yard price was $1.88/gal. They do have a 5 gal minimum. No service charge. The highest I've seen the yard price was $2.27 last year.


            To neil: I have noticed that when getting my tank filled (5 gal horizontal frame-mounted on a camper van) that if they don't open the bleeder valve enough, the pressure in the tank will stop the filling at less than 5 gallons (usually 4.5 or 4.6), so I always make sure that they open that valve fully. When I do that, the tank takes 4.9-5.0 gal.

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            • #7

              Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

              Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

              Originally posted by BB. View Post
              I had one guy that stuffed in 5 gallons (doing me a favor?)--and a few days later it was venting propane spray on a warm day (a lot--like in no open fires within 20 feet a lot).

              -Bill
              A propane tank can only be filled to 80% of capacity for this very reason. If it is indeed a 5 gallon tank, it can only be filled with 4 gallons of liquid propane. That is the reason for the recent requirement of OPD valves on tanks (OPD = Overfill Protection Device).

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              • #8

                Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

                It is also why they say on the propane tanks to not store them in a garage/home/other place where ignition sources and/or poor ventilation may exist.

                Guess where mine where when this happened ()--fortunately, I was home and heard the noise (venting) before my water heater set off the fumes.

                -Bill
                20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

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                • #9

                  Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                  Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

                  wow. ok and thanks for the responses as i just wasn't sure if i was getting ripped-off or not by the quantity being placed into the tank. as far as price goes, it is around $18 (last year) for just a little over 4 gallons so i'm at over $4/gallon. i hope it didn't go up for this year.
                  so that the op's thread is not hijacked i ask that you now concern yourself with the op's concerns and any further to me can be added in your post as an after thought or send me a pm on it. my thanks to the op tolerating my side question.
                  NIEL

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                  • #10

                    Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                    Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                    I think this is a good thread in its own right...

                    Trimmed out the Propane Tank questions into own thread.

                    -Bill
                    20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                      Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                      fair enough bb, but i think my question was pretty much answered. if the guys want to continue the discussion they now can do so.
                      NIEL

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                      • #12

                        Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                        Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                        FWIW:

                        Some of us have been off grid and away from civilization for decades. We deal with propane quite a bit. Y'all could ask via PM if you want.

                        Tony &/or I could probably have cut right to the heart of the matter. Yep; it's 20 lbs. of propane. If you look you can even see the Tare weight stamped on the tank. Yep; over-filling leads to dangerous venting situations.

                        We even have a lot of propane power cars & trucks here in BC!
                        (Compressed Natural Gas - CNG - has fallen out of favour.)
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                        • #13

                          Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                          Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                          A 20# tank has a volume of around 6.3 gallons however the safe fill is 5 gallons (80% of 6.3). The new OPD valves will generally shut off at around 4.9 gallons. Depending on the temperature of the propane being pumped, the volume you can safely stuff in varies.

                          Did you know that "propane" is not all propane? Different brands and different areas of the country have different percentages of propane, methane and butane. Of these three gases propane has the highest BTU content.
                          MIke
                          Off Grid: 3150 Watts pv, FX80 & MX60, Xantrex 4024+, 24 L16H, EU2000i & 20hp Listeroid 12KW Diesel

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                          • #14

                            Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                            Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                            The only accurate way to fill a propane tank is by weight. On your tank you will see something called TARE weight...this is the weight of the tank emptly. (usually around 11-12 pounds)When a tank is filled by weight, the tare weight is added to the weight of hoses and fittings (approx. 3.5#). In addition to these weights 20 lbs of propane is weighed, giving you a full tank weighing approx 35#. A reputable fill station will look at the tank to see the tare weight, not just assume it's weight. This does vary a bit due to tank construction. If you think you may be getting cheated, bring a scale with you. The newer tanks with the OPD valves won't allow overfill. And anyone who does you a "favor" is breaking the law and jeapordising your life and property.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Propane Tanks 20lb does not equal 5 gallons (trimmed from another thread)

                              Re: RV Install, wiring advice/help

                              Originally posted by niel View Post
                              wow. ok and thanks for the responses as i just wasn't sure if i was getting ripped-off or not by the quantity being placed into the tank. as far as price goes, it is around $18 (last year) for just a little over 4 gallons so i'm at over $4/gallon. i hope it didn't go up for this year.
                              so that the op's thread is not hijacked i ask that you now concern yourself with the op's concerns and any further to me can be added in your post as an after thought or send me a pm on it. my thanks to the op tolerating my side question.
                              With the new overfill valves now required, you aren't limited to just going to a propane company and paying their high prices for such small amounts. Although, I'm told that the first fillup of a 20lb tank should be with a professional company for safety...

                              I have split utilities with propane for the central furnace and our hot water...and some solar power coming soon. I have a 500 gallon tank that is considered full at 80% or 400 gallons. At the end of a long winter, the tank was at its lowest percentage, so I inquired at the propane company about the cost of putting in a "Wet Tap". For about $100.00, they installed a valve and a short hose hooked into the large tank. With a fitting for the 20lb tanks, now it allows me to refill my propane grill 20lb tank at the lower rate I get for the house.

                              If you know someone that has a larger tank, and you use several refills each year, splitting the cost of a wet tap and paying a lower rate for the gallons you get, you now have cheaper costs and another avenue to get emergency propane when retail propane companies are closed or when weather issues cause other needs for that 20lb bottle to be refilled.

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