1 Lb. Propane tanks.

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by tombiasi, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Not to be controversial here, but that video is somewhat misleading. The explosion and fire was not caused by the 1 lbs bottle. It was caused by her having a leaking valve in close proximity to an open flame in tight quarters. Everybody knows that that will cause an explosion. I use the approved Flame King refillable bottles. But if I was filling one of those in a 10 by 10 foot room with a Heater Buddy running and the valve was leaking, it would also explode.
     
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  2. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    It would be nice if they had a video telling you how to properly dispose of the 1lbs cylinders. A few years back I looked all over for that info and no one, not the manufacturers, not the Feds, not even the National Propane Council could give a definitive answer. The best answer I could get was to take them to your local hazardous waste collection center for disposal. OK, and where is that? Maybe a fire station?

    I think the manufacturers should have to take them back at the point of sale. Then maybe they will make them better so they can refill them for resale. But the lawyers will never let them do that because of the liabilities.
     
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  3. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Around here out on the desert, I often find 1lb bottles just thrown out at left over camp sites. The trash bins have dozens of them just thrown out. Or in junk piles scattered around. It is such a waste of metal that should be recycled.
     
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  4. Dave Brick

    Dave Brick El Cheapo Family Camper

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    @PopUpSteve
    This is exactly right. As a general rule, I'm not in favor of increased government regulation, but this is something I agree with strongly. They could have a deposit system like with cans and bottles, or just build them better.

    It seems silly that these 1 # bottles can stay in my camper for years, undergoing multiple freeze/thaw cycles and getting tossed around, and that is perfectly safe, but refilling one means you are going to die.

    Grandpa Don, I also noticed the misleading title and context of the video. I chose not to point it out initially, but I'm glad you did.
     
  5. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    It would have gone kaboom. Flame king cylinder or not.

    Like smoking while refilling gas on a hot day.

    There are always a variety of regulations that are interpreted in odd ways. For example, using the standard green non fillable, it is difficult if not impossible to get it to full capacity from a 20ld tank. As you fill more tanks, the amount of product you can transfer is reduced.

    In the flame king application, the port allows the gasses on top to leave so that you are filling only with liquid, thus giving you a complete fill.

    In"theory" other gases could enter the bottle, which have a different expansion rate. Another "theory" is that it's some random dot regulation about labeling.

    That sorry could have been prevented if they had spent 5 dollars more and just got a hose from the 20 lb tank to the heater instead of the adapter.
     
  6. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Just for the sake of stirring the pot, does anyone else know of an incident where the tanks exploded while filling? There may be some, but I've never heard of one.
     
  7. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, it is not about a tank exploding, it is more that the valve and the seals on the tank are not designed for refilling and they become weaker each time you do so.

    I didn't hear in the video where they said the tank exploded, I heard that the explosion was caused by a leaking propane cylinder.
     
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  8. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, DOT, EPA, Coleman etc... have all been super sketchy on how to properly dispose of the 1lb bottles.

    What spun my hatred of disposable 1lb bottles comes from a LONG time ago, when I lived in an apartment building. We had doorside trash pickup with recycling. The management office threw a hissy fit when I tried to put the cylinders in the recycle, so I took them out and put them in the regular trash and they went even crazier. I asked what I was supposed to do with them. The answer was we don't know, but they don't go in the trash or the recycles. Similar thing happened shortly afterwards in a campground in Arizona. Camp host threw a hissy fit about 1lb bottles going in the trash. Fast forward 20+ years and nobody seems to know how to poroperly dispose of these things shy of holding on to them for potentially a year or more until the city decides to hold another household hazardous waste collection day.

    That was close to when I started going to GPA appliances (Coleman Fuel, Gas Pressure Appliances etc...). Or 20lb tanks that can be refilled...

    But more often than not, where I need propane, and where propane IS in regards to a camper, or a 20lb bottle, are rarely close enough...

    Honestly, if heaters, and portable on demand showers ran on white gas or ethanol free unleaded, I wouldn't give propane a second looks due to distribution and container disposal problems.

    For now, the 5 Flame King bottles will suffice.
     
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  9. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    At the 1:03 time stamp, the commentators says "that propane gas, leaking from a 20 lbs BBQ style cylinder was ignited by the open flame of a propane space heater's pilot light". He does go on to say the "she HAD been using the 20 lbs cylinder with a coupler to transfer propane to refill a DOT 39 1 lbs cylinder". Now perhaps it was a leaky coupler but this incident comes down to human error and not the 1 lbs cylinder.

    Yes it is true that the valve and seal are not designed to be refilled, but perhaps they should be. Or, as stated above, they (the manufacturers) need to take the bottles back at the point of purchase, refurbish the bottles with a new valve and seal, and then sell them again.
     
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  10. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    My point exactly. These contain a hazardous / flamable gas. These are made of recyclable materials, but the presence of the hazardous gas, even when functionally empty makes them hazardous waste. If these were refillable then they stay, at least to a greater extent, out of the waste stream, or the MFGs should take them back, and safely recycle / refurbish and reuse them.
     
  11. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Our County has a legit HazWaste dsposal dropoff - it works great :)
     
  12. Dave Brick

    Dave Brick El Cheapo Family Camper

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    So what happens when I attach a lantern to a bottle, run it for a time, disconnect it, reconnect it the next night, disconnect again...perhaps 8 or 10 times, then disconnect again for the drive home. Do the seals "become weaker" and make it more likely I will die in a horrible accident? I kind of doubt it, or at least have never heard of such a problem. Certainly it's not against the law to do that.

    I have several bottles that have been disconnected and reconnected to stoves and lanterns numerous times, and in between they travel down the highway at 65 mph getting rocked around, then subjected to temperatures between 0-95 degrees, before going out on the road again and functioning perfectly. I just don't think they are all that fragile.

    Suppose furthermore that I only refill the 1# tanks half full or so, resulting in lower pressures and presumably decreased risk. I still have usable fuel to run a lantern or stove for a while, while saving some money and landfill space.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2021
  13. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I can say that I have had the valves on 1 or 2 NEW 1 lbs bottles fail, and that was when unscrewing it from a lantern or stove. I would assume the valve stem got stuck.
     
  14. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    1. You are splitting hairs. Disconnecting and reconnecting to a propane bottle under normal use is not the issue. Refilling 1lb bottles does not constitute normal use. There are two issues that can create issues with refilling the bottles - valves and seals.
    2. The bottles have one-way valves. They are designed for releasing propane, not repeatedly accepting propane.
    3. The seals degrade over time. Ever heard of "planned obsolescence"? Time is not on your side with the seals. Eventually they will fail even if they are not used. There is a reason that 20lb tanks have to be recertified - the seals degrade and begin to fail. But the 20lb tanks are designed be refilled repeatedly and to do this for 10 years. The 1lb tanks are not because they are designed to be a "one time use" product.

    4. Yes, they do. It is easy to find information on this if you are willing to look for it. See #3 above.
    5. Be careful when you use sarcasm. It can easily be unbecoming and can make your comments appear to have no credibility.

    6. See #3 above.
    7. I would suppose that if you really want to save money, you would just buy the adapter that allows you to run your 1lb appliances from a 20lb tank. I would suppose furthermore that if you were really concerned about landfill space, you would stop buying them altogether.
     
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  15. Grandpa Don

    Grandpa Don Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but not a 1 lb cylinder. At time mark 1:20 it clearly states that the leak was from a 20 lbs. BBQ style cylinder. The 1 lbs tanks exploded from the fire that had already started. You would think that if the DOT wanted to show the dangers of refilling these things they could have found a better example of an actual cylinder exploding. What I take away from this video is to never store any Propane cylinder anywhere near an open flame.

    Also, they do make brass screw-on cap to put on the 1.lb bottles to further decrease the dangers of a weakening or failed seal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2021
  16. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    The only way ignition is happening is if you have a flame or other source of spark and enough concentration of propane.
     
  17. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    For the isobutane cartridges they sell a piercer, which then allows it to be recycled
     
  18. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    I’m still trying to figure out how any of your argument makes a case that it is advisable to refill 1lb propane bottles.
     
  19. Dave Brick

    Dave Brick El Cheapo Family Camper

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    ALL mechanical devices will eventually fail. It is likely the 20# tank which supplied the propane causing the fire in the video you posted was within its 10 year window.

    Anyway, your point has been made. I have taken many risks in my life, some of which have saved lives. I will continue to take risks I consider acceptable. Have a good night.
     
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  20. Dave Brick

    Dave Brick El Cheapo Family Camper

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    One other thing. I already do have several adapters to run multiple devices off of a 20# tank. I mostly use them. But it is still sometimes nice to have the convenience and portability of a one pounder. Using a lantern to take a walk in the woods at night, or using a single burner backpacking stove at a remote location are a couple examples.
     

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