More on the 1lb propane cylinders.

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by dbhost, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    The other thread on this issue has taken a few too many tangents off into some strange territory, and I wanted to cover in a more organized manner, if at all possible the main points. Please feel free to chime in as you are comfortable. Please be respectful, and constructive here.

    #1. Current pricing of the 16.4oz stubby green bottles A.K.A. DOT 39 cylinders, of propane vary wildly. Where I am at my local Wally World has them 2 for $7.59 I think it was. This is up over a dollar and half since this time last year.
    #2. DOT regulations, with the force of law behind them with huge fines and jail time backing it up prohibit the refilling of the standard DOT 39 cylinders. It is unclear if this applies to private vehicles / persons or only applies to commercial carriers.
    #3. The refilling of theDOT 39 cylidners s being common practice is covered widely through a huge assortment of youtube videos and online tutorials. Many members here claim to refill, many are against it. I am split on this issue personally. I understand there are risks to refilling, I understand there are legal risks to refilling. I understand there are risks just sitting here minding my own business as well. I will not say one way or another about the law / regulation prohibiting this, however, I will say that I like ideas where what would have been hazardous waste, or any waste, is reduced, reused, or recycled. We are all mature, enough, adults here, and we can do our own cost / benefit analysis. You do you, and I will do my thing.
    #4. There is a good bit of debate between pre chill, don't pre chill, pop the relief valve, don't pop the relief valve. I have no experience in this so I cannot say.
    #5. Spent DOT 39 cylinders are never fully spent, and thus are considered hazardous waste. Many municipalities forbid standard garbage disposal, or standard recycling of these cylinders and require they be saved until a household hazardous waste recycling event.
    #6. There are 2 alternatives to refilling DOT 39 cylinders for propane camping appliance operation. They are.
    #6a. Use a bulk tank such as a 20lb BBQ tank, with a set of hoses, and in the case of a Mr. Heater buddy heater, a fuel filter. These work great if all of your appliances are going to be used in close proximity and you have the carrying space and capacity of the bulky tank, hoses, and post.
    #6b. Refillable 16.4oz bottles and refill kit. I have heard rumors of a second MFG, but the only one I can find with any certainty is the Flame King setup. Since COVID, costs on them went up and available has been sketchy. However REI seems to have the best pricing on the kits and bottles at this current time. $44.95 for the refill kit. https://www.rei.com/product/113711/flame-king-refillable-propane-cylinder-with-refill-kit-1-lb and $14.95 for the refillable bottles.https://www.rei.com/product/113609/flame-king-refillable-propane-cylinder-1-lb with free shipping on orders over $50.00. Keep that in mind.
    #7. Flame king, or factory filled disposables, can, and do leak every so often. I have had far too many just not seal back up when I take the lantern or whatever off of the cylinder. There are gasketed brass caps made for these bottles, marketed for the refillers, but a great safety feature for those just looking to avoid problems with leaky bottles. https://amzn.to/3tNiXcG
    #8. Using a pop up camper, traditionally all of your propane appliances would be plumbed through, and installed within or fed from a quick connect to the camper itself, however there are barebones, home brewed or other pop ups that do not have this feature, and a few of us are still tenting. Not to mention there are simply appliances we may want further away from the camper. Say you have a privy tent you want away from the camper for privacy sake, You will likely want a water heater / shower and in the winter a small tent heater. I mean who wants to get out of a nice hot shower in winter into a freezing tent before you can dry off right?

    Lastly, for the most part, don't forget about GPA appliances. White gas, or ethanol free unleaded gasoline can run a stove, heater, lantern etc... The only item I can not replace with a GPA appliance is the on demand hot water heater / shower. And of course propane is easier to use as most people know how to use a gas stove at home... The concepts are more or less the same.
     
  2. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  3. curt86iroc

    curt86iroc New Member

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    I've clarified 2 of your points above. here are also several links for those who want to do their own research:

    https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/training/hazmat/phmsa-cautions-against-refilling-dot-39-cylinders
    https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CFR-2020-title49-vol3/pdf/CFR-2020-title49-vol3-part178.pdf
     
  4. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Key phrase from that document pops out to me...

    So according to public outreach materials from a Federal agency with oversight of this, the law applies to transportation in commerce. I.E. transporting refilled containers for sale...

    "Refilling and transportation in commerce of these cylinders is prohibited under federal hazardous materials regulations."
     
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  5. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    When one does research on part 178, be sure and read 178.1 Purpose and scope
    The same research on 49 chapter 51 , be sure and read 49 U.S. Code § 5103 (a & b 1 A apply to a person who—), reading c is interesting that the secretary can waive all

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Well, since I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, and I didn't even spend the night last night at a Holiday Inn Express...

    I am still going to stick with the Flame King rig. However I would be comfortable refilling for personal use knowing this.

    I wonder however. The phrase in commerce is what I am wondeing about. Say if you are a youtuber doing "Vanlife" videos but with a pop up. Uh. The early videos from Little House On the Road, or Slim Potatohead leap to mind. Say you are one of those guys that uses propane as part of their youtube channel. Would that be considered in commerce? Or would it be more like, you aren't allowed to refill these things to take somewhere else and resell them?

    Anyway I digress. This information actually is quite useful in making me more comfortable with the concept. And I get the impression that the issue is the cylinders aren't gone through with as rigorous a testing protocol as say 20lb BBQ cylinders. Maybe the leak test isn't as long or something. Who knows? Anyway I would like, succesful safe fill, capped with a gasketed cap and you should be good to go... But then again, for legal purposes I can not, nor will I officially recommend anyone do that... Kind of like the Cheap RV Living guy talking about heating with a stove, don't do it or you will die.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  7. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    No it wouldn't. The product is not being sold. They dont want large manafatures filling up these cylanders and selling them for profit. You yourlself noted how sometimes they leak and they rust. Most of the testing for the 20 lbers isnt that rigorous. Lol, they usally do an eyeball inspection and slap a sticker on it good for 5 more years.
     
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  8. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    My old 20lb tank was one of the rusty ones. The collar on the bottom of the tank was starting to rust away, so I took it in to the exchange program and got it swapped out. Not sure I got the better part of that particular deal...
     
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  9. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office

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    I still like turtles
     
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  10. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Un-Supported Member

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    As long as they are not post turtles. I dodged a box turtle on the road today.
     
  11. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I have box turtles as pets.
     
  12. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Un-Supported Member

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    Somebody is going to start another thread on turtles.
     
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  13. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I like snapping turtles.
     
  14. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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  15. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    Too bad there is no white gas equvalanent of hot water heater. The start/stop cycles would kinda suck.
     
  16. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    I ordered the refill kit. Kinda kick myself for not ordering the canisters since their not available at the moment.
     
  17. Katskamper

    Katskamper Well-Known Member

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    prices here jumped to $9 EACH for green cans. im not rich. so i got gas hoses for a big tank.
    & now i'm getting hoses for the extension pole. i will run lantern, stove & any other appliance.
     
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  18. nitrohorse

    nitrohorse Active Member

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    I bought a 5# refillable tank.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Westcoast

    Westcoast Active Member

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  20. Westcoast

    Westcoast Active Member

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    That was one of the best explanation that I have Ever Heard. Bravo!!
     
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