Tank Exchanges… Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Fun Fact:  Did you know when you use a propane tank exchange you are not getting a full tank of propane?

While tank exchanges are SUPER convent, they are not cost effective! One report from 2009 claimed “15 pounds of propane where being put into a 20 pound tanks” (Toledo Blade). That’s a lot of propane you’re missing.

It has been our experience that the majority of our customers hardly ever bring us a completely empty tank. So imagine if that same customer just traded in or gave away that extra propane in exchange for a 3/4 full tank! It just doesn’t make sense.

Not to mention that a decent portion of these exchange tanks are… well.. let’s say less than desirable for safety reasons. Most of the time these tanks have hidden rust and corrosion damage as well as not up to standard safety inspections done on them.  Because the filling method used by the supplier sometimes damages the valve outlet and causes the connection to leak when attached to your grill or appliance.

So, yes are tank exchanges really convenient? Sure! Are you saving any money or time? NOPE.

According to state weights and measures and fair business practice the place where you get your propane filled should only charge you for what you get.  If you have three pounds of propane in your cylinder when you go there for a fill, they should only charge you for 17lbs. not 20lbs.  So how is it that if you trade in a half full cylinder for exchange that you must pay the full price for the exchanged tank.  Or the the fill station who charges a flat rate to fill your tank when it’s half full. WHY?????

Another hint of advise we can give is to call and check with other local propane suppliers or fill stations to see what the price is per pound that day! You might find that those chain places that you go (you know because it’s close and you’ve always gone there) usually charge about .20 higher than you local mom and pop place.

Also there are some deceptive filling stations that charge by the gallon, well just for your knowledge a 20lb. propane cylinder (grill cylinder) holds 4.2 gallons and they are required to weigh the cylinder by weight to determine if there is any propane still in the cylinder. So if they fill your cylinder and it has 1lb. of propane still in it and they attempt to put 4.2 gallons into it, it will be dangerously overfilled.

And just another FYI, the OPD valves shut off when the tank is overfilled. At 90 degrees F, that overfilled tank will expel propane into your trunk and I don’t need to tell you what a car full of propane vapor does when the dome light comes on.  And if you don’t know any other place besides that non-certified chain facility, we suggest Google…

You’re Welcome,






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