Should you Refill or Exchange your Propane Tank this Summer?
Whether you are preparing for a backyard barbecue or a road trip in the camper with the family – when you find that your small propane tank is empty, a decision must be made. Should you refill your propane tank, or exchange it for a new one?
The choice between propane tank exchange versus refill has two main arguments: convenience and cost savings. Without a doubt, refilling your propane tank is more cost-effective – but let’s take a closer look at the choices.
Refilling your Propane Tank – Pros and Cons
It’s cheaper. On average, it is about $1.76 per gallon cheaper to refill a propane tank versus exchanging. Refilling your own propane tank costs about $3-$4 per gallon while exchanging at a third-party retailer is usually around $5-6 per gallon.
When you refill your tank at Franger Gas, we guarantee you get a full tank every time. You will also avoid flat rate fills. That means you pay only for the gas we put in your cylinder, which we measure by weight.
Unmeasured Quantity. Sure, you know that it is propane, but you also aren’t exactly sure how much is really in it. Exchange tanks are partially empty to allow room for the gas to expand, but exchange tanks are only filled about ¾ of the way. An exchange tank is only guaranteed to be about 15 pounds out of a max of 20 pounds. A refill tank can be filled more, and the cost per gallon is quite a bit lower.
You may not be able to. If you have an older propane tank that has not been inspected in a long time, you will likely not be able to exchange it. Instead, you will be left having to purchase an entirely new tank and have it filled.
Convenience. Instead of finding a fresh tank of propane when you need it at your nearest hardware store, gas station, or grocery market, you’ll have to take your tank to a retail location set up for refills, during normally scheduled business hours.
Convenience. Exchanging your propane tank is quick and easy. You can have a spontaneous barbecue, and quickly find the propane you need just moments before guests arrive and the grilling begins. The process only requires you to drop off your old tank and pick up a new one.
Exchanged propane tanks are regularly inspected, so you’ll know that the tank you pick up has a lot of life left. Remember – Franger Gas can inspect and recertify your existing tank for you!
Less cost-efficient. Exchanging a propane tank can be less cost-efficient in several ways: higher price per gallon ($5-6 vs. $3-4 per gallon), not a full fill – and the potential of not using all of the propane prior to the exchange.
Find a Franger Gas location near you
Whether you choose to refill or exchange your propane tank, propane is the best way to fuel your summer. Propane is an affordable, easy-to-use, and efficient fuel. Contact Franger Gas today to for a propane tank refill – and don’t miss a beat in powering your summer activities!
Summer is underway, and we know you have been busy grilling! You may have been so anxious to fire up the grill, that you forgot to make sure your grill cylinder certification is up-to-date. Or maybe you only recently bought your first propane grill and the process of recertifying a propane tank is completely new to you.
Franger Gas is here to help! We can walk you through the process of recertifying your propane tank, and bring you up to speed on all there is to know.
Why does a Propane Tank need to be recertified?
Portable propane tanks like the 20 and 30 lb tanks on the front of travel trailers or connected to your grill are known as DOT cylinders, or Department of Transportation cylinders – because they are meant to be transported and carried around.
Because propane is a highly flammable liquid and gas that’s stored at a high pressure the Department of Transportation requires all portable propane tanks to be recertified periodically to make sure tanks used out on the road are safe.
So while it might seem like a simple process to take your tank to a local retailer to have it refilled when it runs dry, the process is actually monitored by the United States Department of Transportation. If you try to refill a tank that is due for recertification, you will be turned away until that tank is recertified.
How often does a Propane Tank need to be recertified?
Propane tanks are good for 12 years from the date of manufacture. After that, tanks typically need inspecting and recertification every five years. To check your tank’s status, look at the collar at the top of the tank. You’ll find the date of manufacture stamped into the collar using the typical month and year code. A tank stamped 08 18, for example, was manufactured in August 2018.
When the tank is recertified, the company certifying it will either add a sticker to the tank with the inspection date on it or stamp its own mark into the top of the cylinder. A recertified date code consists of the letter A, B, C, or D as well as a two-digit number. The letter in the code indicates the quarter, and the number signals the year that the tank was recertified. A stamp that reads B 20 indicates certification during the second quarter (April, May, or June) of the year 2020.
There are a few more things to note about the dates/tags listed on your propane tank, and how it indicates the propane inspection type performed on your tank:
If your propane tank shows only a date, with no letter following it – this is typically the manufacturing date and indicates you will need to have your propane tank recertified within 12 years of the date on the tank.
Date followed by a Letter
An “S” on the tank after the date indicates an internal hydrostatic method was used for inspection. This means you have 7 years before needing your DOT propane tank checked again.
An “E” following the date listed on your tank means the tank was inspected only visually and externally. This means you will need your propane tank inspected within five years of that date.
The codes are meant to let you and any future technicians who examine the tank know when it was last checked and in which way.
How to Recertify a Propane Tank
Now that you understand the reason and timing behind recertification – we will explain the simple process of having your propane tank recertified. You can follow these quick and easy steps and you will be back to grilling or RVing in no time!
Bring your tank to one of our refilling locations for recertification. We will inscribe your tank with the inspection date and recertification date. Note: There is a nominal fee for recertification.
Once your tank has been recertified, it’s time to get grilling!
Why Choose Franger Gas?
Recertification is necessary if you want to be able to refill your DOT propane cylinder. When it is time to refill your propane tank, there are many reasons to choose Franger Gas. In fact — you can save money every time you refill your propane tank at Franger Gas.
Exchanging cabinets at a nearby store might seem convenient. But you usually don’t get a full cylinder when you replace your tank at one of those cages.
Refill your grill tank at Franger Gas to guarantee you get a full tank every time. You’ll also avoid flat rate fills. That means you pay only for the gas we put in your cylinder, which we measure by weight.
For more information on re-certifying your propane tank, contact us!