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!
Switching your propane provider to Franger Gas is simple and rewarding. In just three easy steps, you can have the best propane service around:
1. Sign up with Franger Gas.
After choosing to end your existing contract with your old provider, take a minute to enjoy the decision to switch from a company that doesn’t care about its customers to one that does. You’ll need to contact us to let us know exactly what you will need, such as a new tank or lease agreement on one of ours. If you already own your tank, get an online quote for our Guaranteed Pricing Program, or talk to one of our specialists at (574) 266-2118.
2. Schedule propane tank set up and installation.
If you do not already own a tank, your new propane tank will be provided for you. We will schedule a tank set up when you call us. This is the first step when a customer is changing companies. We will unhook the old company propane tank, move it aside to where they can retrieve it and then set our propane tank in its place. Then, the outgoing company can come and remove their equipment. Tank set up is always done before removal to eliminate a gap in service for the the customer.
Step 3. Enjoy the switch to Franger Gas.
You’ll get exceptional customer service that you can’t find at big companies. You’ll talk to a real person. We understand that when it comes to your home, you want personal service from a local business you can trust. With Franger Gas, you’ll always have someone there to help you with your needs. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re dealing with a company that’s been in business for over 75 years. You won’t regret your choice to switch propane companies to Franger Gas!
Franger Gas is a family-owned propane company that provides top-quality service to residential, commercial, and wholesale customers in the Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan areas. We are committed to providing our customers with outstanding customer service from a team of experts who care about you. We strive to live up to our motto: Large Enough To Serve, Small Enough To Care.
Let’s face it. Without a propane tank that works, your outdoor grill is just shiny yard art. That’s why it’s important to make sure your grill – and its gas supply – are in good shape and ready for barbecue time.
Here are tips to keep you cooking along this summer.
Stake out a safe zone. Choose the right spot for your grill away from structures, deck railings and overhangs, including trees and bushes. Outdoor grills cause an average of 10,600 home fires each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Avoid becoming a statistic by using your grill in a well-ventilated area.
Check for leaks. When your garden hose springs a leak, it’s fairly obvious. Not so with the compact propane tank for your grill. Before lighting a burner, take a moment to check your cylinder for dents, damage, rust or worn areas that can cause gas to trickle out. Also take a few sniffs around the tank and grill area. Propane has an odorant added to it that smells like rotten eggs. If you detect a foul odor, do not ignite anything!
Use a leak detection solution. Lightly spray a simple solution of dish soap and water on the valve and hose to make sure they are leak-free. If you see bubbles around the connections, get the system repaired before you use it again.
Keep a clean grill. Grease buildup fuels flame flare-ups that can easily get out of control. Avoid grill fires by cleaning your grill before each use. A quick brushing over the grates will help food cook more evenly and even taste better.
Pay attention. Grill fires happen quickly. That’s why you need to keep an eye on the grill as you cook. If a fire flares up inside your grill, turn off the gas tank immediately. That will cut the fuel supply to the fire. Remember to leave the lid open until the flare-up burns off.
Avoid a refill run. You aren’t going to drive far on a flat tire. That’s when a spare comes in handy. Same is true with fuel for your grill. With an extra tank on hand, you can make a quick swap and keep on cooking.
Get what you pay for. Exchange cabinets at the nearby store may be convenient. But oftentimes you pay a flat rate for a less-than-full tank. Make sure you get a full grill tank by refilling cylinders at Franger Gas. We weigh your tank every time, so you know you pay only for the gas in your cylinder.
Refill your grill tank 5 times with at least 15 pounds at Franger Gas and get up to 20 pounds FREE with your next refill.
Remember – size matters. Get the right tank that fits your needs. Steel cylinders from Franger Gas range in size from 5 to 100 pounds.
Save on refills!
Get 20 pounds of propane gas FREE!
Refill your grill tank 5 times at Franger Gas with at least 15 pounds of propane. Your
next refill – up to 20 pounds – is on us.
Prepare your Propane Tank for Winter with these tips from Franger Gas
In Indiana and Michigan, our home heating customers know two things for sure about the winter months – winters here are brutal, and propane does the job when it comes to keeping your family warm.
Because propane is such an effective way of heating your home, it’s easy to forget the practical steps you can take to be sure your propane tank keeps you warm all season long. Your peace of mind is important to Franger Gas, and the last thing we want is for any of our residential propane service customers to find themselves without heat as the temperatures drop.
We’ve got a simple propane checklist you can follow to ensure you and your family stay warm this winter! Here are some of the basics:
Some small steps can help make sure your heating system is good to go before the cold temperatures arrive. Don’t get left out in the cold!
But, will my propane freeze?
Even with propane checklist complete, this is often a question we still hear from customers. “Will my propane freeze this winter in extreme cold?”
It gets very cold around here (Polar Vortex, anyone?) – so we get it. But, rest easy, because that answer is no. Propane’s freezing point is actually -306.4˚, and even if you are living next door to Santa Claus himself, you aren’t going to see those temperatures. That temperature only happens in a science lab. Rest assured you will not have to worry about your Liquid Propane Gas (LP Gas) freezing from outside temps this winter.
What then should you worry about? Your main concern this winter is actually the loss of vapor pressure in your tank.
Is low pressure that big of a problem? How do I avoid it?
Like all liquids, propane contracts in the cold. When it does, the volume of liquid propane in your tank shrinks – and that means a loss of pressure. The colder it is outside, the lower the pressure will be in your tank. If the pressure gets too low, propane won’t be able to reach your gas burner, or heat your home.
So how do you avoid low pressure problems this winter?
It’s easy with a few simple tips from Franger Gas.
Simply being mindful of your propane tank is the best way to avoid a problem this winter. Franger Gas offers our popular AutoFill Servicethat will keep your tank full all times. Have questions about propane needs this winter, or want to sign up for our Auto Fill program? Call us today at (574) 264-2118.
The single best thing you can do to protect your propane tank in freezing temperatures is to keep it full. It is number one in our Winter Propane Checklist, and its number one here too – for good reason. Never let your propane tank level fall below 20%. Don’t wait – call us to schedule your LP Delivery when your tank gauge reads 30%. And, If you ever find yourself without propane,read tips on what to do here.
Put a pole, stake or marker of some kind near your tank in the ground. Make sure the marker is tall enough to be seen over snowfall and drifts; this will help you (and your propane delivery driver) find the tank in heavy snow.
Clear snowfall off your tank as soon as you can. This lets sunlight reach your tank and add much needed warmth. A snow-covered tank will actually be colder than the outside temperature.
Turn down your thermostat. Decreasing the temperature in your house, even a little, will lessen the time your propane heating system is on, and allows the pressure in the tank to build.
NEVER use an open flame or electrical device near a propane tank. Accidents involving “heating” a tank to boost pressure are not uncommon. Just don’t try it. Trust us.
NEVER cover up your tank. This isn’t warming your tank at all. It PREVENTS the sun from reaching your propane tank, making the problem worse.