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Author Topic: Propane tank 80% fill?  (Read 6463 times)
Dan1007
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« on: January 03, 2011, 07:35:33 PM »

My Jayco has a sticker by the propane tank stating "Do not fill propane container to more than 80% capacity. Failure to do so may result in a fire or personal injury."  Does anyone worry about this or should I just have it filled up?
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Young Jayco Owners
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2011, 07:57:15 PM »

As I understand a tank is desined to hold 20 pounds (or 30 if you have the larger) of liquid propane (as it is liquid for storing and then is vaporised for consumtion for grills and other items.... as you use your propane tank the propane liquid has a chemical reaction with the air that is getting in to equalise the tank and turns into a vapor the more air that is let in...

To start this vaporization prosses the top of the tank will have some air in it so that when you start to draw you wont draw strait liquid and hence this is where you get your 20% empty and 80% full ratio.....

Just use this a a general rule.. each propane tank has a tare weight on it usually 18.5 is normal or right around it.

when you take it to be filled just make sure the person who fills it sets the scale to the correct tare weight or adds the tare weight + 20 pounds (or 30) when the scale tips he should shut it off simple as that

On a side note if you go to one of your local hardware stores and or gas station and do the swap out program they are usually only 15 to 18 pounds full though you will be paying the same if you go get it refilled

For me to get my 20 pound propane tank refilled it costs me $21.xx and if I go to the gas station/hardware store and do the swap it usually costs the same about 21.xx, so whatever you pick just remember taking it to get refilled will always be more economical :)

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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2011, 08:59:04 PM »

My Jayco has a sticker by the propane tank stating "Do not fill propane container to more than 80% capacity. Failure to do so may result in a fire or personal injury."  Does anyone worry about this or should I just have it filled up?

I sure wouldn't do it....and if you can find a fill station that's willing to do this for you, I'd be amazed.
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TooManyTents
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011, 09:36:04 PM »

My Jayco has a sticker by the propane tank stating "Do not fill propane container to more than 80% capacity. Failure to do so may result in a fire or personal injury."  Does anyone worry about this or should I just have it filled up?

You don't have to worry about it because any 5-gal (ie 20 lb) propane tank that is legal to fill has an overfill protection valve that won't let the tank fill more than 80% full.   "Filled up" is 80% full.  No worries.
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Dan1007
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 09:51:39 PM »

Thanks for the answers.  I didn't want to exchange the tank because they seem to run low way too quickly, and the guys at the gas stations don't usually seem all that competent.  I think I'll find an equipment rental place or hardware store where they seem to know what they are doing.  I'm glad to know that full has always actually been 80%!  I just happened to notice the sticker and didn't really know what it meant.
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Oz and Us
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011, 07:39:09 AM »

On the collar of your propane tank you'll find several stampings, including either T or TW which is the tare weight or empty weight of the tank ... it will vary slightly from one manufacturer to another but is usually around 17.6 lbs or so for a "20 lb" steel propane tank.  Also on the collar you'll find a stamping WC which is the Water Capacity of the tank, meaning the weight of how much water would be in the tank if it were filled to 100% capacity.  For a "20 lb" propane tank this WC will typically be around 47.6 lbs ... multiply the WC by 42% and you'll have the weight of propane in the tank when it's properly filled to capacity i.e. 80%.  For example, the 20 lb tank I use on my deck to power my Baby Q here at the house has a WC of 47.6, so 47.6 x 42% = 19.992 lbs.  Add that to the tank's tare weight (as stamped on the collar) and you'll know just how much a "full" tank of propane should weigh if correctly filled to 80% capacity of the tank ... you'll find it's around 37 lbs or so.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 09:15:00 AM by Oz and Us » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 01:35:02 PM »

Even the 500 gallon propane tank at home is only filled to 80%.  As was said, there needs to be room to for the LP gas.  I have never weighed the 20 pound tank after the dealer filled it.  I do know that they use a scale, and they charge a flat rate for that size tank.  If it is not empty, you don't get any credit for the gas still in it.

The only time we used an exchange tank was when we went to Yellowstone.  I was afraid of running out of propane and having to give up a nice new tank for an exchange tank.  Every KOA we stayed at had a place to refill tanks.

The LP dealer told me that you get the most efficient burn when the tank is about 1/2 full.  I don't know if that is true.

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TooManyTents
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2011, 04:23:28 PM »

Even the 500 gallon propane tank at home is only filled to 80%.  As was said, there needs to be room to for the LP gas.  I have never weighed the 20 pound tank after the dealer filled it.  I do know that they use a scale, and they charge a flat rate for that size tank.  If it is not empty, you don't get any credit for the gas still in it.

Ouch!  That's the expensive way to fill your tank.  In my neck of the woods, U-Haul and several gas stations all sell propane.  The bulk tank has a meter and you pay by the gallon, no matter how little your tank needs.  I've taken the wrong tank in by mistake and put 1 gal in the tank and that's all I paid for.

Good news - lately propane is a fair amount less per gallon than gasoline.
The last time I filled my tank was a busy Saturday at the gas station.  I was third in line with my two 30-lb propane tanks (taking a total of 5 gals between them).  The guy at the station said he'd sole 240 gals of propane that day, in nothing larger than my 7.5 gal tanks.   That's a lot of partially filled tanks!
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2011, 05:56:36 AM »

"Do not fill propane container to more than 80% capacity." 

80% CAPACITY = ~ 20lbs = a full tank.
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