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Old 06-15-2015, 02:07 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
I think you must mean pounds left in the tank. Assuming propane weighs the same as water or 10 pounds +- per gallon.
It's easy to weigh an empty tank and a full tank and get an idea of whats in a questionable tank.
Once I had a tank filled and it took 4.8 U.S. gallons. One of the times I unknowingly refilled a tank when it had still propane in it, it took 3.3 gallons. On that occasion I had picked up the tank, swished it around, and still couldn't tell it had propane in it. On that occasion I even used the expensive Dometic gas checker gizmo and it still fooled me. Guess I used it wrong.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:11 PM   #42
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That thing doesn't work very well, or at least mine doesn't. It will show half-green half-red sometimes, and since I don't know what that means I will move the lever to the other tank when the first one still has propane in it. It has fooled me more than once.
Hi Mike . I believe if you have 2 tanks turn them both on when you want to use . we have automatic changeover and it has worked for me . if you think one tank is empty it will be totally red . It will if you have both tanks turned on switched over . When you see this flip your lever over to other tank . If it is not totally red it is not empty yet . I know it was confusing for me at first but actually is a great system . That front gauge is telling you if it is time to refill . All you need to do is turn both on so it can operate automatically . Hope this helps . Pat
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:37 PM   #43
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I was wrong, I just checked the Internet and a gallon of propane weighs 4.24 lbs. a gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs. In Canada, where metric is used a litre of water weighs one kilo or 2.2 pounds. A litre of propane weighs just over half a kilo.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:40 PM   #44
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This points out a second advantage of refilling tanks. I noticed this "flip over" occurs before the tank is completely empty, probably using a pressure sensor. When refilling your tanks you retain this residual.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:55 PM   #45
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I think we're nickle and dimeing the point here. The biggest issue, for me anyway, is the inconvenience of an empty tank. The tank swap gives me a safe, painted , 80 percent full tank in about a minute. I've waited for half an hour to get a tank filled before.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:12 PM   #46
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The RV Doctor: Testing a Propane Automatic Changeover Valve
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:50 PM   #47
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To keep you from lifting too much the exchange tanks are only filled with 15 pounds of propane, rather than the capacity of 20 pounds
I assume that this is said firmly tongue-in-cheek, as it's not our backs they're trying to save!

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Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
For safety reasons that's as full as I want a propane tank. Fill a tank in rainy Vancouver 22 degrees, drive to Osoyoose where its 36 degrees and you may wish your tank was only 80 percent filled due to expansion.
A "20 pound" tank with 20 pounds of propane in it is only 80% full by volume. No semi-competent fill operator will put in more, and it would be tough to do even deliberately with the idiot-resistant Overfill Prevention Device, although I'm sure it was done in the past. 20 pounds is the design capacity, allowing for 20% empty space in the tank (it would take 25 pounds of propane to completely fill the space in the tank). There is no safety issue with putting all of the 20 pounds in.

Quote:
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The tank swap gives me a safe, painted , 80 percent full tank in about a minute.
A tank fill may take longer, but it also gives you an 80% (by volume) filled tank. The swap typically gives you from 15 to 17 pounds of propane, so it is 60% to 72% full by volume.

Exchange tanks are painted (and usually wrapped in a plastic sleeve which should be removed), but they are not recertified. It is arguable where or not the repainting is of much value, but they are clean and nice looking.

The waiting is usually for someone "qualified" to fill a tank to be available. If the swap can be done by any store clerk, there's less likely to be a wait; if only one guy has the keys to the exchange cage, it may be just as slow. I'm guessing that swapping is normally much faster.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:01 PM   #48
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Very interesting. Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:07 PM   #49
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Exchange program
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Old 06-15-2015, 04:24 PM   #50
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Quote:
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Just to be clear, when this supplier says
Quote:
Our cylinders are filled at no more than 80% of their capacity. (Code can/cga-b149.2)
... they mean that the 8 kilograms (as shown on their label) that they put in is "no more than" (and in fact much less than) what would fill the tank to 80% of it's total volume. I think it's hilarious that they celebrate "20 year" (of something) on the label in the photo, just coincidentally on a product that consumers expect to contain 20 pounds... but doesn't.

8 kg = 17.6 lbs = 70% of the tank volume (= what they think they can get away with)
9.1 kg = 20 lb = 80% of tank volume (= full)

Some exchange suppliers have actually put in 9 kg, although I haven't seen this for a while.

A common supplier of exchange tanks is Blue Rhino. They've been underfilling for a very long time, and are perhaps the most extreme (worst). From their FAQ
Quote:
Inflationary pressures, including the volatile costs of steel, diesel fuel, and propane, have had a significant impact on the cylinder exchange industry. In 2008, to help control these rising costs, Blue Rhino followed the example of other consumer products companies with a product content change. We reduced the amount of propane in our tanks from 17 pounds to 15 pounds.
Yep, after years of selling 17 pounds in a 20-pound tank, they now sell them with only 3/4 of the contents they should have, to make it look like they were not increasing their price. "New, improved, smaller box of cereal for the same old price!"
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