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Old 01-19-2021, 09:10 AM   #1
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Propane Class Action

I'm fairly sure everyone knows by now that Blue Rhino pre filled tanks are short the full 20 lbs of propane when they buy them. Blue Rhino tanks have always been short the full 20 lbs by filling them to 17 lbs.

Well, AmeriGas and Blue Rhino have been sued for reducing the amount of propane in its pre-filled tanks from 17 lbs to 15 lbs while keeping the price the same and AmeriGas is settling the suit. The Blue Rhino suit is still ongoing.

Customers that bought these tanks between Dec. 1, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2020 are eligible to make a claim against this settlement.

https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-...on-settlement/

https://propanesettlement.com/Conten...y%20Notice.pdf
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Old 01-19-2021, 02:41 PM   #2
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I may be incorrect but if memory serves me right the Casita manual recommend only filling propane tanks to 80% capacity to prevent harm to the regulator, which would be to 16lbs.
It used to bother me to only be getting 15 lbs. and would bring my tanks to be filled locally until I bought the Casita, then I just considered it a margin of safety.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:07 PM   #3
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In one of the links to the class action, it refers to these being 25 lb tanks and are certified to be filled to 80% which is 20 lb.
Anyone that has exchanged tanks vs filling them has always known they were being shorted on the exchange tanks so good they are getting called out.
It will be hard to fill in the claim form, cause not many people kept receipts of their propane purchases for the last 10 years. Guess you can estimate and get the $2.50 #.

Update:
I just tried to file a claim and you have to put each purchase since 2009 whether receipted or not with massive amounts of info for each transaction on an excel spreadsheet to upload. I don't know what folks time is worth, but at $2.50 per entry I can make much more spending an hour selling stuff on eBay. They've got this rigged so there won't be many claims filed.
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Old 01-19-2021, 05:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Greatboatz3 View Post
I may be incorrect but if memory serves me right the Casita manual recommend only filling propane tanks to 80% capacity to prevent harm to the regulator, which would be to 16lbs.
The "20 pound" capacity is the amount of propane which the tank will hold when filled with liquid to 80% of the tank volume. Overfilling propane cylinders (tanks) is bad for the regulator, but that's not the reason for the limit: overfilled propane tanks vent propane if the tank gets warm enough, and vent liquid in the most extreme case. If the vent fails a tank solidly filled with liquid will burst if the temperature increases enough.

20 pounds is the correct and safe amount of propane for "20 pound" tanks, such as those provided with travel trailers and used for home grills.

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Originally Posted by Greatboatz3 View Post
It used to bother me to only be getting 15 lbs. and would bring my tanks to be filled locally until I bought the Casita, then I just considered it a margin of safety.
This was never a margin of safety - it is just short-changing the customer. Competent dispensers will put 20 pounds of propane into an empty tank; most tank exchange companies underfill tanks so they can fill them rapidly on an assembly line without even checking the weight, and some (Blue Rhino) put even less in because they can get away with it and suckers still pay for the 3/4-full tank.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:01 PM   #5
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I expect 20 lbs for an empty tank. Not 18 or 17 or 15. 20 lbs is the designed capacity.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The "20 pound" capacity is the amount of propane which the tank will hold when filled with liquid to 80% of the tank volume. Overfilling propane cylinders (tanks) is bad for the regulator, but that's not the reason for the limit: overfilled propane tanks vent propane if the tank gets warm enough, and vent liquid in the most extreme case. If the vent fails a tank solidly filled with liquid will burst if the temperature increases enough.

20 pounds is the correct and safe amount of propane for "20 pound" tanks, such as those provided with travel trailers and used for home grills.


This was never a margin of safety - it is just short-changing the customer. Competent dispensers will put 20 pounds of propane into an empty tank; most tank exchange companies underfill tanks so they can fill them rapidly on an assembly line without even checking the weight, and some (Blue Rhino) put even less in because they can get away with it and suckers still pay for the 3/4-full tank.
Thanks for explaining that.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:37 PM   #7
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In one of the links to the class action, it refers to these being 25 lb tanks and are certified to be filled to 80% which is 20 lb.
That's unfortunate wording by the lawyers in that linked description. These were never "25 lb tanks" - a cylinder is never described by the weight of product it would hold if over-filled.

They are roughly 5.8 USgal or 22 L in volume; this is normally stamped on the collar of the cylinder. Often (especially in cylinders made for the U.S. market) the volume is described by "water capacity" (marked as "WC" in the stampings on the collar), which is the weight of water which the cylinder would hold if completely filled (which is far more than 25 pounds because water is much more dense than propane - about 48 pounds).

Given the density of liquid propane and the rule to fill 80% of volume, the correct fill amount can be calculated from that volume... and it will be 20 pounds.
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:16 PM   #8
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well they got me several times .Of course I cant remember the dates of purchase for the class action case . The good new is these company will think twice about doing it again.
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Old 01-19-2021, 11:36 PM   #9
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Mentioning "WC" brings back memory of a very old Jack Paar joke that was both creative and very funny, but the network's reaction caused Paar to quit the show. Anyone else old enough?
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:47 PM   #10
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propane weighs 4.24 pounds per gallon, the tank holds 4.77 gallons at 80% capacity, so 4.77
gallons times 4.24 pounds per gallon is approx 20 pounds. the tare weight of the tank is approx 17 to 18 pounds, so when full should weigh 37 to 38 pounds.
when they fill the tank, the proper procedure is to place the tank on a scale so they know when it's full, 37 to 38 pounds. also, they should open the overfill screw which will release propane when the tank reaches 80% of capacity.

I know all this because I had a vendor overfill my tank. I watched the volume meter go to 4.7 gallons, then he closed the overfill screw, and continued to fill the tank to 5.3 gallons. I thought it strange but didn't know enough to challenge him. however, I did contact the state, and talked with a very knowledgeable propane inspector. overfilling is dangerous, and can damage the regulator, and as mentioned earlier, can cause an explosion. needless to say, the state was very interested in my experience and will be visiting the refill station and their supplier. cheers
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
That's unfortunate wording by the lawyers in that linked description. These were never "25 lb tanks" - a cylinder is never described by the weight of product it would hold if over-filled.

They are roughly 5.8 USgal or 22 L in volume; this is normally stamped on the collar of the cylinder. Often (especially in cylinders made for the U.S. market) the volume is described by "water capacity" (marked as "WC" in the stampings on the collar), which is the weight of water which the cylinder would hold if completely filled (which is far more than 25 pounds because water is much more dense than propane - about 48 pounds).

Given the density of liquid propane and the rule to fill 80% of volume, the correct fill amount can be calculated from that volume... and it will be 20 pounds.
Actually before the OPD requirement I had a 25 lb tank...it was a bit taller and stumped the filling places almost every time!
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:12 PM   #12
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Actually before the OPD requirement I had a 25 lb tank...it was a bit taller and stumped the filling places almost every time!
A good reason to not describe 20-pound tanks as 25-pounds tanks!

There are lots of ways to go wrong in filling propane tanks. In Canada they are generally filled by weight, which is good except that if you have a lighter-than-normal tank (such as one made of aluminum or fiberglass) it will likely be overfilled. The operator is supposed to check the tare weight and capacity to determine the filled weight, and fill to that weight, but I would be shocked to see anyone actually do that. They're all supposed to be trained to fill tanks properly, but most of them don't do any of it. If it looks like it holds 20 pounds of propane, it will be filled to a total of about 37 pounds; if the tank only weighs 13 pounds, it will be massively over-filled.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:13 PM   #13
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... the tare weight of the tank is approx 17 to 18 pounds, so when full should weigh 37 to 38 pounds.
when they fill the tank, the proper procedure is to place the tank on a scale so they know when it's full, 37 to 38 pounds. also, they should open the overfill screw which will release propane when the tank reaches 80% of capacity.
Sure, except that not all portable tanks even have an 80% bleed valve.
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:34 PM   #14
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the state inspector said from time to time the tube that goes into the tank and drains it at the 80% level can break off and fall to the bottom of the tank. so, if your tank is defective, the 80% overfill value maybe doesn't work. I guess that's why they're supposed to weigh the tank. as stated above, lots of ways to go wrong. cheers
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Old 03-01-2021, 05:54 PM   #15
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the state inspector said from time to time the tube that goes into the tank and drains it at the 80% level can break off and fall to the bottom of the tank. so, if your tank is defective, the 80% overfill value maybe doesn't work. I guess that's why they're supposed to weigh the tank. as stated above, lots of ways to go wrong.
I think that the weight method is used because it works the best, and because some tanks don't have the 80% bleed valve. The possibility of an equipment failure is a good reason to have a primary fill control method and a backup: for a portable tank here the primary is normally weight and the backup is the Overfill Prevention Device (OPD); for a fixed tank the primary is the stop-fill device in the tank valve body and the backup is an 80% bleed valve.

Incompetent and irresponsible operators (such as the one that I encountered in B.C.) may use the OPD as the primary method, with no backup.

Once a kid working at a truck & RV stop filled by motorhome's tank depending on the stop-fill device (which is okay), and opened the bleed valve as a backup (correct)... but was so distracted by the girl he was "training" that he walked away after completing the fill with the bleed valve still open. If I hadn't been watching the entire tank contents would have bled off over time, and there would have been no way to notice it while driving. I watch what they're doing, every time.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:02 PM   #16
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He must have been watching the girl who looked at my 5 lb. tank, threw her hands in the air and told me she couldn't fill it. She'd only been taught the bare minimum needed to fill a 20 lb.
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