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Old 11-24-2014, 02:20 PM   #1
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Propane levels

Hi folks:
It happens that at the Husky gas station in 3rd Ave. in North Van, there is a sign at the propane dispenser that they can not fill up a propane thank beyond 80% capacity,
Any of You have seen something like this in other propane dispensers? (Not Me) The reason of My question is because if a 20 pounds propane thank is filled only to the 80% capacity that will make it a 16 pound capacity cylinder, is not supposed to be that the security margin is already taken in to consideration by the manufacturer and should be filled to the 20 pound capacity?

Please leave Your thoughts and thanks in advance for Your comments.

G. Clatz.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:45 PM   #2
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Because of the 80% fill rule
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
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I believe that the tank is at 80 per cent capacity when it contains 20 lbs of propane.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Because of the 80% fill rule
Thank You Vermilye:
I understand the expancion which increases the volume, mostly in hot weather shouldn't that be considered by the manufacturer to get Net wheight?
We still pay for 20 pounds when We actually get only 16.
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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Hi: gclatz... The Pioneer here in town puts the cylinder on a scale to fill. weighs the empty one first then hangs a weight on the balance beam and fills to the tipping point. They charge by weight.
Thanks for reminding me!!! I need to fill one tank before heading south. Alf
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I believe that the tank is at 80 per cent capacity when it contains 20 lbs of propane.
Thank You gbaglo: that will be the right thing to do since We pay for what We get.
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by escape artist View Post
Hi: gclatz... The Pioneer here in town puts the cylinder on a scale to fill. weighs the empty one first then hangs a weight on the balance beam and fills to the tipping point. They charge by weight.
Thanks for reminding me!!! I need to fill one tank before heading south. Alf
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Thank You escape artist:
The Pioneer here does it just the same, but when the cylinder is empty they just charge You for 20 pounds, however if is only 80% that will be only 16 pounds paying a premium of 4 pounds each time We fill up...? (Perhaps)
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gclatz View Post
We still pay for 20 pounds when We actually get only 16.
You are assuming that your 20 lb. tank can only hold 20 lbs. if filled to 100 per cent.
In fact, it holds 20 lbs when filled to 80 per cent capacity.

Given that the government sends inspectors around to ensure the gas pumps are accurate, how long do you think Husky could get away with charging for 20 lbs. and delivering less?
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:16 PM   #9
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If you look at the propane tank you will find a number like T - 8.0 KG. That is the tare weight ( the weight of an empty container ).
When the tank has been filled it will weigh 37.6 lbs. 20 lbs of propane and 17.6 pounds of container.
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:17 PM   #10
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
You are assuming that your 20 lb. tank can only hold 20 lbs. if filled to 100 per cent.
In fact, it holds 20 lbs when filled to 80 per cent capacity.

Given that the government sends inspectors around to ensure the gas pumps are accurate, how long do you think Husky could get away with charging for 20 lbs. and delivering less?
I am not assuming I am asking and not incriminating Husky, In My first post I ask if that capacity was taken in to consideration by the manufacturer hence the response of the 80% fill rule table given by vermilye, accordingly to You that expansion is taken in to consideration by the manufacturer accordingly with the 80% rule it is not, since there is a margin of safety.
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PS: if the 80% rule is accurate We are paying a premium.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:25 PM   #12
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Out here in California the tanks are filled by volume, not weight. I've never seen a scale at a propane station.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by santacruzer View Post
Out here in California the tanks are filled by volume, not weight. I've never seen a scale at a propane station.
Thank You santacruzer: and Your tanks are filled up at what percentage of the volume?
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:46 PM   #14
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Filled to 80% of volume capacity, as far as I know. I believe the mechanisms inside the tank start overflowing at that point, and it's when the operator turns it off. It may be semantics, but I consider the tank full, since it can't be filled any further.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I believe that the tank is at 80 per cent capacity when it contains 20 lbs of propane.
Yes, that is correct: it contains 20 pounds of propane when 80% of the tank contains liquid and the remaining 20% contains vapour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gclatz View Post
I understand the expancion which increases the volume, mostly in hot weather shouldn't that be considered by the manufacturer to get Net wheight?
We still pay for 20 pounds when We actually get only 16.
The 80%=20 pounds level is based on a standard temperature. If you fill by volume in the tank you would get less when it is hot. If filling by weight, this doesn't matter (you still get 20 pounds, and the level is a bit higher); if filling until the 80% level is reached, then you'll get less. If you are charged by actual amount (rather than a fixed price for a tank), then the meter should be temperature-compensated so you still pay for only what you get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gclatz View Post
The Pioneer here does it just the same, but when the cylinder is empty they just charge You for 20 pounds, however if is only 80% that will be only 16 pounds paying a premium of 4 pounds each time We fill up...? (Perhaps)
No - the fill to 80% of the tank volume is 20 pounds...
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
You are assuming that your 20 lb. tank can only hold 20 lbs. if filled to 100 per cent.
In fact, it holds 20 lbs when filled to 80 per cent capacity.
Again, correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by santacruzer View Post
Out here in California the tanks are filled by volume, not weight. I've never seen a scale at a propane station.
This varies by region. Anywhere I've filled a portable propane cylinder, the fill amount is checked by weight.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:06 PM   #16
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It's a per gallon charge...just like gasoline. I pay for what they put into the bottle, even if the bottle is only capable of being filled to 80% of capacity. I don't recall the cost per gallon, it varies from station to station.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santacruzer View Post
Filled to 80% of volume capacity, as far as I know. I believe the mechanisms inside the tank start overflowing at that point, and it's when the operator turns it off.
  1. When filling by weight, the operator should shut it of when 20 pounds of propane is reached.
  2. When filling without monitoring weight, the liquid level port should be opened: this is a small valve connected to a tube with its open end in the cylinder at the 80% level. When the port starts spitting liquid, the fill is stopped.
In either case, modern small propane cylinders have an Overfill Prevention Device (or OPD), which is a valve that is closed by a float when the 80% level is reached. This is a safety backup, not the primary method of monitoring fill level.

By either method, when the liquid level reaches 80% of the tank volume, the tank is full.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:14 PM   #18
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The 80%=20 pounds level is based on a standard temperature. If you fill by volume in the tank you would get less when it is hot. If filling by weight, this doesn't matter (you still get 20 pounds, and the level is a bit higher); if filling until the 80% level is reached, then you'll get less. If you are charged by actual amount (rather than a fixed price for a tank), then the meter should be temperature-compensated so you still pay for only what you get.
.[/QUOTE]

Thank You Brian: this answer clarifies My question. a temperature compensated meter should be standard in every dispenser.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by gclatz View Post
PS: if the 80% rule is accurate We are paying a premium.
No, we are paying for what we get, regardless of the size of the container. A common propane tank is called a 20-pound tank because it holds 20 pounds of propane when filled to the proper level. We get 20 pounds, and we pay for 20 pounds. I think that's 4.6 US gallons, so santacruzer gets a receipt showing that his 20 pounds is 4.6 gallons, although the tank is bigger than that (about 5.8 US gallons), because that's what they correctly put in.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by gclatz View Post
a temperature compensated meter should be standard in every dispenser.
I agree, if a volume meter is used. In Canada, both gasoline and propane meters are temperature-compensated. I know that is some states gasoline meters are not temperature-compensated, but I would expect propane to expand more with temperature than gasoline. It will say on the meter, often expressed as a label that says something like "gallons at 65 degrees F" (or whatever the standard temperature might be down there - it's 15 C here).
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