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Old 11-01-2008, 01:41 PM   #1
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Default Burner Tank Filling From Home Tank

I see that Harbor Freight has an adapter for filling small propane tanks from a twenty pound tank.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=45989

Has anyone seen this or used it?

It seems the concept is nice but, I want to fill my 20 pounders from my pig.

Someone must have made something at home to do this, or there must be a nice adapter available somewhere by now...

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Old 11-01-2008, 02:21 PM   #2
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Good idea but most of the domestic the bulk tanks have a vapor only valve, you need a liquid out connection for tank refill purposes. If it is a leased tank check with supplier and see if they can setup a tank with both types of valves so you can refill your portable tanks.

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Old 11-01-2008, 10:18 PM   #3
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First off it is a Federal Law Jail Time and Fine to refill those little short fat 16.4 oz propane bottles. This includes those long tall 12 (or is that 14 oz?)oz bottles for your home soldering torches. Many years ago they sold an adapter that had a thread to fit the 20 # propane bottle with the other for a specially built refillable 12 oz bottle. The 20# propane tank had to be upside down for liquid to come out not gas. The special 12 (14?) oz bottle had a bolt with tapered seat you opened to vent until liquid propane started to spurt out. Close the bleeder nut then 20# tank your refilled. This was a legal refillable 12 (14?)oz torch bottle, not a clue is they are available today, maybe another EPA bye bye item?
On these new valved 20# propane tanks they have a high flow shut off valve besides a float to prevent them from being overfilled. Next time you go to Home Depot or where ever you exchange propane bottles you'll see the sign stating 15# of propane. I saw this at a Blue Rino propane rack. Yes that's 3.75 gallons as the float inside prevents overfills but notice the $22.99 price? Your getting ripped off, the public isn't that smart in general to notice this 15 # vs the 20# bottles that have only the new valve and float installed. Same tank size just a rattle can respray with old date of manufacture on them. Now to invert one of these new style tanks with the float inside, I havn't tried it but I believe the float would shut off the inverted tank as if it was filled to the max so no liquid propane would come out at all. Someone else must have tried this and will chime in answer. My propanes only for the BBQ, homebrew by electric only.
For the last 20 years camping i'm a bad boy, a Fed Law Breaker as I have refilled the stubby 16.4 oz and 12 (14?) oz bottles. The pressure relief valve core flows in the opposite direction of that on your automobiles valve cores besides no relief on the automobiles cores. I used thin needle nose pliers to pull the valve open to vent while refilling the 16.4 oz bottles for camping. Wear a glove propane freeze will burn you. I found that if you lean the bottle over to a 45 degree you get a 75% fill for more thermal expansion gas space without the over pressure poping off. I used to hang them vertical and fill until they spurtted liquid propane. A bad idea as the little trailer I pulled would get heated up with 9,000' plus altitude one or two would pop off venting some propane by the pressure relief. Stinky camping gear mad wife thing.
I still have a couple of full 20# old valve style tanks to refill my torch bottle, I haven't checked into how to get liquid only out of the newer valve and float style tanks. Maybe someone else will chime, what the hell do I know?

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Old 11-02-2008, 04:30 PM   #4
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I have seen reference to a 'wet' line, and a pump on LPG tractor farms.

Seems if the hardware can do it, I oughta be able to, too.

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Old 11-02-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
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I bet if someone took one of those new EPA approved float / restricted safety flow valves and removed it from the 20# now advertized as 15# tank we would be able to figure what angle to tilt the valve on a full bottle. There must be a way of defeating the float to get liquid propane not gas out for refilling your smaller 16.4 oz bottles. I'm still refilling torch bottles off an old style valve 20# tank. When empty it will be another core exchange. I've picked up seven 20# old valve bottles free from friends, dumps and old trashed BBQ units at the curb side. They also make a nice tire bead blaster after welding on a 2" coupling, ball valve, nipple and dust pan nozzle. Screw tire shop mounting fees and balance jobs, do it all myself alignment included. Oops off topic just me.

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Old 11-03-2008, 12:57 PM   #6
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I looked into filling my 20's from the big tank, but it takes a different kind of tank for do a liquid fill. One of my neighbors has a farm tank, they used to have a propane tractor. There's two outlets, one on the top for the house and one on the bottom that has the standard tank fill hose.

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Old 11-04-2008, 08:37 AM   #7
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This appears to be a retrofit:
Andrew's Engineering- Propane Filling Station

Viability of adapting a standard residence tank is still unclear...
http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/b...ne-refill.html

I'll try calling someone I know to get a better understanding of the situation.

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Old 11-04-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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Looks like Andrew did a retrofit and strongly recommends against trying it unless you have experience. At the very least, you'd have to drain the tank, purge it with an inert gas, buy the right lines and fittings, weld it, test it. And then comes the hard part, getting the supplier to fill a homemade setup.

Call your propane supplier and see if they have tanks with liquid fill setups. Definitely the easiest and safest way to go.

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Old 11-04-2008, 07:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Looks like Andrew did a retrofit and strongly recommends against trying it unless you have experience. At the very least, you'd have to drain the tank, purge it with an inert gas, buy the right lines and fittings, weld it, test it. And then comes the hard part, getting the supplier to fill a homemade setup.

Call your propane supplier and see if they have tanks with liquid fill setups. Definitely the easiest and safest way to go.

I have converted many 20# propane bottles to tire bead seaters or bead blasters and welded on these tanks for friends. Took Two of them and filled with water then pumped up to 450 psi, plenty safe for 125 psi general use. Fill the bottle to the top with water, add a pilot plug for the hole saw then weld a 1/2 thickness 2" pipe coupling in place. Add a close nipple and a 2" brass ball valve. Weld short bar stock with 3/8" thread then bolt on a handle. Same process with motorcycle gas tanks but used Tig not Mig like on the bead blaster. I never had a fear while welding on all these tanks the last 40+ years.

Don't underestimate the talent, safety and ability on making modifications that Andrew did. Heck check out that modified turbo into a turbine engine. I would rather work around Andrew than 95% of the forklift drivers and the general public in that refill propane tanks. We had a problem with a wild forklift driver years ago. Back in 76 on graveyard this driver went between a 500 gallon tank and a forklift being refilled. The 1" nipple was broken off at the tank after the valve. with the corrugaters steam boiler was less than 75' away this at a Weyerhaeuser box company that became a critical moment. I was in the maintenance department. Quickly with what I had to work with only a face shield, light jacket and leather gloves I still was burned while shutting off the tank valve. Large blisters 5" diameter and larger on my arms back of hands and chest. Hospital and pain time followed. Yes I have worked on turbo coversions like Andrew besides Ram Jets with many fitting machined, modified and welded without any safety problems, just a few booms and surprise flame throwers from Ram Jets.
Done ranting, you rock Andrew.
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Last edited by BrewBeemer; 11-04-2008 at 08:39 PM.
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