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Old 01-28-2013, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default Blue Rhino Capacity

I understand that Blue Rhino tanks have an overfill protection valve built in. At what point does this device activate? Anyone ever get a true 20lbs in a modern BR tank with OPV?

They say that these tanks can safely be filled to 80% capacity. Some 16# is the most they will hold while others say they can be filled to 20#.

How much are you guys squeezing in these tanks?

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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Where I bring my tanks they fill by weight but right as the scale tips is when the overfill valve spews.

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Old 01-28-2013, 08:55 PM   #3
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Where I bring my tanks they fill by weight but right as the scale tips is when the overfill valve spews.
You ever calculate this weight?
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:55 PM   #4
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I did a bit of research on this since I couldn't get a solid answer from the local filling stations that I spoke with.

I will post here what I believe is the correct answer to this question in order to assist someone who has a similar question.

Blue Rhino has a label that claims the contents of the tank are 15lbs. It also says that you should not fill a tank more than 80% of its capacity. I initially thought to myself a 20 LB tank @ 80% = 16LB and figured that BR fills them with one pound less to save a buck. After reading dozens upon dozens of posts, I kept on finding that almost everyone was thinking along the same lines.

This changed when I learned about the water capacity of a tank. Every tank has a WC and Tare weight stamped on the handle of the tank. The Water capacity is how much water a tank is capable of holding at 100% capacity.

The WC stamped on my tank read 47.6lbs. This means that if you were to fill this tank completely with water, it would weigh 47.6 lbs.

Knowing the weigh of water is 8.35 lbs per gallon, 47.6 / 8.35 = 5.7 gallons

Simply multiply 5.7 gallons x the 80% capacity and you get 4.56 gallons.

or to put it another way:

Liquid propane weight approx 4.27 lbs per gallon (depending on temperature)

4.6 gallons * 4.27 lb per gallon = 19.64 lbs

So to answer my question, with the Overfill Protection Device installed, I should be able to fill my tank with just under 20lbs of propane, not 16lbs as many many people believe.

Anyone verify this? Can add to it or take away?

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by OrdinaryAvgGuy

You ever calculate this weight?
They have a scale visible and it's set on 20-21 lbs. so when that weight is reached the scale tips like a trie beam balance.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:59 PM   #6
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Totally true. Blue rhino sucks balls. .My local fill place puts 20.5 pounds into any tank including the blue rhino. A OPD would stop the fill level if it were unsafe. BR choses to underfill for profit margin only.

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Old 01-28-2013, 11:32 PM   #7
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Totally true. Blue rhino sucks balls. .My local fill place puts 20.5 pounds into any tank including the blue rhino. A OPD would stop the fill level if it were unsafe. BR choses to underfill for profit margin only.
True.

I recently exchanged my tank at Lowes as I always do. The cost with my 5% discount was $16.93 + tax. Blue Rhino is offering a $3 rebate on propane exchanges, bringing the cost down to $13.93 for 15#

15# of propane at a fill station currently cost $12.25 in NC. BR is Still $1.68 more for the same amount of propane. Not to mention the cost of postage to send in the Mail in rebate and waiting a month or 2 to get a $3 check that you must deposit at the bank...
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:31 AM   #8
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Plus you're running out for exchanges more often.

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Old 01-29-2013, 02:38 AM   #9
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I just go to the local UHAUL, they have good cheap prices for propane, and charge only what they fill(Like gas)...not sure if every place does that or do they just have a set price to "fill/swap" a tank?

Ive never measured my Blue Rhino tank full, ill try that next time.

I know empty they are stamped to be 17#'s

That and i usually get 2 full brew days out of a tank, i'd never swap tanks since i usually have some extra gas in mine but not enough for a full brew day...even with a spare backup i always go refill it once it gets less than 1/4th full.

Knowing that gallon of propane is 4.2#'s its pretty easy to do the math to see how much propane is left on a home scale.

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Old 01-29-2013, 02:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrdinaryAvgGuy View Post
I did a bit of research on this since I couldn't get a solid answer from the local filling stations that I spoke with.

I will post here what I believe is the correct answer to this question in order to assist someone who has a similar question.

Blue Rhino has a label that claims the contents of the tank are 15lbs. It also says that you should not fill a tank more than 80% of its capacity. I initially thought to myself a 20 LB tank @ 80% = 16LB and figured that BR fills them with one pound less to save a buck. After reading dozens upon dozens of posts, I kept on finding that almost everyone was thinking along the same lines.

This changed when I learned about the water capacity of a tank. Every tank has a WC and Tare weight stamped on the handle of the tank. The Water capacity is how much water a tank is capable of holding at 100% capacity.

The WC stamped on my tank read 47.6lbs. This means that if you were to fill this tank completely with water, it would weigh 47.6 lbs.

Knowing the weigh of water is 8.35 lbs per gallon, 47.6 / 8.35 = 5.7 gallons

Simply multiply 5.7 gallons x the 80% capacity and you get 4.56 gallons.

or to put it another way:

Liquid propane weight approx 4.27 lbs per gallon (depending on temperature)

4.6 gallons * 4.27 lb per gallon = 19.64 lbs

So to answer my question, with the Overfill Protection Device installed, I should be able to fill my tank with just under 20lbs of propane, not 16lbs as many many people believe.

Anyone verify this? Can add to it or take away?
OrdinaryAvgGuy,

I own a company that sells propane. You are dead on correct. Any propane tank can only be filled to 80% capacity for safety reasons. The standard "gas grill" or "20 lb" propane tanks that we all use hold 20 lbs of propane when filled to 80% capacity.

The OPD or Overfill Prevention Device activates when the tank is filled to this capacity thus preventing it from being filled any further. The OPD is completey seperate from the safety valve that allows pressure to be released from the tank. You will not here propane hissing from the tank when the OPD valve shuts off. If you here propane being released from the tank that means that the pressure has increased in the tank (it got hot) and the safety valve is allowing pressure to be released to prevent the tank from exploding. This is why you should never transport a propane tank in the passenger compartment of a vehicle. I could go on but I just wanted to say that you are correct.

The exchange places that are only filling tanks to 15 lbs are doing so for no other reason except to increase their bottom line.
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