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Old 01-29-2013, 12:54 PM   #11
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I use about 4lbs of propane for each 5 gallon brewday.
My main problem is the once I get down to 6lbs left in my tank, the tank freezes during the boil, and no hot water bath helps to keep it rolling.

I've been looking for a used 30lb tank on craigslist.
A friend of mine bought a used 250lb tank on CL for $150, set it in his yard, plumbed to his deck, and uses it for brewing & bbq.
Shops around fill prices once per year and gets an amazing deal. I think he got a fill for like $1.60/gal last summer.

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Old 01-29-2013, 01:03 PM   #12
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That's a great idea. If I owned my own home I'd definitely do that.

I don't have a filling station around here of which I'm aware. Exchanges are the only option. I'm still looking around, though, because I can't stand the idea of giving them part of my gas and then not getting any kind of credit or anything.

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Old 01-29-2013, 05:53 PM   #13
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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.
I went to the propane filling station today with a completely empty tank. Before going, I weighed it and it was 16.6 lbs, just as the tare weight indicated on the tank.

I watched the guy filling it zero out the dial and fill it with exactly 4.5 gallons.

I weighed the tank when I got home and it was 33.81 lbs, a difference of 17.21 lbs. I weighed it using a very accurate postal scale that I have at home.

If propane is in fact 4.27 lbs per gallon, then 4.5 gallons should have weighed 19.21 lbs. Any idea where the other 2 lbs went?

The ambient air temp at the time of filling was 65 degrees F. Also, I checked my tank for leaks and don't see or smell anything.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:17 PM   #14
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considering how badly we are ripped off on propane fills & exchanges, I'd hate to see how badly shorted or overcharged we are at the gas pump once a week. Then again, we are dealing with gas.....which is only slightly better than a blood diamond when it comes to the ethics of supply.

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Old 01-29-2013, 06:37 PM   #15
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One other factor that may or may not make a difference. Although it was in the 60's when it was filled, it has been in the 30's for several days prior so the source tank had cooler gas in it.. Crazy weather.

Perhaps an issue caused by the density of the gas as it passes through the meter?

Maybe it is just the propane angels share?

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:29 PM   #16
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I don't bother with Blue Rhino unless I'm totally desperate. I get my propane at Tractor Supply for $1.99/gal. Both locations in my town are at that price, checked it last week when I got dog food for the boys.

MC

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Old 01-29-2013, 11:17 PM   #17
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You will not here propane hissing from the tank when the OPD valve shuts off.
A lot of folks mistake the Fixed Liquid Level Gauge for the OPD. The guy filling opens it and vapor starts to spew out. He turns on the liquid pump from the bulk plant and begins adding liquid. When the liquid level in the 20 pound cylinder reaches the bottom of the Fixed Liquid Level Gauge diptube, the hiss changes sound because now the tank is spewing liquid rather than vapor. That change in sound is not the fault of the OPD. It's just blowing liquid out of the tank now.

If you run the liquid pump another second or two, you will usually trip the OPD and the pump will begin to lug. That sound change is the OPD shutting off and creating more backpressure on the pump.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:31 PM   #18
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Billy Prim, entrepreneur of Blue Rhino, Primo Water, investor in the Winston-Salem Dash, etc knows how to make money. That being said, I buy my LP at Carolane Propane. I don't know price per pound. It looks like I paid $2.94 a gallon last summer. Blue Rhino is a good way to exchange rusted or expired tanks. I was told there was a gas station near me that was cheaper. I have some pricing to do before filling up again.

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