Safety is always a concern. That is why there are so many regulations RV users have to abide by. Being safe is important. It is about the only way you can truly enjoy your vacation. Making sure your propane tanks are safe is just one of those regulations you have to meet.
Where to Get Propane Tanks Recertified? Your local propane dealer is the place to go to have your RV propane tanks re-certified. There should be a qualified technician on staff to handle the task and it only takes a few minutes to do.
To learn more about re-certifying your RV propane tanks just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to make sure your tanks remain in compliance with the law.
Too find a propane dealer nearest to you, there are several methods you can use. First, if you are at home, you can let your fingers do the walking and check your local yellow pages. Next, you can use your computer and do a local propane dealer search.
Third, if you are on the road and at a campground, just ask the people at the office. They should have the information you need on hand. The fourth method is to keep your eye out as you travel through a city or town. Watch the gas stations and see which ones are selling propane.
Usually, wherever propane is sold, you can get your tanks re-certified.
Amerigas is one company that offers re-certification or exchange. They continue to expand their operations and there should be a location near you. Just go to their website to find a local outlet near you.
The only real part you play in the re-certification process is for you to remove your DOT tanks and take them to a certified propane station. After that the technician handles the task.
The technician will check the amount of rust on your tank. Then he or she will double check to see if regulations concerning tank valves have changed. If they have, you may need to replace the old valve with a new one meeting the new regulations.
Once the inspection for leaks is done, the technician will place a sticker on it with the date of re-certification. After that is done, you can take your tanks back to your RV and reattach them.
Having the re-certification sticker is probably the most important part of the re-certification process. It lets everyone know that your tanks are up to date, safe and they carry the new expiration date for your propane tanks.
Also on the re-certification sticker is the date that the re-certification took place.
The fees for re-certification fluctuate and depends on your locale, the state you are in and the individual dealer. There is no overall consensus on what fee should be charged
Some people have paid as much as $35 while others have paid as little as $7. Try to find out the fee before you go to the dealer. Shopping around can save you some money
Florida and California seem to be the two states with the highest fees. Colorado seems to be one of those states that charges the lowest fees. One reason that many propane sellers do not re-certify tanks is the cost involved in training employees to become qualified technicians.
Liability insurance is another reason why it is getting harder and harder to find local re-certification outlets. If the fees get too high where you are at, you may want to consider swapping your empty tank for a new one.
Once you have re-certified your propane tanks, you get another 5 years of use out of them. After that 5 year period is up, you will have to re-certify your tanks again. It has been said that re-certification can only be done 3 times.
You should check with your local propane gas company or state office to make sure that you can do the process 3 times or more.
DOT propane tanks are required by law to be be re-certified the first time 12 years after their manufacturing. The date of manufacture is stamped on the tank and it is easy to read and find.
You get two sets of numbers, for example 02-19. This date stamp reminds you that you have till the end February 2031 to re-certify your tanks. Once your tanks are re-certified, you get an additional 5 years before needing to do it again.
There is a test called proof pressure. This is where your propane tank is is tested using air. The air is placed inside the tank at twice the normal service pressure. Once passed, the tanks have an additional 7 years of life.
Now there may be some confusion on the length of time between manufacture and the first re-certification. The commonly held time limit is 12 years, yet recent legislation may have shortened that time frame down to 10 years.
The same legislation raised the proof pressure lifespan from 7 to 10 years. Both actions do not affect the 5 year re-certification limit. What may confuse people is that these changes may have been corrected back to their original time limits.
Also, each state may apply their own regulations so you should check first before assuming your older tanks are still good.
No they do not. The reason for this difference is that the ASME tanks have thicker steel in their construction and they are permanently attached to your RV. The only item on an ASME tank that needs to be checked every so often is their relief valve.
This item should be replaced every 10 years if you want your tanks to be fully safe to operate. The flexible hose on an ASME tank may need replacing after 15 years. Proper maintenance will save you a lot of trouble and protect your RV at the same time.
There will be times when you run into a qualified propane tank inspector who doesn't know the regulations and may refuse to fill your tanks.
When this happens, it is best not to argue with them and just go on down the road till you find one with the correct knowledge. If your RV does not have ASME propane tanks, then yes, you will have to have them re-certified.
Because of the large fees some companies charge, it may be a better and simpler option to think about exchanging your tanks. It may only cost a few dollars more. Exchanging tanks may be done at box stores,local grocers and many other outlets other than propane sellers.
You have probably heard or seen these initials before and never took the time to see what they stand for. DOT simply stands for Department of transportation. These letters are on a majority of propane tanks.
ASME stands for American Society of Engineers and are found on permanently installed propane tanks. Here is the difference between them:
Since 2002, there has been a regulation that any propane tank that doe snot have an OPD valve cannot be refilled. The OPD valve uses a float system to close it when the propane in the tank reaches the fill level.
The good news is that it is not hard to replace an old valve system with a new OPD model. Here are those steps you need to take to revalve your propane tank:
Completely empty the old propane tank
Then secure the tank so that it cannot move or rotate when you unscrew the valve
Next, close the valve as tight as it can go. Pick up a blow torch and use the heat to soften the the thread sealant. You only have to get the metal warm
Now pick up a crowsfoot wrench and place it on the valve. Rotate it till the old valve is off the tank
Use a flashlight to inspect the interior of the tank. If there is any rust on the inside, you should replace the tank or refurbish it
After that pour a little methanol into the tank and swish the liquid around. That should remove any moisture left in the tank
Wrap your new valve with blue, yellow or green Teflon tape. This is your new sealant but the tape needs to be gas rated
Once that is done screw the new valve till it is hand tight. Then use the wrench to align the valve with the opening of the tank
Take the tank to a qualified technician and have them re-certify it and check for leaks.
Buying a new tank has several benefits over re-certifying an older one. First, you are getting a propane tank that is in the best condition it will ever be in. Second, you get another 12 years instead of 5 of use out of the tank.
You won’t have to worry about re-certifying the tank in 5 years and can enjoy an extra 7 years without having that hassle. A third benefit is that it is easier to find new propane tanks than a company that has a trained technician on hand to fill the old one. If you are in a hurry, buying new saves you time and trouble.
A final benefit is that the new tanks all come with the OPD valve. You will not have to revalve your old one if it was made before 2001.
The biggest advantage of re-certifying your older propane tank is the cost. The price you pay, even at inflated refilling stations, is usually cheaper than buying a new tank. You save a little money and you may even get a completely full tank.
The disadvantage that comes with exchanging your empty or near empty tank with another one is that you may be cheated. The companies that do exchanges often only fill a 20 pound tank to the 15 pound level.
The argument is that these companies are meeting the 80% standard fill requirement. This is not the case as filling a 20 pound tank with 20 pounds of propane already has the 80% restriction factored in.
In the end, the choice is ultimately yours to make. If you like new tanks, then buy new ones. Just make sure they are completely filled.
Regulations exist for a purpose. Most of them are designed to keep you safe. This is true when it comes to your RV propane tanks. No one wants to see any accidents or injuries happen when a bad propane tank malfunctions.
Re-certification is not a difficult or time consuming process. It is worth the time and money to re-certify your propane tanks when the time comes. All you have to do is make sure you find a reputable refill dealer who will handle the task quickly and not charge you as much as anew tank will cost.
Then as a reminder, check the valves on your tank. Dealers won’t refill propane tanks that do not have the OPD valve installed. Putting a new valve your tank is not hard and only takes about 20 minutes or so to do.