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 > 100lb propane cylinders - filling and transport question

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Southwind85

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Posted: 04/02/09 06:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After 40 years of experience with propane ranging from little 1lb bottles to 600 gallon tanks, I'm finally starting to have a hard time getting my 100lb cylinder filled.

The last time I got it filled, I had to teach the certified operator how to fill the cylinder. Apparently the guy believed he could fill it while it's sitting on the ground until the auto-shutoff did it's thing. I politely educated him on the dangers of trusting a non existent shutoff valve to stop the fill AND instructed him on how to fill one on a weighing scale since there's no way for him to know the quantity already in the tank..then watched him like a hawk. He did good! I was proud of him. As soon as he started to disconnect the hose and had the valve loosened, I turned around to grab my money. When I stepped around my jeep again to load the tank back on my trailer, he had it reconnected and was racking up numbers on the meter way into overfill. I was forced to intervene with my boot and shoved him aside rather forcefully before he blew us all to the moon. The final result by the time I got it stopped was right at 200lbs in a 170lb cylinder. It wouldn't slosh at all and I had to vent some of that overboard before I would dare hook it up to my motorhome. I refused to pay for the overfill quantity then called the authorities on him then started up the food chain of his company until I got results that might save the next rv'ers life that might not know what's happening. I seriously muddied up the water for them before I was done. (That nationwide company is now on my official banned for all eternity list because they actively attempted to murder me)

Today at another location apparently it is now a felony to transport a 100lb propane cylinder on a trailer of any kind. It must be carried vertically in a pickup truck or a commercial vehicle designed to carry propane tanks or some other approved vehicle. Mr idget, um, highly qualified professional propane expert on all things propane could not back his information up with any documentation other than he knows it is true and I'm an idiot and if I don't get my trailer and tank off the property right then he would call the police on me for committing a felony. The conversation kinda degraded at that point and I left with another company on my banned for all eternity list.

This is the 4th time I've had problems filling the tank in the last year and a half. So, here's the question preferably from someone who has actually taken the official test based on official documentation and preferably with information from DOT as well:

What are the actual real rules and where can I find them for:
1. What are the rules for carrying a 100lb propane cylinder. (on a trailer, truck, motorhome, bicycle, rollerskates, whatever) Transporting horizontally, vertically, when empty, when full, when partially full, inside an enclosed vehicle, outside an enclosed vehicle, whatever - you get the idea.
2. How are these tanks supposed to be filled. (I already know this answer better than most if not all of the minimum wage lackies however I need an official source to load into the shotgun next time I'm given grief over anything)
3. Anything else you can think of concerning the subject.

I prefer the documentation to be readable by humans and not lawyers or 600 pages of law nonsense that was written by someone with a fatal case of attention deficit disorder. I need something I can find online or at an official source that I can copy the material or print it out. The next time someone lies to me or tries something dangerous, I want to be able to shove actual documentation of the rules in their face to counter their hogwash.

Suggestions? Comments? Actual references? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


In the meantime I'm running on reserve propane until I can get to another propane source that will preferably fill the 100lb cylinder...


The Good Life

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Posted: 04/02/09 06:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It5 always happens when some one who has never filled a tank or RV trys to make up the rules. The one place in our area the guy who does most of the bottle filling always weights the bottles, say he don't trust no cotton picken valves to work everytime since he has found a lot of them bad so far.





Bessie-Hunter

Lyons, OH, USA

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Posted: 04/02/09 06:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NFPA Pamphlet 58 would be the place to start. Also I think FMCR 49 will have some information.

red31

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Posted: 04/02/09 07:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hazardous Materials Information Center


DOT Guide 33 Transporting DOT Cylinders(in commerce)

www.nfpa.org

Codes and Standards
list of codes http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/list_of_codes_and_standards.asp

NFPA 58 Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code
FYI, NFPA 1192 Rec Vehicles
NFPA 70 National Electric code ...

They've changed the site recently (currently extremely slow), you will need to get a free membership that will allow you to read the code (can't cut and paste). Good table of contents.
Other source might be a tank maker like Manchester tanks http://www.mantank.com/

good luck

2 filling methods, volumetrically (using the 80% valve) and or weight using 42% of the stamped WC. The WC of 100# should be 238 lb and 100 lbs or 22.9 gallons of propane (238 * .42)


Texas LP-Gas Examination Study Guide DOT Cylinder Filler

DOT containers of less than 101 pounds LP-gas capacity, other than containers designed to be used on forklift or industrial trucks, must be filled by weight only. The weight of such containers must be determined by scales that meet the specifications of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Handbook 44. LP-Gas Safety Rules, §9.136

Closed-bodied vehicles such as passenger cars, vans, and station wagons must not be used for transporting more than 215 lb. water capacity [90 lb. propane capacity] but not more than 108 lb. water capacity [45 lb. propane capacity] per cylinder, unless the driver and engine compartments are separated from the cargo space by a
vapor-tight partition that contains no means of access to the cargo space. NFPA 58,§9.3.2.5(B)

* This post was last edited 04/02/09 08:07pm by red31 *   View edit history

jferre9570

Southeastern MA, USA

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Posted: 04/02/09 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's a document referencing NFPA Section 9.3 PDF


John & Diane
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RJsfishin

Winston Or.

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Posted: 04/02/09 08:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:
I was forced to intervene with my boot and shoved him aside rather forcefully before he blew us all to the moon.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm curious,...do you seriously think that overfilling a tank can blow it up ?? I hope that was just a verbal expression.

Or else, let me educate you a little,....there is nothing dangerous about filling a tank right to the very top.......or until the pump stops. The danger comes after that, and then only if expansion takes place.

Keep burning your bridges, and you won't ever get it filled again.
If I were you, I'd let them fill the tank the way they know how. (they are not going to blow up the tank,...trust me!) Then when I got home, I'd bleed it down to what ever you mite think is a safe level. I've had to do that many times myself. I think you are making it a rocket science project.


Rich

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Southwind85

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Posted: 04/02/09 08:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You guys are excellent!!! I knew if I posted here I'd end up with lots of good reading instead of the muck I've been digging up on my own. THANK YOU!

It'll take me a couple days to get through this with my current schedule however what I've read already from this thread, I hit paydirt. So far I'm not in violation of anything and a few things I know are wrong places propane suppliers have blatantly violated. It's nice seeing what I've been taught and follow are actually legitimate. Of course if I was doing something seriously wrong, I would have been blown to the moon by now.

This will make it very entertaining the next time someone tries to pawn off some made up rule on me... It's always fun to have the actual facts/rules readily available in such situations.


MI Director wrote:

It5 always happens when some one who has never filled a tank or RV trys to make up the rules.


It's the making up of rules as they go along then not having the same rules the next time I go there that makes me crazy. Ask them for their references on their facts and they have nothing other than what spews out of their mouth. Then having them do or say things that I KNOW are not safe takes all the fun out of it.

MI Director wrote:

The one place in our area the guy who does most of the bottle filling always weights the bottles, say he don't trust no cotton picken valves to work everytime since he has found a lot of them bad so far.


If you don't know, unlike the smaller cylinders, 100lb cylinders do not have auto shutoff valves. They have the main valve and a vent. No shutoff. You can fill them until it sprays out and even then you can keep filling until it's all or nearly all liquid inside. The only way to fill them and stop at the correct full quantity is by weight because there's no other way to determine how much propane is already in the tank unless it's totally empty. IOW, if I walk in with a 100lb cylinder and since there's no gauge or auto-shutoff, how much can you put in before reaching the correct amount? I could have 0.5 lbs in there or 25lbs. If you try to shove 100lbs in a 100lb cylinder when there already is 40lbs in there, it's not going to fit.

Thanks everyone, keep it coming if you got it...

jauguston

Bellingham, WA

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Posted: 04/02/09 08:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Southwind,

You better not ever try and get that filled in Washington State. Propane in Washington is sold by the gallon and the pump has a meter just like a gas meter. They do not weight any tanks.

Jim


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Southwind85

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Posted: 04/02/09 08:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RJsfishin wrote:

I'm curious,...do you seriously think that overfilling a tank can blow it up ?? I hope that was just a verbal expression.


Verbal expression because I'm very annoyed right now. It's irritating when you go in and doing everything by the rules that have worked for 40 years and never had a problem and suddenly someone who is doing things wrong decides they know better. I figure if they're screwing up bad enough that I get creepy, they're likely to do other things that could be more dangerous.

RJsfishin wrote:

If I were you, I'd let them fill the tank the way they know how.


I get to pay for the overfill and it's currently $1.00/lb. I also get to set the tank up away from stuff and vent too much excess into the atmosphere. BTW, the last I heard from DOT on the overfill that torqued me off, the person doing the filling that day had never undergone any training nor had the person who trained him how to do it...at least no one could come up with any records with those individuals names on it. Can just anyone can fill a tank without going through any legitimate training? I mean everyone I've talked to keeps saying you have to be specially trained to fill propane tanks/cylinders. If they can make up their own training, then why can't I fill my own tanks like I put gas in the motorhome at self serve stations.

Quote:

You better not ever try and get that filled in Washington State. Propane in Washington is sold by the gallon and the pump has a meter just like a gas meter. They do not weight any tanks.


It's metered and sold by the gallon in most places. If they don't weigh cylinder at all how much do they know they can put in? If I bring a 100lb cylinder in and it has 60lbs in it, when do they stop filling? When the delivering tank can't push anymore in? It'll never get to 23 gallons if it's already holding 14 gallons. Quarter in a dime slot scenario.

I'm not trying to burn bridges or start a fight with suppliers. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of made up nonsense and get my cylinder filled so I can run the furnace, stove and water heater without buying a pickup truck that I can't tow around with me as I travel the country.

* This post was edited 04/02/09 09:03pm by Southwind85 *

raygreg

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Posted: 04/02/09 10:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They open the vent,while filling the tank, when liquid comes out the vent the tank is full. It's not rocket science.

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