Once you have an empty propane tank you no longer need, you should know how to dispose of it properly, depending on its age and condition. Refilling or exchanging most portable propane tanks for residential use is fairly simple. However, some but not all older tanks must be recertified by qualified experts before taking those steps.
The purpose of a propane tank is directly related to its size. At Paraco Gas, our lineup starts with 2.4 gal propane tanks, also known as 10lb propane tanks, for outdoor grilling. In addition, we have 5gal propane tanks with a 20lb capacity, which is suitable for heating an outdoor patio or hearth. We also sell, service, install and refurbish 56-, 100-, and 250-gallon above-ground tanks for indoor residential use, forklift propane tanks for yard and construction work, and large underground tanks for restaurants and other commercial establishments.
Regardless of the size and purpose of a propane gas tank, all tanks have one thing in common: each gas cylinder comes with a series of marks on the cylinder neck ring (collar) that provide information about the tank.
What To Do if You’re Running Low on Propane
If your propane gas is running low, you have options based on the size tank: the most popular option for residential and commercial applications is to have the propane tank refilled. Exchanging the tank is generally reserved for the 20lb cylinders, or you can choose to buy a new one. Of course, refilling is the most cost-effective option. Paraco Gas provides customers with a propane finder on its website to find a local dealer for refilling barbecue propane tanks. If residential tanks are low, it’s easy to schedule a delivery with the company.
Filling tanks is also performed on-site by trained employees at Paraco Gas’ state-of-the-art refurbishing center in Waterbury, CT, which has been operating since 2018.
When Do You Need to Recertify?
You may know that the propane tank cylinder has an expiration date to ensure it remains in good working order. By law, an expired tank that hasn’t yet been recertified can’t be refilled or exchanged. Recertification involves reinspecting the tank and its components, and a licensed professional must do this.
Another mark on the neck ring/collar will give you the date of the last inspection. Depending on the inspection method, recertification is needed anywhere from five to 12 years after that date. Unless you’re familiar with the inspection method, it’s a good idea to check with a trained expert to confirm the expiration date.
What About Recycling?
Many expired propane tanks will pass re-inspection. But what if a cylinder can’t pass for some reason and can’t be fixed? This is when recycling the tank is the best option. Unfortunately, due to the specialized nature of propane gas, many landfills and recycling centers won’t accept propane tanks. However, companies like Paraco have the necessary equipment and skilled employees to completely drain old propane tanks for recycling.
Paraco Gas accepts and refurbishes old propane tanks for continued use at its refurbishing center in Waterbury, CT, recycling over 1.3 tanks annually. The tanks are given a second life instead of heading to landfills.
The recycling process involves removing rust, replacing old valves, applying fresh paint, and adding new labels. They’re then refilled with clean, green propane for consumers to use.
Whether or not your tank is about to expire, regularly inspect the tank yourself for any leaks, soot, kinks, corrosion, or signs of damage to valves, indicators, or dials. Once you learn if a propane tank is empty and how to maintain it, you’ll become a more responsible propane user and can enjoy the long-term benefits it offers.