Recently, we’ve had quite a few customers come into our various locations to fill out-of-date propane tanks. There are both state and federal laws that dictate the filling and transportation of tanks. Another common issue is when customers come in with tanks that are either too large for the vehicle to safely transport or they are unable to secure them in a vehicle that can. We continually hear – “We’ve gotten them filled at other places. Why won’t you fill them?” Some retailers are willing to take the chance and try to avoid the fines or the risk of injury to a customer, but we aren’t.
From the mom coming in with the minivan full of kids, who has a 100 pound tank lying across the back seat to the Department of Transportation inspector trying to catch us filling a 100 pound tank lying down in the back of a pick-up, we’ve seen it all.
Below are a few of the rules that Combined Energy Services follow that govern safe filling and transportation of propane tanks. These are either state or federal regulations, not something that we just made up because we don’t want to fill your tanks.
- Consumer propane tanks from 4 to 40 pounds are required to be equipped with an overfill protection device (OPD valve).
- All propane tanks have a manufacturer’s date. A tank is good for 12 years from the date of manufacture and if recertified, every 5 years after that. What this means is that CES will not fill a tank that is out of date.
- National Fire Protection Administration (NFPA) 58 (Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code), Section 9.3.2:
- Propane tanks must be placed in an upright position and properly secured to prevent damage to the valves and fittings.
- 100 pound tanks cannot be transported lying down or in an enclosed vehicle. They must be upright and secured.
- Fines for filling and allowing the transport of out of date tanks is outrageous! CES can get a $10,000 dollar fine for filling an out of date tank or allowing one to leave our premises laying down/ or inside a vehicle as noted.
- CES recycles old propane tanks. We evacuate the gas and remove the valve. Please note that it is dangerous and illegal to throw propane tanks in the garbage. Old tanks can be dropped off at any CES location for free. The small 1 lb “Coleman” style portable tanks can be recycled for $1 each. See a Customer Service Rep for details.
We care about your safety, please don’t ask us to violate the law to fill your tanks.