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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    97
    Location
    La Veta, CO
    Tractor
    Kubota 4610

    Default Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    Can the small 16oz propane canisters be filled. These are the ones that are usually green metal canisters and are used with lanterns, small camping burners and small portable heaters. It sure would be less expensive if I could refill them from my 20lb bottles. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11,496
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    I suspect they can be filled (someone did it the first time) some way, but also think that if I had to ask how, then I shouldn't be doing it. Understanding what the limits are in the container to be filled would be very important, and understanding what the potential is for over-filling and over-pressurizing would have an impact on your safety.

    The apparent reason for the OPD valves on the 20# tanks was because people were over-filling them, making them potentially dangerous. I'm not 100% buying this reason, and think it was a move to replace all the old tanks that may have deteriorated due to age and abuse. But it gives food for thought.

    At under $2 per canister (thought that was what I have been seeing), seems to me that filling them with any degree of hazard might not be worth the trouble. But I'll try not to speak for you, and wish you luck finding out how safe it might be to re-fill them.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    0

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    Can it be done, yes. Is it more of a pain in the butt than it's worth, definitely.
    Chances of overfilling are minimal since tank pressures will equalize with about 1/3# of propane in the small cylinder.
    The biggest problem comes from small particals of rust from inside the 20# cylinder getting into the 1# cylinder.
    Better solution, use a 6# cylinder on appliances with a hose and adaptor. 6# cylinders can be refilled at a refill station.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    1,806
    Location
    Houston, TX.
    Tractor
    2001 TN65, 1951 8N Ford

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    I've seen adapters advertized for refilling small bottles from a #20 bottle, I just can't remember where.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,726
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    Pretty much the only way to overfill a bottle is if you use a pump to transfer the propane. Either that, or have the "mother" bottle over a campfire. The liquid boils off into gas till the pressure reaches the point it won't boil anymore. It will stay in that state till you open the valve. As you draw gas off the top, more liquid boils off to form more gas. The pressure in the "baby" bottle won't reach a pressure greater than the bottle it's being filled from.

    I'd just buy a bunch of 16 ouncers when they're on sale though...................chim

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    2,045
    Location
    russellville, arkansas
    Tractor
    Kubota M4900, B7510 and RTV

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    i've had one of the adapters for 20 years, no telling how much $$$$ i've saved, and its worked fine, until a couple months ago, for some reason its not working now, but i haven't taken the time to check it out and see why.
    heehaw

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,028
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710 GST

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    I see them in the Harbor Freight catalogs all the time

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    340
    Location
    Fairfax, Franklin County, Vermont
    Tractor
    1999 Cub Cadet 7260

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    I also have one of those adapters that allows me to fill the small 16oz tanks from a 20lb tank. Works great! Has saved me a bundle of $$ thru the years. I've learned that if you put the small tanks in the freezer for a few hours before you fill them, then you can pretty much fill them up. Has something to do with the temp differential between the room temp 20lb tank and the cold 16oz tank. All I know for sure is, it works! It's also real easy to do. I generally refill about 30 small tanks a year.

    Corm

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    48
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    Mitsubishi MT3201 4WD

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    The canisters can definitely be filled. We camp quite a bit and are able to avoid contributing to the local dump using this method. Someone mentioned Harbor Freight having the connector. Cabelas also carries the connector in their camping section.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    79
    Location
    Omaha Nebraska
    Tractor
    Yanmar 1500D

    Default Re: Refill 16oz Propane Canisters?

    I got an adapter form Northern Hydrauilics to fill the 16 oz tanks. Think it was about $12 a few years ago. Refilled a bunch of times with no problems. I have used the freezer to chill the small tank but usually don't anymore. If you don't get the small tank completely (80%) full its no biggie to refill it sooner and there is less chance of overfilling. The real ripoff to me is the 20lb bottles where some places want $12.99 to exchange and everybody wants $9.99. There is a little over 3 gallons of propane in one so you get to pay 3 or 4 dollars a gallon for what you can buy for 69 cents a gallon in bulk delivered to your home.
    I made an adapter to fill the 20lb bottles from my 500 gallon home tank. You can have a 20 pounder full for a little more than 2 bucks.


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