20lb Propane tanks - Can you fill from your home tank?

   #1  

newcountry

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I saw in the Harbor Freight flyer an attachment to the 20lb tanks - it says "Propane Bottle Refill kit' Item 45989. It got me to thinking about this again - I've thought it several times :confused:. There should be some way us normal folk can fill our smaller tanks from our bigger home tank. It's much cheaper for us to buy bulk LP than paying a premium at the store - plus having to drive there to do it.

If this is possible, what is the procedure and parts needed?

And, more importantly, is it safe? :(
 
   #2  

MrWoodChips

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May 23, 2008
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I saw in the Harbor Freight flyer an attachment to the 20lb tanks - it says "Propane Bottle Refill kit' Item 45989. It got me to thinking about this again - I've thought it several times :confused:. There should be some way us normal folk can fill our smaller tanks from our bigger home tank. It's much cheaper for us to buy bulk LP than paying a premium at the store - plus having to drive there to do it.

If this is possible, what is the procedure and parts needed?

And, more importantly, is it safe? :(

A problem with free advice received from the internet - it is worth exactly what it cost you.

Suppose that someone were to tell you that, sure, you can do it, just use these parts, hooking it up as follows... Then you go ahead and do roughly as you were told, with an ensuing explosion. Your upset widow eventually finds out what dumb thing you did, and decides to sue the provider of this information.

Yeah, right, like this could not happen. I will suggest that were you to refill a tank that should not have legally been refilled in the way you are proposing, and were you to get advice that says to do it that way, this is a good recipe for a lawsuit. Your widow might even win that lawsuit, not that you will care at that point given your widely scattered body parts.

John
 
   #3  

Birdman

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Jul 24, 2004
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Location
SE Indiana
Yes you can. I asked the driver who delivers my propane about this several years ago and he brought it out and even installed it for me. Shut off valve on the tank with about 10' of rubber gas line. That is all there is to it. It is a little slow to fill a 20lb. tank but much better than having to go somewhere and wait for them to fill it.
 
   #4  

thatguy

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Bedford, VA
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Im sure it can be done, with enough adapters or do-hickies to make the match.. BUT unless you own your tank your supplier may not allow you to modify their plumbing for your connection..

Brian
 
   #5  

Egon

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Sure you can.

First you gotta find a nozzle on the bottom of big tank that you can access. Then hook up piping with a pump[explosion proof specifications] in line so you have pressure to fill the small tank. You should have a PSV and pressure control valve in line at the correct place in case of pressure problems. You also need an accurate scale[not a bathroom scale] to weight the little bottle as you are filling. [Sorta a duplicate of the filling stations that you go to to get your bottles filled.]:D



Next comes the big tank fill up that will not happen when the supplier sees all the new piping/equipment without proper certification!:eek:

In another life at another place we used to fill our small propane bottles from any one of numerous access points on propane transferring lines that were running at pressure. A hose was fabricated with the proper connections and a 1/4 turn valve. Instead of a scale we just lifted the tank and guessed at the weight. The biggest problem was usually finding the hose cause it used to move around and some could not remember to replace it in the proper spot.:D
 
   #6  

Jimbrown

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Tombstone Az
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Yes you can depending on your tank. I have a 500 gallon tank it has two outlets one for vapor and one for liquid. The propane company sells for $80 a hose that goes to the liquid outlet and you can fill tanks from it. It is done all over the palce here in the hinder lands where its 30 miles to town. You do not need any pump or anyting else. You could also fill trucks and tractors if they were propane powered.
 
   #7  

Egon

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Just curious, how long does it take to fill a tank? Does it have to be below the liquid level of the main tank? What is the pressure on the main tank?:D

Thanks.:D
 
   #8  

zionview

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Central PA
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I delivered propane for three winters, and came upon a hookup on a 500 gallon tank to fill small tanks. I mentioned it to the boss, and he said it was illegal in PA. He never did anything about it because the customer owned the tank.
 
   #9  

Jimbrown

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Does not take long less than 5 min. Have no idea on the pressure there are no gauges. You just open the bleed valve on the small tank and start filling when the liquid comes out the bleed shut it off. I never tried raising the small tank but as long as the pressure in the big tank is higher I think it would fill. The propane company will fill my big tank the same way if I want. They normally fill by the gauge and fill to about 85% but if I want they will open the bleed valve and fill till it shows liquid. That is supposed to be 90%. I just let em use the gauge.
 

Egon

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You just open the bleed valve on the small tank and start filling when the liquid comes out the bleed shut it off.

I'm a little confused here. I see a small tank as having one valve on the top. Is this what you hook up to. How does it vent? Or does it not vent but fill till the pressure is equalized between the two tanks?:D
 
 
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