Is it safe to refill small green 1# propane bottles?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to refill 1lb disposable green propane bottles. It’s only unsafe if you are doing it without the proper tools or while smoking. You don’t fill up your car with explosive liquids while smoking do you?
What’s the Cost? Is it really saving money? Or is it just more convenient?
For me, it’s just more convenient. I like to grill outside when we are camping, and my Dutchmen Rubicon has a quick connect propane fitting on the side of the camper next to the door. I just use a slinky hose and connect to this when we are at a campground.
But when we camp out on lake MI in Traverse City, sometimes I like to cook and eat down by the lake. This is about 80 ft from the rear door of the camper, and a bit of a stretch to run a slinky hose down the sandy walk way. So it just makes sense to use a handy little greeny 1# tank on the side of the grill.
They are only $3-4 a bottle when you buy a 4pack. But when you throw them out just because you have 3 more full bottles it feels like kind of a waste. Why not use them again?
Didn’t you hear about the straws in California and the K-cups that are backing up entire landfills!?!
Quick Disclaimer: You are reading information on the internet. Make your own decisions, and use your own judgement when deciding if you are also going to do this yourself. Just like you would about anything else you read on the Internet (at least, I would hope so)
How to Refill a 1 lb Propane Canister?
The actual process is simple:
- Attach adapter to your big 20# tank
- Invert (turn over) so the valve is at the bottom
- Attach 1lb cylinder tank
- Open valve and listen for flow of liquid propane
- Purge air with relief valve – when “grey smoke” starts to exit, you are full.
- Close valve and remove cylinder
- Add Safety Cap and Check Both Tanks for Leaks
Video by Northern Outdoors
Dangers and What to Watch Out For:
- Open flames and smokers – do not do this next to a campfire or where a curious neighbor can walk up on you while smoking
- Enclosed or Non-vented Locations: Do not do this in your RV or fishing shack
- Don’t Overfill. You can refill these whenever you want, so don’t fill it too full.
- Hot Bottles; Don’t leave your Greenies in the sun before filling. Best to do it cold, or at ambient temperature
- Don’t store filled tanks indoors. They are only 1lb’ers, but still do not store them indoors or rolling around the belly of your RV.
How do I know if the tank is overfilled?
It will weight more than 1.6lbs when you weigh it. Only fill to 80% to allow for temperature expansion and contraction of liquids and gasses. The empty weight of the can is stamped on the side of the bottle, and it’s called a 1lb. canister.
Is it Environmentally friendly?
Anytime you can re-use a product that takes natural resources to produce, you are contributing to saving the planet and are in the Eco-friendly Zone. It also makes those little tanks seem a lot more “greener” for the environment than they currently are in the trash can.
Is it Legal?
49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 178.65: Specification 39 non-reusable non-refillable cylinders:
For cylinders manufactured on or after October 1, 1996, Federal law forbids
transportation if refilled with a fine up to $500,000 and five years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 5124).
TRANSPORTATION. For all my quick to point out law abiding citizens, the t.r.a.n.s.p.o.r.t.a.t.i.o.n. of refilled canisters is against federal DOT regulations. So if you are crossing boarders, and the county mounty finds one of those little brass tank re-fillervalves in your toolkit, you can explain it was for educational and medicinal purposes only.
Flame King also makes a canister that is “legally refillable for 12 years” too. The patented canister meets DOT requirements and the kit comes with the adapter valve you’ll need to hookup to your 20# or 30# tanks.
If you are dead set on throwing them out…
How to dispose of small 1lb. Propane Canisters:
- Purge any remaining gas fumes using relief valve.
- Completely remove the Schrader Port with removal tool
- Discard in waste can or metal scrap recycle.
Tools Required to do the Job: