A Crucial Safety Process
Propane offers incredibly convenient and affordable energy for many of our day to day activities. It’s all tucked into a simple, but sturdy metal tank. While some homeowners might be concerned about the gas within eventually going bad, it’s that durable tank that that you’ll need to watch out for.
Do propane tanks go out of date? Absolutely, around 12 years after manufacture. What comes next is up to you! Today, we’ll be talking about your options for dealing with an aging tank. By the end, you should have clear insight on how to handle the situation. Let’s get started!
What Can You Do With Old Propane Tanks?
First off, you need to determine whether or not your propane tank is close to expiring. Take a look at the manufacturing date stamped onto the canister. If you’re using a 100 lb tank (or smaller), the tank should be good for twelve years following that date. If the propane unit is indeed approaching expiration, don’t chuck it (at least not immediately)!
You have a few options depending on the condition of your tank.
Where Can I Take Old Propane Tanks?
You have a handful of options for dealing with your old tank.
- Throw it in the trash after emptying it (not recommended).
- Take the empty tank to a metal recycling company.
- See if your retailer has a “take back” program.
- Inquire with the manufacturer if they will take it back.
- Get it recertified by a professional.
Assuming you would rather keep the tank, you’ll need to have it recertified. This isn’t a skippable task either. Businesses will not refill your propane tank if it hasn’t received recertification after it expires. If you leave the tank alone for too long, your home might be filled with that sulfuric smell of leaky propane. It’s the same sort of scent you might detect when you call the HVAC company for emergency heater repair.
Who Does Propane Tank Recertification?
Most tank manufacturers and propane service companies will gladly inspect an aging tank for you. If you’re struggling to find a service, call your propane retailer and ask where the nearest recertification option is.
Once you find a qualified professional, they’ll run through a cursory propane tank inspection checklist to make sure that the integrity of the canister is still strong and leak-free. Once the tank has been officially recertified, you should be able to use it safely for another 5 years.
How Much Does Propane Tank Inspection Cost?
Smaller tanks may cost anywhere between $25 and $60. You’ll want to compare local tank costs with recertification (plus refill) to determine how much you’ll save. It all depends on which service you use, so be sure to call ahead of time to check pricing. Once the professional finishes their lookover, they’ll slap a sticker on your canister with the propane tank inspection date.
Can I Throw Away Empty Propane Tanks?
“Can I get money for old propane tanks?” Yes, but they have to be emptied and cut open before you can sell them to a metal scrapper. Disposing of any compressed and flammable substance demands caution. First, you’ll need to ensure that the tanks are 100% empty before attempting to dispose of them. Due to the toxic nature of propane, you’ll have to empty out the tank outside. Alternatively, you can have a registered propane company remove the remaining gas for you.
If you wish to do it yourself, take the tank to an open space with at least 10 feet between the tank and nearby plants, trees, buildings, etc. With thick working gloves (leather, preferably), position the tank with the valve positioned sideways and open it up completely. Stand at a distance until all visible and audible signs of propane gas have stopped. Don’t approach the tank, and do not try to cut into the tank before this process is completed.
How to Cut Open Empty Tanks
You can open up the emptied tanks after leaving the valves open for 24 hours. You’ll need: a pry bar, a vice-equipped workbench, a screwdriver, and a propane valve wrench. Don’t try to brute force your way into the tanks with a hammer or a saw!
Again, if you don’t feel comfortable with opening these empty tanks, you can always leave them with a propane professional. Search online (ex: “Weatherford, TX residential propane service“) or talk with an expert from your preferred manufacturer.
Ask About Propane Tank Disposal!
If you have more serious questions about disposing, refills, or propane tank inspection in Weatherford, TX, our local experts at Heine Propane would be happy to talk with you! Our propane professionals can talk with you about the most cost-effective options for dealing with an old tank and making sure your home has a healthy propane system. For additional details, simply give our office a call at 817-341-7240!