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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone ever buy one of the small bottle propane refill widgets? Dose it work and is it worth the money?
 

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I bought one about 2 years ago. I can't get it to fill the little 1lb bottles more than 1/2 way at best. I chilled the bottles first too!
Heck I've even had them sit outside in the dead of winter and tried it outside in 20 deg weather, still can't fill them.
I called the maker of the valve, all they say is to make sure the bottles are cold.
They need to come out with a better way to re-fill the little bottles.
I switched to a little 5 lb mini tank thats easy to put on the ice sled and It hooks up to the "my buddy" heater with a adapter hose.
It lasts a long time and re-fills are cheap.
 

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You need to have the 20lber at room temp and the little tanks cold. I have filled many and get them full everytime.
Just Make sure you have the little one in a well vented area after filling them! Some will leak afterwards. If this happens screw a lantern or heater on in and it will stop leaking. Mark it and don't use that bottle again.
They do save alot of money and lot less bulky then a five or 20 pounder to carry.

chad 1
 

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I have filled them for several years and I mean a lot of them. Never had one leak, always got them filled right up good. Probably saved some money. BUT I have read so many things about what could happen if one leaked, or you over filled it or or or BANG Ya know it just not worth it. Many of you know what a hand garnade will do - theres are not much difference so I decided to go to Walmart and buy tanks for 1.88 and throw all my nice clean empties I have saved and oiled with caps on them and the gadget used to fill them away. Just not worth the chance. IMHO
 

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I have one and I love it. In fact I'll be using it in a few minutes. Get the small tanks below freezing and heat the big tank and you'll pump more into the small tank than it can handle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Next question, do you turn the big tank up side down when filling or leave it upright? I’m thinking upside down so that you get the liquid to come out into the little bottle and not the gas. Thinking that you would not get as much into a bottle if it was gas. Am I right?
 

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I have been using the coupler for years also. I dont think I get a complete fill, but it doesnt matter. It helps to put the empty in your freezer overnight.
Yes you should have the liquid at the valve, (invert the fill from bottle) and the empty upright.
 

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yes, upside down.
Well,I guess I needed to leave the big tank in the house longer, perhaps I didn't leave it in the house long enough.
 

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I guess it depends on the brand of small tank skeeter. The ones from colman never leak but if you but the off the wall brands I had 2 leak!
They sure are a big money saver:)
 

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You really can save money refilling them. I did for a long time but all of a sudden I got kinda worried about it. When I get a bad feeling about something, well I just don't do it. This is one of those things. Your 100% right about what brand. I always saved the caps and always sprayed wd-40 one the top and strader valve to cut down on rust. Just be careful you guys! Don't over fill.
 

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To be honest their was a day when I had to refill them just to save some money. That is not the case now so hate to take the chance. I am ugly enough hate to see what I would look like after one of those went off. Thats terrible to say!
 

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Way to risky. Save your life not a dollar and dont. I had a single burner have a flare up sideways out the top today inside my shanty. Not fun. I was praying it didnt detonate. I think Im on about 8 of my 9 lives now.
 

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I have never and I mean never heard of one blowing up from being refilled.
Remembers propane shouts out of a tank it does not suck in so the most you will get is fire outside the tank and since it's under pressure it is kinda like a blow torch. If you use your head it is easy to put out.
I feel just as safe with the one's I refill as the one's I buy from the store but if you do not feel safe then don't use them!
Heck I get more scared when I talk back to my wife then refilling the canisters;)

chad1
 

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I agree chad. They are not going to blow up from over pressure when you are refilling them from a 20lb tank unless that tank is overpressurized as well. You CAN overfill them a bit, which in that case they may vent the extra propane which is why you should not overfill them and store them in a well ventillated area, never in a basement.
 

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You hit it right on the head Steve, if you over fill them when they get warm they have a release valve on them. That’s that little strader valve on the side. Here is something to think about. You have 2 cans of propane one you are using on your heater in your shanty, the other is a spare. The spare which has been over filled by someone new to the process and is getting warm in your shanty right, well all of a sudden the relief valve releases some liquid gas into the air inside your shanty....you know the rest of the story. This is one reason I tell people that are filling for the first time to be careful. After you are finished filling your can, press in on that strader valve and release some. If it is liquid release some more until you just see vapor. When you’re filling a small tank you are transferring the propane as a liquid from the big tank. If you over fill the small tank - means you have to much liquid in it. Like I said before I have filled them for years and had no trouble. I have nothing against it but like to pass on safe info to those who have not done it before so they don't get into any trouble down the road. But if our going to do it just be careful.
 

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Here is a link to a photo of a vehicle where a #1 refilled propane cylinder valve leaked, and was subsequently ignited by the passengers within.

The arrow points to the remnants of the #1 cylinder recovered in the investigation. Judge for yourself the level of risk involved.

www.claimsmag.com/Issues/June00/images/burn7.jpg

A #1 propane cylinder explosion may have much the same effect as a incendiary grenade detonated in an enclosed area.


All it has to be is a bit over filled and have the valve leak. Some guys pick up old rusty cans and try to fill them. If your going to fill them make sure they have no rust on them.


Here is a cut and paste from what a friend (PerchJerker) found out about the subject.

Actually, this is the law on the refillable cylinder issue. I researched this a while back.


"The NOT REFILLABLE designation is to state that they may not be refilled
commercially. If they were not to be refilled by the user, products to
refill them would be illegal, and you could not buy them from major
companies.
(Cabela's, NorthernTools, Walmart, Grainger, et al.)
I believe that if there was any danger especially in our sue happy
society, they would drop them like a bad habit, but on the contrary,
they have sold them for years.

What it really means is that if you refill a disposable cylinder AND
you transport it on federally funded roads (read: all roads) AND you
get caught, you are subject to up to a $10,000 fine and 5 years in
Camp Fed.

There is part logic and part politics to this DOT rule. The
politics are, the disposable cylinder manufacturers don't want the
competition. Go research the federal register oh, about 40 years ago
if you don't believe me.

The logic part is that these cylinders do not have the safety margin
to withstand much internal rust. The propane put in the cylinders
at the factory is dry. The propane you buy in your grill tank
usually is not. In fact, fuel grade propane is usually nearly
saturated with moisture. If your refilled disposable cylinder rusts
from the inside out, where you can't see it, you might be in for a
surprise."
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I ended up picking up on at harbor freight for about $16 and filled 9 of them right off the bat. I will say that at first it was it was a touchy thing but by the ninth one it felt like old school. It’s a gas and needs to be treated like such.

I also feel like some of the others here, if they were blowing up then how I the world could they ever stay in business?

One other thing that I did make sure is that the relief valve is clear and not plugged before filling.

Question do any of you weigh them and what should they weigh if you do?
 
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