Should I Get My Propane Tank Re-certified?

If you go camping, or own a grill or are aiming to have one, then you must be coming across the question, ‘Should I Get My Propane Tank Recertified?’

The fact that the cost of recertification and the cost of a new tank is almost the same makes the question even harder to answer.

But don’t worry, the answer is very simple. All you have to do is follow this guide and decide for yourself if you want to recertify your propane tank or not.

Cost Of A New Propane Tank

Now, when it comes to the usage, a propane tank can be used for a wide variety of purposes in the home. Some of these include grilling, heating etc. Moreover, getting professional help in deciding the right size can save time and inconvenience.

When it comes to comparing the prices of propane tanks, size is the key, as it makes all the difference. Usually, a gallon of propane can weigh anywhere near 4 lbs. So, if a manufacturer is selling a 100-gallon unit, then the label might say 420 lb tank. The cost of a 100-gallon unit can cost anywhere around $500 to $800.

In homes, the size of a propane tank can be as low as 5 gallons and high as 50 gallons, depending upon the usage. Small tanks can range between $5 and $500 as they are used for minimal purposes and do not require any additional installation charges.

Cost Of Refilling A Tank?

Usually, refills can cost you around $4 per gallon, which is a little more than the actual price of propane. The price is not fixed and differs from region to region and fluctuations in the market. Also, according to industry standards, the refill will only give you 80% of the total capacity. So, if you want a 50-lb refill, then you’ll need to get something closer to 40 lbs.

Pros and Cons of a Propane tank

Pros-

  • One of the biggest pros of owning a tank is not paying the rental cost or any minimum annual fees for usage. This helps in cost cutting as well as protecting you from getting exploited by the propane supplier.
  • Also, you can choose and negotiate the rate according to your own choice. So, owning yours is far better than renting one.
  • The above point leads us to another great feature, or more like a pro, which gives you the option of customization. If you own a tank, then you can either choose its color or paint it your desired color.
  • The best part about owning one is that you can choose the size that you know will keep you in your comfort zone for the next decade.

Cons-

  • Owning a propane tank can be a bit expensive if you are short on funds. And not everyone can afford the luxury of owning a propane tank. Some people would rather spend the same amount of money on an iPhone rather than a propane tank.
  • One of the biggest cons of owning a tank is leakage. The worst thing that could happen to you is losing propane because of a small leak. A leaking cylinder can lead you to spending more and more money.
  • Owning a propane tank can be risky as there are chances of accidents or mishaps. In order to avoid such situations, make sure that the cylinder is repaired and there is no leak or anything that can be lethal.

What About Recertification?

Now, recertification is totally a different ball game. Recertification is something that one should opt for in times of uncertainty. If uncertain about the condition of your tank, then it is the best idea to recertify it. The cost of recertification averages around $50.

The price can fluctuate depending on the service provider. So, if the propane tank unit reaches its expiration date, then requesting inspection is necessary before going for a refill. For small tanks, the expiration date is usually 12 years, whereas, for larger tanks, there is not really an expiration date mentioned. But if you are looking for one, then asking a professional is always the best thing to do.

How Often Should I Get Propane Tanks Recertified?

Even though many propane tanks come with an expiration date of about 12 years, just remember that all tanks should be recertified after a decade of use. If you are unsure of the manufacturing date, you can check it up from the 4-digit stamp of the cylinder’s collar. This usually gives you the exact date. Also, if a cylinder has ever been recertified, then it should have an aftermarket alphanumeric stamp. It can have anywhere from 6 to 8 characters to help you identify it.

The first 2 digits of the stamp are the month. The next few digits are the certification code, then follows the year. So, if you are looking forward to using that 10-year-old tank, then you have to get it certified because, after a 10-year cycle, it becomes illegal to refill the cylinder. You can refill it as long as it has been inspected as well as certified. In simple words, you can recertify a propane tank after every 10 years.

Can Expired Tanks Be Recertified?

As mentioned above, propane tanks usually have a lifespan of 12 years. So, once that period is over, the tank cannot be used. Even though there are many dealers out there who will refill your expired tank, but it is illegal to do so. But you’d be glad to know that propane tanks can be recertified even after their expiry date.

Some people choose to exchange the old tank as they find it more convenient to get rid of a tank that they can’t use anymore, but really that isn’t a very good idea. If you own a tank, the cost of refilling it is actually cheaper than the whole exchange program in most places.

So, rather than going for an exchange, you can either recertify the tank or just buy a new one, depending on your needs, but remember that it won’t make much difference.

Is It Safe To Use A Tank After Its Certification Has Expired

The answer to this question is both a No and Yes. No, because if not certified, the tank can pose an issue after its expiry date. Yes, because if you have recertified your tank after the expiry date, then you are not only making a better investment but you are also getting an additional five years for your tank. So, once your propane tank has reached its expiry date, make sure that you either get it recertified or get rid of it by exchanging it or buying a new one in its place.

How To Recertify A Propane Tank

A propane tank can be recertified in simple steps. The whole process of recertification is based on a simple test. The test is usually performed by a propane retailer, who is certified. Make sure that you go to an authentic dealer, as a certified person can ensure if your cylinder can still be filled with propane or not.

There are times when a recertified cylinder is upgraded with a new valve following the state’s law. But all this is required once the 12-year period of your propane tank is over. To know about that, find the manufacturing date which is engraved on the tank.

To know how to recertify your propane tank, follow these few steps listed below:

  • Google the nearest propane retailer. The retailer must do refill as well as repair. You can also go directly to the website “Find a propane dealer.” On the website, you can enter your ZIP and check the box saying “Cylinder refill and repair.”
  • It will take you to a page with different locations. There you can choose the most convenient one. Just contact the propane retailer and tell him/her that you are looking to do the recertification of your propane tank.
  • Then, take your tank to the retailer and the recertification will be taken care of. Usually, the retailer will charge a fee in order to recertify the tank. He would also put a sticker which will indicate the date of recertification.

Conclusion

As we mentioned above that the cost of recertification and buying a new tank is almost the same, the question remains the same “if you should get your propane tank recertified or not?” If you are looking for a better use of your money and a way to make use of your expired propane tank, then we’d suggest you to go for recertification of the tank and if your goal is convenience and you have a lot of propane tanks lying around then we’d suggest you exchange them for a new one. But keep in mind that whatever deal you make, always go for a certified retailer.

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