Thread: New propane tank worries...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Northern Utah
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    Default New propane tank worries...

    Hi All,

    I just purchased a new 11# propane tank, (the flat "pancake" looking one) and when I got it home I heard a rattle inside. When I shake it it sounds like there is debris sliding around in there, They are loose particles. I have not filled it yet.

    Is this a problem or common? I have no experience with new tanks but this seems like it cause some clogging problems down the road.

    If it is, I will return it asap.

    Thanks in advance for dropping me some propane knowledge!


    Kevin

  2. #2
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    I've never had a propane tank that had debris or something rattling around inside. Since it's new and unfilled, just take it back and get one that doesn't rattle.
    Robert Bills
    Shasta County, California
    KG6LMV
    '05 Nissan Xterra Off Road
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  3. #3
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    The shop you use to fill it up at should ask if it is new and never filled. If they don't they should, and you should tell them. New tanks have to be filled with compressed air and drained at least 2-3 times to get out the welding debris from manufacture. There is a term for it that I dont' remember right now. Luckily the guy at my local place knew about this and explained it to me because I had no idea.

  4. #4
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    I agree with Robert.. i've never had one with anything rattling inside. I'd return it.
    Dave & Yoshi
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  5. #5
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    I found out that it is called "purging" and it's purpose is two fold. One is removing debris or water and the other is to properly pressurize the tank for filling. If it is not done properly ( up to 7 times) you will not get a full tank of fuel and may experience vapor lock when using.

    Thanks for the responses, you learn something new every day!

    Kevin

  6. #6
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    Purging a new tank is critical as you have discovered! Take that one back and get one w/o crap inside it as it will always bother you, it would bother me at least.
    '12 Dodge 5500 6.7 diesel slightly modified. 14' 3" Alaskan camper (Alaskanabego)
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  7. #7
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    I did some poking around on the topic to see what I could find. One thing is that there are two uses of the word "purge" with regard to propane tanks. One is as stated above, removal of air from the tank so that only propane comes out of it.

    The other use is just the opposite, to purge all of the fuel from the tank & replace it with air. This is apparently required to ship a used tank. Hot air ballooners appear to need to do this most frequently.

    Propane is heavier than air, so it stands to reason that if a tank were filled to the limit of the filling pump and then left to sit undisturbed that the propane would eventually settle out of suspension in the air. At that point one could crack open the tank valve and 'bleed' off the air so long as the valve is at the very top of the cylinder. Close the valve at the first sniff of propane.
    The $64 question is, how long would it have to sit before this would work? From the sound of things, few have that much patience. Probably including me.
    I used to swerve around my hallucinations, now I drive right through them.

  8. #8
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    About a hundred years ago I was a licensed propane filler. (pump jockey in high school). Purging is actually done with propane gas (not liquid) and is required to remove O2 from the tank. Since propane is heavier than air, as long as you never completely drain the tank and turn it over with the valve open you never need to purge it again. As far as the debris goes, I wouldn't be too happy about it. If that tank were going to be used in a stationary application I'd worry less but when its going to get shook around sooner or later the junk is going to end up in a valve or regulator and give you grief. You could just remove the valve and shake it out.
    Rocky Mountain Land Cruiser Association TLCA # 5513
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  9. #9
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    Yeah Lowenbrau, I returned it today. I called a guy at a propane shop and asked about purging, he said basically the same things you all are saying. He also said there was no way to remove debris without removing the whole valve from the tank. He said that the debris would probably stay put at the bottom, but don't ever invert it or you could clog the valve.

    I plan on using this tank to refill 1# cannisters at times and will have to turn it upside down to do that, so buh bye.

    By the way, when I returned it the gal at the register asked a worker there to take it to the back. He just stuck it right back on the shelf to sell to some other unsuspecting customer. Don't buy a 11# pancake style propane tank at State Trailer in Ogden. It will be the only one on the shelf.

    Kevin

  10. #10
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    Yours didn't have a gauge on it, did it? If it was like the new 20# horizontal tank that an RV repair service installed in my Chalet, that was the float for the gauge. Mine made an eerie noise like there was a washer scraping around in it, but it didn't rattle. The repair people put just enough gas in it to do a leak test of the old appliances, and I had to have it refilled. The noise went away after that.
    ...former owner of Chalet #1747. Our forum at Yahoo Autos Groups for Chalet owners & enthusiasts is free to join, click here. More information on these is at blazerchalet.com, which I own but haven't yet updated from the original owner's content.

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