Trading up your 20lb tank? Beware of Blue Rino.

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Trading up your 20lb tank? Beware of Blue Rino.

Postby dh » Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:34 am

Just a heads up. I know most of us that have our tanks refilled will ocasionally (or at least have thought about it) exchange our 20lb tanks for a better looking one at the tank exchange. Blue Rhino is installing thier own proprietary OPD valves on the tanks, phazing out the standard OPDs, so your refiller may not be able to refill one of these tanks.. Look for a triangular indentation on the valve body where a magnetic ''key'' goes to ''unlock'' the valve for filling. Not all tanks have been changed over yet.
Last edited by dh on Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby eamarquardt » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:19 pm

I have a real problem with that kind of behavior. When I worked in a paper factory we needed new gears for a gearbox. We called the Ohio Gear Co and asked how much gears for a RA4 gearbox were and were quoted a price. When we placed the order we needed to give them the serial number of the gearbox. Later we got a call from them saying the gearbox went on a PCMC machine (true) and that we'd have to contact PCMC for gears as they were "special". So, we called PCMC for a price. The price was EXACTLY DOUBLE what Ohio Gear had quoted. There was nothing special about the gearboxes they were simply right angle drive boxes.

Exchange elsewhere or better yet, pick up some extra tanks at garage sales for a couple of bucks and have em refilled a bunch at a time. Cheaper.

Cheers,

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Postby slowcowboy » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:18 pm

I just avoid them. about everything is mary had some gas around here or amerigas and they can make blue rino look sick at being crooked.


I would just avoid exchanging unless you have a real need like old tank or a damaged one.

the hole propane industry is geared to ripping the common man off.

its very hard if next to impossible to find a honest propane company.

refilling at a mom and pop place is your best bet.

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Postby 48Rob » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:15 am

the hole propane industry is geared to ripping the common man off.

its very hard if next to impossible to find a honest propane company.


Thats a pretty strong statement...

What evidence do you have to support these claims? :thinking:

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Postby dh » Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:14 pm

In all fairness to Blue Rhino, I found this reply letter, I'll let you make up your own mind about it.

Blue Rhino wrote:
Blue Rhino is the leader in the industry for providing the safest tanks on the market. Some, but not all of our tanks have a special safety device that prevents the refill by anyone other than a Blue Rhino specialist. They are called TS2 cylinders. The reason we designed them is simple. It's for the safety of our consumers!! We stand behind our product. We know how our cylinders are filled and that the highest level of accuracy and safety checks are performed. When our consumers take our cylinders and have them filled elsewhere, we cannot be liable or guarantee the safety of that cylinder. If your tank is not properly filled, damage to your valve can result, which can prevent it from performing properly.

Our business is propane cylinder exchange. We recommend that our customers only exchange because of the safety/liability issues associated with someone else filling our tanks. However, you, as a consumer, are free to fill your cylinder if you wish. Not all of our tanks offer the special safety feature. The way to identify the special TS2 valve tanks that cannot be filled is easy. If your tank valve has a small triangular indention on the side, then it is "tamper" protected. If you prefer to have a tank that can be filled by anyone, take that tank back to any Blue Rhino retailer and exchange it for one that does not have the triangular indention.

For liability reasons, if you choose to refill your tank, please remember to remove the plastic sleeve before having it refilled.

I hope this information helps.

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trade in tanks

Postby doitright » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:17 pm

Last year here in West Tn. At several of the trade in tank places they had information on how to get some money back if you had paper work showing how much propane you bought at the trade in stations. There was a class action suit against them and the court made them leave information on it at the trade in stores. This was because the tanks were not filled all the way to 20#.
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Postby eamarquardt » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:12 am

I have a number of 10# tanks with the old style valve. I like em as they're smaller and meet my needs. One is even aluminum. So, I need to get em "recertified" which is nothing more than an eyeball inspection for severe dents and rust (not like a high pressure vessel that is hydrostatically tested by filling with water and pumping it up and measuring it's expansion). I called all around So. Cal. and the folks wanted about $40 per just for eyeballing the tank! I got various answers as to how the tank was marked that it had been inspected. Some said they stamped em some said they put a sticker on em.

I also need to replace the valves as they are non OPD. Called the tank maker and they don't sell the valves but they gave me the name of two outfits that did. The first wouldn't sell to me cause I wasn't a propane dealer (but I shared I'd have dealer install the valves at the time of the inspection. The second was very cooperative and the valves were $15 each which was fair.

I then called the California Propane Association and got the name of an outfit to inspect them. They charge $10 including changing out the valve if I provide it. Reasonable.

Shop around when dealing with anything and get the most for your (or in my case Suzy's) money.

Cheers,

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Postby TheOtherSean » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:58 pm

48Rob wrote:
the hole propane industry is geared to ripping the common man off.

its very hard if next to impossible to find a honest propane company.


Thats a pretty strong statement...

What evidence do you have to support these claims? :thinking:

Rob


Slowcowboy's statement is a bit stronger than the hard evidence supports, but not absurdly so. There were a string of successful class action lawsuits about 2-3 years back against Blue Rhino and a few other major propane providers for substantially under-filling their tanks. Customers were paying for "full" tanks that weren't.
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Postby 48Rob » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:47 am

Sean,

Thanks.

I was simply curious about what brought on that kind of statement.
Cowboy has posted many times about his less than favorable experience with his previous (propane) employer...

I've always had a good relationship with our local propane suppliers, never having cause to feel like they were out to bend me over.

I suppose nationwide class action suits could sway a person's opinion.

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Postby bobhenry » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:29 am

"Full" tanks stuffed in a rack 10 foot from the front door of the local mini mart on a 100 degree day in direct sun sound like a problem to me.

They are probably left slightly under full for that good reason. They are designed to relieve themselves if to much expansion occurs. That would be an unfortunate thing to happen as a customer exited and lit his cigarette. :shock:

As to getting shortchanged.....All metered sales come under the domain of the local weights and measures department. A simple complaint made with them will put them into action to expose and correct such practices.
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Propane Tank filling

Postby Rarin2go » Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:25 pm

A propane tank has a "Full" capacity that is at 80% of the tank's volume, so it has expansion built into it. There are two ways to fill to that full capacity. First of all you can fill by weight, it is stamped on the ring. Secondly, it can be filled by filling until the bleed off valve releases liquid petrolem into the air. Either way a completely empty 20# cylinder will
take about 4.7 gallons to fill or 20 pounds of weight above the measured weight of the individual tank. This is at 60 degrees F.
Yes, Blue Rhino wants you to exchange only with them, and exchange tanks may or may not be "Full"
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Postby Ron Dickey » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:53 pm

I only use the small ones for my camping gear.
However, the people that are making all this exchange stuff happen are not campers but BBQers who only care is how fast they can get the refill and how fast they can get to those hot juicy ribs.
I did find the below in my looking.
If I had one I might go to a refill place, because I do not like putting my credit card in a machine that has no human hands to help, or a face I feel I can trust.
In defence of the exchange programs there are those who are cheep and do not take care of their equipment by using the exchange program they are able to get off the streets those canisters that are not safe and could cause one to wonder why.

industry news stuff and cost of propane in your area enter the city and they will give you a price of 3 in the area.
http://www.propane.pro/

Uhaul offers fill stations


exchange stations

Home Depot offers amerigas exchange

Walmart, Lowes offers Blue Rhino
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Postby logman7777 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:49 pm

Our local Wally Mart has the Blue Rhino exchange but beware since its only a 15lb fill (I was wondering why the price didnt go up too much). So less propane per fill. We seem to have the older OPD and not Blue Rhino's proprietary valve so exchanges for old tanks (the employees dont seem to care what you exchange, including 40 year old Scotty 20lb tanks)
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