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Twogunberg

How do you get your propane?

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Hi all;

I'm new to "I Forge Iron". Currently i'm setting up a hobby smithy in my shed. I recently purchased a gas forge and now i'm looking into how to get the propane. So my question is this. If you have your own forge, how did you go about setting up your propane needs?

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Welcome, Why wouldn't you buy/fill your tank where Propane is available to you, locally. You can't buy it on line!!!

When you are using propane and the bottle starts to freeze up, put the bottle into a larger pail/garbage can with some water as a heat sink in the pail.

Neil

If the tank is freezing up it is because you are drawing off gas faster than it was designed for.

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Welcome to IFI Twogunberg, I always suggest reading this to get the best out of the forum. READ THIS FIRST

Not knowing where in the world you are located, it's hard to advise where to get propane, hence the suggestion to edit your profile to show your location. Here in NW Arkansas there are several propane suppliers, that deliver propane to our home/shop. We have a 500 gal tank for the house and a 115 gal tank for the shop. For portable tanks we just take them to the propane supplier and have them filled. Here I won't use the exchange program for the small tanks because you never know if you get a full tank or a tank that won't work with a high pressure regulator but have safety devices to use with a BBQ grill.

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Exage botle can be expensive (twice what having your bottles refilled)and as noted the small bottles for your BQ can freeze up. Most of us switch to large bottles and have them refilled at a propane supplier, exaged at a weld shop or have a small ( small  being relative) tank installed and refilled buy a bulk truck. 

Look up propane in the phone book, as peaple who don’t have natural gas to their homes, RV’s and welders often use it there will be some one who refilles tanks

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Welcome aboard 2gun, glad to have you. If you put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many members live within visiting distance.  John Ringo fan?

Most propane suppliers office hours run Mon-Fri. If they have a showroom that's the place to go though refills can be had at almost any service station. I REALLY prefer refilling bottles at a supplier's yard, service stations and such tend to really over tighten the tank valves which wears them quickly and makes them leaky. When I do have to take them to a small player for refill I stand right next to the person filling the tank and close the valve myself. I tell them my intent first ad if they don't like it I take my business elsewhere. Another good thing about standing there while they fill is the person won't open the valve and completely drain the bottle first. You can get more in that way! 

If you look in their yard you'll see hundreds of small propane bottles waiting to be decommissioned. Leaking valves, won't pass inspection, can't be filled.

Frosty The Lucky.

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If the tank is freezing up it is because you are drawing off gas faster than it was designed for.  If that is happening you need a larger tank. that is the only safe way to address it. no matter what some myths state, There is a pinned thread about this here:

 

 

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I was just exchanging blue rhino tanks at the big box until I found a local supplier. He showed me how to read the cert date (They won't refil an out of cert tank) so when the cert gets old I take it back to the big box and exchange for a new one. Lather, rinse and repeat.

Steve

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Your nearest propane supplier can answer all your questions, including federal and local laws regarding handling, storage. and legal use of this fuel. Or you can just wait until all their penalties come do. One thing is sure; if you don't know the laws you have no chance not to avoid the big grin on an insurance adjusters face when you tells you that the bill is all yours, because you voided the terms of your policy :o

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Posted (edited)

Dear Twogun,

If you live in an urban or suburban area you may find it difficult to find a bulk propane supplier.  About all you may be able to find locally are exchange places for 20 pound BBQ tanks which tend to be pretty expensive when compared to having your own tank filled at a bulk supplier.  The exchange places often charge twice to triple the cost per unit of fuel.  If you are in an urban area you may have to travel to an outlying location to find a bulk supplier.  It is in rural areas where there is not a natural gas supply that people use bulk propane.

As Mikey pointed out there may be local regulations regarding storage and use of flammable gases.  Usually these don't kick in until you have a significant quantity on hand.  A couple 20# BBQ tanks are unlikely to trigger problems but you should check with your local building department and fire code enforcement office (often the fire department but sometimes a different office).

My experience has been that 20# tanks are on the small side to run a forge.  They freeze up and the temperature of the propane drops below it's vapor point.  You can either have 2 or 3 tanks and switch them out when the first starts to lose pressure or set the tank in a tub of water to act as a heat sink or use something to keep the tank warm.  (I was once in a North Dakota January where we had to wrap the 40# propane tanks with electrical heat tape and fiberglass insulation to keep our heater running when it got to -25 degrees F or so out).

Also, I second Mikey's caution about checking to make sure that having compressed flammable gas on hand does not void your home owner's or renter's insurance or violate your lease or rental agreement of condo or home owners association or subdivision covenants.  There are a lot of land mines out there and it is good to learn where they are.  Most of us have stepped on one or more of them some time in the past and are sadder and wiser for the experience.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

Edited by George N. M.
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9 hours ago, Stash said:

when the cert gets old I take it back to the big box and exchange for a new one.

If the propane supplier won't swap out of cert tanks FREE find another propane supplier, I haven't run across one that wouldn't. On the other hand Blue rhino charges enough more it doesn't hurt them, they can't fill an out of cert tank. Why pay extra for a replacement tank?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Some countries have very restrictive laws about the using and transportation of compressed gasses. Which of the 150 countries that have participated here on the World Wide Web are you in?

It helps to build a relationship with a specific supplier---hand forged bottle openers of tank wrenches can make a nice gift that can end up repaying many times over.  I have a local supplier that has even came in and opened the office to sell me propane on a Saturday when they are generally closed.

Here in NM, USA I have to transport a 100# bottle upright and in an unenclosed vehicle space---pickup with no camper, for instance. We have delivery service set up for the larger propane tank the kitchen stove runs off of.

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When we had our propane system installed for the house I had them install a wet tap on one of the tanks, so I fill the 20 gallon day tank I use off that. As long as we have fuel in the tank with the tap, I can refill my day tank.

Eventually I want to run a 4th tank separately for the shop, but for now, what I'm doing seems to work fine.

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On 5/19/2019 at 2:17 AM, Frosty said:

If the propane supplier won't swap out of cert tanks FREE find another propane supplier, I haven't run across one that wouldn't. On the other hand Blue rhino charges enough more it doesn't hurt them, they can't fill an out of cert tank. Why pay extra for a replacement tank?

Some places charge a nominal fee (ran into this today.. was something like $12-$15) and is just an inspection they do and then re-date the tank.  Was told 10 years after the creation date then the re-cert is good for 5 years before it needs to be redone.  They actually told me to just go swap the tank at a store (Amerigas or Blue Rhino) as it will be cheaper and then they can refill it after that.  Tank swaps will only have 15lbs in a 20lb tank.  Places that refill should fill it up all the way.  I just swapped a tank and it has a few recert stamps.  Last one was 2017.  There will be a sticker on the tank like a price tag sticker and that will be a date code when the tank was last filled (the tanks get trucked off to a large facility that fills them then redistributed.

My other tank says 12 years until re-cert is needed so I don't know if it changed. <_<

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I pay by the gallon when I get my tanks refilled so no extra cost to top off tanks that are only partially filled. My supplier advises the swap when needing to be recertified too.

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Odd that a person starts a thread then never comes back to see any answers :(

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Yup but answers to questions are give to the world at large not a specific asker---otherwise we could just use IM.

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Well, people may read answers without replying to them, or even being logged on.

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