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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, being a fisherman (which comes with the achilles heel of being mesmerized by small shiny gadgets)...and being thrifty, I purchased the valve stem that allows you to refill your camping canisters (from a 5 gallon LP Bottle) that are handy to have on the boat, at camp ect. And two things I have found that VASTLY improve the refilling process.
ONE: freeze your empties before refilling them
TWO: DO THE PROCESS TWICE!!!

I just filled 8 canisters and compared weights to a new one, and they all top out heavier than the new one! I want to pass this on because the directions and my experiences of only being able to successfully fill them about a third of the way, led to the experimentation that works for me. Try it and I promise you will be impressed with the results.

My two cents....

Earl
 

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The Great Sage
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48 Posts
Also remember a refilled cylinder is not DOT approved for transport and is a violation of federal law subject to up to $500,000 penalty and five years in prison for transporting a refilled cylinder on the road in your vehicle so refill them in camp or don't talk about it if you do intend to take them away from your home after refilling them ;)
 

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Thanks, Earl. I knew there was probably a way to refill those things.

Apart from a mass which is greater than that of the original item (if you DO THE PROCESS TWICE as Earl suggests) is there any way someone would know your cylinders were refilled? If you were clever enough to not write the word, "refilled" on your bottle, it's probably not terribly enforceable.

Stan.
 

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If you make them heavier than the original, that means that you have more pressure than the original, perhaps not a good thing when the weather gets hotter.

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sure there are regulations as to the do's and don'ts of a camping cylinder, but they do have the factory pressed relief indent and plug..and if there was to be an issue of failure of the cylinder due to pressure, the plug would give. I have used them and have not had any safety issues so far.

As far as the product, I sincerely doubt that Cabellas is arming it's customers for a stint in a Federal prison. But sometimes ignorance of the law may be no excuse, but it may also be argued that it is also bliss. The short version is, I really posted the information to allow the board to use the advice IF IT WANTS TO....but in the land of America, everybody has an opinion....

Earl
 

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Geriatric Skagit Swinger
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8,260 Posts
Also remember a refilled cylinder is not DOT approved for transport and is a violation of federal law subject to up to $500,000 penalty and five years in prison for transporting a refilled cylinder on the road in your vehicle so refill them in camp or don't talk about it if you do intend to take them away from your home after refilling them ;)
Why on earth would anyone want to reuse something that can just be thrown away????
 

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Fine if you're prepared to do it safely, legally and responsibly. Problem is most guys won't, just like most who repurchase won't dispose of them properly. Just the simple reality of it. IMO by the time you've done it right you're way better off spending the 4 bucks each time and recycling/disposing of the old one (and that doesn't mean throwing it in the trash). Go to usepropane.com and see 'small cylinder safety' in the consumer safety section.
 

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Retired Mod
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Guys, it's not legal to TRANSPORT them. BUT, you can refill them in camp legally. Probably what they're intended for.

BUT, I wouldn't ever need a refiller. I just use a bulk tank adapter so I can run my appliance off big tank. :)
 

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Free Man
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1,872 Posts
Scuba shops immerse tanks in water when filling to keep them cool. The heat buildup (Boyle's law?) reduces the fill capacity. This will also reveal any leaks, and provide some protection in the off chance of a rupture. Use a 5 gallon plastic bucket when refilling in camp.
 

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Jasper hickman
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325 Posts
All the rafting outfits Ive worked for constantly refill the litte greens, throw them in super hot cube vans drive them across the northwest, stuff them in the bottom of dry box's spend weeks on the Grand Canyon, Snake, Salmon etc. Been doing that for 30 years, also the filling system is a home made.Each bottle is used for a season, but probobly gets more use that 10 years of a normal sportsman

Here is why it works.

The filling techniqe is called a cascade sytem, all propane bottles are filled to a simillar psi, when you hook one bottle full bottle to the empty one all you are doing is equalizing the pressure between the two, so you first refill is the highest youll ever get, next time you refill youll get a little less, then a litttle less. The most gas you will ever get is from the store from that point on you will never reach that mark again. So you are not expanding the bottle witch causes metal fatige wich leads to bottle faluire. If some how you were to top a bottle off then put it in an oven or somehow raised the temp to some insane amount the pressure relief valve would release and it would make a big noise, as long as you were not smoking it would be alright. But like I stated eariler we have exposed these bottles to the very extremes, with no faluire

As for as filling scuba cylinders and Charles law of thermodynamics,or law of volume, and filling the bottle in water. Usually the only time you fill in water is if your doing a "hot fill" or the customer is standing next to you saying he cant wait to hit the water later in the day. Or if your filling a HP SCBA bottle, wich can be filled as high as 4500 psi and a much smaller package. If you have plenty of time to slowly fill the bottle there really is no use for getting everything all wet. Also if you slowly fill the bottle the more accurate your finial psi will be.

In the end if you transfer the gas slowly you should have no problem

fyi Boyles law refers to pressure and volume, as pressure is doubled volume is cut in half. Why you get sinus pain, suit squeeze, an embolism, why you need an BCD etc
 
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