Is it time to retire your propane tank?
You are no longer be able to get your small propane tank refilled without an overfilling protection device (OPD) installed.
This means anyone with a tank manufactured before Oct. 1, 1998 will have to have the tank valve unit replaced, or purchase a new tank. The new rules apply to all small propane tanks with a capacity of from 4 pounds up to 40 pounds of propane. Those tanks are common on gas grills and recreational vehicles.
The overfilling protection device is being required in order to comply with national fire and safety standards.
There are limits on how much propane can be put into a cylinder. A properly filled cylinder will have a vapor space left at the top to allow room for expansion of the liquid when a change in temperature occurs. The OPD is a secondary means of insuring that cylinders are not overfilled.
The OPD is needed because overfilled cylinders, when subjected to warmer temperatures, create hazardous conditions. The pressure relief value may open, discharging propane from the cylinder, or liquid propane may enter your RV’s piping system, resulting in higher than normal pressures to appliances.
The OPD is basically a value that includes a float inside the tank that will automatically close the cylinder when the proper level of propane is reached.
You can take your old propane tanks to a propane dealer to have an OPD installed, but due to the cost you may be better off purchasing a new tank.
If you’re wondering if your current tank has an OPD installed, check the value. If the value has a triangular hand wheel that is stamped with the letters OPD you have an approved cylinder.
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