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Propane Tank Exchange Ripoff
#1
I would like to warn everyone about these exchange services.

In 2012 we purchased new propane tank and had it filled in Costco. Then for a while we did not get Costco membership, so we exchanged in Canadian Tire or Busy Bee, don't remember. Now we have Costco again, so I wanted to have it refilled for $10, but Costco refused to fill it because the tank was expired. Apparently they will only refill tanks up to 10yrs. That means one of these exchange services has given me a tank that was on the verge of expiration so despite buying a brand new tank only 4yrs ago and instead of paying $10 for the gas, I had to go and pay premium $30 to HomeDepot to have it exchanged for full one.

Pay attention to the year, it is the last two digits stamped on your propane tank. If they are giving you tank that is close to expiration, refuse it and ask for newer tank or money back.
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#2
Thanks for the tip Roman. I did not know this.
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#3
This has been going on for years - watch the dates when you swop tanks (or use it to your advantage to gain time)
some independents like gales on tsr will pretty much fill anything, go when its dark and repaint the tank if necessary so it does not look like its 50yrs old.

or just switch to natural gas and avoid the pita of the tanks. If you have a gas line nearby pretty much any bbq can be modified to use ng - some of the newer ones have a little blue logo specifically indicating that and just have removeable orifices on the valves you remove for ng. failing that you can look up the correct drill size in a chart based on the burner btuh and just drill out the hole (that is a one way conversion) removable orificices can be put back if you don't immediately lose them like I normally do. None of the conversions is super critical, you just require more natural gas for the same effect, but since there is a burner valve and a shutoff valve you can make adjustments (need to adjust the air shutters as well for the proper looking flames) - mine is a factory made convertible and on ng I need to keep the main valve half shut and then I get control with the burner valves, but sometimes you still need to fiddle a bit to get just the right size flame - the manifold is also grossly undersized so adjusting one burner affects the others.

performs much better in the winter than propane. Bottom line if you don't have gas spewing out random holes in your piping work, its going to burn in the burner and will work. bbq is probably the least critical thing you could do a conversion on.
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If things weren't meant to be modified, they would not come with wires attached.
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#4
Jon, neat idea. We are shopping for new BBQ, so I will find out how much it would cost me to have a NG outlet installed on the porch.
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#5
(2016-04-02, 04:32 PM)roman Wrote: Jon, neat idea. We are shopping for new BBQ, so I will find out how much it would cost me to have a NG outlet installed on the porch.

Its really not difficult to do the gas pipe work yourself either if there is a line nearby.

Use as few fittings as possible and check your work for leaks when you are done,
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If things weren't meant to be modified, they would not come with wires attached.
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#6
Hi guys,
I got stuck with an old exchange tank as well. Waste of money and a big hassle trying to re-fill elsewhere.
The best of it was the tank was supposed to be a spare in case we ran out. Now it just takes up room in my shed.
Bob D
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#7
yeah I hear you on the "spare", that 10yrs just flies by.
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If things weren't meant to be modified, they would not come with wires attached.
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#8
(2016-04-02, 09:51 PM)jon Wrote:
(2016-04-02, 04:32 PM)roman Wrote: Jon, neat idea. We are shopping for new BBQ, so I will find out how much it would cost me to have a NG outlet installed on the porch.

Its really not difficult to do the gas pipe work yourself either if there is a line nearby.

Use as few fittings as possible and check your work for leaks when you are done,


I know you can do everything yourself, even that barbecue modification, but the problem is insurance. If there is a fire and fire marshal finds barbecue was modified or gas line was owner installed, the insurance will use it as excuse to get out of payout. I called TSSA certified contractor coming in soon to give me a quote on adding the outlet to the porch. If this turns out to cost arm and leg, I have currently two full propane tanks and credit to Costco for two refills (gas guy refused to fill up 11yr one and second one needed just to be topped, he said he did not fill any gas in it, so he did not cancel out purchased refills. I did not want to go back inside to stand in line for refund).
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#9
You are actually permitted to do your own gas work if its a house you live in, but I hear you about the insurance and just because you are right doesn't mean anything when you have to prove it.

The convertible bbqs have a certification either way, the drilled out ones would be iffy.

Keep in mind its not like a furnace which comes on when you are asleep or not home. A bbq is only on when you are standing right beside it, so the risk is far less. If something goes wrong you just shut the gas off.

btw - on a side note, its always a good idea to be familiar with how to shut the gas off at the main regulator coming into your house, if there is ever a problem its good to know exactly how to do it ( you will need a wrench in most cases), an extra 30 seconds figuring it out could make a huge difference.
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If things weren't meant to be modified, they would not come with wires attached.
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#10
Contractor showed up and quoted $450 to tap into water heater incoming, change one valve and add two new one, get it outside (20ft) + $140 outside if I wanted to have it on opposite side of porch (14ft). Total $590 + HST.

Asked about having it done myself and have him only connect and inspect it and he said you cannot buy a gas line without TSSA contractor card. You could use the copper from in Home Depot but it might not pass the inspection and you would have wasted the money.
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