Is My Grill’s Propane Tank Out of Date or Expired?

Here in New England, we got our first real taste of summer last week, and it was awesome. Every street you drove down had that smokey smell of barbecued dinners and the sounds of backyard parties. If you’re getting ready for that delicious time of year, make sure that your propane tank isn’t expired.

Any tank that’s older than 12 years of age (at the time of writing in May of 2017, that means tanks made before May 2005) are expired and cannot be refilled. But how do you find out if your tank is expired, and what do you do if it is expired? Let’s find out!

How To Check Your Tank’s Expiration

Every tank of propane has a date stamped into the collar along the top of the tank. There are some important numbers and letters here that mark:

  • Serial Number
  • Water Content (WC)
  • Tare Weight (TW)
  • Manufacturing Date (See photo below)

Tank Expiration Date

The date is shown in MM-YY format, so to know if your tank is expired just subtract 12 from the second number. If your stamp is not more recent than the current month 12 years ago, your tank is expired.

Other Factors That Might Disqualify A Tank Refill

An expired tank isn’t the only reason your tank might not be eligible to be refilled. Propane tanks need to have a device on them called an OPD, or Overfill Protection Device. When a tank is being filled with propane, these devices automatically shut off the valve when the tanks reach a certain capacity. If your tank doesn’t have an OPD, we aren’t able to fill that tank.

Another factor which might cause a tank to be disqualified from being refilled is it’s general condition. If your tank has visible rust or damage anywhere on it, it could be unsafe to fill it and therefore would be disqualified from receiving a refill.

Recertified Tanks

Tanks that are past their normal expiration date can be re-certified by someone who is trained to do so. If the inspector deems the tank’s condition to be usable, they will put a sticker on the tank with and “E” after the manufacturing date. This “E” adds another 5 years to the life of the tank.Tank with Recertification Sticker

What to Do With an Expired Tank

If you have an expired tank, the best thing to do is head down to your local Koopman Lumber and grab a new one! Not only that, we’ll even take your old one and make sure that it is properly disposed of for just $5.00! Every new propane tank purchased at Koopman Lumber comes with a free propane fill, so you’ll be ready to get home and get grilling in just one visit!

Wrap Up

Expired tanks can have a lot of things to remember about them, but we make it easy to get what you need at Koopman Lumber! If you have any more questions, then head down to your local Koopman Lumber store or give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have!