Answer: Refilling propane bottles is completely safe – as long as you take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. While handling propane bottles isn’t inherently dangerous, not taking it seriously could prove risky.
Let’s put it this way: there’s no such thing as something completely safe in this life. At the same time, some things are more dangerous than others.
Does that mean refilling propane bottles fall into the dangerous category? Not at all! In fact, it takes little work to do a refill in a safe and sound manner.
You need to follow a simple list of precautions: do not smoke or light a fire when you’re refilling a bottle, always do so in a ventilated (or, preferably, open) space, and don’t overfill your bottle. That’s it!
You will save tons of money and time if you follow those simple rules. Then again, refilling bottles is not necessary – and not worth it if you’re not comfortable with doing it.
Buying new or exchanging your old propane bottles isn’t bad at all – but neither is refilling them.
Before we move on, there’s a caveat: we’re talking about refillable bottles here. There are one-and-done propane bottles as well – and you should not refill those.
How can you tell the difference between refillable bottles from disposable ones? Refillable propane bottles are usually green. They also say “refillable” on the label, so you’ll notice them right away.
How can I refill 1lb propane bottles?
Refilling your 1lb propane bottle is an easy five minute ordeal. All you need is a propane tank, a propane bottle, and paying attention to make sure everything goes smoothly. In short, you need to attach the bottle to the tank and let fill it. Here are the seven steps you need to follow.
Invert your tank: The very first thing you have to do is put your tank on its head. That way, the valve is on the bottom. Doing so ensures a better propane flow.
Attach the adapter to the tank: You probably won’t be able to attach the empty bottle to your tank on its own. To do so, you need a refill adapter. Get one and attach it to your tank.
Attach the 1lb bottle to the tank: Once the adapter is in place, it’s time to attach the bottle there. First, place it there. Second, secure it by twisting it around. Make sure the bottle is secure!
Open the valve of the tank: Double check and make sure the bottle is fitting nicely down there. Then, open the valve and let the propane flow from your tank to the bottle. It’ll take a minute.
Wait until you see gray smoke: refillable propane bottles usually have a little hole that’ll warn you when the bottle is full. Once you see gray smoke coming from there, it’s time to stop
Close the valve: When the bottle is full, the show’s over. Close the valve to stop the flow of propane from one place to the other. Remove the bottle after you do so.
Add the safety caps: You’re almost over! Put the safety cap on so you can be but one step from finishing up.
Check for leaks: As a final step, make sure no leaks are coming from your tank. Check the valve once more, and then carry on with your full 1lb propane bottle.
Is it worth it to refill 1lb propane bottles?
Absolutely! You’ll save tons of money by refilling propane bottles. That is, you’ll save a lot of money if you use a lot of propane.
For more casual users, refilling may represent little to no difference money-wise.
With that being said, spending four or five dollars every time you need a 1lb propane bottle could become a financial burden if you’re using one bottle after another.
And, it goes without saying, you can do the math on your own on how much you’ll save (or not) if you buy a tank to refill your bottles.
So, whether refilling is worth it or not is up to you. Everyone will save money by refilling 1lb propane bottles – even doing it once means money saved! That doesn’t make it worth it, though.
Refilling propane bottles becomes worth it when you’re spending way more money than necessary.
On the other hand, if refilling bottles is costing you more time than necessary (because you don’t like doing it or feel nervous doing it), then it’s not worth it.
What happens when you overfill a propane bottle?
An overfilled propane bottle can (and most likely will) explode.
Propane doesn’t handle compression all too well – so putting more propane than a bottle can handle can lead to nasty consequences.
Before we move any further, let’s just say it: overfilling a propane bottle is silly. The idea behind refilling propane bottles is that you can easily do it whenever you want to – so why would you risk it and overfill one?
With that out of the way, we also have to say you may end up overfilling a propane bottle without realizing it (if you’re inexperienced).
Here’s the thing: you need to fill propane bottles (and tanks) up to 80% capacity. That’s it. Anything more than that, and you’re asking for trouble.
Why should you fill a propane bottle up to 80% capacity? Because propane occupies more or less space depending on its temperature.
Let’s say you go overboard and fill it up to 90% – you’re one temperature change from propane going past capacity.
That 80% number will make sure that no temperature change causes your propane to expand in such a way that it causes an explosion.
So, remember: overfilling doesn’t mean trying to go 110% – it means going past 80%.
Will I save money if I refill my propane bottles?
You will save tons of money if you decide to refill your propane bottles.
By doing so, you’re cutting out the cost of the bottle and only spending money on the propane itself.
It’s easier to understand how much money you will save when you look at the numbers.
One gallon of propane is roughly 8 lbs. A 5 gallon propane tank costs somewhere between 30 to 60 dollars. That’s, on average, a dollar per pound of propane. A 1lb propane bottle costs three to five more times than that!
There’s no need to explain why refilling will help you save money by now. The numbers don’t lie.
Of course, you may not want to save a little money if you have to do a one-time purchase. That’s okay.
You may not want to do it either if you don’t feel comfortable refilling bottles or handling big propane tanks; that’s okay too.
Needless to say, you will save money doing it if you use a lot of propane.
Is it convenient to refill my propane bottles?
It’s convenient to refill propane bottles as long as you’re comfortable with doing it. The reason behind refilling 1lb propane bottles is to save time and money – so you should do it if you’re saving either one (or preferably both).
Do you feel a little shaky when you refill propane bottles? The stress is probably not worth it! It’s not worth it either if you also feel uncomfortable using refillable bottles.
Remember, there’s nothing bad about going the exchange or refill route. Do whatever is more convenient for you!
After all, you’re probably going to use your propane bottle to grill a steak or warm yourself during a cold winter night – and you don’t want negative thoughts in your mind about anything when you’re having a good time or trying to sleep.
Now, sure, it may take a little time to get used to the idea that refilling propane bottles is safe. Once you’re comfortable with that, you won’t believe how convenient that is!
Why should I refill my empty propane bottles?
Cheap: As you know by now, refilling propane bottles is a lot cheaper than exchanging them or buying them every time you need one. There’s no argument against how good for your wallet refilling 1lb
propane bottles is.
Easy to do: Even though beginners may feel a little afraid or have a hard time getting started, there are few things in life that are easier than refilling a propane bottle (after you learn how to do it). You can
check our guide to understand how simple it is above.
Eco-friendly: Reusing bottles is great for the environment. Instead of throwing away bottles and buying new ones, you simply use the few bottles you already have until you can’t use them anymore (remember that propane bottles have an expiration date!).
Advantageous: Moving small bottles around is easier than carrying a tank around. And refilling your bottles at home then taking them into your camper is more advantageous than any other alternative too.
Is it bad to refill propane bottles?
You should have no fears when it comes to refilling propane bottles.
Of course, you have to be careful to do it right and to take the necessary precautions. The truth is, there are few (if any) disadvantages to refilling propane bottles.
You already know how convenient refilling a propane bottle is. You also know about the many benefits of doing it (for both your wallet and the environment).
So, are there any disadvantages that may tip the scale? Well, not really. As long as you do it right, you have nothing to fear.
Keep in mind you cannot use the same old propane bottles forever. They last for a long time – but there comes a time when you have to change them for new ones.
Check your propane bottle’s expiration date for more information about that. Once you’re past the expiration date, it’s time to dispose of them.
How can I dispose of my empty propane bottles?
You need to call a local propane supplier or a hazardous waste collection site if you want to dispose of empty propane bottles.
When dealing with propane, you have to be careful – even when you’re getting rid of empty cans.
Why do you have to be extra careful when disposing of empty propane bottles? Because you never know if they are fully empty or not. So, you should let someone who’s trained to deal with such a thing.
You should also consider that less-than-ethical people will try to grab an empty propane bottle or tank off the street and try to re-pressurize it – something that can lead to terrible consequences.
That’s why most authorities recommend emptying and puncturing propane bottles or tanks before throwing them out.
Such a process is complicated (and somewhat dangerous), so it’s always best to let professionals handle it – and that’s who you should call when you’re want to dispose of a propane bottle.
Is it better to refill or exchange my 1lb propane bottles?
Depending on what you need and who you are, you may prefer to refill or exchange your propane bottles – and that’s the point: you should do whatever is more convenient for you.
Some people prefer to refill their propane bottles; other people prefer to exchange them. Doing either one is okay!
We can’t help you decide or convince you to lean in one way or the other. What we can tell you is to do what gives you peace of mind. After all, propane is not to be taken lightly.
So, how can you have peace of mind when using propane bottles? Simply do what you think is best.
Do you think disposing of old bottles and getting new ones is the way to go? That’s what you should do!
Do you feel like you can refill your propane bottles with no issues? Go ahead!
What you shouldn’t do is to nervously fill them up and then be scared to use them. Or exchange your propane bottles in a shady place that you don’t trust.
As long as you keep it safe, you’ll be okay.