We're an affiliate
We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.