Propane grill users: use your own tank or use an exchange service?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by dewey decibel, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    we eat a lot of cheese and drink a lot of beer
    Just got a new (to me) propane grill, looks great, but didn't come with a tank. I can purchase one at Home Depot for $30, and a local place fills them for $21. But there's also all the exchange places, where you pay $50 for the first tank and then $20 each exchange. Seems like a wash, right? I like the idea of owning my own tank, but I imagine if I pay the $50 at the exchange place and never return the tank it's essentially mine anyway. I guess I could look for a used tank and save a little $ but I've read that they need to be re-certified every 12 years and it just seems like more of a hassle. And I do like the idea of being able to go to Walgreens just about any time of day to get a new one, where as the refill places tend to keep to more normal 9-5 business hours. Thoughts?
     
  2. AZChilicat

    AZChilicat Member

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    For my propane grill I use the exchange service. It's $40 here for Blue Rhino on the first pickup and $20 for refills. I actually have one in the grill and a full one in the garage as nothing is more annoying that a tank that runs out when you have a ribeye on the grill.
     
  3. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    Same here.
    Exchange service.
    I originally bought two so that I always have a spare in the garage.

    When they run out just exchange it for a full one for $21.
     
  4. Hack Prophet

    Hack Prophet vile mighty wretched Silver Supporting Member

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    You pay a premium for the exchange in my neck of the woods. 24.99 for a 5 gallon exchange, whereas I fill my 10 gallon for $30
     
  5. JDJ

    JDJ Member

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    I hooked mine directly up to my 500 gallon propane tank. I'm cookin' for days and days. :)
     
  6. Peeb

    Peeb Member

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    I've always exchanged.
     
  7. grill

    grill Member

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    exchange, they deliver/pick up also.

    infact, just yesterday i noticed the hose at the tank was split and it was leaking so that put a damper on the cheese steaks i was going to make for lunch.
     
  8. madstrat

    madstrat Member

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    Dang. I get exchange for 17 bucks. I love my gas grill. I never burn stuff. Anymore.
     
  9. Otto Tune

    Otto Tune Member

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    I would exchange, but the threads no longer match.
    Yes, I have the OPD valve, somewhere they changed again.
     
  10. wyatt

    wyatt Member

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    The exchange places offer a false convenience.

    A Blue Rhino "fill up" is currently 15 lbs (~3.5 gal) for $18+. That roughly $5 a gallon.

    A tank holds 20 lbs. (4.7 gal). Last I looked I could buy it for less than $3 a gal. That means for $14 you can get a FULL tank that will last longer.
     
  11. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I take mine to Agway, or Tractor Supply because they weigh the tank before they fill it ALL THE WAY FULL and you only pay for what they put in.
     
  12. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX Member

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    Converted my grill to natural gas...no more empty tanks
     
  13. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    I owned my own tank....refilled it tons of times.

    Then the valve got wonkey, so I traded it in at an exchange place. Haven't looked back.

    Thing is, around here, a "fill up" is a flat rate...I don't know any places that charge by the actual quantity bought. So the exchange actually works out to be about the same.

    Maybe some exchange places give light fills, but my place doesn't. It's the full, complete gross weight.....so I know I'm getting a good deal.
     
  14. TJNies

    TJNies Supporting Member

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    Exchanges are convenient, but you pay for that convenience. In addition, when the tank expires, you don't have to pay for a new tank.

    All up to you.

    The refill place a couple miles away only charges for the actual amount they pump (which is normally cheaper than the one-price option).
     
  15. Jett

    Jett Supporting Member

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    This, much better deal to have them filled.
     
  16. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    A heads up on exchange tanks. Beware any blue green stains around the valve. They may have been used to store anhydrous ammonia by those darn meth cooks. The ammonia compromises the tank integrity. Call police if you spot one.
     
  17. Campfired

    Campfired Gold Supporting Member

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    I do the exchange. Local grocer or Home Depot charges comparable prices, the drive to Home Depot slightly further away, so if I'm in the area...I take it to their seasonal yard and garden section, and I'm done.
     
  18. Papa Van Smack

    Papa Van Smack Member

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    I have two tanks, my tanks, I've had em for 10 years and I won't part with them. I get them refilled and my guy looks them over. If one were on the Fritz, he'd let me know it's time.
     
  19. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    That's what I've heard too. The exchange places don't fill the tanks all the way up. Around here, I can get a 20 lb fill for $19 or an exchange for $24.95. The choice is easy.
     
  20. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    Im about to buy a new grill.. don't they sell little mini tanks in case you run out of the big tank and just need a little bit of gas...
     

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