Refilling propane tanks safer with the Flame King refillable tanks

So I recently came across this Flame King refillable tank adapter and I figured it was worth checking out. As you can see in the video it is pretty easy to use, even easier to get a completely full tank with no chilling needed. I also like the stand to get the tank in a usable position, and I LOVE the lever actuated filling! I am thinking about hacking it to fill the disposable tanks; as it comes it only fits the flame king refillable tanks , which aren’t exactly cheap. They aren’t terrible though, so I think it is worth having a couple.

Here is my Amazon link to the Flame King adapter with current pricing:

Here is what I like:

  • Easier to assemble and use (uses the outside threads of the tank with a hand wheel, vs the left handed threads of the Mr. Heater refill adapter which you have to get pretty tight (otherwise, when you tighten the disposable tank it loosens the adapter if you don’t have it in tight)
  • The tank is meant to be refilled. There are a TON of people on my original video commenting that it is unsafe or illegal to refill the disposable cylinders. I don’t think that is accurate. It is NOT illegal to refill them, it is illegal to TRANSPORT a refilled cylinder (and then, how would “they” know?). It isn’t unsafe either, as long as you are observant. Here is why: Any time you connect or disconnect one, the valve can form a bad seal and leak propane. That is true whether it was refilled or not. The more you refill it, it MAY start to wear out and be more prone to that. The solution? If you smell propane leaking, hook it up to an appliance, then throw it out when you are done. That said, this tank IS built to a higher standard and is meant to be refillable. It also comes with a cool thread protector / dust cap to help keep the valve cleaned out
    • The fact that it is meant to be refilled means it has a better paint job and the threads are brass instead of steel. It also has a tare weight on it so it is easier to verify it is full
  • The way it fills makes it very easy to tell when full, when the liquid starts squirting out of the vent, its full. Done.

Here is what I don’t like:

  • It isn’t CHEAP. But, if you are concerned about the disposable cylinders OR if you own a business, this can easily be worth it. The fact it is meant to be refilled means it is legal to transport the cylinders, so a business owner wouldn’t have to worry about that aspect.
  • It seems to engage the valve at a different time than the disposables. I am not sure how to word this, but when I unscrewed it from my buddy heater it seemed to leak a bit more propane than the disposables did. Not a huge deal, but an annoyance.
  • The propane smell from filling. The vent obviously does let out a bit of propane, so it’ll stink up the area. DON’T do it in the house (like I did in the original video), by design this will leaking some propane. I’ll mention below why this isn’t a huge deal.

So why did I do this in the garage? Isn’t that dumb? Dangerous? No, not terribly. If a big leak springs, turn off the grill tank! Duh. So that part isn’t a real concern since you are RIGHT there the whole time. What about the small tank? What if it leaks? Lets do that math.

1lb propane = 454 grams. Propane (C3H8) has a molar weight of 44g/mole, so 454=10.3 moles. At STP a mole is 22.4 liters, so this would be 231 liters if an entire 1lb propane tank emptied out. 231 liters = 61.1 gallons or 8.2 cubic feet. That isn’t much. Propane has a lower flammability limit of 2%, so if the propane is mixed, a volume of larger than 408 cubic feet and the propane cannot even burn. Now, propane is heavier than air so I may not risk that too much, that is why I cracked the garage door when I was done). But still, that is the number if the ENTIRE 1lb of propane leaked out. Not a likelihood . I don’t know about you, but if my tank is leaking like that I’m going to chuck it outside rather than let it empty its contents in my enclosed area.

So thoughts overall? I will probably order a spare tank or two for general use, but I will NOT be replacing all of my disposable tanks. If you are on a budget, its hard to beat the $14-ish Mr Heater refill adapter and use the tanks you likely have on hand already. I’ll get the couple of spares since I have the refill adapter now, and it IS easier to refill using it so now I may as well make my life easier right?

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