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Old 12-03-2019, 04:28 AM   #1
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Propane oil?

I removed a hose from a 15 lb propane tank filled 15 yrs ago and an oil came out.
Can I hook up an appliance and use it or should I release it all and refill?
Never seen this before.
thanx
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Old 12-03-2019, 05:26 AM   #2
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Is this a portable tank or one mounted in the coach?

Is this a tank which requires re-certification?

If the tank requires re-cert, then you're past due and a visit to your local propane dealer is in order anyhow. Let them evacuate the remaining fuel and inspect/clean the tank before refilling.

If the tank is permanently mounted, you still might benefit from having it inspected by a propane dealer before refilling. Lots can happen to valves and regulators sitting idle for 15 years.
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:35 AM   #3
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Don't use it. For one it is out of certification date. Second the oil that has separated can plug up the small orifices in your appliances and cause havoc. Once it gets into the system it is hard to remove. In the end it will be a lot easier just to buy a new tank.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:37 AM   #4
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Propane does not go bad and it should be good to use. If you are concerned, then use it for your backyard grill or something. If you take it to a propane dealer, they will charge you to empty it and recert the tank. If this is a 20lb bottle and you are still concerned, then trade it in at a exchange place.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:45 AM   #5
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Don't use it - the oil will clog any regulator or burner jet is reaches. The gas bottle needs to be evacuated and cleaned internally. Given the cost of LP gas services these days, you can probably buy a new tank for less. Especially since that one is expired and needs re-certification anyway.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:52 PM   #6
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as others have said dont use it, take it to one of the exchange a bottle places and get a new one. =-)
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:59 PM   #7
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As others have said, best not to use it...here's where the oil came from:

...if overheated, propane can ‘crack’ (as in petrochemical refining). This is when heavy end residuals or ‘heavy ends’ break off the molecules and become oily or waxy like residues that can clog the lines or regulators. The temperature where this can happen is usually given as above 130įF.

So if you're seeing an oily residue, that propane is no good anyway so it should be pumped out, the tank cleaned.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:30 PM   #8
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Itís probably not oil but alcohol. During cold weather dealers put alcohol in tanks to keep regulators from freezing.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Itís probably not oil but alcohol. During cold weather dealers put alcohol in tanks to keep regulators from freezing.
This is a 3G/15# cylinder per original post.
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Old Yesterday, 09:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
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It’s probably not oil but alcohol. During cold weather dealers put alcohol in tanks to keep regulators from freezing.

In my couple years of propane delivery employment, I never hear of that.
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Old Yesterday, 07:54 PM   #11
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On my last Rv, when my propane generator quit working I removed the propane regulator on the generator and it had a thick black oily substance in a lot of the orifice(s). After cleaning it ran fine. So did the oil come from propane?
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Old Yesterday, 08:34 PM   #12
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In a stationary tank they used to put the stinky smell in the tank so you instantly knew you had a leak. It was oil based and incredibly vile. The scent in natural gas is the same type of thing, I think it is so potent you could convulse if it got on you. Did it really smell?
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Old Yesterday, 08:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
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as others have said dont use it, take it to one of the exchange a bottle places and get a new one. =-)
Just remember that those exchange tanks are only about 2/3rd's full so they're pretty expensive to use all the time.
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Old Yesterday, 09:02 PM   #14
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Just remember that those exchange tanks are only about 2/3rd's full so they're pretty expensive to use all the time.

But it's the best/cheapest way to upgrade a 20lb tank which can then be refilled at any local LP dealer. Just remove the tank label/advertisement.
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