Author Topic: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling  (Read 1102 times)

Offline LoneWolf

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DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« on: Feb 22, 2018, 05:37 PM »

In another thread I had posted how I couldn't find the Flame King kit for refilling the 1 lb canisters and I decided to make my own. This is just what I did and I'm not suggesting anyone else should.
I ordered three parts online. A hose, a shut off valve and a 1 lb canister adapter. The hose is 20" long with one end that goes to the large tank and the other is a male 1/4" threaded NPT. The brass ball valve is a double female 1/4" NPT that is rated for gas and water. The canister adapter is a male 1/4" NPT and female for the canister. I simply put it together using a gas and water rated sealant on the threads.


The next thing I did was to get a schrader valve tool and alter it to work on the pressure relief valve. I removed the pressure relief valve to see exactly what it is and decide how I wanted to relieve pressure while filling. Most people seem to be pulling up on the pin in the valve to relieve canister pressure. This is a safe method as the valve pressure is pre set at the factory and you don't want to alter it.

Tool
 
Pressure Relief Valve


I decided to go another route. I took 4 new, untouched canisters and decided to see how consistent the depth of the valve sat in the canister. I know it would go by spring pressure (not depth) to give the valve the correct resistance or pressure to release. I seated the tool on the first canisters valve and marked it. I compared that to the other three canisters and they were identical. I now had a depth gauge for proper spring tension.
I set everything up on my WorkMate. The large tank on top with the hose attached and the smaller 1 lb sat perfectly on the foot rest. I opened the valve on the large tank leaving the ball valve on the hose closed. I opened the pressure relief valve slightly and then opened the ball valve. I opened the pressure relief valve until I heard pressure releasing. The 1 lb tank took about a minute or so to fill. When I saw liquid coming from the relief valve I closed the ball valve and then the pressure relief valve. I removed the canister from the hose. I checked the valve height. Then I weighed it. I did 4 canisters today and it worked great. Also all the canisters came within tenths of an oz of full. If the Flame King kit were available I probably would have just purchased that but this worked great and was easy to work with.





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Offline Gills-only

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #1 on: Feb 22, 2018, 07:43 PM »
In my flame king kit, says not to leave 20# tank upside down for more than i think 10 minutes at a time

Offline LoneWolf

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #2 on: Feb 23, 2018, 07:42 AM »
In my flame king kit, says not to leave 20# tank upside down for more than i think 10 minutes at a time

It must have something to do with the safety valve.  ???

The weight I used to check the refilled canisters was just under 2 lbs. I had checked 4 brand new Coleman canisters and the full weight was an average of 1 lb 15.2 ounces.
The past few years I had been using the Mac adapter and couldn't get the canisters past 2/3 full even when freezing the bottles. This is a much more efficient process.
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Offline Gills-only

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #3 on: Feb 23, 2018, 08:42 AM »
I like the set screw on the flame king tanks, like a 500 gallon tank, when it comes out itís full!

Offline LoneWolf

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #4 on: Feb 23, 2018, 06:27 PM »

I agree with you about the Flame King kit. As I said I was trying to get it. If it had come in on any of the numerous due in dates I was told I would have been using that.

It doesn't matter now as I am happy with this set up .. it works and works easily. I now have a dozen full and weighed 1 lb canisters ready to go.

By the way I also used soap and water to make sure of no leaks.

Do you weigh your canisters ? I remember reading by overfilling them you can increase the pressure especially on warm days.
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Offline DR.SPECKLER

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #5 on: Feb 23, 2018, 06:33 PM »
 I wanted to get the flame king refill kit too.they are hard to find.plus recalls for leaks that could lead to explosions.im still refilling the little green bombs.seem to be the same hazards with both basically.i will get the flame king kit with 4 bottles as soon as they come up for sale.

Offline Gills-only

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #6 on: Feb 23, 2018, 06:42 PM »
Recalled as the brass where screwed into tank was not tight, replaced or paid back owners. Iím still waiting for mine. I had one good one and one bad. I been using the good one and love it , easy to fill. Supposed to start selling them again shortly !!

Offline tbern

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #7 on: Feb 23, 2018, 06:55 PM »
Recalled as the brass where screwed into tank was not tight, replaced or paid back owners. Iím still waiting for mine. I had one good one and one bad. I been using the good one and love it , easy to fill. Supposed to start selling them again shortly !!
.   Gills, would you start a post when they do start to sell them again?

Offline Gills-only

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #8 on: Feb 23, 2018, 07:05 PM »
Sure will, probably after they ship out all backorders, hopefully soon Iíll let u guys know

Offline tbern

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #9 on: Feb 23, 2018, 07:10 PM »
Thanks!

Offline esox slayer

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #10 on: Feb 23, 2018, 07:30 PM »
In another thread I had posted how I couldn't find the Flame King kit for refilling the 1 lb canisters and I decided to make my own. This is just what I did and I'm not suggesting anyone else should.
I ordered three parts online. A hose, a shut off valve and a 1 lb canister adapter. The hose is 20" long with one end that goes to the large tank and the other is a male 1/4" threaded NPT. The brass ball valve is a double female 1/4" NPT that is rated for gas and water. The canister adapter is a male 1/4" NPT and female for the canister. I simply put it together using a gas and water rated sealant on the threads.
(Image removed from quote.)

The next thing I did was to get a schrader valve tool and alter it to work on the pressure relief valve. I removed the pressure relief valve to see exactly what it is and decide how I wanted to relieve pressure while filling. Most people seem to be pulling up on the pin in the valve to relieve canister pressure. This is a safe method as the valve pressure is pre set at the factory and you don't want to alter it.

Tool
(Image removed from quote.) 
Pressure Relief Valve
(Image removed from quote.)

I decided to go another route. I took 4 new, untouched canisters and decided to see how consistent the depth of the valve sat in the canister. I know it would go by spring pressure (not depth) to give the valve the correct resistance or pressure to release. I seated the tool on the first canisters valve and marked it. I compared that to the other three canisters and they were identical. I now had a depth gauge for proper spring tension.
I set everything up on my WorkMate. The large tank on top with the hose attached and the smaller 1 lb sat perfectly on the foot rest. I opened the valve on the large tank leaving the ball valve on the hose closed. I opened the pressure relief valve slightly and then opened the ball valve. I opened the pressure relief valve until I heard pressure releasing. The 1 lb tank took about a minute or so to fill. When I saw liquid coming from the relief valve I closed the ball valve and then the pressure relief valve. I removed the canister from the hose. I checked the valve height. Then I weighed it. I did 4 canisters today and it worked great. Also all the canisters came within tenths of an oz of full. If the Flame King kit were available I probably would have just purchased that but this worked great and was easy to work with.

(Image removed from quote.)

(Image removed from quote.)

(Image removed from quote.)

As somebody who's worked in the propane field for 13 years, while I commend your ingenuity on this rig, it is (or has the potential to be)inherently dangerous.

Ethyl mercaptan is the odorizing agent added to propane to give it the "smell".  It's an oily messy additive, heavier than the lpg itself and in time, settles to the bottom of any LPG cylinder.

This oily crap also picks up any scale or rust inside the tank (they are just bare steel inside)... where it also settles to the bottom.  This oily crap does NOT vaporize every time you empty the cylinder, it collects in the bottom as it cannot vaporize.

Depending on the age of the cylinder you're using as the bulk tank to fill the smaller ones, a lot of this gunk can accumulate.

You turn your bulk tank upside down to fill, stirring up this stuff and being heavier than the propane liquid, it settles to the bottom (now the top (valve) area of the tank.

Open the bulk valve, and all that scale and oily crud is getting pushed through the bulk valve, collecting on the valve seat, then coating the inside of the supply hose, the shut off valve and finally the valve seat on the one pound cylinder, plus pressure has pushed some of this crud into your one pound tank.

Before I go any farther, you can add "moisture" to the list of gunk in the tanks.  Since the tanks are sealed and under pressure, moisture will not evaporate.  A fair amount of LPG is stored in underground caverns, subject to any groundwater contamination, any water or additional moisture introduced while traveling through the pipeline, transport trucks, etc.

Water weighs approximately 8 pounds per gallon, LPG weighs 4.24 pounds per gallon, so the water is gonna go to the bottom (until you turn that bulk cylinder upside down)  Guess where it's going now?

The control valves have pretty precise springs and such to allow the (clean) lpg vapor to pass through.  The pilot orifice has a hole to let the gas vapor through just about the diameter of a human hair, the burner orifice(s) aren't much bigger.

I'm not saying you ever will have an issue, and am not knocking in any way what you're posting or what you've done to fill those little one pounders, I'm just posting a quick lesson to explain what "could" happen, even with those supposedly "safe to refill" one pounders.

Forewarned is forearmed, gents.  Be safe.
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Offline LoneWolf

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #11 on: Feb 24, 2018, 09:54 AM »

I mean it esox thanks for the insight. I learned something again today.  ;)

I wonder if that is the reason , as Gills-only stated , that you should only leave the tank upside down for ten minutes.  ???
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Offline Gunflint

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #12 on: Feb 24, 2018, 10:20 AM »
Esox,

Great post and great info.  Thanks.  Just a follow-up question on the topic.

It seems that the Flame King refillable kit would have exactly the same concerns as the system designed by Lone Wolf. As I understand it, the Flame King is certified and approved as "safe."

Does the "special valve" on the Flame King somehow eliminate the problems you describe?
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Offline 3300

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #13 on: Feb 24, 2018, 11:12 AM »
great info!

seems as tho you could clean them out by removing the pressure relief valve and shoot air in it at the fill port keeping the relief port facing down. you could also add some thin oil and cover the walls and rinse that out too.

Offline esox slayer

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #14 on: Feb 24, 2018, 03:41 PM »
Esox,

Great post and great info.  Thanks.  Just a follow-up question on the topic.

It seems that the Flame King refillable kit would have exactly the same concerns as the system designed by Lone Wolf. As I understand it, the Flame King is certified and approved as "safe."

Does the "special valve" on the Flame King somehow eliminate the problems you describe?

I don't have an answer to that question, would have to research the valve and see whats special about it...
Marine Infantry NCO- Semper Fi!!!

Offline Gunflint

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #15 on: Feb 24, 2018, 04:52 PM »
Thank you.  I would appreciate any insight you might have.
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Offline 77tech

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #16 on: Feb 28, 2018, 09:00 PM »
After reading the info Slayer provided seems to me the logical thing to do would be to tip the 20lb over about 155 or 160 degrees instead of 180.   As long as you are using a fairly full tank you should still be getting liquid. Also always tip the tank from the same side so you never let the valve get to the bottom of the tank.  That should at least reduce the risk of getting some of the debris into your 1lber.  I would also make some type of stand or bracket to keep the 20lb tank secure in that position so it can't be knocked over accidentally while you are filling.

Offline Fishrmn

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #17 on: Feb 28, 2018, 11:38 PM »
Just rambling, but how about tipping the 20 pounder upside down for several hours?  Then purging a small amount of propane (outside of course) before you begin the process of filling the one pound bottles.  Wouldn't that get rid of the gunk that has settled near the valve?




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Offline LoneWolf

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #18 on: Mar 02, 2018, 07:54 AM »

seems as tho you could clean them out by removing the pressure relief valve and shoot air in it at the fill port keeping the relief port facing down. you could also add some thin oil and cover the walls and rinse that out too.

Good idea but it wouldn't work. If I remember correctly when I removed the PRV it sat in what I'll call a tube with a hole at the bottom. If you look at the picture of the PRV the stem on the bottom appeared to go through the hole and the "O" ring sealed against the bottom of the tube. I don't know how it is on the fill valve. I cannot check as I don't have any empties ..  all my bottles have been filled already.
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Offline legend

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #19 on: Mar 02, 2018, 11:11 AM »
this is great info, thanks so much !
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Offline 3300

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #20 on: Mar 04, 2018, 08:20 AM »
Good idea but it wouldn't work. If I remember correctly when I removed the PRV it sat in what I'll call a tube with a hole at the bottom. If you look at the picture of the PRV the stem on the bottom appeared to go through the hole and the "O" ring sealed against the bottom of the tube. I don't know how it is on the fill valve. I cannot check as I don't have any empties ..  all my bottles have been filled already.
yep i see it now that you pointed it out. thanks. might be able to go the other way around.

Offline LoneWolf

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Re: DIY 1 lb propane canister filling
« Reply #21 on: Mar 21, 2018, 01:17 PM »
yep i see it now that you pointed it out. thanks. might be able to go the other way around.

When I have an empty I will check it out and post back here.
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