Propane is stored in portable and detachable cylinders, such as those on your barbeque, or tanks, which are permanently affixed to a
Cylinders are filled by weight and the pertinent
information for each individual cylinder is stamped on the protective flange surrounding the valve. This
information includes the empty weight of the cylinder (tare weight ) and the water capacity in pounds and
allows the re-filling attendant to calculate the exact amount of propane to put into the cylinder. This is
the approved method for filling cylinders in B.C.
Some cylinder valves are equipped with a bleed valve, that
when opened, shows when the cylinder is filled to 80%. However, the present valve on the cylinder may not be
the original valve and may or may not be the proper valve for that particular cylinder, possibly resulting in
an over filled condition.
A motor home tank is filled by volume using the 80% bleed valve to
indicate the proper fill level. All new tanks are equipped with an automatic valve that shuts off
the propane flow at the 80% capacity level.
Any person dispensing propane in Canada, must, by law, be
certified by the Propane Gas Association of Canada by successfully completing a training course in the safe
handling of propane.
Also, by law, it is an offense to fill a propane cylinder
or tank beyond 80% of it's capacity and that law is in place for a very good reason. Propane is stored in a
liquid state by compressing it in a cylinder or tank. At 80% full there is the remaining 20% of the storage
capacity to allow for expansion of the liquid due to temperature changes. If the tank is over filled this
expansion room is decreased to the point that the built in pressure relief valve will vent off enough propane
to avoid tank rupture. If the cylinder is lying on it's side when this happened it would vent off enough
liquid propane to reduce the internal pressure to below the preset pressure of the relief valve. When liquid
propane is released it will expand to 270 times it's volume. Propane is heavier that air and tends to collect
at the lowest spot, such as the lowest deck of a ferry, where enough can be present to cause an
An LP gas inspection on a recreational vehicle should only
be performed by a licensed RV class Propane Gas Fitter and you have every right to ask for
In short, propane gas is a clean, efficient and convenient
fuel source and very safe to use when all safety precautions are observed.
For more on propane cylinders, tanks and valves see: www.propane101.com/propanecylinders.htm