Your motorhome propane tanks are one of the most vital aspects of your RV. You can use these to power nearly anything, and if you don’t have propane, you’ll be stuck.
All propane tanks, also known as cylinders, must be recertified before the expiration date during their lifetime. This implies they’ve been inspected and tested by a registered propane retailer to verify they’re still safe to use.
A new valve may be installed in a cylinder if state legislation requires it. However, the certification issue is far more crucial. You can learn more about recertifying propane tank and when and where you should do it in our guide. (Find the Best RV Portable Waste Tank)
By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the entire re-certification process
How Many Times Can a Propane Tank Be Recertified?
Propane tanks have a 12-year lifetime, with the option of re-certification after 5 years.
The “requalification” date, or commonly the “retest” date, is important for fillers and consumers to remember. Based on cylinder type, condition, and prior requalification technique, DOT 4-series propane cylinders must be re-qualified or replaced every 5 to 10 years.
Before filling, the original manufacture and test dates and any requalification/retest date must be shown in a certain way.
Before filling, cylinders must pass a visual examination. And if any defects listed below are present, the cylinder must not be filled and must be repaired, requalified, or rebuilt by an authorized facility from the US DOT.
- Any sign of physical damage, fire, or heat damage to the cylinder’s exterior, such as dents, bulges, cuts, or cracks on the cylinder’s surface or to the welds.
- Corrosion, rust, or pitting on the cylinder, especially toward the bottom.
- A cylinder footring, cylinder neckring (collar), or valve cover is missing or damaged.
- A defective or leaking valve or a defective or leaking pressure relief mechanism.
A bottle is qualified for 12 years in the United States and 10 years in Canada from the date of manufacture. Depending on the method and type of propane tank recertification, a recertified tank is good for 5, 7, or 12 years.
The expiration date of your propane tanks can be determined by looking at the collar of your tank. If it isn’t the first time, you should see a propane tank recertification stamp or sticker showing the last time the tank was recertified.
The manufacture date should be displayed on the handle, near the valve, in the usual Month-Year format.
To assist the US Department of Transportation and propane dealers in tracking and keeping safety records for each tank in circulation, each tank is stamped with a unique identifying number.
It’s common to find a requalifier’s identifying stamp, which might help you figure out when the tank will expire when you know the manufacture or recertification date. (Learn How Much Does It Cost to Live in An RV Park)
How Much Does It Cost to Recertify a 30 Pound Propane Tank?
Many new RVers often ask how much is it to have a propane tank recertified? The propane tank certification and inspection process cost between $35 and $60, and you’ll be able to replace your old propane tank with a newer one.
Does Tractor Supply Recertify Propane Tanks?
Refilling your propane tank at your local Tractor Supply is convenient and economical. However, that is all they do, and propane tank recertification isn’t among their services.
Before refilling, Tractor Supply Company inspects all tanks for certification date and condition. Rules and norms govern the length of time a tank can be refilled.
For example, a tank that is uncertified, broken, has a bent or missing collar or foot ring, or has severe rust violates all national propane rules and norms and will not be filled.
All barbecue-type cylinders must have an overfill prevention system (OPD valve). Following the filling process, we check all valves for leakage.
If they discover that your propane tank is leaking, they will keep it since NFPA laws prohibit us from discharging a leaking propane tank. In addition, we have propane tanks for sale that can be used to replace your broken tank. (Learn How to Dispose of Coleman Fuel Canisters)
To prevent the inside from rust while shipping, new propane tanks are water-tested, emptied, and filled with neutral gas by the manufacturer.
Before the initial filling, all new tanks must be adequately purged; otherwise, the internal pressure may rise and cause the safety relief valve to open.
Does a 100 Pound Propane Tank Need to be Recertified?
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) larger tank is heavier and permanently placed in motor homes. A larger ASME tank (over 100 lbs.) means you don’t need to get propane tanks recertified at the same level of recertification.
Still, they must be visually inspected regularly by a qualified technician.
The expiration date for larger tanks with a capacity of 100 pounds or fewer is 12 years from manufacture. When the 12 years are over, you have the option of replacing the new tank or having it inspected for re-certification for another five years.
Portable propane cylinders used in your travel trailer, or fifth wheel must be recertified by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT tanks) 10 years after the manufacture date. They will need to be recertified every 5 years after the initial recertification.
At your next fill-up, a local propane dealer can tell you whether you’re near your recertification date because the date of manufacture is stamped on the collar of the propane cylinder. If you’re on the road, you can use the DOT online or the RIN Locator App to discover a recertification site near you.
There is no explicit penalty or fine for using a tank older than 12 years old unless a municipal ordinance is in place. However, propane refill sellers must check for a propane tank recertified, re-certifying stamp, or a recertification sticker.
Also, keep in mind that propane tanks, such as the DOT 39 are not supposed to be refilled or recertified. According to the US Department of Transportation, these are one-time use propane tanks, and attempting to refill at a certified retailer is dangerous and punishable by law.
A certified propane retailer must always recertify propane tanks. Finding one is simple and requires no more than a Google search for “Certified Propane Retailer Near Me.” You can contact the local office of AmeriGas to find the nearest local retailer.
The certified technician inspects the empty tank for leakage using specialized tools. A pressure test of the primary valve will also be performed.
Some states may additionally have legislation in place that demands you to upgrade or change the main valve during the recertification process. If you need a new tank recertified and live in another state, check for price quotations.
Can I test my own propane tank is a common question among RVers. Regrettably, only certified professionals with special tools are permitted by law to carry out a proof pressure test to test for leaks, physically change and re-certify a propane tank.
Even if you have the tools, testing or changing your propane tank valve on your own is risky.
Another frequently asked question is whether it is cheaper to get a propane tank re-certified rather than purchase a new propane tank. (Read our Full Time RV Living Tips)
If a 25-pound propane tank powers your RV, trading it at an affiliated retail exchange is easier. Once your old tank is registered in their system, they are legally obligated to meet all recertification criteria.