When Do Propane Tanks Expire In Canada?
Most people probably don’t even know that propane tanks expire in the first place, or how to tell when their cylinders expire. I didn’t know this either, until I worked as a propane attendant for several years, and hopefully I can pass some of this knowledge on to you.
So when do propane tanks expire in Canada? Propane tanks expire every 10 years in Canada. Every propane cylinder is marked with a month and a year. The tank will be considered expired at the end of the month, 10 years from the year on the tank.
Propane tanks in the United States expire every 12 years. Even if you have a propane cylinder that is from the United States that mentions the 12 year rule on the side of it, you are still required to follow the 10 year rule if you are in Canada.
How Do I Know If My Propane Tank Is Expired?
Every propane cylinder has markings on the collar to indicate a date. The date will always be month first, then the year.
As you can see here, this propane tank would expire at the end of July, 2018 in Canada (2020 if it were the U.S.A). You could still legally have it filled on the last day of the month specified, then it would expire at midnight.
However, if you look around at the rest of the propane cylinder collar, you may see a newly stamped date if it was recertified.
Can Propane Tanks Be Recertified? What Do I Do If My Propane Tank is Expired?
Yes, propane tanks can be recertified, and if your propane tank is expired, you can have it examined by a certified station and have a new valve installed and an updated date. This makes it good for another 10 years.
It should be noted that not all stations are certified or equipped to do this, and in fact, most are not.
This image seen above shows what a new date would look like. The format is a 2 digit month, then a 3 digit company code, then a 2 digit year, then an “E” at the end (You may also see an “H”, indicating it has been hydro tested, but this is rare).
Is My Propane Tank Still Safe to be Recertified?
Your locally certified propane station will have all the training and tools to examine if your tank is still in acceptable condition to recertify for another 10 years. Here is a list of some (but not all) of the things they will look for:
- Welds and Seams are strong and intact
- Collar and Footer still intact.
- No deep dents (they will have tools to measure the size of the dents).
- Corrosion is not too excessive.
How is a Propane Tank Recertified?
If your propane tank passes inspection, it can then be recertified and a new date stamped on the collar. In most cases, this involves removing the old valve, and replacing it with a new one.
Why Should I Bother Recertifying a Propane Tank? Why Not Just Buy a New One?
In most cases, the cost to recertify a propane tank will be lower than the cost to buy a new propane tank. However, there are exceptions, and this is a personal choice.
- Propane tanks in Canada expire every 10 years (12 years in the USA).
- This makes it illegal to fill them.
- You can have them recertified by a professional and continue to use them as long as they pass a safety inspection.
How Do I Know How Much Propane Is Left in My Propane Tank?
The most accurate way to figure out how much propane is left in your propane tank is to weigh it using a scale. You can place your propane tank on a bathroom scale. Stamped on the side of every propane cylinder is a “Tare Weight”. Indicated by a T if it’s in KGs, or a T.W. if it is in LBs.
The Tare Weight is the weight of the entire propane tank if it is completely empty.
For Example: If the Tare Weight is 18 LBs, and the tank weighs 18 LBS, then it is empty. If it weighs 19 LBS, there is 1LB of propane left.
Other Methods of Finding the Remaining Quantity of Propane in Your Tank.
You will see other methods on the internet that describe using water and freezing off the tank to indicate an estimated level of propane in your tank. This method can be somewhat effective to get a very rough estimation.
However, I find it to be just as valid to get to know the weight of your tanks by feel, when they are empty or full.
More about these questions and other propane related questions can be found here at propane.ca
How Do I Properly Take Care of My Propane Tank?
Propane tanks should be treated with care, as they are the only thing standing in between you and a dangerous substance.
Never store them in extreme heat, and avoid situations that will erode the paint and cause rust.
Always store them securely in areas that will keep them safe from blunt force, and never use a severely damaged propane cylinder. Take it to a professional for inspection if you are unsure.
These tips are not just for safety, they will also save you money by prolonging the life of your propane tanks and valves.
Another tip that will lengthen the life of your propane valves is by using covers and caps. Contamination of your valves can cause damage and this can be costly. You wouldn’t want to require a revalue before the 10 year expiry date. It’s a huge waste.
You can buy QCC1 Propane Dust caps from Amazon here, as well as other protection devices. I have a personal connection with this particular listing and can attest to the quality of these caps. These are the high quality dust caps.
These are cheap and simple, and will save you money in the long run.
These are QCC1, which means they fit over the threads. There are dust caps available that are designed to screw into the inside as well. Those are called POL.