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 > Purging propane tank

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Mean Jeanne

CA

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Posted: 03/18/22 06:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello:

I have a Roadtrek 170, but since this could apply to any RV, I'll try it here as well. I need to have the propane tank purged and certified that it's purged, as I am going to ship it via Matson, and that's what the company requires. I have been calling all over TX, NM, AZ and apparently no one can do this...which seems crazy to me. Anyhow, just to be clear, the tank is fine, it doesn't need to be re-certified, just certified purged, so I am looking for someone who can do that. Anyone have any ideas/suggestions? Thanks.

Mike

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Posted: 03/18/22 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The last time I bought a new cylinder, I had it purged at a tractor supply co. I'm not sure if they would provide you with a letter since that would entail liability. Also, just to clarify, is this a tank or cylinder? ASME tanks do not require recertification while DOT cylinders do.


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jdc1

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Posted: 03/18/22 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wonder if a scuba outfit would do it? I purged and inspected scuba tanks as a youngster....and they hold a lot more pressure than propane tanks

ItsyRV

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Posted: 03/18/22 08:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Call Matson and ask if they know of any location near their terminal that purges tanks. Try posting on one of the Hawaii or Guam boards to see who anyone else used when bring their RV's over.

Are you calling propane bulk dealers or just propane suppliers or RV centers? Propane tank and cylinder recyclers usually can empty, purge and affix the label or write the card.


jdc1 wrote:

I wonder if a scuba outfit would do it? I purged and inspected scuba tanks as a youngster....and they hold a lot more pressure than propane tanks

It's not just the pressure, it's the flammable/explosive vapor gas on the garage decks. Just like with vehicles where the gas tank is technically empty (the gas stations near the Matson or Pasha terminals in Hawaii do bang-up business when vehicles are unloaded as they will run out of gas quickly) they want RV propane tanks empty and purged.

* This post was edited 03/18/22 09:04pm by ItsyRV *


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Dutch_12078

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Posted: 03/18/22 09:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let's be clear on what "purging" means in regards to safely shipping an RV. Purging a propane tank or cylinder for normal use means replacing any air in the tank with propane fumes before filling. But for shipping a used tank, it means just the opposite, replacing any propane with air or an inert gas such as nitrogen. A vacuum purge can also be used and is preferred since it allows the tank to be refilled with propane without a pre-fill purge. The difficulty comes in finding a facility that will do a "reverse purge". I suggest checking with an industrial gases supplier to see if they have the needed capability. That would be supplier of welding and/or medical gases, etc.


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larry cad

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Posted: 03/19/22 06:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is from "The Propane Tank Store"



When filling your new propane cylinder for the first time, it is different than filling a used tank. When your new tank arrives, be sure to read the manufacturer's special "Purging Instructions" found on an adhesive label attached to the outside of the tank.

Caution: Do not attempt to take your new tank to a gas station or R/V dealer for the first filling and purging.

Go to a certified propane company in your community.

Once this initial process is done, you can fill your tanks any where desired.

Failure to follow these instructions will very likely result in many different problems with filling the tank and the operation of your appliances.

For more information see our blog "Why do propane tanks need to be purged?"


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Mean Jeanne

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Posted: 03/19/22 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the suggestions. And yes, since they need it "certified" purged, just empty isn't good enough. I've tried RV places (Camping World etc), propane places (Amerigas, Titan); I spoke with Matson who gave me the name of the company that does this for them (Global Propane), who told me they no longer do it and are not sure who might...frustrating. A Hawaii/Guam board is a good idea...someone MUST be able to do this!?

dougrainer

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Posted: 03/19/22 10:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since you have a Roadtrek, your LP tank is mounted under the center rear of the chassis? It also should be a small(no more than 10 gallon ASME tank). Since you cannot find a Purger locally or even hundreds of miles away, I would just have the tank removed. Just 4 bolts. Then you have 2 choices. Find a purger for the loose tank or just purchase a NEW tank at your final destination. Your smaller tank would be about $700. IF NEW, Matson may let you ship the new tank inside the RV, or if certified by the seller, allowed to ship installed on the Roadtrek. We have had to remove ASME LP tanks from large motorhomes, because they had liquid LP still in them to use in indoor RV shows. The fire marshal allows LP tanks to be drained(NOT purged) of any liquid LP. and NO vapor comes out when valve opened. IF we get one inside the Indoor facility and the Fire Marshal finds one(VERY RARE for this to happen), we have no choice but to drop the tank and remove from the facility. Doug

rjstractor

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Posted: 03/19/22 11:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

larry cad wrote:

This is from "The Propane Tank Store"



When filling your new propane cylinder for the first time, it is different than filling a used tank. When your new tank arrives, be sure to read the manufacturer's special "Purging Instructions" found on an adhesive label attached to the outside of the tank.

Caution: Do not attempt to take your new tank to a gas station or R/V dealer for the first filling and purging.

Go to a certified propane company in your community.

Once this initial process is done, you can fill your tanks any where desired.

Failure to follow these instructions will very likely result in many different problems with filling the tank and the operation of your appliances.



For more information see our blog "Why do propane tanks need to be purged?"


This is all great information that has nothing to do with the OP's issue. He's not refilling a new cylinder, he's trying to get a used one purged so it can be shipped legally by marine transport.

Mean Jeanne

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Posted: 03/19/22 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks RJS. You cut through to what I was clearly not making clear (purging an existing tank). I continue my search for someone who can do this (along Highway 40 between TX and CA), I hope that someone sees this and knows someone who does this work.

That said, I am appreciative of the suggestion Doug; maybe it does come to that, but I hope not. Vehicles with integrated propane tanks ARE being shipped; therefore, someone MUST be purging/certifying them...finding them is the task at hand for me.

Thanks again

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