Effective January 23, 2017, the federal law relating to propane tanks was changed. Propane tanks are now valid for 10 years from the date of manufacture. After that point they may not be refilled unless they have been re-certified. It is typically not economically reasonable to re-certify a tank.
The applicable tanks used to be good for 12 years. This change includes tanks which may be stamped “Valid for 12 years from the date of manufacture” such that they now expire in 10 years rather than 12 years.
What is the Propane Tank Exchange Rip Off?
aka Do You Like paying 75% more for the convenience of getting propane?
There are supermarkets, gas stations, convenience stores and drug stores that have cages with pre-filled propane tanks out front. The first part of the rip off is that you give them your tank and they give you someone else’s tank. You could end up with a tank that is much older than the tank you gave them. Imagine giving them your brand new tank and getting back one that’s 10 years old!
The second part of the rip off is that they are charging you a lot more for the convenience of exchanging a tank and they hide this extra charge because they count on you not noticing that they are not filling their tanks!
By the way, did you know we can properly (and fully!) refill your tank in about 5 minutes and even on our busiest day there is never a long wait?
How Would You Know About the Propane Tank Exchange Rip Off?
They quietly tell you that they only partially fill the tank by having a small sign on their cages that says “net weight 15 pounds” and by putting a label on the tank that says “Net Weight 15 lbs.” That’s fine, except you have a 20 pound tank!
This is like buying a can of soda and getting only 9 ounces of soda instead of the 12 ounces the can is made to hold or buying a gallon container of milk and finding out its only 3/4 full.
So How Much Extra is Swapping a Tank Costing Me?
When we fill your tank, we bring it to the full and proper capacity. If the tank swap companies brought their tanks up to capacity, and if their price were $19.98, you would be paying them roughly $26.64 for a proper fill to 20 pounds of propane.
If our price for a proper fill to 20 pounds of propane were $15, you would be paying them more than 77% more for a proper fill. This also does not take into account the inconvenience of having to go out and swap tanks considerably sooner and more frequently which incurs additional costs.
Please note the price of propane fluctuates and the example above reflected pricing on February 2, 2017. Pricing will vary and we invite you to call us to get current pricing.
Is There Trust Involved?
Of course! You cannot see into a propane tank and when you get your tank filled, there is some trust involved. The fact is, if you get a tank from a tank swap place you would probably assume it was a full 20 pound tank, never realizing you had been short changed.
Robinsons Hardware & Rental is a locally owned, family business that has been around for 143 years by caring for our customers. It’s not in out best interest to short change a customer by under filling their tank. You can continue to trust us to properly and completely fill your tank.
We will also return your tank to you, rather than swapping your newer tank for someone else’s older tank.
Don’t let their scam fool you, We are, and will continue to be, best way to have your propane tank re-filled.
Lawsuits and Settlements:
Unlawful Business Practice Settlement – California
Legal Examiner – NC
You can find many other sources discussing the problem all over the internet just search “Tank Exchange Rip Off” and you will get over 1 million results
Robinsons: Pay $15 to have your tank filled to 20 pounds, get your own tank back
Tank Exchange: Pay about $20 to only get 15 pounds of propane and someone else’s tank (which is probably older and may even be out of date)
Which would you choose?
Our Propane Filling Hours are:
10:00am to 4:00pm
Monday – Wednesday
7:30am to 6:00pm
Thursday – Friday
7:30am to 7:00pm
8:00am to 5:00pm