Busting the Myths of Propane Exchange

Your local propane dealers will make sure you get a good deal on a quick and safe fill-up, and keep your cookout hot.

By Benjamin St. Jacques


Picture this: You’ve got everything ready for an epic barbecue. The steaks are marinated, the chicken kabobs are skewered, and the ribs are slathered with your super-secret sauce. But then you check the propane tank and realize you’re running low.




Now you’re faced with a choice. You can bring your old propane tank back the store and replace it with an entirely new one. Or you can simply have your existing tank refilled. So, which option is better?


There are many myths that lead people to think that exchanging propane tanks is preferable to getting them refilled. Let’s bust those myths and get the real deal.


Myth #1: Exchanging is cheaper than refilling.

Not true! It’s generally more expensive to exchange your old tank rather than having it refilled. When you exchange a tank, you’re paying roughly $5.75 per gallon of fuel. But with a refill, you’ll pay about $3.99 per gallon. That’s a significant difference.




Myth #2: Exchanging is more convenient than refilling.

In your mind, you picture tank exchange as a simple errand. You think you’re running to the hardware store, grabbing a new tank, and getting back on your way. But the task always takes longer than that. You need to go to the store, find the teenager wandering around the parking lot to unlock the cage, do the exchange, go back into the store, and then wait at the checkout to pay.  




When refilling your tank, you simply pull up to a tank refill station. Someone will be there to meet you, fill the tank, and take payment. Some propane dealers will refill your tank right at your home, either on a regular schedule, or whenever you call. It doesn’t get more convenient than that. Plus, they can refill all types of portable propane cylinders — from 5-pound tanks to 40-pound tanks. They can even refill the propane tank for your RV.


Myth #3: Exchanging is less wasteful than refilling.

Not sure how this myth got started, but imagine that you have a 20-pound tank of propane and you know it’s low, but not quite empty. Still, you decide to exchange the tank anyway. If there’s, say, three pounds of fuel still left in it, you’ve literally just given that fuel away with an exchange. That would be like if your car had a couple of gallons of gas left in it but you drained it all before filling the tank again.


With an exchange, you’re likely throwing fuel and money out the window. Over the course of a single summer that can really add up. If you choose to refill a not-quite-empty tank, then you’ll never lose the fuel you’ve already paid for.  




Myth #4: Exchanging is safer than refilling.

Yes, exchanging your tank is safe, but it’s certainly no safer than having it refilled. The professionals at your local propane dealer are trained in the most current refueling safety procedures and have the latest safety technology onsite. They’ll safely refill your cylinder to the maximum limit without overfilling the tank.




When you consider these myths, the choice is clear. When you need propane, look no further than your local propane dealers. They'll make sure you get a good deal on a quick and safe fill-up, and keep your cookout hot. 


Images used with permission, courtesy of www.dreamstime.com and www.bigstock.com

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