Propane Exchange VS Refill

Propane Exchange VS Refill

Is it easier to get a propane refill or exchange your empty tank with a new one? What is the cheaper option, to exchange a propane tank or refill it. For many this is an important question and affects the way they plan their budget.

But, worry not, because this piece will tell you everything you need to know to ensure that your money is well spent.

Not only will you be able to choose which alternative is best for you, but you’ll also know how to examine your propane tank.

Let’s take a look.

Refilling and Exchanging

Propane is held in a liquid state in high-pressure tanks, and when the pressure is reduced by opening the valve, it transforms into a gas. Depending on the sort of propane tank you have, you can refill it from a bigger supply tank when it’s empty.

Refilling tanks was a long-standing practice that continued until a new alternative, exchanging, was presented.

Exchanging is a quick and easy approach. All you have to do is swap out your empty tank for a full one. It takes relatively little time, and some services also provide home delivery and exchange services.

Although exchanging has its advantages, refilling may save you money in the long run.

Why Choose Refilling

Now let’s talk about why we choose to refill propane tanks instead of exchanging them.

Cost Effective

You save money in various ways when you own your propane tank.

First and foremost, you save money on propane. The price difference can be huge.

When you combine the number of refills you make, you’ll see that refilling rather than exchanging your propane cylinder saves you a lot of money.

The majority of people replace their tanks before they are entirely empty. You’re simply putting money on fire if you replace your tank before it’s completely empty. 

So, if you utilize the exchange scheme regularly, you may be squandering a significant amount of money.

Secure and Convenient

Propane tanks are available in a variety of sizes. However, it’s possible that the size you’re looking for isn’t available in the shop. 

As a result, replacing your tank would be problematic.

Refilling is secure because merchants usually check the tank’s expiry dates for any leaks before filling it up.

Drawbacks of Refilling

Although refilling appears to be a great option, there are still a few factors to consider. Some are listed below.


A tank would last between four to six years of its manufacturing date. Usually, gas stations will not fill up a tank that is expired.

You can exchange your tank right away if you run into this issue.

You may also contact the dealers to get your tank relicensed, but this is time consuming and costly.

Furthermore, leakage can occur if you do not properly maintain your tank.

Time Taking Process

Refilling a tank is a long process. You have to wait for a skilled person to do the task since doing it yourself is unsafe.

You could even face a long queue.

Why Choose Exchanging

There are several benefits to exchanging your propane rather than refilling it.

Easy and Safe

You can find a propane tank exchange facility in almost every local supermarket and petrol station. So when you require an exchange at a late or early time of day, this is a perfect option.

When you buy the new propane tank, check it well to ensure no visible damage or corrosion. 

If there’s any problem with your tank, many local stores can assist you in resolving the situation. Because authorized vendors must test tanks regularly, there’s a high possibility your tank won’t have any issues.

Checking Issues

Exchanging a tank is simple and easy. It takes little time to complete the process. Just give your old tank to the store employee, and he will replace it with a new one.

Also, if you examine your tank regularly for leaks and other damages, there is typically no need to check it before replacing it.

Drawbacks of Exchanging

Below are some drawbacks of exchanging.

Undefined Quantity

You have no idea how much Propane you receive in your new tank. Exchange tanks are half empty. They need space for gas expansion. 

Therefore, they are only approximately one third of the whole.

Higher Prices

Usually, 15 gallons from a maximum of 20 gallons is provided for an exchange tank. A refill tank may be filled more frequently and at a lesser price per gallon.

Exchanging Tanks for More Propane

When householders replace their old propane tank with a “fresh” tank, they may feel they might get more propane. However, this is incorrect. 

On a new tank, read the fine print. For a 40 gallon tank, you will get 30 gallon of propane. So by replacing an old tank with a new one, you lose 10 gallons.

You may get the most out of your propane by refilling your existing tank. 

How to Check if Your Propane Tank Needs a Refill or Exchange

You can check your propane tank for refill or exchange by doing these simple steps given below.

Weighing Scale

Check the total weight of your propane tank. When empty, it presumably weighs roughly 17 pounds.

Weigh the tank and deduct the total weight to get the quantity of Propane inside. For example, if the total weight is 30 pounds, the remaining Propane is 13 pounds.

Although this approach is not 100% correct, it will provide you with a reasonable estimate.


It is a more expensive choice, but it may be worthwhile to invest a few bucks in it if you use propane tanks frequently.

Digital Scale 

The digital scale is a cutting-edge piece of equipment. Connect this scale to your propane tank, and it will provide continual updates on the remaining quantity.

Pressure Gauge

It’s placed between the fuel line and the tank’s trimmed valve. It estimates the pressure in the tank and indicates whether it is full, partially full, or empty.

Warm Water 

Pour warm water over the tank’s side. Run your hand down the side of the container and feel for a cold spot. It should give you a good indication of how much Propane remains in the tank.

From Where You Can Exchange or Refill Your Propane Tank

If you’ve never had to deal with an empty propane tank before, you can be unsure where to go to get one filled or exchanged.

Most petrol stations and supermarket stores will replace your old propane tank with a new one. So changing propane tanks is now an effortless choice.

If you need to refill one, you may need to use a different technique. There are specialized propane retailers, and a google search for “propane suppliers in my area” may provide some excellent results.


So, is it an exchange or refill for you?  Choose whichever option is most suitable for them. You have complete control over the quantity of propane you use, and you receive a good deal.

If a petrol station near your place offers propane refills, take advantage of the savings. Although it has limitations, it is a better alternative in the long term.

Also, it’s always safer to exchange tanks if you’re comfortable with it.

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

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