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Propane tank refill vs exchange

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 17th, 2021 11:14 pm
Deal Addict
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Jul 30, 2005
3645 posts
811 upvotes
Hamilton
So I did it last night. $30+ tax and the tank is a recertified tank from 05/15 so its good for another 5 yrs
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
4185 posts
3391 upvotes
Toronto
Refill vs. Exchange is a simple decision.

Refill is 1/2 the cost of exchange if done at Costco ($12 vs $25 or thereabouts)
Exchange is way more convenient if you have a vending machine like at Walmart close by and need a tank quickly
Exchange is a handy way to get a certified tank if yours is expiring

Bottom line - if you have the time and actually go to Costco (I avoid it like the plague) and want to go inside, pay for the refill, then go outside, find your car, take it over to the station, wait for the kid to finally show up and fill your tank and haul it 20 minutes back to your house, all to save $12 maybe 4 times a year, then go for it.

I'd just as soon just go swap a tank in 30 seconds at the Walmart vending machine that happens to be 5 minutes from my house and save the time and hassle.

The real secret is to have at least 2 tanks so there is never any real pressure to get the empty one filled.
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
4185 posts
3391 upvotes
Toronto
LIKEWTF wrote: Propane tank refill (Costco) = smart / exchange at gas stations = baller status
LOL. $15 extra per tank maybe 4 times a year = baller status?

I'll show you baller status. I have a 420 pound tank at my cottage that gets filled by some dude on a truck when I'm not here, maybe once a year.

Get one of those - rent is $70 for the year for the tank. Your neighbors will love you. Massive white tank about 5 feet tall and 2 feet across. Will run your BBQ for years. I pay $0.85 per liter to fill it.
Sr. Member
Nov 30, 2006
643 posts
289 upvotes
Toronto
Anyone know how much refills are at Canadian Tire?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 8, 2002
12853 posts
3993 upvotes
GTA
vanhalen26 wrote: Anyone know how much refills are at Canadian Tire?
About double what Costco charges IIRC.
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Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
6580 posts
1269 upvotes
Every time I checked Costco was by far the cheapest place to get a refill, although not necessarily the most convenient.
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2012
1351 posts
693 upvotes
Toronto
Full tank at Costco is $11.99
New tank (comes with a fill) = $37.99

I Feel like Costco is better than an exchange considering the exchange is Russian roulette with what tank age you are going to get. If the exchange is 30 + tax then yea you are saving money but you probably won’t get 9-10 years out of it because the exchange tanks are all requalified tanks with approx 5-6 years left.
JS
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
47107 posts
7508 upvotes
Richmond Hill
James Stonehenge wrote: Full tank at Costco is $11.99
New tank (comes with a fill) = $37.99

I Feel like Costco is better than an exchange considering the exchange is Russian roulette with what tank age you are going to get. If the exchange is 30 + tax then yea you are saving money but you probably won’t get 9-10 years out of it because the exchange tanks are all requalified tanks with approx 5-6 years left.
Unless this is new, I had to purchase my first fill when I bought my tank at Costco.
Deal Addict
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Mar 30, 2004
2461 posts
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Edmonton
Buying the fill with the tank is an option, but one you would be foolish not to take advantage of.

They charge for future refill by the litre, I have not paid more than $10.....
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten....
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2006
660 posts
363 upvotes
Toronto
I just paid $17 tax in for 20 lbs refill at Costco (Richmond Hill, Ontario location). Costco is about only $1 less than my local gas station now and less convenient.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
7871 posts
3717 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Reviving this thread, I bought a tank from Costco 5-6 years ago and never got a free 1st fill. Then again, that Costco didn't (and still doesn't) have any fuelling facilities.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jan 14, 2007
631 posts
248 upvotes
GTA North
James Stonehenge wrote: Full tank at Costco is $11.99
New tank (comes with a fill) = $37.99

I Feel like Costco is better than an exchange considering the exchange is Russian roulette with what tank age you are going to get. If the exchange is 30 + tax then yea you are saving money but you probably won’t get 9-10 years out of it because the exchange tanks are all requalified tanks with approx 5-6 years left.
I thought Costco included the propane fill with new tank as well but not anymore.

Looking at my Costco receipt from last night (July 15th 2021) Newmarket
20LB tank $36.99
+propane $14.99
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 21, 2003
5323 posts
2560 upvotes
Stoney Creek, ON
James Stonehenge wrote: Full tank at Costco is $11.99
New tank (comes with a fill) = $37.99

I Feel like Costco is better than an exchange considering the exchange is Russian roulette with what tank age you are going to get. If the exchange is 30 + tax then yea you are saving money but you probably won’t get 9-10 years out of it because the exchange tanks are all requalified tanks with approx 5-6 years left.
When I bought my empty tank a few years back it did not include the first fill. I believe it even reflected that in writing in the price tag in store as a heads up.

Also they aren’t all flat fee anymore. The one near me is per Litre and I’ve been told there that the older ones would all be moved to “by the L” as time goes on. I prefer the new format personally as sometimes if I know I’m going to Costco I may take my half full tank for a fill anyways to save a future trip.

EDIT: typos.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
19514 posts
12577 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
The best bet for refill is almost always someplace that charges by the amount filled over a flat rate as most people never completely empty a tank prior to refilling it.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 21, 2013
7471 posts
7970 upvotes
Jerico wrote: The best thing is to find someone who will fill by litre. Many swappers don’t fill beyond 16 lbs saying they can only fill to 80% capacity. A 20 lb tank is rated for 24 pounds and this can be filled to 20 pounds. You can feel the weight different of a properly filled tank vs a 16 pounder.

Costco will often only fill to 16 pounds too but by litre so it’s annoying but not the end of the world.
Absolutely false, and prohibited...

It is illegal to fill propane cylinders or tanks to more than 80% capacity, allowing room for volume changes due to temperature variations.

SOURCE: https://propane.ca/safety-regulation/
Deal Guru
Jun 24, 2006
11779 posts
5690 upvotes
Just moved and bought a propane grill to compliment my charcoal grill for easy stuff.

I think did okay, as the Esso less than 2 minutes away does exchange for $15. I bought 2 tanks so I always have a full one and quick access to another one.

Considering nearest Costco is 45 min away, I am happy with this. Also, don't have to drive it far.
Deal Addict
Dec 25, 2012
1351 posts
693 upvotes
Toronto
IMHIP2 wrote: I thought Costco included the propane fill with new tank as well but not anymore.

Looking at my Costco receipt from last night (July 15th 2021) Newmarket
20LB tank $36.99
+propane $14.99
Hmm

Maybe I missed the 14.99 buried in grocery items
JS
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11452 posts
6635 upvotes
Paris
DoorCrasher wrote: Absolutely false, and prohibited...

It is illegal to fill propane cylinders or tanks to more than 80% capacity, allowing room for volume changes due to temperature variations.

SOURCE: https://propane.ca/safety-regulation/
Correct. What we call a 20 lb tank is rated for 24 lbs, thus an 80% fill is just shy of 20 pounds, not 16 pounds. The tanks are stamped as such. Read before replying please.
Member
Aug 23, 2014
409 posts
193 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
I bought a new tank at Costco a week ago. On my way back to my car, I stopped by the filling station to ask if they will take back my expired tank. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that the $36 price I paid for my new tank ( that comes with a built-in gauge) actually includes a first fill.

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