How old can a propane tank be?

Under federal law, propane tanks - also called cylinders - can’t be more than 12 years old. At that point, an LPG tank can no longer be refilled or reused, and should be disposed of in a proper and safe manner.

Just like all things in life, time has a way of taking its toll. When it comes to a propane tank, however, there are clear ways to know if your tank’s time is coming to an end.

How can I tell how old my propane tank is?

At first glance it might seem difficult to determine when your gas grill tank is reaching its expiration date. But a little knowledge and some examination reveals a consistent way to determine your tank’s age.

Every propane tank manufactured has a series of numbers stamped on its collar, or the handle area near the top of the tank. It includes the original production date in a month-year format.

For instance, a tank produced in June of 2017 will have the date 06-17 stamped on the collar. Additional letters and numbers provide more information about the tank. An “E” at the end of the date stamp means the tank has been recertified for use, while the numbers that follow the letters “TW” indicate the tanks’ empty, or tare weight.

Regularly inspect your propane tank

Regardless of your tank’s age, it’s always a good idea to regularly inspect your tank for defects, corrosion, wear, or any damage that could affect its ability to safely deliver your propane.  

What to do with an old propane tank

  • Once a tank has aged out, it’s best to drop it off at a certified recycling center.
  • Never place a propane tank in a trash receptacle. Because there’s the likelihood of a small amount of propane inside the tank, this poses a safety risk and most landfills won’t accept expired propane tanks.
  • Exchange the tank for a new one at any Blue Rhino exchange center. The aged tank can also be taken to any Ferrellgas dealer. Our trained technicians are experienced with proper tank disposal.
  • Reach out to your local public works office or hazardous material disposal site to see if your community has procedures in place for tank disposal. 

By checking your tank regularly for damage or corrosion, and by checking the production date on the tank’s collar, you’ll get years of trouble-free use from your propane tank. And when it’s time for your tank to enter retirement, there are simple ways to ensure it’s done in a safe and responsible manner.

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