How to Get Your Old Propane Tank Re-Certified

 Mon Nov 02, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

Before we got married, my wife’s brothers and sister gave us a BBQ grill as a present. I also inherited two propane tanks from my dad. In doing some reading on re-filling propane tanks, it turns out that every tank has a date code on it.

For example, this is the tank that came with the grill:

1 = January, 01 = 2001

Date Code of January 2001

1 = January, 01 = 2001

We were married in July 2001 and the tank was made on January, 2001.

You can get your propane tank re-filled at many gas stations. But as a safety precaution tanks older than 12 years old are not supposed to be re-filled without being re-certified.

How do you do that?

Short answer: don’t worry about it. It’s not worth it.

You would need to find a special place, usually a local propane distributor, to get them to look at your gas tank, cross out the old code with a metal stamp, and then pound a new date code on the tank. Except this new code will be good for only 5 years, not 12.

So you have to calculate in the time in finding a place (not easy), driving to the place, pay them their fee, etc.

You could also buy a new propane tank   Walmart will sell me one today for $49.99 delivered. That’s for an empty tank.

So what do people do? Simple. You take your empty tank to Walmart. You exchange your old tank for one of their tanks. If the first tank they give you has an old date code, you ask to look for a newer one.

I exchanged two tanks in October 2020. It took a minute or two each time but I walked away with this tank:

7 = July, 20 = 2020

Date Code of July 2020

7 = July, 20 = 2020

That’s July, 2020. Meaning I can refill it without any problems until 2032.

Now, why would you want to refill your tank rather than exchange it? More on that later.