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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's BBQ Season. Save Money on Propane

Here in Ottawa I notice a proliferation of places that sell "swap" propane BBQ tanks. The idea is that you simply drop off your empty tank and take a full one in its place. A lot of places have these tanks including many gas stations. They are stored outside of course, typically in a locked cage. Cost to swap your tank at one of these places is about $27. Cost to fill your tank instead of swapping it is about $16. That's a 70% premium folks! Many people think that once they have a swap tank, they have no choice but to go and swap it when they need a fill up. But many places will refill swap tanks, as long as the date stamp on it indicates that it is less than 10 years old, same restriction as any other tank.


Luc Delorme said...

Actually, if you already have a membership, Costco refills propane tanks for under 13$. Best deal in town.

Jim Somerville said...

Yes, Costco beats everybody if you have a membership and it isn't too far away or you're not having to make a special trip just to get propane. Having two tanks helps.

If you've ever wondered how long a tank should last, propane is 22,500 BTUs per lb. So a 50,000 BTU/hr bbq running on high will last 10 hours on a 20 lb tank. If your bbq is turned down to about 30,000 BTU/hr then you will get about 15 hours out of a tank.