Refilling small propane tanks - saves money, but is it safe?

Has anyone tried refilling the small (1-pound) propane tanks used for stoves, heaters, lanterns, etc.? They are expensive and seem pretty wasteful. (I don’t even know if they’re recyclable.) You can buy a little adapter to refill them from your grill-size propane tank, but I’ve heard that the little tanks aren’t made to be refilled and the valves can leak/break after a few refills. You can also buy Flame King refillable 1-pound tanks for about $45 dollars. I suppose they would eventually pay for themselves. Curious to hear what others are doing.

I recently looked into this (probably for the exact same reason as you). I found this video ( and all the comments are saying how dangerous it is to refill as you might overfill.

For my two burner coleman campstove I hook it up to my big propane with this converter:


We weighed the tanks with a factory fill and wrote the weight on each tank. When we refill, we fill to the written amount or slightly less.

You have to purge air from the tanks during refilling. Admittedly, it is a PIA to refill them, but it does save money and resources.

We use a large tank with a propane tree. Set the tank on the table, the lantern attaches to the top of the tree and there are two ports for the stove and the grill. Gets the lantern up high which lights the table well for cooking, eating, games, etc. Haven’t bought a disposable bottle in decades.

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Sure, a guy used to fill his off his house supply. They did not find enough of him to bury, And his house was knocked off the foundation.

These are becoming more popular and available as a sustainable option!

I save all mine and refill them. It is neither difficult nor a safety issue if you follow directions. I have picked up some helpful tips along the way. I refrigerate the empty 1lb canisters before filling them to get greater fill capacity.

I’ve had good success. This is the one I received from my kids several years ago as a stocking stuffer.

I do have to tip the 20lb upside down, when filling and I do pre-refrigerate my 1lb canisters before refilling them. Other than that, super easy.

We looked into refling the small ones but settled on a 3 gal tank. The size is very portable. Lasts forever and so cheap to refill.

I switched to an 11# tank last spring and haven’t looked back. I can fill it for~$5, the equivalent of 11 of those cylinders, which will generally run you $33-44 for an equivalent amount. Last year I used it for my Coleman 2 burner stove and lantern. Rather than the stansport tree or equivalent, I just bought a splitter and hoses for those times I am running both. Late last year I added a little red campfire to my gear and use the tank for that as well. It’s light enough to carry and no hassle with refills.

I bought this bag to hold the splitter and 2 hoses:

And I bought a Dozyant splitter:

And 2 hoses like this, in different lengths:

I have been using a 1 gallon./ 5 lb. bottle for years. fits in the small utility trailer I pull behind my motorcycle when camping. Also use it when camping from my truck. Cost about $5 to fill and last several trips. When I do fill it up the person filling it always has to comment: Oh…what a cute little tank.