Refilling disposable Coleman Gas Bottles

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:08
ThreadID: 76173 Views:12344 Replies:9 FollowUps:28
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A member posted on the forum sometime ago about a device that enables you to refill the disposable half kilo Coleman gas bottles. Has anyone actually done this? On the bottles there is a warning which states Not to be refilled yet the device I am talking about is manufacturered in the USA & used by campers!! The device screws into a 9KG gas bottle and obviously into the Coleman bottle.
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:11

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:11
It is called a Mac Coupler from memory.

There are several people on here that have them.


Cheers Kev
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AnswerID: 405013

Reply By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:21

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:21
Sourced ours from the USA , cost round $19 from memory , you pre chill the empty Coleman cylinder first to get a full refill , easy as . You can get round 11 refills from 1 9kg bottle so savings workout at better than 50% depending on 9kg price and new Coleman cylinder price.
AnswerID: 405016

Follow Up By: OREJAP - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:49

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:49
Thanks for the replys. How do you pre chill them do you put one in the Engel for 10 mins? When they are full do they just cut off or does gas squirt out the end of the Coleman Bottle?
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Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 12:17

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 12:17
woohoo, this is as good for an adrenaline rush as it gets!

GOOD question Orejap!

Being a bit of a LPG freak myself, I came across 'gravity filling' of LPG tanks before.

According to their instructions, you chill the small cylinder and then fill it from the larger cylinder upside down.

And when the small cylinder is full of (cool) liquid gas, you turn off the tap...

And what happens after a few minutes, when the liquid starts to expand inside the full bottle?

Right, the overpressure valve will vent - hopefully...

They even mention this overpressure relief valve thingy under 'caution in refilling cylinders'.

Thing is, when you buy any factory pre-filled bottle of LPG, there will be a void in it, full of gas which allows the liquid gas underneath it to expand/contract with temperature.

So if you really want to rely on the overpressure relief valve, because you can't measure the amount of refill you put in, you better make 200% sure this valve is not stuck in any way.

But how do you test its functioning before you fill your bottle?

You can't.

If you pull up the manufacturer's web site you'll notice - they don't directly sell this suicide device anymore....


Best regards, Peter

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Follow Up By: Gramps - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 14:06

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 14:06
Peter,

Looks like we've got a few thrillseekers in our midst LOL

Regards
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FollowupID: 674746

Follow Up By: Top Ender - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:19

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:19
This re minds me of a story I once herd.

A sky diver jumps out of a plane, when it was time to open the parachute it failed, not panicking he goes to deploy the second chute, it fails as well.

As he falls to earth he meets someone coming towards him at great speed, as the other guy gets close he yells out.

DO YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT PARACHUTING ???

The guy coming towards him yells out.

NO !! BUT HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW TO REFILL A DISPOSABLE COLEMAN GAS BOTTLE ???
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:55

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:55
That is funny,

Could be called Natural Selection =)
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Follow Up By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 17:11

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 17:11
thrillseeker meets thrillseeker hehehe
But on closer examination I'd rather be the bloke with the gas bottles....

Mr.Bitchi's observation got me thinking, and yes, there is an explanation for this 50% or so max fill level.

The coupling device forms an orifice in which the liquid turns into gas while it gets pushed into the initially low pressure environment of the receiving cylinder.
Due to the high pressure gradient inside the orifice, the expanding gas will take up a lot of heat from its surroundings. The heat will flow from the outside air through the coupling device into the fast moving gas stream (the faster, the lower the pressure/temperature - and the colder the coupling device will become).
While the gas in the receiving cylinder starts being more and more compressed by the slowing inrush of gas, it'll heat up until the pressures/temperatures of the contents of the two cylinders are equal.
But because there was a net heat inflow into the receiving bottle, the flow will stop, before all the volume can be taken up by liquid, i.e. pressure equilibrium will be established before the receiving cylinder is full of liquid.

Should be allright eh?

Best regards, Peter

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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:22

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:22
Gramps
Your right....wonder what they'll say when it goes bang...or bang then Kabooooom!!!

probably say something like....."why didnt someone tell me" or "why isnt this warning of a dangerous act written on the cylinder"
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FollowupID: 674901

Follow Up By: Gramps - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:51

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:51
MN1,

As the old saying goes "some people can't be shown, can't be told". As long as the counter view to this practice is aired, people here can make up their own minds about the risks involved and the "substantial"
savings to be made. It only needs to go wrong once .........

As for the idea that because devices are available to facilitate such practices, selling cigarettes is still legal.

Regards
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FollowupID: 674907

Follow Up By: Top Ender - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 15:11

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 15:11
OREJAPs family have a few people to sue should he heed the advice on this forum if it all goes pears shaped.

I can't believe people are happy enough to potentially kill or maim themselves or their families, just to save a few bucks.

Good luck with that
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FollowupID: 674911

Reply By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:40

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:40
ORELAP,

I got mine for AUD18.90 delivered ($ was good at the time).

Saves heaps and a 4.5 or 9kg can be used.



Just Google Mac Coupler and you will find heaps of places who sell them

I noticed that Coleman have no information on recycling the disposable bottles, using the Mac Coupler at lease gives them a longer use.
AnswerID: 405021

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 12:49

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 12:49
Googling produces a # of ExplorOz threads on this such as #48877.

Cheers.
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FollowupID: 674737

Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:01

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:01
John,

When I google I get this page Mac Couplersearch page

With 9 hits on the front page including an eBay link.. have a look

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FollowupID: 674754

Follow Up By: Member - John Baas (WA) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:20

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:20
Thks Tony.

I was only intending to direct members to prev. threds. I saw the e-bay links as well. But will prob. pick one up in the States later this year if I come to the conclusion it's a safe operation.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:54

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 15:54
No probs, :)
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Reply By: Gramps - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:43

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:43
Is'nt there a hose that will connect larger gas bottles to Coleman devices?

I can understand using the smaller bottle if space/weight is at an absolute premium but stuffing around decanting from one to the other could get a bit tiring.

Regards
AnswerID: 405023

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:54

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:54


http://www.colemanaustralia.com.au/gear/cooking-and-heating/hot-water-on-demand/5ft-hose-(1-52m)-with-pol-fitting(2).aspx

•Not Suitable for top mounted appliances (1 burner stoves, lanterns, catalytic heaters)

Andrew
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FollowupID: 674730

Follow Up By: Gramps - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:57

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 11:57
Andrew,

Thanks, thought there was one. Depends on OREJAP's application then.

Regards
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FollowupID: 674731

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 17:38

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 17:38
I have a Mac Coupler and use it often.

I have four coleman cylinders and fill them before going on a trip.
I have never noticed liquid being expelled from the cylinder during the filling process.

You chill them down for about 20 mins or so, connect them to a larger gas cylinder with the coupler, turn everything upside down and open the larger cylinder valve. I use a 4.5 kg cylinder as the source.

The instructions say to allow 60 seconds then turn the valve off to stop the flow.

Are they completely full???
Don't know and don't care, but a refilled cylinder and a new one weigh about the same so I assume so.

As for any safety issue, I don't believe there is any. I do the refilling outside in the open air so there is no issue of any escaping gas building up.

Oh, obviously one doesn't smoke during the process, or have naked flames in the general vicinity.

Bought mine from RV Irving Outpost in the US. Cost bugger all and was delivered within a few days.


Bill.

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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 13:05

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 13:05
I got one for mine..

Yes it's cheaper than buying canisters all the time.
No you can't fill them right up. Never managed more than half full myself.
You still have to carry an LPG cylinder to fill from.

Better of buying a hose to connect directly to the LPG cylinder.
I use a 2kg cylinder that lasts us about 2 weeks of normal use.
AnswerID: 405032

Reply By: ozjohn0 - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 14:07

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 14:07
The colder you pre-cool the canister the more liquid you'll get in.
But you shouldn't fill it to more than around 80% in case the relief valve fails to operate. The 20% of gas above the liquid will allow for expansion of the liquid if the canister gets warm. So after filling, bleed a little gas off. Warning: Don;t burn yourself with the gas you're bleeding off..
ozjohn.
AnswerID: 405041

Reply By: Brett and Judy - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 14:48

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 14:48
All lpg cylinders have what is called an ullage tube inside. This tube is connected to the manual vent valve which indicates 80% full when liquid lpg starts discharging. The Coleman cylinders do not have this tube or vent. To advocate filling to hydraulic capacity then hope like hell that the safety valve will actually vent before the cylinder splits, is ahem, interesting.

By far the safest way is to know the weight of a new cylinder, 700g, then using good digital kitchen scales refill to that weight, simple.

By the way, 650g of liquid propane will become 17.55lt of gas before it finds an ignition source (1:270). Good luck.
AnswerID: 405047

Reply By: The Landy - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 20:09

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 20:09
I read this with interest....didn't know such a product existed, but not surprised when I think about it.

Can you actually buy smaller cannisters that are designed for re-use?

My concern is whether disposable cannisters are made to a 'disposable' standard, and the engineering of the cannister is not designed to take mutiple refills. Also, is there a risk of over filling and then having it vent in a confined space. I'm assuming people use these small cannisters to save space......and they are potentially stored in confined areas..

Mind you I think I'll stick to my dual burner stove.....

Cheers
AnswerID: 405085

Follow Up By: Member - Morry H (WA) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 23:34

Saturday, Feb 20, 2010 at 23:34
in my humble opion dont if you dont dont value the good things in life keep going with these stupid ideas
regards morry
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 09:14

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 09:14
Not a stupid idea Morry.

They are as safe or safer, than many full size gas cylinders people use.

Common sense prevails with the condition of the "disposable" cylinders the same as the normal ones.

Maybe I'm just a "risk taker""-)))


Bill.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 09:25

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 09:25
Landy , hundreds of items in general use are labeled single use only or do not refill , every beer bottle /stubby has that warning yet that does not stop home brewing , in hospitals, items that are labeled single use only by the manufacturer are regularily cleaned and reused [ bronchiotubes come to mind] , the dangers of refilling a Coleman cylinder are laughable , no different than refilling a vehicle gas tank at the sevice station , the only gas that escapes is that tiny whiff on uncoupling.
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FollowupID: 674869

Reply By: swampy460 - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 02:36

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 02:36
These cylinders are not designed to be refilled, Thats why they call them 'DISPOSABLE'.
How can you be sure its filled to "80%"

Swampy
AnswerID: 405135

Follow Up By: Peter Horne [Krakka] - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 11:37

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 11:37
Who says they are not designed to be re-filled? Why is the device made to refill them if they are not to be refilled? You can weigh them to see how filled they are if that matters.
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FollowupID: 674885

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:30

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:30
Peter
Id say it has DO NOT REFILL written on the cylinder else it wouldnt be a disposable type...???...those words would make it illegal to refill.

Just because a device is made to refill them doesnt make it legal to refill.
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FollowupID: 674902

Follow Up By: OREJAP - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:47

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 14:47
Thanks everyone for your ideas much appreciated. To those who think I am stupid to even contemplate such a manouvre, look at yourself when you refill your vehicle with LPG,petrol or diesel. I still after all these years believe it is permitted to drive into a service station (anyone can regardless of their state of mind) & happily refill their vehicles without any supervision from the controlling body. The mind boggles as to what dangers exist in that enviroment!!!
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FollowupID: 674906

Follow Up By: Gazal Champion - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 16:10

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 16:10
Well said Orejap.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 17:36

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 17:36
Although you are filling something that is designed to be refilled. I was more interested to learn from this thread whether the 'disposal' Coleman cannisters are actually engineered to a lower standard given they are intended for single use only?
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FollowupID: 674937

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 18:48

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 18:48
Member 1 , hope none of your mates are into home brewing then , as every stubby and beer bottle has that warning , ,, Landy ,the only reason that the coleman cylinders are labeled as such is to sell more cylinders , would sooner trust the Coleman cylinder than the last 9 kg bottle ibought which was made in China ,had all the Aust approval no.s ect , valve has leaked from day 1 ,
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FollowupID: 674944

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 20:56

Sunday, Feb 21, 2010 at 20:56
Alloy
it is a health hygine reason if they do...nothing to do with an explosion



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FollowupID: 674962

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:09

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 09:09
No 1 , in stubbies the warning is only partially for hygine , add to much sugar in to the stubbie at bottling [secondary fermentation] and you have your explosion in the making.
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FollowupID: 675021

Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 16:41

Monday, Feb 22, 2010 at 16:41
The law on beer bottles is for hygine reasons only...you check it out Alloy

if you think its also related to a possible explosion then we are right eh?....you/we/one should not refill disposable gas cylinders...eh? "you have your explosion in the making" .....you did say that didnt you?
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