Millions of owners of RVs equipped with “pre-1998” propane tanks will need to purchase upgrades due to new national safety regulations taking effect April 1, according to The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle.
The new national fire code regulations also will effect homeowners with backyard barbecues and farmers with barn heaters, according to the newspaper.
The new regulation requires the replacement of propane tanks that do not include an “overfill protection device,” or OPD. The OPD is a valve that shuts-off the flow of propane during the filling process when the tank reaches 80% full, according to the newspaper.
The new rule applies to all propane tanks between four and 40 pounds.
It also means propane sellers will no longer be allowed to refill tanks without an OPD, which means older tanks will need to be retrofitted or replaced. The National Fire Protection Association believes replacement will be less expensive in most cases. Replacement costs range from $15 to $65, depending on the size, the newspaper reported.
Propane bottles on RVs will cost “$60 and up” to replace, according to The Eagle.
Propane bottles with triangular handles can continue being refilled, but those with star-shaped or round handles will need to be replaced.
The newspaper in Wichita interviewed one travel trailer owner who spent $125 last week to replace the propane tanks on his rig.
Steve Blasi, owner of Blasi Campground west of Wichiita, said between one-third and half of his customers who want propane tank refills have old style tanks that will need to be replaced.
New propane bottles can be purchased at campgrounds, building supply stores and “retail department stores, the newspaper reported.