How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (2024)

How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (1)

The cost of exchanging a propane tank can be an important consideration for individuals and households that rely on propane for heating, cooking, or other household uses. Propane tanks need to be refilled or exchanged once they run out of gas, and the cost of this service can vary widely depending on several factors. Some of the factors that can impact the cost of exchanging a propane tank include the size of the tank, the retailer you are purchasing from, and your location. The cost of exchanging a propane tank can range from as little as $15 to upwards of $30 or more, depending on the factors mentioned above.

It’s important to note that the cost of exchanging a propane tank can vary significantly between different retailers, even in the same geographical location. Some retailers may offer promotions or discounts for exchanging tanks, which could potentially lower the overall cost. Additionally, some retailers may have a minimum purchase requirement in order to exchange a propane tank, so it’s always best to check with your local retailers for their current prices, promotions, and any other relevant information.

If you want to know how this is done, see:

Average Costs of Propane Tank Exchange

Understanding the costs associated with propane tank exchanges is essential for homeowners, businesses, and BBQ enthusiasts alike. Below, we delve into the average costs, the influence of market fluctuations, and some insights to bag the best deals.

1. Price Range for Common Sizes:

  • 20lb Tank: Commonly used for grills and small heaters, the 20lb tank is among the most popular sizes. As of my last update in 2023, exchanging a 20lb tank typically ranged from $18 to $25. However, prices can vary based on location and retailer.
  • 30lb Tank: Often used for RVs and larger heaters, the 30lb tank is another frequently sought-after size. The average exchange cost ranged from $25 to $35.
  • Note: It’s essential to emphasize that these prices may fluctuate based on various factors like location, supply and demand, and retailer mark-ups.

2. Comparisons with Previous Years to Track Inflation or Price Changes:

  • Over the past few years, the price of propane and the associated tank exchange costs have been influenced by several factors, including crude oil prices, propane production rates, and overall energy market trends.
  • From 2022, for instance, there was an approximate increase of 10-15% in propane tank exchange prices. This increment can be attributed to rising production costs, increased demand, and global economic shifts.
  • Keeping track of these changes can be beneficial for consumers, especially if they wish to anticipate future costs or discern patterns in pricing.

3. Tips for Finding the Best Deals:

  • Loyalty Programs: As mentioned earlier, loyalty programs from propane suppliers can offer discounts or rewards for regular customers.
  • Bulk Exchanges: If you possess multiple tanks, try to exchange them simultaneously. Bulk deals or volume discounts can be more economical.
  • Promotions: Retailers might offer special promotions during off-peak seasons, holidays, or for new customers. Stay updated on these potential savings.
  • Price Comparison: Before settling on a retailer, compare prices from various suppliers in your vicinity. Some mobile apps or websites provide real-time price comparisons for propane tank exchanges.
  • Ask for Referrals: Sometimes, friends, neighbors, or colleagues can refer you to a particular retailer that offers competitive prices or promotions.

Propane tank exchange costs can be influenced by a myriad of factors. Being aware of average prices, market trends, and knowing where to find deals can lead to significant savings over time. Always remember to balance cost considerations with safety and quality of service.

Read related article: Gas Station Worker Cannot Exchange Propane Tank (Reasons Why)

Estimated Cost of Exchanging a 20-pound Propane Tank at Various Locations

Location Cost
Circle K Gas Station $21
Costco $10
Gas Station (Shell, Mobil) $25
Ace Hardware Varies
Dollar General Varies
Speedway Varies
Home Depot $20
Kroger $18
Lowe’s $20
Menards $2~ per gallon
Sam’s Club $14
Tractor Supply Plus $2.29 per gallon
True Value $21
U-Haul $15
Walgreen’s $20
Walmart $20

How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (6)How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (7)How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (8)How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (9)

Factors affecting the cost of Propane Tank Exchange

The cost of exchanging a propane tank at a gas station is influenced by several factors, including:

  • Location: The cost of propane tank exchange can vary depending on the location, as the cost of propane and the operating expenses of the gas station can differ from region to region.
  • Size of the tank: The size of the tank you are exchanging will affect the cost of the exchange. Larger tanks typically cost more to exchange than smaller tanks.
  • Current price of propane: The price of propane can fluctuate, and the cost of exchanging a propane tank is directly tied to the current price of propane.
  • Availability of discounts or promotions: Some gas stations may offer discounts or promotions for propane tank exchanges, which can lower the overall cost. It’s always a good idea to ask about any available discounts before making a purchase.

By considering these factors, you can get a better understanding of the cost of exchanging a propane tank at a gas station and make an informed decision about where and when to exchange your tank.

How to Save Money

Finding ways to save on propane tank exchanges can provide significant cost savings over time. Here’s a deeper dive into some strategies to make the most of your money:

Checking for Promotions or Discounts

  • Seasonal Sales: Some retailers offer discounts during specific times of the year, especially before or after peak BBQ seasons.
  • Special Events: Holidays, anniversaries, or store opening events might come with special promotions.
  • Online Coupons: Websites or apps may offer digital coupons or promo codes that can be used for discounts on exchanges.

Membership Clubs or Loyalty Programs Offering Reduced Rates

  • Wholesale Clubs: Stores like Costco or Sam’s Club often offer member-exclusive prices, which might be lower than typical retail prices.
  • Loyalty Programs: Some propane suppliers or retailers offer loyalty cards. With every purchase or exchange, you earn points which can be redeemed for discounts in the future.
  • Auto-Refill Discounts: Some services might offer discounts if you set up automatic tank exchanges or refills, ensuring consistent business for the provider.

Bulk Exchanges or Group Discounts

  • Bulk Purchases: If you have multiple tanks, see if exchanging them all at once might fetch you a discount.
  • Neighborhood Group Buys: Collaborate with neighbors or friends. By pooling resources and exchanging tanks together, you might qualify for group discounts.
  • Business Discounts: Businesses that rely on propane for their operations, like restaurants, may be able to negotiate better rates for larger quantities. Even if you’re not a business owner, understanding these rates can give you leverage in price negotiations.

Considering the Longevity and Quality of the Tank

  • Invest in Quality: While higher-quality tanks might cost more upfront, they can last longer and may not need to be exchanged as frequently, offering long-term savings.
  • Regular Maintenance: Taking care of your propane tank by ensuring it’s stored correctly and checking for leaks or damages can extend its life, saving you money in the long run.
  • Understand Warranty: Some propane tanks come with warranties. Familiarize yourself with these to avoid unnecessary exchange costs for tanks that might be replaced free of charge.

While the cost of propane tank exchanges can add up over time, employing these money-saving strategies can help in managing and reducing those expenses. Always remember, however, to prioritize safety. No discount is worth compromising on the secure and correct handling of propane tanks.

Read related article: Can I Exchange Propane Tank That is Not Empty? (Fees Included)

It is Good to Know the Cons of Exchanging Propane Tank

There are several cons to exchanging a propane tank rather than refilling it:

  • Higher cost: Exchanging a propane tank is often more expensive than refilling it, as retailers charge a premium for the convenience of exchanging an empty tank for a full one.
  • Increased waste: Exchanging tanks leads to more waste, as the old tank must be disposed of and a new one is purchased.
  • Reduced tank lifespan: Each time a propane tank is exchanged, its lifespan is reduced, as the tank must be recertified before it can be refilled. This can lead to a shorter overall lifespan for the tank and higher costs in the long run.
  • Reduced propane availability: In times of high demand, exchanging tanks may lead to a shortage of propane as more tanks are taken out of circulation.
  • Inconvenient exchange locations: Not all retail chains or gas stations offer propane tank exchange, which may make it difficult for some consumers to find a convenient location to exchange their tank.

Exchanging a propane tank can be a convenient option for those who do not have easy access to a refill station or do not want to handle the process of refilling a tank. However, it is important to consider the cons and weigh them against the benefits before deciding whether to exchange or refill a propane tank.

Read related article: Who Does Propane Tank Exchange Near Me?

Why It Is More Costly to Exchange Propane Tank than to Refill

  • Premium for convenience: Retailers charge a premium for the convenience of exchanging an empty tank for a full one. This premium is reflected in the higher cost of exchanging a tank.
  • Cost of new tank: When a consumer exchanges a propane tank, they are purchasing a new tank, which can be more expensive than simply refilling the existing one.
  • Recertification costs: Each time a propane tank is exchanged, it must be recertified before it can be refilled. This recertification process adds to the cost of exchanging the tank.
  • Supply and demand: In times of high demand, the cost of exchanging a propane tank may be higher as retailers adjust their prices to reflect the increased demand.
  • Reduced competition: In areas with limited access to refill stations, retailers may have less competition, allowing them to charge a higher price for propane tank exchange.

To Make a Conclusion

The cost of exchanging a propane tank in 2023 can vary depending on several factors such as location, size of the tank, and the retailer you are purchasing from. On average, the cost can range from $15 to upwards of $30 or more. To save money on propane tank exchanges, it’s recommended to shop around, take advantage of promotions and discounts, buy in bulk, use a loyalty program, and consider refilling your tank.

By following these tips, you can find the best deal on propane tank exchanges and make the most of your propane usage. Remember to always check with your local retailers for their current prices and any potential promotions they may have.

How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (10)

Mike is an experienced propane technician with over 15 years of professional experience in the field. He has dedicated his career to helping customers with their propane needs, from installation to maintenance and repair. Together with Jeremy, he co-founded this website to provide useful information and guidance to customers seeking reliable propane services.

How Much Does It Cost to Exchange Propane Tank in 2023? - Propane HQ (2024)


Is it better to refill or exchange a propane tank? ›

Refilling is a Better Value

When you choose to refill your propane tank instead of exchanging it, you are making a smarter investment. Unlike many companies that only fill their 20 lb. propane exchange tanks to 15 lbs., we ensure that you receive a full tank for the price you pay.

How many gallons of propane are in a 20 lb tank? ›

20 lb Propane Tank

Uses: Commonly used for resale and with propane grills, generators, patio heaters, and other outdoor equipment. 20 pound propane tanks are often referred to as grill cylinders and hold 4.6 gallons of propane when full.

How many pounds of propane are in a tank exchange? ›

Exchange tanks are partially empty to allow room for the gas to expand, but exchange tanks are only filled about ¾ of the way. An exchange tank is only guaranteed to be about 15 pounds out of a max of 20 pounds. A refill tank can be filled more, and the cost per gallon is quite a bit lower.

How does Walmart propane exchange work? ›

Quick and easy way to obtain propane for your propane appliances. Bring in your empty propane tank and exchange for a full tank. Blue Rhino propane tanks are safe to use. Tanks are made in the USA.

Why are blue Rhino propane tanks only 15 pounds? ›

In 2008, to help control these rising costs, Blue Rhino followed the example of other consumer products companies with a product content change. We reduced the amount of propane in our tanks from 17 pounds to 15 pounds.

Can you exchange an old style propane tank for a new one? ›

You can most likely return your used tank to a propane supplier when purchasing a new one. Contact a propane supplier to confirm a drop-off location.

How much propane is in a Blue Rhino 20 lb tank? ›

Yes they fill to 75% of 20 pounds which is 15 lbs of propane.

Why does my 20lb propane tank say 15 lb? ›

Virtually all of the tank exchange companies now only fill your tank to 15 lbs. They apparently started doing this when the price of propane went up with gas prices several years ago. This saved the propane companies money.

Does Blue Rhino fill their tanks all the way? ›

Experts say the amount of propane in a full grill tank can range from about 17 to 19 pounds. But the two leading propane tank exchange firms — Blue Rhino and AmeriGas — put 15 pounds of propane in their cylinders, which their labels reflect.

Do propane exchanges have to be the same brand? ›

Tanks are also available at thousands of stores across the country, anywhere gas, grills, groceries, and prescriptions are sold, making propane exchange extremely convenient. And, you can exchange any brand, even one that isn't a Blue Rhino.

What is the difference between old and new propane tanks? ›

In most cases, consumers can tell if a propane tank has an OPD valve by the handles. If the handle is round or star-shaped (left) their cylinder is outdated. A triangular handle (right) indicates an updated cylinder.

What time of year is cheapest to fill propane tank? ›

It's all about supply and demand. During the summer months, the demand for propane is significantly lower, leading to reduced costs. With a decreased demand, there is a surplus of propane supply, enabling suppliers to lower prices. The opposite holds true in winter.

Does it matter what propane tank you use? ›

If you purchase a tank that can't keep up with your heating needs, you'll have to refill the tank more frequently – leading to higher costs. A 500-gallon tank is usually the best option for homes using propane for heat and powering appliances.

How do I know if my propane tank needs refill? ›

To check the level of propane just pour warm water along the side of the tank. If it's warm to the touch. there's no propane. go further down when it starts cooling.

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