As of April 1, all propane cylinders are required to have an overfill prevention device or
That means buying a new tank, or purchasing a device to upgrade a current tank.
Most consumers are not aware of the new law.
"They just don't know. They're unaware that there's been a change," said Donnie Bullock of Ferrell Gas Company.
The reason for the change is safety. Overfilled cylinders present a danger.
"If they get overfilled and get hot, the pressure relief valve goes off and could fill a car trunk with propane and potentially, when you open the door and ignites," Richard Fredenburg of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The OPD device costs about $30. A new new tank with the device already in it costs about the same amount.
The OPD valve handle has three sides instead of five or more, like on older-models.
It is illegal to refill an old tank that does not have an OPD upgrade. Local companies said they have to educate customers about the change.
There is currently a shortage of the OPD devices, and manufacturers are trying to keep up with demands.
The Dept. of Agriculture said it is considering a short-term change to the law during the shortage, but that has to be approved by lawmakers.
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