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Cylinder Approvals: Overfilling Prevention Device (OPD) FAQs

  1. I was told that after April 1, 2002 my propane cylinder must be equipped with an overfilling prevention device (OPD) before it can be refilled. What is an OPD?
  2. Are OPDs required under DOT regulations?
  3. What are the OPD requirements under NFPA 58?
  4. As a refiller and/or requalifier of DOT specification cylinders, what are my responsibilities when I receive a cylinder that is not equipped with an OPD?

  1. I was told that after April 1, 2002 my propane cylinder must be equipped with an overfilling prevention device (OPD) before it can be refilled. What is an OPD?

    An OPD is a backup safety shutoff device incorporated into the filling valve of a propane cylinder. It is designed to prevent cylinder overfilling in excess of the cylinder's maximum permitted filling limit.

  2. Are OPDs required under DOT regulations?

    The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171 - 180) do not contain specific design requirements for cylinder valves. We have not adopted the OPD requirements into the HMR. It is contained in the National Fire Protection Association's publication "NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code," 1998 edition. NFPA is not a governmental agency; however, many states have adopted the NFPA Code as state law. You should contact your state or local government agency to find out if your state requires propane cylinders to conform to the OPD requirement.

  3. What are the OPD requirements under NFPA 58?

    NFPA 58 requires an OPD on all cylinders with 4 to 40-pound propane capacity that are:

    1. Fabricated (manufactured) after September 30, 1998;
    2. Requalified after September 30, 1998; or
    3. Refilled on or after April 1, 2002.

    For most consumers, the OPD requirement applies to their 20 lb gas grill tank.

    Exceptions: NFPA 58, 1998 Edition states the OPD requirement does not apply to cylinders used in industrial trucks, including forklifts trucks, or to cylinders identified and used for industrial welding and cutting gases. The NFPA 58, 2001 Edition broadens the provision to include certain cylinders manufactured before October 1, 1998, and designed for use in the horizontal orientation.

  4. As a refiller and/or requalifier of DOT specification cylinders, what are my responsibilities when I receive a cylinder that is not equipped with an OPD?

    The HMR govern the safe transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. Under the HMR, a cylinder is not required to be equipped with an OPD. You should contact the appropriate state or local agency if you have questions concerning your responsibilities relating to a propane cylinder not equipped with an OPD.

Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2017