|Implementation of the OPD requirement
in NFPA 58 has been delayed until January 1, 2003. The Oklahoma
LP Gas Administration approved emergency rules delaying the
requirement and Governor Frank Keating signed them into law
on July 3, 2002. Pamphlet 58 requires all propane cylinders
from 4 to 40 pounds to be equipped with an OPD. This requirement
has resulted in a nationwide shortage. If the shortage is not
solved by the Janary 1, 2003 date, the LP Gas Administration
can again consider emergency rules to further extend the implementation
OPD - It's the Law
Overfilling Prevention Device
What is an OPD?
OPD is an abbreviation for Overfilling Prevention Device,
which is part of new national fire and safety standards designed
to make the use of propane even safer. An OPD is a safety feature
that prevents small propane cylinders from being overfilled. After
January 1, 2003, all propane cylinders 4 pounds to 40 pounds MUST
be equipped with an OPD. This standard is required by the National
Fire Protection Association and by Oklahoma state law.
Horizontal cylinders manufactured before October 1, 1998, are exempt,
as are cylinders used for industrial trucks, industrial welding
and cutting gas.
Who Requires OPD?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops standards
for the use of propane and other fuels nationwide. It is NFPA's
Pamphlet 58, the standard for propane dealers, which requires OPDs.
Thus, propane dealers are required to follow this new requirement.
Failure to do so could result in the propane dealer losing his license.
Why have an OPD?
There are limits on how much propane can be put into a cylinder.
A properly filled cylinder will have a vapor space left in the top
of the cylinder to allow for expansion of the liquid due to a change
in temperature. An Overfilling Protection Device is a means of assuring
that cylinders are not overfilled.
What can happen when a cylinder is overfilled?
An overfilled cylinder may not have enough space left if the liquid
propane expands when exposed to warmer temperatures. This can cause
an increase in cylinder pressure and create potentially hazardous
conditions such as:
- The pressure relief valve may open, discharging propane from
- Propane liquid could enter the piping system, resulting in higher
than normal pressure to appliances.
can I tell if my cylinder has an OPD?
All new cylinder wrappers and/or warning labels will include this
information. Most cylinders with OPDs have special triangular hand
wheels with the words OPD imprinted. Some OPDs, however, were produced
before the letters OPD were required on the valve handles and valve
bodies. If you have questions, check the wrapper or label or ask
your propane dealer to identify the type of valve on your cylinder.
What happens if I don't have an OPD installed on my cylinder?
As of January 1, 2003, cylinders without OPDs cannot be refilled.
does an OPD work?
During the refilling process, a valve inside the cylinder closes
when the proper level of propane is reached.
Who can I contact if I have other questions?
Your propane dealer wants you to understand these new standards
and would like to make compliance with them as easy and inexpensive
as possible. If you have questions, feel free to ask. This brochure
is designed to help you understand the new requirements of NFPA
Pamphlet 58. If you want additional information, your dealer will
do everything possible to assist you.