Gas Cylinder Expiry Date: Gas Cylinder-Bottle Testing Facts
What is Gas Bottle-Cylinder Expiry & Testing?
• Gas bottles, cylinders and larger tanks must be inspected periodically for safety and re-certification.
• The gas bottle expiry periods vary – with 10 to 15 years being typical.
• The test date is permanently marked or stamped on the bottle.
• The gas bottles are subject to internal and external inspection for rust and any other damage.
• Physical testing, including pressure tests, may be required depending on the type and size of vessel and the country where tested.
• The main valve is typically replaced when a gas bottle is inspected for re-certification.
• A new test date, of equivalent duration, is stamped into the neck ring after re-inspection.
• Only approved testing facilities are authorised to test and re-certify gas bottles, cylinders and tanks.
Step-by-Step Inspection & Testing Procedures
The following is a step-by-step summary of testing and inspection.
Please note that if at any time a cylinder fails part of the test, they condemn the cylinder without bothering to do any further testing.
- Determination that the cylinder inspection date has reached its expiry.
- External inspection of cylinder is performed.
- Cylinder is degassed to allow for internal inspection.
- Old valve is removed and an internal inspection is done.
- The cylinder neck and valve threads are inspected for any damage.
- A new test date is stamped into the cylinder neck ring.
- A new valve is installed.
- Any required refurbishment, including painting, is performed.
- The cylinder is ready for refilling and return to use.
- Any cylinders that failed the test, at any point, are condemned and recycled.
Please continue reading to learn the details involved in each step.
Test Date Stamp Expiry
LPG Expiry Date - How to Find the Date Stamp
To determine the LPG expiry date for LPG cylinders, you need to inspect the cylinder's neck ring.
The cylinder manufacturer places the original inspection stamp, on the neck ring, at the time of manufacture.
For BBQ sized cylinders, the inspection and the stamp are valid for ten years prior to expiry.
After ten years, and any subsequent ten year periods, the cylinder must be reinspected.
The cylinder 'test station' will stamp a new inspection date into the neck ring, assuming that the cylinder passes inspection.
So, it is always important to examine the entire neck ring to find all of the dates that may be present, as it is impossible to remove the old stamps.
Preparation - De-gassing
At the start of the process the gas bottle is totally emptied of any remnant gas.
New Date Stamping
While not part of the formal inspection process, the new valve installation should always be leak tested when refilled.
In fact, this is the standard procedure for all subsequent refilling, as well.
Additional Swap Scheme Procedures
Swap programs, such as SWAP'n'GO®, also refurbish the gas bottles before they are refilled.
In addition to the normal test procedures, over half of the bottles tested by SWAP’n’GO would also be repainted.
Many would also be shot blasted prior to painting.
The end result is a refurbished gas bottle in near new condition, with a new test date stamp that is valid for ten more years.
The picture shows gas bottles being repainted on an automated coating line.
In addition to recycling the steel from the gas bottles, the brass from the valves is also recycled.
Click to Find a SWAP'n'GO Dealer
The information in this article is derived from various sources and is believed to be correct at the time of publication. However, the information may not be error free and may not be applicable in all circumstances.