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Gas Bottle Testing

At Elgas, all LPG cylinders meet strict Australian standards for safety. Our gas cylinder test station technicians ensure gas bottle testing and maintenance that meets highest standards, so you can enjoy your BBQ or camping trip stress-free.

Testing for SWAP’n’GO and larger home and commercial gas cylinders

There are no set Australian standards for gas bottle manufacturing, so there are many types of cylinders available. However, gas bottles need to be maintained in perfect working order according to Australian standards. With a SWAP’n’GO network of more than 5,000 retailers, plus Elgas Australia retail and refill operations, it’s understandable that Elgas takes gas bottle safety seriously.

Gas bottles are marked with a date stamp to give you an indication of the next inspection test date. If your gas bottle is undamaged it can be refilled any amount of times prior to expiry. After 10 years, your gas bottle must be inspected and tested at a licensed test station prior to refilling. SWAP’n’GO bottles and larger household and commercial Elgas cylinders are inspected by a certified tester with each exchange, with-recertification whenever required.

BBQ gas bottle safety, maintenance and storage

It’s dangerous and also illegal to fill out-of-date or damaged cylinders. These cylinders require LPG gas cylinder testing and re-stamping at an approved test station. A complete periodic overhaul of an LPG cylinder every 10 or 15 years can include:

  • gas bottle expiry confirmation
  • degassing
  • internal inspection
  • external inspection
  • valve inspection or replacement
  • new LPG gas bottle expiry stamp
Checking your LPG gas bottle level 

There are some gas bottle testing procedures you can perform yourself, including testing how much gas is left in your cylinder. This procedure can be performed on smaller 9kg and 4kg gas bottles, and is very handy for home owners and business owners with larger LPG cylinders. The easy steps to follow are:

  1. Pour warm water down the side of the bottle. (not boiling water)
  2. Wait a few minutes
  3. Run your hand down the side of the bottle
  4. It will feel cool to the touch at the level of LPG, or may form a condensation line.
  5. You now know how much gas is left in your bottle
  6. Does your bottle need a refill? Contact Elgas or visit your nearest SWAP’n’GO retailer

Testing automotive LPG cylinders
LPG tanks in cars and vehicles must be inspected every ten years. The LPG tank test includes structural integrity, internal and external inspections, pressure relief valve and functionality. The car gas tank expiry date is the same story as for other gas cylinders, and checks are mandatory. As with other gas cylinders, it is illegal to refill an out-of-date car gas tank.

How to dispose of expired and damaged gas cylinders

Even the toughest steel has its day, and SWAP’n’GO bottles and other large cylinders that fail gas bottle testing are condemned. Expired and faulty gas bottles are safely retired by punching a large hole in the side so metal recycling workers know the cylinder has been safely decommissioned. In addition to recycling the steel from the gas bottles, the brass from the valves is also recycled.

Everything is taken care of by Elgas experts who are experienced in retesting out of date cylinders, detecting gas leaks and other gas bottle testing services. Your old gas bottle can be exchanged for one in as-new condition for no extra charge at Elgas and SWAP’n’GO.

Steps to take before refilling your LPG gas cylinders

In general, your gas cylinders can be automatically replaced with a new one. That’s the beauty of having a gas contract with Elgas or being a SWAP’n’GO customer. Make sure to check your gas bottle date stamp periodically to ensure it hasn’t expired.

Refilling – 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.

Refurbishment – In addition to the normal test procedures, over half of the bottles tested by SWAP’n’GO are also cleaned and repainted. The end result is a refurbished gas bottle in as-new condition with a new test date stamp that’s valid for ten years.

Recycling – SWAP’n’GO bottles that are condemned and safely decommissioned. In addition to recycling the steel from the gas bottles, the brass from the valves is also recycled.

Gas bottle testing by yourself vs testing with a licensed testing service

There are some gas bottle tests that can be safely performed at home. However, LPG is a volatile gas with tremendous power when under pressure, and it makes sense to trust the experts at Elgas. After the LPG gas bottle expiry date, cylinder retesting must be performed. The Elgas cylinder test station technician will stamp a new inspection date into the neck ring if the LPG gas cylinder is in top working order. Here is a breakdown of some testing procedures involved.

  • Determination that the 15 or 10 year LPG gas bottle expiry date has been reached.
  • External gas cylinder testing is performed.
  • LPG Cylinder is degassed to allow for internal gas cylinder inspection & testing.
  • Old valve is removed and an internal gas bottle inspection is done.
  • The cylinder neck and valve threads are inspected for any damage as part of the LPG gas cylinder testing procedures.
  • A new LPG gas bottle expiry date is stamped into the cylinder neck ring.
  • A new valve is installed after successful completing of gas cylinder testing.
  • Any required refurbishment, including painting, is performed.
  • The cylinder is ready for refilling and return to use.
  • Any cylinders that failed the LPG gas cylinder testing, at any point, are condemned and recycled.


How often should gas bottles be tested?

Gas bottles that pass testing are stamped with a new inspection date. In addition, the test station stamps its own unique test station mark onto the gas bottle. Both stamps are typically applied in previously unmarked areas of the neck ring. With normal use, your gas bottle should remain in good working order until the next scheduled test in around 10 years time.

Can I swap an out of date gas bottle?

With gas bottle SWAP’n’GO, you can swap your old or out of date cylinder for a new one at providers around Australia. The choices are all yours at Elgas. If you are a new home owner, speak to Elgas about gas conversions for your kitchen, bathroom, or home heating. You can also consider autogas car service for duel-fuel motoring, or a large gas tank for power needs at your business premises. Check out the Elgas Blog for more inspiration, plus ideas for SWAP’n’GO, gas for home, gas for business and gas appliances that are perfect in multifunctional Australian kitchens. If you’re considering gas, Elgas has the answers.

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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.