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How safe is your LPG cylinder?

30 Aug, 2023 | Residential LPG Blogs

In this article:

Everything you need to know about Cylinder safety.
ELGAS Cylinder safety

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 the highest standards, so you can use LPG stress-free for BBQs, the outdoors, and home and commercial applications.

Testing for home and commercial gas cylinders

There are no set Australian standards for gas bottle manufacturing, so there are many types of LP Gas cylinders available. However, gas bottles need to be maintained in perfect working order according to Australian standards. With a SWAP’n’GO network of close to 6,000 retail provider partners in NSW, QLD, and other Australian states, plus Elgas Australia retail and refill operations, 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 at a licensed test station by a certified tester.

BBQ gas bottle safety, maintenance and storage

It’s dangerous and also illegal to fill out-of-date or damaged cylinders. The cylinders require LPG gas cylinder testing and re-stamping at an approved test station. If undertaking an LPG conversion for home or commercial use, the installation must be performed by a qualified gas fitter. You will also need to store the gas bottle in a safe location. Elgas commercial-sized cylinders are moved and positioned using a forklift. 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. The easy steps to follow are:

  1. Pour warm water (not boiling water) down the side of the bottle.
  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 and you may notice 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 or butane tanks in vehicles must be inspected every ten years. The autogas tank test includes structural integrity, internal and external inspections, and pressure relief valve 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 days, 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.

New to LPG? Choose ELGAS.

ELGAS is Australia’s largest LPG supplier and services the LPG energy needs of more than 350,000 homes and businesses. Whether you are looking for LPG for your home, LPG for your business, or SWAP’n’GO for your BBQ, contact ELGAS today!

Steps to take before refilling your LPG gas cylinders

LPG is used for numerous applications that include cooking, heating, and hot water, so it is an important safety consideration to ensure your cylinder is in top working order. In general, your gas cylinders can be automatically replaced with new ones. 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 are 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, so 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:

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

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