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Re-Filling LPG Cylinders Worldwide

By Val Ellis last modified Sep 21, 2018 10:29 AM

Published: 2011-04-20 11:40:00
Topics: Cruising Information , Equipment

In Europe, US, Canada and Australia (and in many other countries around the world) it is illegal to re-fill cylinders which are over 10 years old (12 years in the USA) and which have not been re-certified. The date will likely to be engraved somewhere on the cylinder, probably near the top.

Another thing to be aware of, is that when buying a ‘new’ cylinder, the date on it may not be as recent as you would expect. Be sure to check! If it is older than a year, insist that it is properly re-certified.

Also, in many countries cylinders must now have an approved Over-filling Prevention Device.

Our thanks to Phyllis of “Morgan's Cloud” for this timely reminder.

Additional information kindly sent to us by Greg Rodgers, Peter Thurley and Nick Martin

Once the initial 10 (or 12) years since manufacture have passed, the cylinder has to be re-certified, usually every 5 years. Unfortunately it is not uncommon for this to cost almost as much as buying a new one.

Another point to be noted is that the actual valve on the bottle may also have an expiry date, and this valve may not always have been changed when the bottle was updated, resulting in some places occasionally refusing to refill it even if the bottle is in date.

Problem in the Canary Islands
For the last two year or so, it has not been possible to (legally) re-fill LPG bottles in the Canary Islands. Some marinas have private agreements with DISA, the gas company, to sell new bottles and fittings at trade price (currently around 10€ for the gas + 35€ for the bottle), but these bottles are usually too big to fit in many gas lockers.

The gas company recognises the problem and say they are installing new refilling valves at their plants across the Canaries, but this is an expensive and time consuming process and will probably not be functional until well into 2012.

The European Union
The EU has certain standards which are applicable to re-fillable LPG bottles. We currently do not have any information as to whether they are different to those already mentioned in this article.