Exchanging Gas Cylinders – Be Cautious

Published 11 years ago, updated 4 years ago


We recently swopped an empty Camping Gas cylinder for a full one at a shop in Corfu town. The shop front was smart and the owner was an agent for Camping Gas and Shell Gas.

The full cylinder I was given lacked a seal at the neck, indicating that the guy probably filled the cylinders himself but this has been a regular occurrence throughout Spain and Italy so nothing unusual. The bottle was a bit rusty, but nothing out of the ordinary and I took it away.

Over the next couple of days, there was a smell of gas around the boat. I suspected a pipe or regulator leak and so began checking the system by immersing parts of it in a bucket of water. Everything checked OK until I tried the “full” cylinder I had just purchased. As soon as it was immersed in fresh water a large leak was evident at the rounded base. The cylinder was rushed off the boat and left in a safe place for several hours until it emptied.

Upon examination, the base of the cylinder was totally corroded, weak and porous. This was a close escape, and the lessons learned are:

1) Have a good self-draining gas locker(thankfully we did).

2) Don’t trust sellers of gas bottles and have a good check over, particularly in “yachtie” areas where they have probably been subjected to salt water. Include a check of the most vulnerable part, the base, by turning it upside down. Refuse anything you don’t like or go somewhere else!

Brad Tomkinson

SY Riviera Magic

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