What are the safety precautions when using gas bottles? 

Make sure your gas bottle is upright and on a level surface, in a well-ventilated space, and that it’s stored above ground level. Store your gas bottles away from heat sources (including direct sunlight), such as stoves, heaters or other potential fire hazards. 

Never smoke, or have a naked flame near the gas bottle. 

Check the bottle regularly, making sure the cylinder valves are firmly closed to avoid leaking. Only buy gas cylinders from authorised dealers, and never tamper with the cylinder. 

If you’re not going to use your gas appliance for a while, disconnect the regulator and attach a safety cap. Always replace worn-out or defective tubing and regulators.

How do I know when my gas bottle is empty?

There are several ways to gauge whether your gas bottle is empty. One way is to weigh smaller gas cylinders. The empty (or tare) weight is printed on the neck of the cylinder. Disconnect the gas bottle, ensuring the valve is properly closed, and place it on a scale. The difference between the scale reading and the tare weight will tell you how much gas is left in the bottle. 

Gas level indicators are also available, which you can attach to the gas bottle to monitor the gas level. Alternatively, use the temperature of the gas bottle to determine the level. The process by which the liquid in the bottle is converted to the gas you use to fire up your appliances happens at a very low temperature, which is why your gas cylinder feels cold to the touch. Pour hot tap water down one side of the gas bottle. The gas bottle will feel warmer above the level of the gas, and cooler below.

How should I store empty gas bottles?

As with full gas bottles, empty gas bottles should be stored upright on a flat surface, preferably away from heat sources. If you have several bottles and want to avoid getting confused as to which are full or empty, mark them as such.

Why do gas bottles need to remain upright?

Think about a wine or cool drink bottle. They’re never filled to the brim, and there’s an empty space at the top for the contents to expand. Gas bottles operate on the same principle, so the pressure relief valve (which releases the pressure if the gas bottle is damaged) needs to be in this free space. That’s why you have to store the gas bottle upright, on a firm, flat surface. 

How do I know what size gas bottle to use?

If you want to know how long a gas bottle lasts, a rough guide is two to four months for a 9 kg LPG gas bottle, four to eight months for a 19 kg LPG cylinder and 12 to 24 months for a 48 kg LPG gas bottle. This also however depends on how regularly you use your gas bottle and what you use it for so the guide is just an estimate.

How do I know if there is a gas leak?

First, you may notice the tell-tale smell. Another sign is if the flame on your appliance glows orange or yellow rather than blue (which means it’s not getting an adequate flow). 

You can use soapy water to test if there’s a leak. Make a mixture of liquid hand soap and water and place in a spray bottle. Turn on the gas bottle without turning on the appliance. Next, spray the valve, regulator and hose assembly with the soapy water. Bubbles will form if there’s a gas leak. If you find a leak, turn off the gas bottle immediately, and get hold of a professional to take a look.

Why does the price of gas change from time to time?

Much like the petrol price, the retail price of residential LPG is set every month. It is also determined by zones, so the price does vary according to where you buy your gas. The updated price can be found on the Department of Energy website. Dealers may not exceed the maximum retail price determined by the Department of Energy.