LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas, is a kind of fossil fuel derived from crude oil and natural gas. The gas is primarily composed of propane, butane and other hydrocarbon mixtures. This type of gas is commonly used for cooking and water heating. However, it is also used as a propellant in aeros.
LPG is typically stored in pressurised cylinders or bottles, and it is highly flammable, so it must be handled with care. Gas bottles typically have a red indicator on the valve to indicate that the bottle contains LPG.
The question now is…
Does LPG have expiry dates?
Most LPG cylinders have a manufacturing date stamped on them. The stamp indicates when the cylinder was made, not when the gas inside expires.
While LPG doesn’t have an expiration date, it’s important to test the cylinders regularly. The average LPG cylinder lasts 15 years, but if you take care of your home appliances and keep them clean, they can last up to 20 or even more.
The burst pressure or test weight for this gas type is almost 4 times higher than what’s used in normal household appliances, so even though they’re designed with an average lifespan between 7-8 decades, depending on usage, heavy handlers will see their lifetime reduced down below 75%.
It is also noteworthy to understand that LPG will last indefinitely if the cylinder is kept sealed and stored in a cool, dry place. Once the bottle is opened, however, the gas will start to dissipate and will need to be used within a certain time frame, which is typically between 3 and 10 years.
Why is gas bottle testing important?
LPG bottles need to be tested regularly to ensure that they are safe to use. This type of gas is highly flammable, so it’s essential to make sure that the bottles are in good condition and don’t have any leaks.
Testing involves checking the pressure of the gas, otherwise termed hydro-testing. It should also include evaluating the integrity of the bottle itself. If a bottle fails a test, it can’t be used until it’s been repaired or replaced.
Gas bottle testing is an important safety measure that helps prevent accidents and ensure the safety of the.
How is hydro-testing performed?
Generally, hydro-testing is conducted every five years on every cylinder. A 25-bar pressure will be applied to the cylinder and the cylinder’s ability to withstand this pressure will be determined. After the pressure test, the next due date is marked on the stay plate of the bottle.
A stay plate is a vertical strip that holds the ring above the cylinder. If you look carefully at one of the stay plates, a letter from A to D combined with a 2-digit number is written on it. Each letter represents a quarter of the year and the numbers represent the year the bottle was hydro-tested.
There are 4 quarters every year which are marked as A for Jan-Mar, B for Apr-Jun, C for Jul-Sep and D for Oct-Dec. Let’s say the stay plate reads B-23. It, therefore, means the gas bottle’s next due for testing (DFT) will be on June 30 of 2023.
10 Ways to Ensure that Gas Bottles are in Good Condition
- Check the manufacturer’s recommended expiry date for your gas bottle. You can find this on the bottle itself, or you may check on the company’s website.
- Inspect your gas bottle regularly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If you see any cracks, dents or other damage, it’s time to replace your gas bottle.
- If you don’t use your gas bottle regularly, check the expiry date more often. Gas can deteriorate over time, even if it’s not being used.
- Pay attention to the pressure gauge on your gas bottle. If the pressure drops significantly, it could be a sign that your gas bottle may need a replacement.
- If you smell gas when you’re not using your stove or grill, there could be a leak in your gas bottle. Immediately stop using the gas, contact your trusted gas provider and replace the bottle.
- Always keep your gas bottle in a cool, dry place. Exposure to heat can cause the gas to dissipate more quickly.
- Never store your gas bottle near any flammable materials. This may trigger the pressurised gas inside and cause irreparable damage.
- If you have an empty gas bottle, make sure to dispose of it properly. You may ask your supplier for advice or assistance in disposing of the bottle. Don’t just leave it out in the trash.
- Keep an eye out for any rebates or promotions from gas companies. They will often offer discounts on new gas bottles if you turn in your old ones.
- Ask the experts! If you’re ever unsure about the status of your gas bottle, don’t hesitate to ask a professional or a Brisbane LPG provider near you.
Aside from these pointers, gas bottles should be regularly inspected for wear and tear. While LGP is a safe and convenient fuel source, it is necessary to understand the expiration date of its bottles.