Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • 0

Self Filling Your Own Gas Bottles.

Question

Posted

After some discussion in another thread and over time people asking about this, i thought i would get an "official" response.

This is based on using REFILLABLE bottles such as Gaslow which have the safety cut off valve and overfill protection, not filling a STANDARD bottle such as Calor, Flo-gas etc etc.

So here is my email ,and the replies:

To Gaslow

"Hello,

can you give me some guidance on this following point as i am being

given conflicting information:

I currently have a caravan and i am interested in 2 gaslow bottles to

carry in the front. reading on your website in respect of these

refillable bottles, you state: "Available from and simply installed by

your local dealer, you can just pull up at one of the thousands of

Autogas Service Stations throughout the UK and Europe and fill up just

like your car".

The information i have been told by my local service station staff,

operated by Shell, is that it is illegal to fill any refillable bottles

and i am not permitted to do so by law. I enquired if this was the law,

citing your site and the principal of the safety valve as opposed to a

standard bottle, but they reiterated the facts as it is law and as it is

illegal, they were not covered by their insurance to allow this

practice.

So can you clarify this matter for me please.

It makes sense to me to have 2 of your bottles and fill myself, but if

this is illegal how can you word this on your website?

Incidently i work with fork lift trucks and often fill them with gas

myself as is company policy, so i am competent.

Thanks for your help in clarifying this matter. But as you can

understand i dont want to break any laws but i do want to purchase your

equipment and use it legally.

thanks for your help."

Their response:

"Dear Lenny

Thank you for your enquiry, there is no written legislation to state

that refillable cylinder cannot be filled at service stations on the

continent. You have two options of placing the filler point on the

skirt or in the locker mounted on a bracket.

Ideally it is more convenient to have the filler point on the skirt

which enables you to drive to the pump and fill as required, should you

wish to have the filler on a bracket you may find that questions will be

asked as they will probably think you are filling the cylinders direct

and not through the filler.

To date we have not had any reports from customers stating they have

been refused filling whilst travelling abroad.

I hope the above is of help.

Regards - Jacquie"

As she missed out and didnt include the UK, i resent asking to clarify on the UK market, her reply is:

"Lenny, sorry the same applies in the UK there is nothing to state it is

not allowed, the only thing that could be misleading is if you asked the

question 'can I refill my cylinders at the service station' they may

have thought you wanted to do this direct into the cylinder and not

through a filling point. We have sold thousands of Refillable Cylinders

and only had the one or two refused because they assumed the filling was

direct into the bottle not via the filler point.

Regards - Jacquie".

Now from what i can gather here is thus:

It IS legal to refill your own gas bottles in the UK at a service station as long as:

1. It is a bottle designed for refilling with appropriate safety valves. Such as Gaslow, though there are others on the market:;

2. You use the "filling adaptor" they supply.

The filling point supplied is a connection for the filling pump to fit onto, same as you get on an LPG vehicle, with a tube directly onto the bottle.

It doesnt state that with an adaptor on the bottle you can fill directly into the bottle.

NOTE: this is only Gaslows stance on it, other bottle makers supply the adaptor to fit directly onto the bottle so you CAN fill straight into the bottle. You CAN use the Gaslow "filling adaptor" but as its on the end of a pipe which fits onto the bottle it may be a bit more fiddly. A PLUS side of using the Gaslow adaptor is you wouldnt need to remove a bottle from the car or have to get right next to the pump for it to fit. LPG pumps are extremely heavy and short in relation to petrol/diesel ones.

Also yesterday i contacted my local Flo-gas supplier and asked if i could fill up, using the correct bottles as above, my own cylinders from their pump. I can drive into their depot and fill my car no problem, so can i with the bottle. After the guy realised i was talking about CORRECT refillable bottles, he said yes no problem, drive in, fill up then pay, simple.

Ive emailed Flo-gas and asked them to clarify that, with the CORRECT bottles this is ok, as i am unaware of any law or legislation that prevents this from being done, as the bottles are all approved and meet the same criteria and standards as LPG tanks in vehicles.

I am still waiting for their reply.

So the answer is yes, with the right bottles self filling is not a problem.

And if your reading this for the first time let me explain why:

I rally, i use 10-12 bottles per year average. I use 6kg bottles.

To exchange 1x6 kg bottle costs me £18.

To self fill costs me under £5.

So a saving on each fill of £13.

£13 x 12 bottles = £156 per year. Average.

I intend to change up to 13kg bottles with my next van, but buy 2 Gaslow ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

106 answers to this question

Posted

Also just found this:

Option 2 - get refillable LPG bottles that can be topped up at petrol stations.

Research showed that LPG is fairly widely available in France, but less common in Spain, where the tax has only recently been reduced to enable use of LPG for domestic vehicles. It was also apparent that there is an issue with education around refillable bottles and many petrol stations will not allow bottles to be filled because of concerns over safety. There is no safety issue with bottles sold now - they have an 80% cut-off valve so they cannot be over-filled. Earlier refillable bottles did not have this safety feature and when you consider the fact that LPG expands in volume by up to 200% when turning from liquid to gas state, you can see how over-filling could be potentially very dangerous. This can be overcome by installing a remote filler kit so that the gas is pumped through a filler cap on the side of the van, just like regular fuel, so petrol station staff are not concerned by unusual behaviour!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Interesting post, there are certainly some savings to be made there and could well be the answer to filling difficulties abroad (re different types of nozzle etc); will have to give it some investigation myself.

Alan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Good bit of detective work there Lenny....thanks

geoff

:goodpostingsign:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Its a shame you cannot fill the bottles up directly as pain if bottles run out after you are pitched but I suppose with being able to fill as you go it is just a matter of filling them up on route

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I to have looked into re-filling propane bottles at "the pump", there is an adapter to fit on the bottle and the filler gun goes on that,

basicly you have to have an completly empty bottle and you multiply the bottle size (kg) by 2 which is the amount to fill in liters, and at

53p per liter you save from the off, I have been told that the 80% fill will automaticly applys to the bottle fill as the fill pump senses the pressure

in the bottle, this was explaind to me by the LPG fill up people who my firm used to fill the works van up, my brother fills his bottles at a garage

selling LPG in clacton with no problem, just follow the instructions you get with the filler adapter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I to have looked into re-filling propane bottles at "the pump", there is an adapter to fit on the bottle and the filler gun goes on that,

basicly you have to have an completly empty bottle and you multiply the bottle size (kg) by 2 which is the amount to fill in liters, and at

53p per liter you save from the off, I have been told that the 80% fill will automaticly applys to the bottle fill as the fill pump senses the pressure

in the bottle, this was explaind to me by the LPG fill up people who my firm used to fill the works van up, my brother fills his bottles at a garage

selling LPG in clacton with no problem, just follow the instructions you get with the filler adapter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Fill amounts were what I was told by the gas point man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Its a shame you cannot fill the bottles up directly as pain if bottles run out after you are pitched but I suppose with being able to fill as you go it is just a matter of filling them up on route

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

What I understand is that a 6Kg bottle is 80% full when 6kg of gas is put in it. 2litres of lpg weighs approximately 1kg The 80% id because the bottle needs a headspace to allow the liquified gas to turn into gas before the regulator. IF liquid gets into or past the regulator then the consequences could be catastrophic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You got it in 1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

What I understand is that a 6Kg bottle is 80% full when 6kg of gas is put in it. 2litres of lpg weighs approximately 1kg The 80% id because the bottle needs a headspace to allow the liquified gas to turn into gas before the regulator. IF liquid gets into or past the regulator then the consequences could be catastrophic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Strange, empty 6kg only the weight of a bag of sugar!, just weighed an empty one, comes in at 8kg!, there is a stamp on bottom ring which

states "14.5ltrs", that would be the 100% volume I would expect so 80% would be a nats wisker short of say 12ltrs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Strange, empty 6kg only the weight of a bag of sugar!, just weighed an empty one, comes in at 8kg!, there is a stamp on bottom ring which

states "14.5ltrs", that would be the 100% volume I would expect so 80% would be a nats wisker short of say 12ltrs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Tim you can.

Did you skip bits of the post?

Wake up at the back, i'll be asking questions later.......lol

you can fil up the gaslows but they supply a pipe with connector on the end which you supposedly fit on your caravan skirt. Other makers suply the adaptor on the bottle direct.

Either way ive got an adaptor so can do whichever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

An issue I find is that often, unfortunately too often, the "pump" is located in a place difficult to access with a caravan on tow, let alone an 8 meter one. Uncoupling and taking the van to the pump on the mover certainly alerts the attendant!

Where it's required for touring, thus the layout of the station is unknown, I am coming to the conclusion that the system much better suits motorhomes than towed vans.

Clearly if you have your known stations and using them suits your camping needs its not a problem.

I believe the more flexible arrangement for a caravan is one "refillable" and one "exchangeable" for buffering those occassions where refilling is not viable either because of access or being pitched up when you run out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I guess considering the cost of the gaslow bottles it is only worth it if you are using the amount of gas refills that someone like Brassneck is doing - When you add up the cost of replacing I would be looking at approx 250 for a twin system assuming I fitted it myself. Take off the deposits I would get back from my existing calor bottles of approx 60 I make that approx 190 to save before I save.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's very difficult (read impossible) to get clear information on re-filling portable lpg bottles. As I understand it re-filling can only be done via a fixed inlet valve not directly to a bottle. The bottles/tanks must be fixed in the vehicle, however this reference appears to be for using lpg in an engine.

The reply by Gaslow is, in my mind, evasive, starting by referring to non U.K. use when it is obvious the question was aimed at U.K. operation. Pressed on the point the reply skirts around the matter. They appear to be very touchy about the subject. I have found this link Lpg re-filling which states portable bottles must not be re-filled. but there does not appear to be any legal restriction, only advice or local prohibitions by filling stations, as is their right. They have a duty of care to conform to H & S regulations and their insurance cover. However, it is disturbing to see that adaptors are available that allow standard lpg bottles to be re-filled as there is no doubt that these will be used by people who have no idea of the danger involved.

No doubt regulation will arrive, eventually, but it will not preclude people trying to save (?) a few pounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

As someone who's been very close several times when an LPG cylinder has exploded, I for one will not go anywhere the refilling of gas bottles, fixed or otherwise. I don't care what arguments you may have in favour of such actions, it's personal issue. If you want to do it so be it, but not for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's very difficult (read impossible) to get clear information on re-filling portable lpg bottles. As I understand it re-filling can only be done via a fixed inlet valve not directly to a bottle. The bottles/tanks must be fixed in the vehicle, however this reference appears to be for using lpg in an engine.

The reply by Gaslow is, in my mind, evasive, starting by referring to non U.K. use when it is obvious the question was aimed at U.K. operation. Pressed on the point the reply skirts around the matter. They appear to be very touchy about the subject. I have found this link Lpg re-filling which states portable bottles must not be re-filled. but there does not appear to be any legal restriction, only advice or local prohibitions by filling stations, as is their right. They have a duty of care to conform to H & S regulations and their insurance cover. However, it is disturbing to see that adaptors are available that allow standard lpg bottles to be re-filled as there is no doubt that these will be used by people who have no idea of the danger involved.

No doubt regulation will arrive, eventually, but it will not preclude people trying to save (?) a few pounds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Good on you for taking on the challenge!

Lets hope you can get a definitive answer. I don't use enough gas to make self filling viable but I'm with you all the way in your quest for the facts, pobably because I deal with legal compliance in my own industry everyday.

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Latest update. The Caravan Club says "yes"....sort of. This is a new release from the CC on this subject.

http://www.caravanclub.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/...opeanUnion1.pdf

Last paragragh refers to re-filling lpg bottles.

In the fourth paragraph they give the same information that Calor and others do, namely, the new 30mbar regulators are permanently fixed in the gas locker and not to the gas bottles.This implies that this is the requirement but there is no mention in the EN1949 of permanent fixing or bottle mounted regulators only that 30mbar will be the standard operating pressure. Germany continues to use bottle mounted regulators within the new requirements.

Edited to amend error.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Gaslow state that you can fill up in UK or Europe with their system. Also there are others who make the same type of cylinder which allows direct filling into it. Gaslows does to be fair, but it just has a hose from the connection to the bottle, to allow for fitting onto a van or m/home.

Undeterred i have today had a reply from Flogas. Yesterday on the phone they said it was ok to fill them. Today by email they have said its not ok.

I hate being messed around, so ive fired off an email to UKLPG, which is the body that Flogas adhere to for advice and guidance. UKLPG say NO, Flogas say YES.......and NO. Gaslow say YES.

I say i aint stopping till someone gives me a definitive answer either way backed up with some form of legislation. Which their isnt.

Here follows my emails:

THIS IS A NO FROM Flogas. (Yes yesterday).

Thank you for your enquiry.

We at Flogas UK Ltd follow guidance from the LPG Industry Trade

Association "UKLPG".

The following is an excerpt from their guidance notes around the filling

of user owned LPG cylinders at Autogas refueling sites;

"It is our advice that user owned, potable LPG cylinders should not be

refilled at Autogas refueling sites".

From the information you have supplied, I can only assume that the

advice applies in this instance, and as such we will be unable to refill

the gas cylinders.

I trust that this answers your enquiry.

Many thanks

Matthew Timothy

Ok, so they cite UKLPG as the source of their regulations, no problem. Here is the email i sent to UKLPG:

Hello,

Can you supply me with some information as regards to refilable gas cylinders.

Im am receiving conflicting information from various sources, so maybe in light of once source quoting yourselves, you can shed some light on this issue.

According to "Gaslow (www.gaslow.co.uk), they sell a range of refillable cylinders for use in motorhomes and caravans. They state on their website, and by correspondence: "Only the Gaslow Refillable cylinders have been designed in 6Kg and 11Kg sizes specifically to fit all Caravans and Motorhomes. They are the only ones to be European Approved and carrying a full 15 year warranty* on the complete system, including the non-rubber, stainless steel filler hoses.

For complete safety, the specially designed and European Pi approved Filler Valves automatically shut off the gas when the cylinder is 80% full - preventing the dangers associated with overfilling.

Available from and simply installed by your local dealer, you can just pull up at one of the thousands of Autogas Service Stations throughout the UK and Europe and fill up."

As their cylinders are European Approved and have a cut off valve to prevent overfilling, and they are selling them as being abled to be filled at an Autogas station in the UK, can you confirm this is the case?

There is no legislation i am aware of which is applicable to this scenario with these cylinders, though i do appreciate the legalities of using standard cylinders. But my questions relate specifically to Gaslow cylinders.

So the question is:

Is it acceptable to fill these European Approved refillable cylinders at an Autogas station as is claimed by Gaslow?

Gaslow say YES.

Flo-gas say NO because UKLPG says NO in its literature.

So who is right and who is wrong?

If i can fill up my car at an Autogas station, why not an APPROVED cylinder which has met the SAME CRITERIA as a LPG tank on a vehicle?

If Gaslows claims are FALSE, can you cite me the relevant legislation as i am yet to find it.

Some filling stations say yes, and some say no.

As i have a Flogas depot and Autogas station near to me, it seems to be a ridiculous situation that one is yes, one is no, or somewhere inbetween.

So can you give me a definitive answer please.

Many thanks.

And just to add a bit more fuel to the fire, i thought i would send one to Gaslow telling them that Flogas will not allow filling of their cylinders:

Please find enclosed a copy of an email sent to UKLPG in response to an email i recieved from Flogas stating that the refilling of Gaslow bottles WAS NOT ALLOWED.

Flogas cited wording in the literature of UKLPG as their guidelines, so i have questioned UKLPG direct.

I find this a ridiculous situation.

I fully intend to continue with this until someone sees sense and actually states that GAslows are safe and APPROVED for filling.

Currently any body in the UK dealing with LPG doesnt seem to be very well educated on current standards.

Apologies for my rant, but as i see Gaslow products being excellent and extremely safe, i dont like to be fobbed off by people unaware of up to date standards.

Thought this may be of interest to you, and i shall keep you informed of UKLPGs response.

Thanks.

------------------------------------

So now Gaslow will be aware that Flogas are refusing to play ball because UKLPG says so. But UKLPG has NO legislation to back this up, so it should be interesting to see who now says what.

Either way i aint letting go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Latest update. The Caravan Club says "yes"....sort of. This is a new release from the CC on this subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

:wine:

So you fit a couple of straps in the boot of the car to stop the cylinders moving with a permanent exterior fitting and fill up as if your car's gas powered .......

It's a pity we don't use that much gas ....

:wine::wine::wine:

:England:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

:wine:

So you fit a couple of straps in the boot of the car to stop the cylinders moving with a permanent exterior fitting and fill up as if your car's gas powered .......

It's a pity we don't use that much gas ....

:wine::wine::wine:

:England:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Click this banner for a Motorhome and Touring Caravan insurance quote from Caravan Guard