Filling Gas Bottles from Car LPG

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:09
ThreadID: 83719 Views:18915 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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Just recently we struck a chap who filled his caravan gas bottles from his car . Now I don't know all the technical details but he had a hose of some sort.

This practise raised many arguements including the fact that

1. it was illegal to do so
2. that the car gas caused jets in van to block ( especially the fridge- this bloke carried so instruments to clean the jets
3. that is was/wasn't the same gas thats in the big cylinders and service stations don't want people to know this as they make too much money filling small cylinders

Would love to settle a few of these heated discussions

Di
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Reply By: Best Off Road - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:22

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:22
Di,

Regarding point 3, Supagas outlets supply 100% propane for both gas bottles and cars, it all comes from the one tank. For cars it is around 55 cents a litre. To fill a 9kg bottle (18 litres) will cost about $25 ie $1.39 a litre.

Jim.

AnswerID: 442175

Follow Up By: OREJAP - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:45

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 09:45
Just don't fill portable bottle to the top only put about 15 ltrs in it
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Reply By: Pushy - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:15

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:15
Generally car gas is a mixture of propane and butane whilst bbq cylinders are 100% propane.

I believe that in some far flung areas the car gas is only propane and can be used for both.

There must be a reason why there is a difference and I would suggest there would be differences in burning.

BBQ gas is more expensive because of the small amounts involved, the labour required in filling them and the added costs in transporting them.

I would think that what he was doing was not legal as I am sure he would not have the training or equipment on hand to deal with any emergency.
AnswerID: 442183

Follow Up By: Pushy - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:21

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:21
BBQ gas bottles are decanted from one cylinder to the other by the pressure differential between the cylinders, with the filling cylinder at a specific pressure which allows the bbq bottle to be filled to a safe pressure.

If the car tank is at a much higher pressure it may mean that the bbq bottle may be filled to an unsafe level.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:39

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:39
Oh Di - are you looking for a spectator sport Forum Bun Fight? Have a look at previous threads on the topic - replies from those who point out the dangers and illegality, and those who say it can be the same mix of gas; they do it an haven't been blown up yet.

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AnswerID: 442196

Follow Up By: Ruffy-Dan - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:12

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:12
Geez.. i really should steer clear of these threads.. How ever..........


Bottle LPG, like all forms of LPG, is not always 100% propane but for the sake of the argument we will say it is.
The manufacture of bottled LPG is very well aware of it's intended use and understand that a jet in a BBQ, a Fridge, Regulator or any other appliance has a much finer tolerance than any form of converter used to power an internal combustion engine and there fore it NEEDS to be a cleaner gas. Vehicle LPG is not more refined.
Just like anything else we buy, the "premium" stuff has a higher price. Why? because it cost more to get it to it's end point of sale and it's cost more to advertise and administer.
If you are happy to fiddle around cleaning jets and crap frequently then you'll enjoy the lower price you can pay for vehicle designated LPG.
Anyone who has had automotive LPG for some time will be aware of the inconsistent mixes of fuel and build up of waxy residue you get in the system.

Happy Cooking,

Dan
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Reply By: TTD - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:56

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:56
didiaust

The difference between the majority of auto gas outlets and propane supplies is that autogas is usually 50%Butane and 50% Propane and if you have ever used those disposable gas cans (which are Butane) and have the flame go out on a cold day or when the can is getting low,that is the reason you do not use Autogas.
Without going into the technicalities Propane will continue to boil down to -44degrees C but Butane will stop at 0degreesC. By boil I mean turn from a liquid to a gas. What you end up with after a couple of fills at a Auto outlet is all Butane or very black pots at best .
The practise is illegal in every state .
TTD
AnswerID: 442200

Reply By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:40

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:40
We keep heariing that you cannot use Autogas for other uses but I reckon its just a big case of using scare tatics to rip off all us consumers on the price of bottled gas.
I have a friend that uses portable gas heaters to heat his factory & a few years ago he decided to use Autogas to cut his heating cost.

How does he fill the bottles? Well how is this for a great idea.
He bought some second hand Automotive gas bottles & he puts 2 at a time in the back of his ute so when he fills them the attendant thinks he is just fueling up his car. When he gets back to the factory out they go. Using an adapter he then connects them to his factory gas fired heaters.

I do a bit of work for him from time to time & the only difference is that the output of the heaters is slightly reduced. He reckons other than that he has not had a problem since he started. So like I said we are just getting ripped off with the cost of our 9KG gas refills!

AnswerID: 442206

Follow Up By: didiaust - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 14:02

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 14:02
Thanks all

Our discussions were indeed very heated too

I know some people are wanting to aquire a forklift bottle and get it re fueled

Our friend let the chap fill his bottles from his car and the jets in the water heater clogged up and the boys removed little bits of black stuff


Will see if I am cleaver enough to find the other posts

Di
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Follow Up By: TTD - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:45

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:45
Bushranger1
Using autogas like that is a bit like speeding,you can get away with it until you get caught,in the case of speeding you get fined or have a prang and at worst get killed or kill someone else. Auto LPG is for vehicle use as explained in one of the above posts. LPG Propane is often described as the Gennie in the bottle used the right way it will serve you well, break the rules and you can get badly burned .
Your mate is very brave or unaware of the risk he is taking as cylinders lying down they dont leak gas they leak liquid which expands 270 times to form a flamible gas. If that happens and he applies the brakes kboom.
After 40years in the business I have seen it happen many times.
If you want to know all about LP Gas go to the ALPGA (australian LP gas Association) webb site.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:18

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:18
TDD
I can see your point here & I am sure you know a lot more about the science behind it than I do. Having driven an Egas car for 12 yrs it really frustrates me seeing the price difference per litre to fill my car vs a 9kg gas bottle!

A reverse sitution to my original post just came to mind & I am not trying to be smart here but would appreciate your comments.

Our forklift at work operates on LPG & because it only gets used about every 2 weeks we just use the 9kg BBQ bottles to run it. It runs perfectly on this gas & has so for years, so you can see this is the reverse situation to my first post. Is a forklift tuned to run on BBQ gas or Autogas?
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Follow Up By: TTD - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:57

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:57
Bushranger1
The calorific value ( energy) of Autogas and Propane are almost the same,Butane is just a bit better but has to be put through a heater on the car to vapourise it where as Propane will continue to boil (vapourise ) down to -44degrees C but Butane connected to a gas appliance will run till it ices up then go out. If there is no flame failure on the appliance then it will when it warms up again fill the room with gas.
If you look on the site I suggested there was over 70 serious incidents with LPG last year and some fatal.

TTD
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 08:18

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 08:18
TDD
Thanks for the explanation.
Now I understand why my cheap camp stove with disposable canisters always ices up & goes out except on hot days but my standard LPG BBQ still works in cold weather. I always thought it was the fact that the 9KG bottle had more volume to it.
I can now understand your concern running appliances on Autogas that are not designed to do so. Also explains why the forklift runs ok in the reverse situation. Maybe next time I see my fiend I can educate him on the reason not to do this. I guess your never too old to learn.
The price difference still annoys me but thats a separate issue!
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Reply By: nutwood - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:01

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:01
All depends where you fill up. Auto gas can vary from pure propane to a mix of propane, butane and god knows what. If you pick your source and fill your bottles with pure propane, there's no difference, apart from price.
Regarding the legality of it; it's totally illegal to use auto gas for anything other than propelling a vehicle.
AnswerID: 442262

Reply By: 3gobush - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:26

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 22:26
As a trained person that refills gas bottles, I would rather light a cigarette in a fuel tanker.

Stay well away from this person.
AnswerID: 442279

Reply By: mike39 - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 08:04

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 08:04
In NZ to refil a caravan gas cylinder one goes to a service station (which sells auto gas as well as petrol etc.).

The cylinder is placed on a scale and the weight recorded on a digital readout. The gross weight is then recorded and the filling commenced. When the weight equals the gross weight the gas automatically shuts off.

It is a nice way of not ripping the customer off, only pay for what is filled into the cylinder (at the pump price) and it is the SAME gas as used in a gas car.
Perhaps they only use pure butane over in NZ?, we certainly had no problems with blocked burners.

There are plenty of recorded instances here whereby 'van regulators have become choked with a waxy crud. (mine included)
mike
AnswerID: 442310

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