You have probably heard of both LPG and propane gas, but what exactly is the difference between the two? 

LPG and propane are essentially the same thing and difference between the two, if any, is dependent on what country you are in. Certain countries, such as the United States and Australia use LPG that is 100% propane gas, while other countries use an LPG that is made up of a mixture of propane and butane gases, usually at a ratio of 60:40.

The LPG, or liquified petroleum gas, which we use in our gas cylinders in South Africa, is a mixture of propane and butane, rather than the 100% propane LPG used in the United States. Propane gas is classified as liquid petroleum gas, along with butane, however it is important to note that while propane is an LPG, not all LPG is propane. 

Butane and propane are similar in that they are both flammable hydrocarbon gases. LPG and, by extension, propane and butane, are all by-products of natural gas processing and the crude oil refining process and are then pressurised into a liquid form, after which they are stored in gas cylinders. 

LPG mixture and 100% propane are liquids at a cold temperature, however they both become vapour (gas) once exposed to room temperature air. Propane has the highest vapour pressure and therefore has a lower boiling point (-42°c) and is better in colder weather. Butane on the other hand has the lowest vapour pressure and therefore a higher boiling point (-0.4°c), this means that the mixed LPG that we use in South Africa has a lower boiling point than pure propane.

Both LPG and propane are used as thermal fuel in various applications, including in the refineries themselves; as well as for heating water and rooms, cooking and as fuel for certain vehicles.

Why it is so important to check for a branded company seal on your gas cylinders.

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When you purchase a new gas cylinder there are certain things which you always have to look out for, to ensure your safety. This includes checking whether or not your gas cylinder has a seal with the gas company’s name on it and which matches the name printed on the cylinder itself. 

It is crucial that you ensure that the gas cylinder you purchase has a seal with the company’s name or logo on it, as this proves that the cylinder was filled by the gas company in question. You should always purchase your gas cylinders from a reputable company so that you can be sure that the cylinders have been legally filled to meet the requirements set out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s pressure equipment regulations. 

It has become more and more commonplace for unauthorised people to take and illegally fill gas cylinders that belong to a reputable brand and then sell these cylinders to unsuspecting people. Illegally filled cylinders pose a huge risk to you and your family, as you cannot be sure that they have been filled according to safety guidelines, or that the cylinder and its valves and pipes are properly connected and in good condition, which could ultimately lead to a gas leak in your home. People who fill gas cylinders illegally are unlikely to use the correct equipment, which may lead to the cylinder being over or underfilled. Gas cylinders should be filled to 80% capacity and without the correct equipment, this cannot be assured.

In closing, it is important that you do your due diligence when purchasing a gas cylinder by ensuring that there is a seal with the company’s name or logo. You should also check the inner side of the cylinder stay plate for the due date of test and ensure that the date has not passed. If either of these safety measures are not up to standard, you should take care not to purchase the cylinder.

How to detect a gas leak in your home.

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Gas leaks, if undetected can be very dangerous in your home, threatening both your health and safety. In some cases, gas leaks can even be life threatening, which is why it is crucial that, if you use gas or gas appliances in your home, that you familiarise yourself with the signs of a gas leak. 

Here are some signs to look out for when detecting a gas leak in your home:

Sulfuric smell
Gas has a very distinctive, unpleasant, musty odour which can be easily identified. If you smell sulphur or rotten eggs, especially in locations near your gas appliances, you may have a gas leak. If there is an exceptionally strong odour it is critical that you turn off your gas supply immediately and consult a professional.

Hissing noise
A gas leak often makes a faint hissing or whistling noise as the gas escapes the loose connection. If you hear a hissing sound near a gas pipe or appliance, it is possible that you may have a gas leak. It is important to note, however, that not all gas leaks make a noise.

Check the flames 
Check the colour of the flames on your gas stove as this can be an indicator of a gas leak. The flames of a gas stove should be blue, if your stove flames are yellow or orange this could be as a result of a gas leak, which is causing the natural gas to not completely burn.

Check your houseplants
Plants need a steady supply of carbon dioxide to thrive and a gas leak could disrupt this supply. If you use gas in your home and find that your plants are inexplicably wilting, then this may be as a result of a gas leak. You can also keep plants near appliances that use gas in order to warn you of a potential leak.

Check your gas bill
Is your gas bill inexplicably high or are you running out of gas a lot faster than usual? This could mean that you have a gas leak, but it is important to compare these to your older bills so as to ensure that it is not just an increase due to colder weather.

How do you feel?
If you’re feeling unnaturally dizzy or lightheaded, this could be as a result of a gas leakage. If you are concerned that you may have a gas leak, check your gas outlets and appliances for any of the other aforementioned signs.

It is important that, in the event of a gas leak in your home, you consult a professional to assist you in locating the source of the leak and to assist in fixing the leak, rather than attempting to sort the problem out yourself, as this can be dangerous.

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Everyone has seen a gas cylinder at some point in their lives, perhaps even used one, but do you know how they are made?

We’re looking at the behind the scenes process of manufacturing gas cylinders:

Gas cylinders are usually made from welded steel, however other materials such as aluminium, stainless steel and galvanised steel can also be used.

  • A gas cylinder starts out its life as a circular sheet of steel which is then fed through a hydraulic press which presses the steel into a half cylinder shape.
  • In order to make the cylinder, the two separate half cylinder shapes are then welded together in a rotary welding station. Once the separate pieces have been welded together to form a single unit, the cylinder is then tempered in a furnace to ensure the correct hardness. 
  • A hole is then punched into the cylinder, onto which the valve flange is then welded. A valve flange serves as the connection between the cylinder and the valve.
  • Next, steel strips are punched into circular shapes, which will form the foot and neck rings on the cylinder. The foot ring is then welded onto the bottom of the cylinder, while the neck ring is welded onto the top of the cylinder. The neck ring also serves as a handle for the cylinder.
  • The brass cylinder valve is then screwed on and tightened.
  • Once the valve has been connected to the cylinder, the manufacturer will then use a hydraulic stamp to put their information on the cylinder, along with the date of manufacture, empty weight, water capacity and test station identification.
  • Once the cylinder is completed it undergoes rigorous testing and safety and quality assurances before it is finally filled with gas.

Now, next time you see a gas cylinder, you’ll know the process behind its manufacturing.

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Gas cylinders are, when not handled or stored correctly, dangerous to you and your home. If your cylinder ruptures it could cause an explosion which could damage your property and anyone in it. It is therefore extremely important that you store your gas cylinders correctly. One of the best ways to store gas cylinders is using storage cages, however, to ensure your safety there are important guidelines for your cage storage to follow.

We’ve put together some useful tips you’ll need to take into account when setting up cage storage for your cylinders:

Make sure your storage cage has enough ventilation
In order to reduce any risks associated with leakage, your gas cylinders should be stored in a cage which has good ventilation, and which is located in a well-ventilated area. Leaked gas can be a serious health and safety hazard, which is why ventilation is so important as it prevents a build-up of any leaked gases.


Make sure your cylinders are stored vertically
Your gas cylinders should be stored upright within the storage cage so as to prevent residual liquefied gas from coming into contact with the cylinder valves. Storing the cylinders upright helps prevent the cylinders from being damaged.


Make sure your cylinders are secured
Storage cages can accidentally be bumped or knocked over, which is why gas cylinders need to be secured within their cages. A bump could cause a cylinder to collapse or rupture, which is a huge safety hazard. To ensure your cylinder will remain upright, secure it with rack, or a strap or chain that is non-abrasive.


Make sure your storage cage is away from sources of heat or ignition
Never store any other objects or products in your storage cage, especially products which are flammable such as fuel, oil or other corrosive liquids, as this could result in an explosion or other safety hazards. You should also keep your cylinders out of direct sunlight and away from other sources of heat such as stoves or fireplaces.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to ensure that your gas cylinders are stored in a way which minimises any risks and prioritises safety.

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