Don’t buy illegally traded or refilled gas cylinders here’s why!

Recently a growing trend is for unlicensed people to obtain empty commercially branded LPG gas cylinders, refill them illegally, often with unverified gas, and then resell them to unsuspecting consumers possibly at a cheaper price. This makes these cylinders potentially hazardous here’s why.


Why you shouldn’t buy illegally refilled or traded gas cylinders

Quite simply you SHOULDN’T buy illegally refilled or traded gas bottles because they are at risk of leaking. This comprises the safety of you and your family and puts your lives at risk because:

  • Only specially trained people using special equipment can refill gas bottles safely and correctly, so you cannot be sure that the gas bottle you buy from illegal traders has been refilled according to proper safety guidelines.
  • Often these cylinders have not been properly checked for safe continuous use, so they are extremely dangerous and have the potential to leak. 
  • Gas cylinders should be filled to 80% capacity. Without the correct equipment, they could be under- or over-filled. 
  • If they have been overfilled, then the gas bottle could be hazardous if exposed to excessive heat.
  • If they have been underfilled, this may not be dangerous but it is fraudulent as unsuspecting consumers are being cheated by being charged for more LPGas than they actually receive.

If you do buy illegally refilled or traded gas bottles, then you are:

  • encouraging the illegal trade and refilling of gas cylinders 
  • breaking the law as you are in contravention of the General Law Amendment Act, 1955 (Act No. 62 Of 1955), Section 37 which reads

“Any person who in any manner, otherwise than at a public sale, acquires or receives into his or her possession from any other person stolen goods, without having reasonable cause for believing at the time of such acquisition or receipt that such goods are the property of the person from whom he or she receives them or that such person has been duly authorized by the owner thereof to deal with or to dispose of them, shall be guilty of an offence.”


How to identify illegally refilled gas cylinders

To ensure that the gas bottle you are purchasing is not illegally filled, check for the following:

  • Check the seal on the cylinder for the gas supplier’s official branding. The seal must contain the supplier’s official branding and match the logo that is printed on the cylinder.
  • Look for the supplier’s official stamp on the cylinder’s neck ring. This stamp and the seal must both have the same company name as well as other pertinent information like tank weight, tank capacity, test pressure, minimum wall thickness, serial number and country of manufacture.
  • Check that the gas supplier’s logo and name printed on the cylinder match the name on the seal and neck ring.
  • Check the inner side of the cylinder stay plate to see when it’s due for its next test to ensure that the date has not elapsed. 
  • If the cylinder has a seal that is clear or it has no seal at all, then it has most likely been illegally refilled.


The illegal process of trading and refilling gas bottles

  • When gas bottles are illegally refilled by unauthorised people, they may not go through the required strict maintenance or inspection processes to ensure they are still safe for continued use. 
  • The cylinder and its valves and pipes may not be properly connected or in a good condition which could cause a gas leak.
  • These unauthorised people may not have the right equipment or training to ensure that the cylinder is filled to 80% capacity which is the standard to allow for expansion of the gas within the cylinder.  So the bottle may be under- or over-filled. If under-filled this violates the Trade Metrology Act and if over-filled this poses a hazard to the consumer.


The usual process with legally refilled and traded gas bottles 

  • LPG Gas is bought from reputable distributors in metal cylinders/bottles. 
  • When you have used up the gas in your bottle, you can return it to the distributor and exchange it for another full bottle.
  • Your empty bottle is returned to the LPG supplier where it is subject to a stringent quality check by specially trained personnel to ensure it is still safe for further use.
  • When it has passed the quality check it is then refilled, weighed and resealed with the company’s logo on the seal to prove that it has been legitimately filled by said gas company.


When you purchase a new gas bottle, to ensure your safety, always check that the gas cylinder

  • is not damaged, dented or rusted.
  • has an unbroken seal with the gas company’s name or logo on it which also matches the name printed on the bottle itself. This proves that the bottle was filled legally by the gas company and that the gas bottle is safe to use. 
  • has a test date which is still valid and has not passed.

Always purchase your gas cylinders from a reputable company, and exchange your gas bottles at an authorised dealer, so that you can be sure that the cylinders have been legally filled to meet the requirements as set out by the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s pressure equipment regulations. 

You can report illegal fillers or retailers of gas cylinders at this email address:
Should you need to order any  LPG Gas, contact us at Sims Gas and we will deliver to you.

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Johannesburg Phone: 011 494 4232
Durban Phone: 031 902 6533
Or fill in your gas supply query here:

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