Calor...

mikebeaches

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Hmm, whilst I agree with the sentiment concerning illegal refilling of Calor or other gas bottles not designed for the purpose, I can't help feeling the content of the press release is deliberately aimed at making life more difficult for competitors that sell gas bottles designed for refilling by owners.

And as a consequence, potentially making the situation more difficult for owners of leisure vehicles with professionally installed refillable gas bottles and tanks.
 
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Calor might have a more credible point if they distinguished between cylinders/systems designed to be user refilled from those, like theirs, which are not. To me it reads like a scare tactic aimed at protecting their overpriced market dominance. In safety terms they do more harm than good by failing to point out the difference between the bottles designed for refilling from those that are not and are dangerous if user refilled.

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Lenny HB

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Calor = horrid, horrid, horrid company.

Every time I filled a Calor bottle myself I loved it... really, really loved it.


JJ :cool:
I souldn'treally have given you a funny as for anyone who doesn't understand the risks it's dam dangerous but did make me chuckle.
 

Minxy Girl

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I've just sent an email off to UKLPG which the HSE refers to and will let you know what I get back - once I've got a response I shall then tackle the HSE and Calor:

Good morning

I am writing with a serious concern regarding the dangers of refilling LPG cylinders at petrol stations.

I was made aware of a 'news' item on the Calor website below:

https://www.calor.co.uk/news/calors...6_1516704148_a214b83d9d4929217b3cb728b25eb784

I then read the information on the HSE website about this:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/lau/lacs/52-20.htm

The HSE website has a link to your site:

http://www.uklpg.org/advice-and-information/return-unwanted-gas-cylinders/

What concerns me is the apparent condemnation of the refilling ANY cylinders including the ones purpose made for this produced by Gas-it, Gaslow, Alugas etc which are installed in motorhome/camper gas compartments and use a separate purpose made fill point to refill them.

I totally understand the concern about buying adaptors from Ebay etc to enable people to fill Calor etc type cylinders which are NOT meant to be user refilled, but feel that the information give in all of the above, if strictly adhered to by fuel stations etc will mean that those of us with purpose made systems meant to be user refilled will find we can no longer use them.

Can you therefore please let me know what the situation is regarding refilling of purpose made systems (Gas-it etc) so that if difficulties are experiences I have the full information to be able to negate this. There are many members of the motorhome fraternity (I belong to one of the largest forums/clubs for them) who are concerned about this so being able to pass on the information will be beneficial.

Regards​
 
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The problem as I see it is that staff at the front end of any retail fuel outlet cannot be reliably trained to differentiate between a portable tank that looks like a cylinder and a 'normal' cylinder. One has the requisite safety gear installed within the tank and the other needs a JJ-clone customer attached who understands the reason for an 80% fill. The only visible and safe way for retail staff to identify the different cylinder types is the presence of a vehicle-mounted filler point.

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Aug 6, 2013
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I've just sent an email off to UKLPG which the HSE refers to and will let you know what I get back - once I've got a response I shall then tackle the HSE and Calor:

Good morning

I am writing with a serious concern regarding the dangers of refilling LPG cylinders at petrol stations.

I was made aware of a 'news' item on the Calor website below:

https://www.calor.co.uk/news/calors...6_1516704148_a214b83d9d4929217b3cb728b25eb784

I then read the information on the HSE website about this:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/lau/lacs/52-20.htm

The HSE website has a link to your site:

http://www.uklpg.org/advice-and-information/return-unwanted-gas-cylinders/

What concerns me is the apparent condemnation of the refilling ANY cylinders including the ones purpose made for this produced by Gas-it, Gaslow, Alugas etc which are installed in motorhome/camper gas compartments and use a separate purpose made fill point to refill them.

I totally understand the concern about buying adaptors from Ebay etc to enable people to fill Calor etc type cylinders which are NOT meant to be user refilled, but feel that the information give in all of the above, if strictly adhered to by fuel stations etc will mean that those of us with purpose made systems meant to be user refilled will find we can no longer use them.

Can you therefore please let me know what the situation is regarding refilling of purpose made systems (Gas-it etc) so that if difficulties are experiences I have the full information to be able to negate this. There are many members of the motorhome fraternity (I belong to one of the largest forums/clubs for them) who are concerned about this so being able to pass on the information will be beneficial.

Regards​
I think maybe confusion arises between cylindrical tanks and cylinders or bottles. A tank with external filler point is a tank whether it's mounted vertically or not so Gaslow, Gasit, et al, are gas-locker friendly tanks, not bottles.
 

mikebeaches

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Digging a bit further on this, I haven't yet managed to locate the UKLPG Information Sheet No: 28 referred to on the HSE website?

One can only assume that Calor is a major driver within the UKPLG organisation.

Information sheet No: 026 dated 2011, makes explicit provision and explanation about the situation for leisure vehicles with approved refillable gas bottles:

http://upload2.evocdn.co.uk/macgas2/uploads/download/2_0_filling-user-owned-cylinders1.pdf
--------------------------
FILLING OF USER OWNED, PORTABLE REFILLABLE LPG CYLINDERS AT AUTOGAS REFUELLING SITES

It is the advice from UKLPG that user owned, portable LPG cylinders should not be refilled at self service autogas refuelling sites.

Containers which are attached to a vehicle for heating or cooking (on camper vans or similar) present similar risks on filling to those for propulsion purposes and may be permitted to be re-filled [my emphasis] at autogas refuelling sites provided they:

- are not removed for refilling;
- and are secured in a suitable enclosure;
- and are fitted with an internal device to physically prevent filling beyond 80%;
- and are connected to a fixed filling connector which is not part of the container.
--------------------------
BUT, the later version of UKLPG Information Sheet No: 026, dated 2016, makes no such reference to the above:

http://www.uklpg.org/uploads/DOC5784C95F80B79.pdf

Make of that what you will?

Edited to add that I finally located Infomation Sheet 028, referred to on the HSE website, which doesn't really cause any issues, because it's not about refilling gas cylinders/tanks.

https://www.innergygasandequipment.co.uk/PDF/Using-Propane-and-Butane-Cylinders-Safely.pdf
 
Last edited:
Dec 12, 2010
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Calor refused to fill my Gaslow bottles on my van when I first bought it, the guy had quite a shitty attitude too, their loss as I swapped my workshop bottles to Macgas (now taken over by Flogas) which when I picked up a propane refill yesterday was £2.18/litre as opposed to Calor's £2.60.
They do seem to have a bit of a devisive attitude as a company though, I remember a first thread on here a couple of years ago from someone calling themselves "redlorry123" trying to put the frighteners on folks with refillable systems, explaining there was an inherent fault with refillable's valves and that they were dangerous, it was so obviously from someone in the Calor trolling department. There was also a comment on a Youtuber (Poultrypeople) who was making a wood burner from a gas bottle, Calor threatened him with legal action if he didn't remove his post, the guy had to point out to them that the bottle he was using wasn't actually a Calor one anyway.
I think they charge too much for their product/bottles and instead of revising their prices, would rather bully and intimidate to stay as the top supplier.
Having said all that, I did have to swap a butane for a propane for a friend there last week, I only used them as it's what she requested for convenience when travelling and doesn't have the funds to fit refillable at the moment.
It also goes without saying that some people shouldn't be trusted with inflating a party balloon, never mind refilling a gas bottle, but educate, don't intimidate.

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JJ

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I souldn'treally have given you a funny as for anyone who doesn't understand the risks it's dam dangerous but did make me chuckle.

I assume you do realise that I fully understand the "risks" I undertake when filling an empty cylinder in good condition, using a beautifully engineered, high spec adaptor.

Pray tell me the "dangers" you perceive there to be, and how much more dangerous these are when compared to filling a car with highly inflammable petrol.

JJ :cool:

PS. If you don't know about LPG and what it entails when filling a gas cylinder... DON'T TRY TO DO IT.
 

Lenny HB

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I assume you do realise that I fully understand the "risks" I undertake when filling an empty cylinder in good condition, using a beautifully engineered, high spec adaptor.

Pray tell me the "dangers" you perceive there to be, and how much more dangerous these are when compared to filling a car with highly inflammable petrol.

JJ :cool:

PS. If you don't know about LPG and what it entails when filling a gas cylinder... DON'T TRY TO DO IT.
Thats why I gave you a funny. :)
 

Minxy Girl

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I've just had a response to the email I sent back in January to UKLPG:

Dear Mr Bucknell,​

Thank you for your email and I’m sorry for the delay in responding to you. I have today got the below response back from our technical director;

“Please note that the correspondence you have shown me is relating to portable (non-fixed) LPG cylinders that consumers sometimes put in the boot of their vehicle and take out to fill on a forecourt using adaptors. This is where the concern is.

Cylinders with a relief valve that are permanently fixed within a motor home (normally in a gas locker) with a remote purpose built fill connection can be safely refuelled on forecourts, and as far as I am aware the oil companies have not banned this activity.

UKLPG is a trade association and we cannot ban any practice. However, we offer guidance to operators on what they need to do to comply with the law. “​

Kind regards,​

So, it appears that they don't have a problem with Gaslow/Gasit 'fixed' cylinders or tanks with a remote filler (not the one directly into the bottle) ... might be worth keeping this in mind if challenged.
 

pappajohn

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The way I see it it's not illegal to use an adaptor but it is illegal to sell one
The report states a man was successfully prosecuted for SELLING 700 potentially dangerous adaptors.....it's potentially dangerous to dispense petrol but thousands do it every day.
nobody has been prosecuted for using one.

I notice the information was issued by Calor......a case of sour grapes in my book.

Personally, I wouldn't use one.

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Basildog

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I've just had a response to the email I sent back in January to UKLPG:

Dear Mr Bucknell,​

Thank you for your email and I’m sorry for the delay in responding to you. I have today got the below response back from our technical director;

“Please note that the correspondence you have shown me is relating to portable (non-fixed) LPG cylinders that consumers sometimes put in the boot of their vehicle and take out to fill on a forecourt using adaptors. This is where the concern is.

Cylinders with a relief valve that are permanently fixed within a motor home (normally in a gas locker) with a remote purpose built fill connection can be safely refuelled on forecourts, and as far as I am aware the oil companies have not banned this activity.

UKLPG is a trade association and we cannot ban any practice. However, we offer guidance to operators on what they need to do to comply with the law. “​

Kind regards,​

So, it appears that they don't have a problem with Gaslow/Gasit 'fixed' cylinders or tanks with a remote filler (not the one directly into the bottle) ... might be worth keeping this in mind if challenged.

So they are actually saying it is fine to fill any cylinder as calor etc are all fitted with a relief valve ?
There are basically no laws or regulations regarding filling lpg cylinders as far as I can see but lots of guidance issued by trade associations !
Like all motorhome and caravan gas systems basically anyone can work on them with absolutely no qualifications, most owners will be surprised to find that their refillable systems have probably been fitted by someone with absolutely no gas qualifications.
 
Aug 18, 2014
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Digging a bit further on this, I haven't yet managed to locate the UKLPG Information Sheet No: 28 referred to on the HSE website?

One can only assume that Calor is a major driver within the UKPLG organisation.

Information sheet No: 026 dated 2011, makes explicit provision and explanation about the situation for leisure vehicles with approved refillable gas bottles:

http://upload2.evocdn.co.uk/macgas2/uploads/download/2_0_filling-user-owned-cylinders1.pdf
--------------------------
FILLING OF USER OWNED, PORTABLE REFILLABLE LPG CYLINDERS AT AUTOGAS REFUELLING SITES

It is the advice from UKLPG that user owned, portable LPG cylinders should not be refilled at self service autogas refuelling sites.

Containers which are attached to a vehicle for heating or cooking (on camper vans or similar) present similar risks on filling to those for propulsion purposes and may be permitted to be re-filled [my emphasis] at autogas refuelling sites provided they:

- are not removed for refilling;
- and are secured in a suitable enclosure;
- and are fitted with an internal device to physically prevent filling beyond 80%;
- and are connected to a fixed filling connector which is not part of the container.
--------------------------
BUT, the later version of UKLPG Information Sheet No: 026, dated 2016, makes no such reference to the above:

http://www.uklpg.org/uploads/DOC5784C95F80B79.pdf

Make of that what you will?

Edited to add that I finally located Infomation Sheet 028, referred to on the HSE website, which doesn't really cause any issues, because it's not about refilling gas cylinders/tanks.

https://www.innergygasandequipment.co.uk/PDF/Using-Propane-and-Butane-Cylinders-Safely.pdf

https://www.uklpg.org/uploads/DOC5A27C51B54C16.pdf
 

Feltwell

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Meanwhile, on the Safefill website:-

http://www.safefill.co.uk/pdf/petrol-heads-up-2017.pdf

I've only been challenged once when filling up my Safefill cylinder, and then when I explained to the manager he was OK about it and let me fill it up.

Twice round here though I've seen Transit tippers with the big 47kg red cylinders laid down in the back being refilled at petrol stations. Gets us all a bad name. I know of one, rather cheeky, independent LPG fuel outlet who charges 15p a litre extra to refill Calor cylinders rather than fill a converted car up! They even have their own adaptor. Naughty......
 

EX51SSS

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So they are actually saying it is fine to fill any cylinder as calor etc are all fitted with a relief valve ?
There are basically no laws or regulations regarding filling lpg cylinders as far as I can see but lots of guidance issued by trade associations !
Like all motorhome and caravan gas systems basically anyone can work on them with absolutely no qualifications, most owners will be surprised to find that their refillable systems have probably been fitted by someone with absolutely no gas qualifications.
For one, mine was professionally fitted and pressure checked and system checked every tear by a qualified gas safe fitters.

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PeteH

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I dont have "Gas" qualifications either. I just used to Survey and Certify the equipment they where all trained on. I have most likely forgotten far more than most learn!. I also have the doubtful honour of being the guy handed the job of Examining and Re Certifying a Calor Road Tanker that had gone several hundred yards down the M5 near Bristol on its side following an RTA.

Calor don`t do themselves any favours. I can get an Argas 6kg refill for under £15 . the local Calor outlet want £22+ to swap one. I have been charged even More on Camp Sites!.

P.s. I think I posted a Link to a Canadian site, which puts the dangers associated with LPG in it`s correct context. If I find it I will link it.

Got it: - https://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/caution-refillable-bottles.163529/page-5#post-2573783 5th Page Post 91 Last but 2 Paragraph.
 
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scotjimland

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since the first days of using Calor gas, users have changed the bottle themselves.. it's a spanner job.

.. if you can change a Calor bottle safely you can change it to a Gaslow refillable .. it's spanner work.. only extra bit of work is fitting the filler point which requires a 70mm hole. or alternatively, fit inside locker using the preformed bracket.. not ideal but it can be changed at a later date if required.
 
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Reading on this forum and others, it seems to me that there are more safety issues with Gaslow types of installations leaking than from refilling calor bottles. I dont know if its because the Gaslow systems that are leaking are DIY fitted or are inherently prone to leaks.
Personally I would ban the DIY installation of Gaslow types of systems. Even if a DIY fitted system is leak tested and signed off by a qualified person it can still be unsafe if the pipes have been over tightened. There is no way a tester can know. Then months down the line the nut breaks and the system dumps its gas.

We wouldn't allow this kind of DIY installation at home so why allow it on a system where liquid gas is stored on a moving home?

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PeteH

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Reading on this forum and others, it seems to me that there are more safety issues with Gaslow types of installations leaking than from refilling calor bottles. I dont know if its because the Gaslow systems that are leaking are DIY fitted or are inherently prone to leaks.
Personally I would ban the DIY installation of Gaslow types of systems. Even if a DIY fitted system is leak tested and signed off by a qualified person it can still be unsafe if the pipes have been over tightened. There is no way a tester can know. Then months down the line the nut breaks and the system dumps its gas.

We wouldn't allow this kind of DIY installation at home so why allow it on a system where liquid gas is stored on a moving home?

I can see your concern, however those who do this are the same people who overtighten wheel nuts, overstress them, then they sequentially fail, the wheel comes off, and a child is killed by said wheel. Use of the right tool in the correct manner is all that is needed. Not a knee jerk reaction, so beloved by politicians to any failure. In my own extensive experience not all "competent persons" are actually competent, but they have read the book and been "passed out" in a classroom!. I personally know a couple of Engineering Professors, really nice guys, who I would not hand a spanner to!.
 

EX51SSS

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They don't help their cause with the ridiculous prices they charge,,6 kg propane £23 last week,,i can fill my Gas It for less than £6,,,,,what a rip off,,,BUSBY,,
But in all fairness and I'm certainly not defending calor but there is plant staff to pay and the plant of course, the transportation to various depots and their profits

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