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  1. #1
    ajm
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    Default large gas bottles

    hi all, we have just bought again. this time outside of the metro area. we don't have town gas anymore. I have to locate a LPG supplier pronto. does anyone know where 45kg gas bottles can be bought? if second hand, how can i be sure that they are safe? We will probably arrange supply and delivery with one of the energy companies in the short term. however, i believe it can be cheaper to own your own bottles and take them for refilling rather than having the energy companies do it all for me. any advice/tips?

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    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Food for thought.
    Gas companies act like the mafia.
    In Sydney it is cheaper to have a few 9k bottles and fill them at the servo
    45kg vs 5 x 9kg LPG pricing challenge - Kitchen - Home
    Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance
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  3. #3
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    FWIW we dumped the gas hotwater in the first few weeks after we bought... The pilot light kept going out Eventually I found there was a leak in the tank which was doing that..
    Fun Fact : Thats three houses we have bought where we needed to replace the hot water system in the first few weeks after moving in...
    Spent a lot on solar HWS and now we use a 45 kg every 18 months or so...maybe longer.
    And.....your point is.....what exactly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Food for thought.
    Gas companies act like the mafia.
    In Sydney it is cheaper to have a few 9k bottles and fill them at the servo
    45kg vs 5 x 9kg LPG pricing challenge - Kitchen - Home
    I agree with the following cause I do the same

    I use a 45kg with a 9kg backup. i.e. when the 45 runs out I switch to the 9 and order a refill for the 45. That way at least I save the 35 for the second bottle rental. Every few years I switch the 9kg at the swap and go for a new one.

    In 9 years I have not needed to refill the 9kg bottle, but I may this year just to get a new bottle which is in date.

    And for the op, all 45 kg bottles are owned by the supply companies, that is why the pricks can get away with a service fee.

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    Swap and go at Bunnings can be very cost effective if you don't have gas HWS. I get about 9 months cooking from one 9kg bottle that costs $24 to refill.
    Think it was about $30 extra for the first bottle but after that you constantly exchange them so no worry about it going out of date.

    Local servo costs a lot more for refills, the Alinta bottles rental alone cost more.

  6. #6
    ajm
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    Builder I know has somehow got three 45kg bottles which he fills himself at the servo. He reckons he saves 30% that way. I'll have to keep a closer eye on my tools when he comes over. 😱

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajm View Post
    Builder I know has somehow got three 45kg bottles which he fills himself at the servo. He reckons he saves 30% that way. I'll have to keep a closer eye on my tools when he comes over. 
    Good chance he has tanker fill bottles(large filler connection same as a car with lp filler) which he is filling with car gas, which is not as refined as home gas and therefore produces a lot of carbon, which sends the base of pots and pans black, not to mention blocking jets.

  8. #8
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    We used to have a fair few of them at a place I worked at 25 years ago. Boss worked out it was cheaper to buy them outright for the forklifts than pay for exchange bottles all the time, and they used to run up the road to a servo with 9 of them in a cage on a pallet to get them refilled. The guys would then swap them over when a forklift started to slow down.
    They had an adapter that let them use the car LPG pump, but they had to open the bleed valve when doing it. Whole process took nearly an hour to do the 9 bottles, but back then gas was 18-20c/L and it was under $200 to fill them all - which was the cost of 3 exchanged bottles from the truck.

    When they went to electrics, the bottles were offered to the employees - some used the gas & then made them into BBQs. I know the guy who scored the adapter used to refill his bottles with it, but only when his mate was on the console at the servo - probably a similar method to ajm's builder mate.

    One thing they'll crap on about is "BBQ gas and auto-LPG are different, you can't mix & match"
    There are differences in butane levels depending on the season & the raw crude, and BBQ gas used to be 100% propane years ago, but that's all changed now - you can get 100% propane at the bowser for cars in certain locations (and I know one of my LPG cars runs so much better on it).

    Also, I've been running LPG cars since the early 90s. Back then, autogas was easily differentiated from BBQ gas, as BBQ gas had the odourant added to it. About 7-8 years ago, I noticed some auto LPG pumps had the odourant in their supply (when you get the "psshhhht" at the end of the fill, you could smell it). Probably around 3-4 years now since I've filled a car with gas and haven't had the onion smell. I asked a mate who works for Elgas about this, and he told me it's all the same now, and he refills servo tanks for the LPG pumps, as well as the upright BBQ refillers, all from the same tank on the truck. Same truck also refills tanks in factories that are used to refill forklifts, run furnaces, ovens etc. He also drives the "short truck" occasionally and does deliveries to private individuals and smaller places - like takeaways, that run the ~200kg & ~400kg tanks - some of the well-to-do areas that don't have natural gas have a lot of them dotted around to cater to pool/spa/sauna heating, and he's always telling me stories about the people he meets on occasion. Most times he just fills the tank & leaves a bill, but sometimes they are, let's say, quite grateful

    The whole "you can't use the other gas" was to stop people circumventing the profiteering oil companies. I don't bother refilling 9kg bottles off car LPG anymore. I used to do it "properly" - not with an adapter off the filler, but using a flex hose off the liquid outlet from the tank. It's too difficult on the injected gas cars, as they have a pressure pump in the tank. But these days my local servo is still under $20 for a refill - occasionally putting out the "$16.50" board on the odd slow weekend, so it's hardly any saving now that auto LPG is up near 80c/L, and it's something like 17L to fill a 9kg bottle.

    But getting back to it, you may find it cheaper in the long run to install a permanent large tank, and have truck refills. There would be a higher up-front cost on the tank & installation, but the hundreds of them out in suburbia that my mate refills means they must be good value. I don't know how you can get your own 45kg bottles to circumvent the rental fee - they can refill them from the tanker truck too, but it's cheaper to do the pre-filled bottle swap by the time you pay the service fee for the tanker truck.

    But like the examples above - depends what your usage is going to be like. 2 or 3 9kg bottles might be all you need. But if you're going to heat with it, a bloke I knew used to go through a 9kg bottle nearly every week in winter, running just a heater in the lounge room, so unless it's just a cook top, you'll want the bigger bottles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajm View Post
    if second hand, how can i be sure that they are safe?
    Forgot to answer this bit.
    All lpg bottles have a test/manufacture date on them which is good for 10 years, after which they have to be either scrapped or tested and fitted with a new valve and restamped at considerable cost.(check with a testing facility for cost)
    Providing the bottle is still in date and showing no signs of rust or damage you should be ok, but of course don't pay big money for a bottle with only a couple of years left on it, and if you want to check the amount of gas in a bottle, either weigh it, or place a hot wet towel down the side and the condensate or coldness will indicate the gas level..
    Smaller bottles 8-9kg can be replaced at swap over places, and if you do this, make sure you get a bottle with plenty of time left on it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclic View Post
    Smaller bottles 8-9kg can be replaced at swap over places, and if you do this, make sure you get a bottle with plenty of time left on it.
    I never bother as I just use swap and go bottles, it can be a problem if you intend to have the bottle filled.

    20 yrs ago I got a 45kg bottle for just a cooktop and there was no rent. Sometime later they decided to add rental so when the bottle emptied I went to the dump got 2x9kg bottles for $5 and went and swapped them for full ones fitted a changeover valve and one bottle lasts for about 6mths.

  12. #12
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    How many kj in a 9kg bottle, might need to get rid of my NG supply charge!

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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    How many kj in a 9kg bottle, might need to get rid of my NG supply charge!
    Dont know but talk to the librarian at Google. You will need to have the appliances re jetted for LPG.

  14. #14
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    I use around 700-800MJ quarterly, so around two 9kg bottles. My typical gas bill is around $80+. Two bottles would be cheaper but re-jetting would cost a bit.
    I should use more gas, maybe a gas electric generator.


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    Quote Originally Posted by phild01 View Post
    Two bottles would be cheaper but re-jetting would cost a bit.

    I don’t think so as my cooktop came with two sets of jets, one for town gas and one set for LPG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    I don’t think so as my cooktop came with two sets of jets, one for town gas and one set for LPG.
    I have the instantaneous HWS to convert as well, I know cooktops are a cinch to do.

  17. #17
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    If you get that bottle I linked further up you could be in for some substantial savings. Not cheap though and bulky to move around. A forklift tank would be much better.
    You need to get the pick up modified though because they are designed to deliver liquid gas. You need to take the pick up off. You local Auto LPG dude should know all about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    You need to get the pick up modified though because they are designed to deliver liquid gas.
    Liquid gas, I’ll have to remember that.

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    No idea about buying your own but for a short term solution Origin Energy, Supagas and Elgas all supply LPG in most parts of the country.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    Liquid gas, I’ll have to remember that.
    Some of the tanks have two ports, one for liquid for the normal internal combustion engine and a second port to deliver gas from the top of the tank. Others only deliver liquid gas. yes sounds funny but that is what it is
    the forklift engine has a vaporiser that works with the hot water from the refrigeration system so it needs LPG.
    I used to run a lawnmower engine to power an alternator for charging a battery and watch TV ... I disconnected the petrol hose from the petrol tank and plugged it straight in the regulator of a 9Kg bottle upright, so the motor sucked in vaporised LPG straight from the bottle like a barbaque. Worked a charm.
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    I’ve only known LPG cylinders to deliver gas and some for special applications deliver liquid, so only two forms of LPG liquid or gas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    I’ve only known LPG cylinders to deliver gas and some for special applications deliver liquid, so only two forms of LPG liquid or gas.
    Been a long time like everything else, but for memory there are vapour draw bottles and liquid draw bottles.
    All LPG is liquid dats why it is called liquid petroleum gas..
    Liquid draw bottles have a tube extending to the base so the liquid is drawn out.
    Vapour draw bottles do not have the tube so therefore draw vapour from the top of the bottle, however
    to draw liquid from a vapour bottle, the bottle is turned upside down.

  23. #23
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    We have 2x 45kg bottles through origin

    i think there about $120 each refill, and $60 a year rental.

    we used to have a gas storage hot water system (and stove), and we where going through a bottle every 2 - 3 months. We got rid of it real quick and put an instantaneous gas hot water on. Only me and my wife but we only go through a bottle every 6 - 8 months now

    when 1 bottle runs out, we just switch over to the other and call up origin to replace it.

    i keep umming and ahhing about going the 9kg method, but I would want at least 4 bottles. Also not sure on the legality of knocking up your own manifold etc, insurance company might get upset if your burns down because of it.
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by havabeer View Post
    We have 2x 45kg bottles through origin

    i think there about $120 each refill, and $60 a year rental.

    we used to have a gas storage hot water system (and stove), and we where going through a bottle every 2 - 3 months. We got rid of it real quick and put an instantaneous gas hot water on. Only me and my wife but we only go through a bottle every 6 - 8 months now

    when 1 bottle runs out, we just switch over to the other and call up origin to replace it.

    i keep umming and ahhing about going the 9kg method, but I would want at least 4 bottles. Also not sure on the legality of knocking up your own manifold etc, insurance company might get upset if your burns down because of it.
    Put 2 in place and have 2 fulls in the shed when required.
    When you are down to 2 or 3 empties then get them filled or swapped.
    It will be cheaper for you but you need to consider initial purchase cost, travel costs, and risk in carrying bottles in your vehicle.

  26. #26
    ajm
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    we are using two 9kg bottles at the moment. first weeks in the house. six of us and only for hotwater. will change the electric cooktop over to gas when we have settled in: given the number of boxes of crap sitting in the shed at the moment, that could be a while away

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    /\ /\ /\
    I have some experience with bottle banks using large quantities of gas.
    I would say that if you are going to use the 9kg small POL bottles that you are better off running 2 bottles in tandem; with a set of spares on the side, if it wasn't for the hire charge I'd say the same for big bottles.
    At one hotel kitchen I was in charge of we had 24 bottles in 2 banks of 12, we saved a lot of money when we went to a large ~600kg tank and pumper delivery
    "A big boy did it and ran away"

    Legal disclaimer denying responsibility to be inserted here.

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    Another fan of the 9kg bottles here - ran the numbers and as its only for cooking it worked out way cheaper - less then the service charge for our area. Think we have lasted over 12 months on 2 bottles (one of which may have come off the BBQ at the start). If we ran anything else off gas I might think differently though.

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