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Warning over dodgy gas in South Africa

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Hakem Energies founder Refilwe Sebathoma has warned South Africans against buying liquid petroleum gas (LPG) from unauthorised resellers.

As the weather gets colder, many South Africans may want to whip out a gas heater to keep themselves warm in the evening. However, there are crucial aspects to look out for when buying an LPG cylinder.

Speaking to 702, Sebathoma said many unlicensed retailers sell gas cylinders that may not have been tested.

“People who are not permitted to resell certain cylinders will normally use a generic seal that says LPG or something like that,” she said.

Sebathoma said South Africans should ensure that the cylinder’s safety seal is branded and matches the cylinder’s brand.

She also warned that South Africans shouldn’t buy LPG cylinders that haven’t been tested recently.

All LPG cylinders are marked with a testing due date, with a letter representing the corresponding quarter as follows:

  • A — March
  • B — June
  • C — September
  • D — December

They will also feature a year for testing. For example, a cylinder marked A-24 must have been tested before March 2024.

“You should not accept a cylinder if the due date is over,” added Sebathoma.

The LPGas Man warned of rogue LPG fillers in South Africa in September 2023. It said rogue, or illegal, fillers are individuals or businesses that engage in unauthorised gas cylinder filling.

“Their operations typically revolve around cost-cutting measures, such as the illicit addition of substances like jet fuel and other cheap liquids,” it said.

“We call this “Dirty Gas”. This not only poses significant risks but also leads to damage to regulators, appliances, and all rubber components.”

“At first glance, it may appear as though you’re getting a fantastic deal, but in reality, you’re not. Dirty gas can burn at an accelerated rate, resulting in a less efficient and more costly experience,” it added.

The LPGas Man highlighted two factors not mentioned by Sebathoma to consider when buying gas to ensure it’s legit.

These include very low prices and the sellers showing a preference for hiding their activities.

There are crucial steps that South Africans should take to ensure the safe use of LPG in their homes.

Many South Africans may have converted their cooking equipment to gas in recent years due to heightened load-shedding or may just want to use LPG heaters this winter.

It is essential to test cylinders and your couplers for leaks when buying them and before connecting them to appliances with an ignition.

To ensure there are no leaks, apply soapy water to the cylinder’s joints, the Suraksha pipes you intend to use, and the coupler’s joints.

It is also important to ensure the rubber o-ring on the coupler is intact and not worn.

Those who cook using LPG should ensure ventilation in their kitchens to prevent the build-up of LPG clouds.

Many South Africans can be careless regarding the proper storage of LPG cylinders when they aren’t in use.

To store gas cylinders safely when not in use, put the safety cap on them when they won’t be used for some time and store them in an upright position.

We will keep you posted as and when things change on the ground.