When gas leaks

A couple of days back, our LPG cylinder got over.  Since we have a second cylinder, we opened it up to connect that to the regulator.  After connecting, when we switched on the regulator, we could hear a hissing sound - the sound of gas escaping.

We tried this a couple of times - there was no mistake.  There was a leak.

There are three numbers for gas leaks printed on the LPG receipt - a land line and two cell numbers.  We dialed one of the cell numbers.  The recipient, in turn, gave us another number.  That number rang but no one picked up.

After a few minutes, we tried the number again.  This time it was picked up. The receiver noted down the details and said someone will come in a couple of hours.

This was around 7 AM.

The person from Indane (or was it IOC) came around 10.30 AM.  Even before coming, we asked him, if we would get a replacement cylinder. He said that that would not be required as he suspected the washer of the cylinder was bad.

After the person came home, he examined the cylinder, replaced the washer and it started working.  He apologized for coming late, as he said there were 5 other complaints - for the same reason - that morning. (By the way, this was the second time, it was happening to us in the last 2-3 years)

While all is well that ends well, the incident reveals startling things.

a) The number of leaky LPG cylinders is not small.  Imagine an old person (or a slightly deaf) one, connecting a leaky cylinder and not noticing the sound. The consequence would be catastrophic!

b) We do not check/test the cylinder when brought home.  This is because it is a "second" cylinder and why bother until it is required?  Both the consumer as well as the guy who brings the gas, should insist on testing it.  There is no getting away from it.

One issue with this is when no one is at home.  In my apartment (as well as in other places), people leave empty cylinders out (or with security) and the person delvering the gas keeps the new one (taking the money from Security).  In this case, it is not possible to test.  Perhaps, the owner can do it as soon as he brings the cylinder inside, and report leaks, if any, right away (instead of waiting until the cylinder is actually required - as in our case).

Update: 27 Feb:  We got our LPG refill.  Since we were at home, we had the supplier test the cylinder.  Believe it or not, there was a leak.  The guy had an instrument, using which he swapped the washer of the empty cylinder with the one he had brought.  Once this was done, there was no leak.

So, I will assert that it is mandatory to test the cylinder at the earliest and alert, if something is amiss, rather than wait till it is required.  It is also shocking to the increasing number of cases of cylinders with bad washers!


  1. My experience is similar. Three successive Indane cylinders that were supplied to me had leaks. Cylinders used by both HP and Indane are antiquated, poorly maintained, unchecked and unserviced for leakages. I feel a PIL is required to set things straight.

  2. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience and information. Really helped me in the similar situation.

  3. We smell faint gas on a spare cylinder whose seal we broke and now have the safety cap. Is it normal

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