How to check LPG cylinder expiry date

How to check LPG cylinder expiry date

Knowing how to check the LPG cylinder expiry date is very important for everyone who uses the LPG cylinder.

A colleague published something about the LPG cylinder expiry date on a professional group, and it triggered by interest.

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This is what a HSE Professional had to say about “LPG cylinder expiry date”.


Many people have cylinders as old as 20 years in their homes. It never occur to people that gas cylinders expire and when it does, it results in leakage that can lead to explosion. There have been many cases of gas cylinder explosions and when this happens, lives are lost and properties worth millions are also lost in the fire inferno that follows.

According to a State Coordinator, Standard Organisation of Nigeria [SON], Joseph Ugbaja, “If a cylinder of 12kg explodes, it is capable of bringing down a two storey building. Cooking gas cylinders must not exceed five years.” According to the SON Director, most people using gas cylinders hardly remember when it was bought. Once the cylinder is past the expiry date, one must stop using it. But most people have no idea how to check the expiry date of the cylinder. The steps to check the expiry date are very simple and basic.

How to check for the expiry date of your cylinder

Here is how to verify the expiry date of the LPG cylinder. The expiry of LPG Cylinder can be found on one of the metal strips that connect the body of the cylinder to top ring (handle). It is mentioned on the inner side of the strip. The strip has any of the alphabets from A to D painted on it along with a number. Decoding the expiry date is simple. The alphabet represents the month it expires while the number indicates the year. A year is divided into four quarters –

A – January to March B – April to June C – July to September D – October to December

The alphabet represents the month of expiry while the number indicates the year of expiry. A year is divided into four quarters – * A – January to March * B – April to June * C – July to September * D – October to December For example, this cylinder has ‘B 13′ painted on the metal strip. The alphabet B represents month June , and 13 indicates the year 2013. So a cylinder having B 13 mentioned on it means it will or already expire on June 2013.

However, there is a limited grace period of three to four months after the expiry as the cylinder cannot be pulled out immediately out of the circulation. There have been reports that distributors tamper with the expiry date as it is written with paint. So next time you receive a cylinder do check the expiry date and stay safe.”

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Read Also: 10 Tips For Safe Storage of Gas Cylinders

At this point, let’s compare how the LPG cylinders expiry dates are expressed: 








From the pictures above, you will notice a difference in the ways the LPG cylinder expiry dates are expressed. Expiry dates were well highlighted in older cylinders but not well highlighted in all recent cylinders.

If you have followed the post attentively, you will understand what B.13 & C. 13 means in the first and second picture. Other pictures use the month code (1-12) to represent the different months in the year plus the year; 12-95)

Example: 12-95 (December, 1995), 6-13 (June, 2013), 1-99 (January, 1999)

However, to get it right. What we should look for in all cylinders should be the manufacturing date / tested date, with this information we can determine the due date for the cylinder retesting and certification.

Read Also: Safety precautions for the use of gas cylinders

All cylinders are mostly rescheduled for re-testing 10 years after manufacturing, subsequent testing are mostly scheduled within 5 years interval. Hence, based on the manufacturing date of your cylinder, should determine when it has expired and due for re-testing.

NOTE: Cylinder expiry date doesn’t mean that the cylinder is due for scrap, it implies the due date for re-testing. It is only due for scrap if it fails the re-testing exercise.

This re-testing should be done by a professional, it involves both internal and external inspection for rust and any other damages.

If the LPG cylinder passes the test, re-certification is done and a new re-testing date stamped on the neck of the cylinder.

Due to the danger that accompanies the use of expired cylinders, it is important that we ensure that our cylinders are always in a good state.

Read Also: Gas Leak: 6 Things you should do when you smell gas

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