Defective LPG cylinders a real menace

KATHMANDU: Consumption of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder is increasing 10 per cent every year and the risk of household accident is also increasing simultaneously. There is no control mechanism in place to investigate low quality cylinders and inferior parts used.

Regulators that do not meet the standard of assembly line are posing threat to consumers. The use of plastic pipes and cylinders that have not passed hydraulic tests is increasing.

Gas Dealers’ Federation of Nepal (GDFN) president Gyaneshwor Aryal said, “We are lacking proper concern from the authorised body to monitor such defects in LPG cylinders and kit parts. People in neighbouring India are more aware regarding proper use of household cylinders. They check for defects in it that can cause household accidents as their government has launched awareness programmes and has an effective monitoring programme to cross-check defective cylinders in the market.”

Aryal said automatic machines are not used here to assemble regulators. Thus, these hand assembled regulators are riskier. Also, many people use plastic pipes that can cause accidents as these develop cracks faster than do rubber pipes. Another major problem is that not all cylinders pass the hydraulic test.

Hydraulic test is done after 10 years of the cylinder’s dispatch and thereafter at three-year intervals to ensure that the cylinder is in perfect condition before it is refilled. “We have many cylinders in the market that have not been taken for the hydraulic test even after 15 years of use,” said Aryal adding that people should realise that defective cylinders can cause household accidents. He added that the government should monitor the market and check ISO standards and Explosive Act-approved cylinders and regulators.

It is very hard to detect defects in any cylinders. Even new cylinders can be defective. Many people go second-hand cylinders as they are cheaper than new ones. The cost of a new cylinder is around Rs 1,700 while that of an old one is around Rs 900. People should use 1.5 to 2 metre-long rubber pipes and try to buy original regulators, said Aryal. He added that all this would be quite difficult until government takes initiatives to cross-check the local market of these products, he added.