The question about self-service filling of propane gas cylinders at a filling station seemed to have been put to bed already. However: There’s life in the old dog yet, and thanks to a few manufacturers, the topic is more current than ever. Gas cylinders which anyone is allowed to fill at a filling station come onto the market again and again – with approval. In this article, we tell you whether this is actually true, or whether it’s still forbidden to fill your cylinder yourself.
The garden party is coming up. The gas barbecue is prepared. The other preparations are running full speed ahead. Everything is going smoothly! Then: The host wants to light the gas barbecue, but they can’t – there’s no gas! Now where can they get their hands on some gas at 6 p.m. on a Saturday evening?
The “clever” people think of the petrol station first: “Well yes, it’s more or less the same gas and the filling station is definitely still open!” And the host read online that the cylinders and adapters that they bought there are suitable and approved for self-filling. So: Off to the petrol station to save the evening.
Operator obligations at the filling station
Once arrived at the fuel pump, the petrol station operator calls the host back. “What’s wrong?” they ask – not aware of any wrongdoing, after all, the manufacturer of the gas cylinder approved and permitted it for filling. But the petrol station operator tells them unequivocally that it is forbidden for private individuals to fill cylinders at the petrol station – regardless of whether or not the cylinder has approval.
The host looks back at him, flabbergasted, and sees their garden party completely ruined. However: Was the petrol station operator right?
Yes, according to the specialist information of the German LPG Association (DVFG), the petrol station operator is right. The Industrial Safety Regulation (BetrSichV) applies to German petrol stations. And this regulation in turn is regulated more specifically in the technical rules (TRBS).
Approval is irrelevant
In the TRBS, this is written in black and white: It is forbidden to fill LPG cylinders at petrol stations. It doesn’t matter whether the gas cylinder allegedly has an approval, and it certainly doesn’t matter whether or not it is suitable.
This prohibition applies to all LPG cylinders used in Germany, regardless of whether they have a filling weight of 5, 8, 11, or 33 kilograms. It also applies in large parts of Europe. Important information for campers, because more and more stories are circulating that claim you can fill your gas cylinders abroad, wherever you go.
LPG tank in your vehicle
LPG tanks which are permanently installed in a motor caravan or caravan are a special case. Unlike conventional gas cylinders, these have a special filling hole connector which allows the camper to supply them with LPG themselves, even at LPG filling stations.
Avoiding a lack of gas
We’ve now explained that it is strictly forbidden to fill normal gas cylinders yourself. But what options does the host have to avoid a similar disaster in future?
- Checking the filling level of the gas cylinder in good time
- If applicable, storing a full reserve cylinder at home
- Having the gas cylinder filled at an authorised filling point before larger parties, to be on the safe side