Calor Gas has said the supply of 4.5kg and 7kg Calor butane gas bottles should improve later this year
A UK-wide shortage of 4.5kg and 7kg Calor butane gas bottles is being blamed on high seasonal demand and a shortage of workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calor has said both cylinder sizes ‘remain an important part of our cylinder range’ and it hoped supply would improve later in the year.
Maintenance issues at the Coryton Calor Cylinder Distribution Centre have particularly affected supply in the south east of England.
Many sailors have been impacted by the Calor Gas shortage, and have struggled to refill 4.5kg bottles.
Christopher Dawdry relies on gas for cooking onboard, having converted from Campingaz to Calor due to the cost of refill.
‘I can get a 4.5kg bottle in the locker and until recently, they were available everywhere. Now, if you check the gas cage at the marina and the local fuel station there are none,’ he said.
He is particularly concerned about those who are choosing to refill bottles themselves.
‘You can buy on eBay an adapter to either decant from a larger bottle or fill at a petrol station supplying LPG for vehicles. I had a conversation with someone in my marina who said he filled his small bottles from the big tank he has on his farm. When I asked how he measured the correct fill level, he said he filled to the top.
‘I am glad I’m not berthed near him as 80% is the max for safety,’ added Dawdry.
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Premier Marinas sell new or exchange Calor Gas bottles at each of its sites in the UK.
Operations director, John Cervenka said as is the case nationally, Premier’s suppliers ‘are currently experiencing restrictions in the availability of certain sizes of bottles.’
‘Whilst we have not seen evidence of individuals seeking to refill bottles themselves, we would not permit this at our sites as it is a potentially extremely dangerous activity. All empty bottles are returned for refilling via our local suppliers,’ he added.
A spokesperson for Calor said: ‘’Our operations continue to feel the effect the pandemic had on our teams and supply chain which saw us prioritise the supply of key winter cylinders (larger sizes) to domestic customers reliant upon them for heating and hot water. This has meant that as we transitioned to the summer, the availability of our other cylinders, including 4.5kgs has been impacted.
‘We are working hard to improve supply by prioritising recruitment at our filling sites so we are better able to return cylinders to our retail network over the summer which will further improve availability. We apologise to anyone who has not been able to obtain their gas as readily as they are used to,’ concluded the spokesperson.
Sailors are also reminded that a product recall on a limited number of Calor 4.5kg Butane cylinders, purchased since 2017, is still in effect.
Some cylinders have been found to release gas from the valve when it is in the open position and connected to an appliance/regulator. There is no safety issue as long as the valve is closed.
Cylinders with a next test code consisting of 33 or 34, or with a manufacturing date that is 17-06 or 17-12 need to be checked.
In a statement, Calor said: ‘If a release of gas is detected whilst the cylinder is in use, then immediately close the valve, disconnect the cylinder from the appliance/regulator and fit the cap to the valve outlet. We advise all of our customers with a 4.5kg cylinder purchased since 2017 to check it in order to rule out any safety issues.’
Bottles can be checked using a 3-step process.
Carefully examine the Tare Disc located underneath the cylinder valve and read the Next Test code:
Step 1: The NEXT TEST code is a combination of letters and two numbers. If the test code consists of numbers 33 or 34 the valve manufacture needs to be checked. GO TO STEP 2
The affected valves can be identified by the TPA marking on the handwheel, and then by checking the manufacture date on the side of the valve body:
Step 2: If the cylinder valve handwheel has a TPA mark then the date of manufacture needs to be checked. GO TO STEP 3
If there is no TPA marking on the valve, then this cylinder is not affected by the recall, and these cylinders are safe to use.
Step 3: Carefully examine the side of the valve body. The manufacture date (YY-MM) can be located at the base of the valve on the flat. If this is 17-06 or 17-12 then the cylinder is to be recalled.
If the Manufacture date is not 2017 then this cylinder is not affected by the recall, and these cylinders are safe to use.
Those with bottles which need to be recalled can fill out at form on the Calor Gas website. More details at: www.calor.co.uk/recall
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