Green LPG gas bottle

How and where to refill your empty gas bottles

Picture this — a Sunday afternoon mid-summer, a beer in one hand and BBQ tongs in the other. Everything’s going smooth until your barbeque runs out of gas just as you pop the snags on.

Make sure you’ve got enough in your cylinder for all of your weekend barbie needs by refilling your empty gas bottle ahead of time. The good news is refilling your gas bottle is easy! Here at Canstar Blue, we’ll walk you through how and where you can refill and swap your empty LPG cylinder in Australia to help you avoid backyard blunders.

How to check your gas bottle level

Before you rush to the servo, first check your gas bottle to make sure it’s low or empty. How? Using one of the below checking methods.

1. The scale method

Take note of the empty weight of your gas cylinder, usually marked on the collar of the bottle next to ‘EW’. Weigh your gas bottle and subtract the empty weight to find out how much gas is in your bottle.

2. The hot water method

Stand your cylinder upright and run some hot water down the side of your gas bottle, avoiding valves or openings. The hot water will heat up the cylinder, but not the gas itself, so run your hand along the side and feel for cool areas. At the gas level, it will feel cool to the touch.

3. The shake method

Gently shake your gas bottle. You should hear the gas moving around and feel the movement of gas in your cylinder. If you don’t, your bottle is likely empty.

Where to replace your gas bottle

Replacing your gas bottle is easy. There’s a wide range of locations in which you can swap your gas cylinder out for a new, full bottle. Pay close attention to prices, as they can vary between stores and stations. Here are most of the places in which you’ll be able to swap your LPG cylinder.

Where to refill your gas bottle

Gas bottle on back of vehicleUnlike swapping your gas bottle, refilling services aren’t available at every location. Refilling is generally more affordable than swapping your bottle. Make sure your bottle is free from rust and damage to be eligible for a refill.

Here’s a general idea of where to find refilling stations.

  • Camping and outdoor stores
  • BBQ and outdoor stores
  • Some hardware stores
  • Some service stations

To find refill stations in your locality, visit

Can you DIY gas cylinder refill?

No. Only trained technicians are able to fill or refill gas cylinders in Australia.

It’s a safety hazard: DIY-ing your gas bottle refill could result in burns, fire or even an explosion. Refill operators are trained in all the proper procedures, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), cylinder grounding, static electricity hazards, fire safety and more.

How technicians refill your gas bottle

You can refill your gas bottle at selected camping stores, service stations and BBQ retailers. This isn’t a DIY task — a trained technician should be available onsite to refill the bottle for you, using a method called decanting.

The decanting process transfers LPG from a larger storage tank to your gas bottle. The operator places the cylinder on a digital scale and fills the gas bottle until it reaches the correct weight or some gas starts leaking out of the loosened bleed screw. The liquid gas escaping will look almost cloud-like. LPG bottles are designed to be almost full, with 20% ‘ullage’ to allow the room for the gas to expand.

Decanting can result in slight inconsistencies in fill, such as overfilling or underfilling, due to human error.

Gas bottle safety

Before you head to your local servo, it’s important to make sure your bottle is safety assured. In Australia, LP gas bottles require testing once every ten years for this very reason. You can find the date of the last test stamped on the collar of your cylinder next to ‘TEST DATE’. It states the month and year the bottle was last inspected for quality and safety assurance.

Out-of-date gas bottles are unable to be refilled until they’re re-stamped at an approved gas cylinder test station operated by Standards Australia. It is illegal and dangerous to refill gas bottles that are damaged or out of date. After assuring the bottle meets Government safety standards, the tester will restamp it for a further 10 years of use.

How to dispose of gas cylinders

For the most part, you won’t have to worry about disposing of gas cylinders yourself. Swap stations will allow you to replace your expired or damaged LPG bottle with a new, full cylinder free of charge. If you’re not planning on repurchasing, you can dispose of your LPG cylinder at the following locations:

  • LP gas dealers
  • Approved gas cylinder test stations
  • Selected council refuse centres
  • Selected gas suppliers

Gas bottle refill FAQs

It’s difficult to determine how long a gas bottle will last. The life of your gas cylinder will come down to your gas consumption and the efficiency of your appliances.

As a general indication, a standard 9kg gas bottle will last between seven and 30 hours. If you’re cooking dinner on a 4-burner BBQ every night of the week, the gas cylinder may only last you a week.

On a smaller 2-burner compact BBQ under the same circumstances, you may get around a month of usage.

On average, you can expect to pay between $20 and $30 for a gas bottle refill. Keep in mind that prices are subject to fluctuation, and may also differ depending on where you are in Australia.
Monika Gudova
Energy Contributor
Monika Gudova has grown her expertise in Australia's retail energy sector over several years at Canstar Blue and elsewhere in the comparison industry. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies from the University of Wollongong and covers a range of topics.

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