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Illicitly-filled cylinders cost more than you think
You may think that one gas cylinder is much the same as any other, but they can be very different.
Dispense gas (CO2 and the different mixed gases composed of CO2 and nitrogen), are regulated the same way as food products. There is more and more legislation in respect of food safety and increasing scrutiny of equipment and premises connected with food service.
Consequently, everyone in the industry needs to be aware of the stringent standards for testing and filling cylinders. These standards are laid down in the law, and it is vital to follow them to the letter.
What's the harm?
In some cases water, soft drink syrups or cleaning fluids can enter a cylinder while it is connected to the gas lines in a pub. Water can react with CO2 in the cylinder to form an acid which then slowly corrodes the metal cylinder until it becomes thin and unable to contain the pressurised contents.
When a corroded cylinder is repeatedly filled with CO2-rich gases and kept at high pressures, it can become unsafe (particularly with water or other contaminants inside).
An unsafe cylinder can rupture without warning, either when it is being filled, while being transported, stored in the cellar or connected to the gas lines.
Anyone in the vicinity of an exploding cylinder could suffer severe injuries and it could cause considerable damage to a building.
Why put your safety, the safety of your staff and the future prosperity of your business at risk?
Cylinders are filled with pressurised gas, therefore they are classed as 'pressure vessels' and every aspect of their use is subject to strict regulation.
The pressures in dispense gas cylinders vary from 823 lbs per square inch (50 bar) for pure CO2 up to 3000 lbs per square inch (200 bar) for a mixture of CO2 and nitrogen.
The percentage of CO2 used will vary depending on the product being dispensed:
- soft drinks use 100% CO2
- lagers, ales and ciders will use 50% CO2
- stouts will use 25% CO2
By law, Sureserve cylinders have to be tested every 10 years. This inspection includes:
- visual examination of the interior of the cylinder
- re-weighing of the cylinder
- high pressure hydraulic test to ensure that the strength of the cylinder has not deteriorated (in accordance with EN 1968:2002)
- re-painting to ensure the cylinder is well presented and does not corrode before the next test
- a new or reconditioned valve to ensure that water cannot enter the cylinder before the next test
- metal stamping and re-labelling to confirm that the cylinder has been tested by an accredited work shop
These tests ensure that cylinders are safe, undamaged, not corroded and can continue to withstand high service pressures.
BOC Sureserve test shop accreditation
BOC Sureserve test shops are accredited to:
- National Certification Scheme for In-Service Inspection Bodies (ISO17020)
- Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road
- Use of Transportable Pressure Receptacle Regulations 1996
We consistently remove 2% of our cylinder population each year as a result of our stringent testing procedures.
BOC Sureserve alone has over 100,000 cylinders servicing the hospitality trade in Ireland.
BOC Sureserve does not fill cylinders for any other supplier or allow BOC Sureserve cylinders to be filled by any other company.
If you take deliveries from a local supplier who supplies gas in BOC Sureserve cylinders, it is highly likely that the cylinder has been filled illegally.
You should report this immediately to the BOC Sureserve Customer Services Centre by telephoning 1850 390000. We will immediately send someone to collect the cylinder.