Gas safety

Just a quick one!

On a forum somewhere someone was giving advice about bottled gas & said that propane cannot be used in a house. I cannot find any professional site which confirms this & can't understand why this should be the case. Both butane & propane are LPG derived & although there are differing characteristics many cookers claim to be suitable for either gas. If I opt to use propane will I have to put my new cooker in the garden?

Thanks, Ben, I thought it unusual that propane would be more toxic than butane but it does have different storage characteristics.

Hi Mark.

They're partially right, you're not allowed to stock any bottle of propane inside the house, nor cellar. This is due to the special properties of the gas; propane is bottled at 8 bar of pressure which is a big hazard when it explodes. But if you got a cooker equipped with the right burners you can use propane for cooking. Butane is bottled at 1.5 bar and can be stocked inside. Further for this butane, you can only stock one bottle of butane in reserve (that is not connected to your installation) inside the house.

The reference for it you'll find under "Arrêté du Ministère de l'Industrie du 2 Août 1977" and the "NF DTU 61.1" Guess the providers of gas bottles will have some instructions on their sites too.

If your installation, including that famous rubber tube which has an "ultimate date" imprinted on it, is not within these regulations your insurances will not pay out in case of a fire related to that installation

The posting which prompted my question seems to refer to the use of propane inside rather than the storage - I would guess that both types are equally flammable in the event of a leak. I quote a bit of the post here "...Propane. A friend has told me that in France it’s illegal to use it indoors! I need to exchange it for an empty Butane..." Personally I hate people who dispense advice without qualifying it in some way (I remember reading that it is legal to keep your UK vanity plate on your imported car! Not true, of course).

Same as you here Terry, except that we have a third bottle so that when we change we always have two attached and can replace it. We only use for cooking but even in the worst winter last year, we only used a bottle in something like eight months. We know from the docket we keep that three bottles do us for about two years anyway.

If you have the space,it is easy to dig a hole (not the case here -- solid granite) and access is easy for delivery then a sunken tank is the way to go. We have two bottles of the standard size you get at your local filling station or wherever. They are linked by a valve which switches from the empty one to the full one automatically. That way no panic when the gas runs out in the middle of cooking lunch for guests! We have them installed on the ground floor in the garage cum laundry room cum workshop cum boiler room cum I-don't-know-where-else-to-put-it room and are linked to the first-floor kitchen by a copper pipe. If you opt for the much larger size that you will see on professional premises like hotels then I believe they may have to be placed outside. In any case they're far too big to put indoors.

We have been pondering the same question - my hob for the new place is gas but we have no village gas. My friend just had a new kitchen put in and the solution was a whole cupboard dedicated to the gas bottle - GREAT!

I'm thinking we need to sink a gas tank in the garden and run the pipes in. Neither myself of other half like the idea of a bottle in the kitchen although obviously if you hide it behind a curtain it must be safe non?

I couldn't agree more. Just one more contradiction that looks like a dog chasing its own tail!

As you can buy cookers with the gas bottle inside,the myth of only having a bottle outside rather falls flat even for insurance purposes

For insurance purposes the bottles are not meant to be IN houses but can be outside and connected by pipes. So I 'plumbed in' gas lines for our cooker. I wonder what it implies for propane gas heaters! Do they now heat the potager or what?