Buying propane for your barbecue

How is propane sold?

If your cylinder is filled by weight
  1. The attendant will weigh your cylinder without the delivery hose attached. This is the start weight.
  2. The attendant will connect the delivery hose and fill the cylinder while it sits on the scale.
  3. Either the attendant or an overfill prevention device inside the cylinder will stop the filling process when the cylinder is full.
  4. The attendant will remove the delivery hose and reweigh your filled cylinder. This is the final weight.
  5. The amount of propane that has been delivered into your cylinder will be determined by subtracting the start weight from the final weight.
  6. You will be provided with a written or printed statement of the weight of propane added to your cylinder.

The scale will have an inspection sticker indicating when it was last inspected and when it must be inspected again.

The scale should be protected from environmental factors such as wind that may affect its accuracy.

By weight

A certified scale is used to measure the amount of propane added to an empty cylinder. The price is calculated for the weight of propane delivered.

If your cylinder is filled by volume
  1. The attendant will perform various steps necessary to deliver a safe amount of propane into your cylinder.
  2. The amount of propane added to your cylinder will be displayed on the meter registration.
  3. You will be provided with a written or printed statement of the volume of propane put into your cylinder.

The meter will have an inspection sticker indicating when it was last inspected and when it must be inspected again.

By volume

A certified meter is used to measure the amount of propane added to an empty cylinder. The price is calculated for the volume of propane delivered.

If your retailer charges a flat rate

Retailers that charge a flat rate to refill propane cylinders are not required to use a scale that has been inspected. To ensure that you get what you pay for, you should:

  • request a statement indicating the amount of propane added to your cylinder.
  • ask the attendant to demonstrate that your cylinder is full.

Flat rate

A flat rate is charged to have an empty or partially empty cylinder filled.

If you are exchanging your cylinder

Retailers that exchange an empty or a partially empty cylinder for a prefilled cylinder are not required to use a scale that has been inspected. The cylinder must have a label that clearly indicates the weight of the propane it contains.

Cylinder exchange programs

An empty or partially empty cylinder is exchanged for a prefilled cylinder that is marked with a net weight.

Safety first

Basic safety precautions should always be followed when transporting and/or storing a propane cylinder. For instance, cylinders should always be transported and stored in an upright and secured position, in a well-ventilated area and away from sources of ignition.

Make sure you handle food safely when cooking on the barbecue to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading and causing foodborne illness.

Think you've receive an inaccurate measurement?

If you suspect you have received an inaccurate measurement when having your propane cylinder refilled, you should first attempt to resolve the issue with the seller. If you are unable to resolve the issue, you can file a complaint with Measurement Canada.

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