HOW TO OBTAIN OR REPLACE BUTANE GAS BOTTLES (BOMBONAS)
UPDATED: 20th June 2019
1. About Gas Bottles
2. Procedure for obtaining your first Gas Bottle(s) –
a) New Build Properties
b) Existing Properties
3. Unofficial Methods of Obtaining a Gas Bottle
4. Staying Safe with your Gas Bottle
1. About Gas Bottles
This is a procedure that often stumps new arrivals to Tenerife, who are often surprised or annoyed that they can’t simply walk into a gas bottle supplier or ring the delivery number.
The standard container for residential Butane Gas is a 12.5Kg metal bottle/container, although smaller sizes are also available for limited spaces, such as under barbeques and patio heaters. Bottles were traditionally made from steel, but suppliers are switching over to Aluminium, which is lighter and more secure.
Just like the price of fuel at petrol stations, the cost of gas bottles tend to vary depending on the supplier. However, as of 1st May 2019, a 12.5kg replacement bottle typically costs between €12.76 and €13.95. This is the price you pay when you bring an empty bottle and exchange it for a full one.
2. Procedure for obtaining your first gas bottle(s)
Obtaining your first gas bottle or bottles requires that you register for a Contract. There are various suppliers of gas bottles with whom you can register, namely:
CEPSA: https://bombonabutano.com/cepsa (Tel: 902 416 416)
REPSOL: https://bombonabutano.com/repsol (Tel: 901 10 01 25)
DISA: https://www.disagrupo.es/gas/online (Tel: 922 23 87 30)
The procedure differs depending on whether your home is a new-build property or an existing older property.
a) Existing properties (i.e. not newly constructed)
The first step is to arrange an inspection of your gas installation(s) by an engineer from your chosen supplier. This applies to both ‘fixed installations’ (e.g. gas hob or rings in your kitchen) or ‘mobile installations’ (e.g. barbeque or patio heater).
Once the engineer has approved the gas installations at your property, they will leave you with the documents necessary to take to your local distributor along with the following information and documents:
- Full Name
- NIE and Passport
- Full Address
- Contact Telephone Number
- Municipality that you live in (e.g. Adeje, Arona, Granadilla etc)
b) New Build Properties (construction just completed)
For new-build properties, in addition to the above documents, you will also need to apply to the builder or property-developer for a ‘Certificado de Instalación de Gas’ (Certificate of Gas Installation), which is a form with 4 carbon-copies and a plan of the installation. You will also need to obtain a copy of the ‘Cédula de habitabilidad’ (New-build Certificate of Habitability).
The bottle distributor should then issue you with a new contract and supply your new bottle(s) depending on how many you have ordered. You will be charged a Contract Fee of between €18.00 and €30.00, approximately €3.00 – €4.00 deposit per empty bottle issued, plus the exchange/recharge fee detailed above (currently between €12.76 and €13.95 per bottle).
If later you need to increase the number of bottles you require under the contract, then you can apply to the distributor giving the reasons why you need additional bottle(s). You can apply to a different distributor, but they may require a further inspection visit, which typically costs about €12.00. Similarly, if you are extending an existing ‘fixed’ gas installation at your property, all distributors will want to conduct a further inspection.
3. Unofficial methods of obtaining a gas bottle
Some eagle-eyed residents or browsers of classified advertisement websites may have spotted gas bottles for sale by private individuals, typically for prices upwards of €50.00. Whilst some people choose to purchase bottles via this method to avoid the contract hassle, it is essentially illegal, as bottles can only be used at an associated inspection-approved property. Whilst some sellers are genuine (e.g. they are leaving the island), there is also the risk that the bottle is for sale because the owner knows it is unsafe or has been abused or tampered with.
Whilst many suppliers tend to exchange empty bottles without asking for a copy of the contract, there are undoubtedly exceptions to this and a supplier would be within their rights to confiscate any bottle they believed was being used other than under a legally issued bottle contract.
4. Staying Safe with Your Butane Gas Bottles
- Store your bottles with the safety valve upright, not horizontally.
- Make sure that any area of storage is ventilated at the base.
- Keep any replacement bottles in a different area to the one in use and ensure that the area is well ventilated.
- Keep bottles away from any source of heat.
- There must be an easily accessible shut off valve for your bottle. This and the rubber tubing should be protected from the weather.
- Never connect more than two bottles simultaneously inside your home.
- Do not store bottles in cellars or underground. Gas is heavier than air and can accumulate in underground areas.
- Install bottles at least 1.5 metres from other types of fuels, at least 50 cm from electrical sockets and 30 cm from radiators, heaters and electrical switches.
- Know your flame – if it’s blue the gas is stable. If the flame is noisy it is unstable. If it has yellow dots get it checked by technicians from the gas supply company or agency.
- When not in use, set the valve to the “off” position.
What to Do If You Think You Have a Leak
- Shut off the valve straight away
- Open windows and ventilate your property
- Avoid using naked flames or producing a spark.
- Take the canister outside and contact the supply company.
Have Your Gas Installation Serviced
You should have all of your gas devices serviced by authorized technicians every four or five years. If you have a contract you will receive a reminder.
Transporting Gas Bottles in Private Vehicles
Under Spanish law, as a private individual you can only transport two bottles at a time – this is a total of 30 kilos of liquid gas. Bottles must be transported in an upright position and seat-belted into the passenger seat within a vehicle. They must not be placed horizontally on the backseat or in the boot. The vehicle must also not be parked in an underground car park while carrying gas bottles.