24 Jun

Lite Cylinder propane bottle

I’ve had to replace all the propane bottles on Lunacy over the past two years, as no one would refill the really old aluminum ones that came with the boat. While shopping around, I took a hard look at the new fiberglass bottles that are now available. As intriguing as they seemed–because they are so light and you can actually see the fuel inside–I opted to stick with aluminum bottles, simply because they last longer. Now I’m very glad I didn’t buy any glass bottles from Lite Cylinders of Franklin, Tennessee, as it turns out their products have recently been recalled and the company has gone out of business as a result.

You can read the full emergency order from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) here. It describes the problems with Lite’s bottles and Lite’s failures to comply with manufacturing and testing regulations in some detail. Probably the most alarming fact in there is that the overall failure rate for certain Lite bottles during tests was over 9 percent in 2012. For big 33-pound bottles it was 36 percent!

Propane bottle label

Read the announcement here to see how the recalled bottles are marked.

Because Lite Cylinders has now gone belly up, they cannot replace any bottles they’ve sold. Your only redress is through retailers, who will only help you out if they are really nice guys. Down in the islands, at least, Island Water World and Budget Marine have stepped up to the plate and reportedly are offering to replace bottles they sold at cost (or close to it) if you can produce proof of purchase.

Scanning a couple of forum discussions on this topic (here and here), I was a little alarmed (but not too surprised) to see that some cruisers out there are trying to figure ways to keep using the Lite bottles they already own.

Don’t be stupid, people! This is propane gas we’re talking about. Your boat could go boom big time if it is stored improperly.

Also: this doesn’t mean fiberglass bottles from other manufacturers are suspect. There’s no need to write off the whole industry!


  1. Brett Clibbery

    Sadly I have two of the midsize tanks and though I have had no problem with them must now pay once again for two new tanks. The testing facility told me if I brought them in they would be seized and destroyed. They refuse to pressure test and re-valve because of the recall order. It’s one of those, your tanks are good and work great but you have to throw them away because a small percentage of tanks had problems…

  2. Hashem akel

    Dear sir
    I am interest of you fiberglass cylinder gas for 12.5 kg
    Please send me more detail about it
    Hashem akel

  3. Al

    I am one that had these tanks for six years and all was fine. I did replace them BECAUSE I fear that if anything did happen ( not necessarily the fault of the canister ) that the INSURANCE CO would get involved and refuse to pay due to the illegal canisters.

  4. Steve Lambert

    Please get the facts before you hit the panic button. All pressure vessels can be inspected and tested SAFELY. This organization had an agenda to shut this company down. I contacted the enforcement branch directly. The failure rate was .04%. That is about 200 out of the 55000. They recalled every single tank ever made by this company. Ask yourself when that has ever been done. I am an engineer and one of my major responsibilities is pressure vessel code compliance including propane tanks. All they need to do is allow people to have their tank tested and inspected at an approved facility. They did not even allow this option for people like myself that NEVER even filled their tank once. If safety was their true intention then why is it that the vendors that fill these were not notified until after I called them and complained?

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