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What gas regulator accessories are available?

Shop for Gas regulators and hoses

Adaptors

Five different shaped gas regulator adaptors Gas cylinders come in many shapes and sizes, and not all regulators are compatible with all types of cylinder. For instance, 4.5kg Calor Gas cylinders need a regulator with bolt-on female connector, while propane cylinders need a bullnose (POL) regulator. A convenient way to avoid having to buy extra regulators, for instance when holidaying abroad, is to use adaptors.
Campingaz adaptor attached to cylinder and bolt-on regulator One of the most useful adaptors for campers and caravanners holidaying in Europe is the Campingaz type. This lets you use your own butane or propane regulator with Campingaz cylinders. These are widely available on mainland Europe, particularly in France. Many holidaymakers take UK cylinders such as Calor or Gaslow abroad, then switch to Campingaz when their supply runs out.
21mm butane gas regulator adaptor with labelled parts Another popular adaptor is the 21mm clip-on, which is used to connect a bolt-on butane regulator meant for a 4.5kg Calor Gas cylinder to a 7kg or 15kg Calor cylinder. You push the adaptor on to the cylinder valve, then screw in the regulator to the connecting thread.
27mm adaptor to fit 21mm clip-on regulator You can also get adaptors to make patio gas cylinders, which have a valve size of 27mm, compatible with 21mm clip-on regulators. Patio gas, also known as leisure gas, cylinders are smaller than most other types, so work out more expensive if you use them frequently. Having an adaptor gives you the flexibility to swap to bigger cylinders if you’re planning a lot of barbecues or a long holiday.
Gas regulator POL adaptor with red handwheel Another handy adaptor to have is one that converts a 21mm female bolt-on connector, used with butane gas cylinders, to a POL connector. This lets you attach the regulator to a propane cylinder, which is useful if the weather gets too cold for butane. Some of them come with a handwheel, which makes them easier to do up as you don’t need a spanner.
POL regulator adaptor with pressure gauge You can also buy adaptors with a pressure gauge. These are available for both POL and bolt-on fittings and will show approximately how much gas is left in the cylinder. However, they won’t fit some types of 4.5kg cylinder as the handwheel can get in the way. A pressure gauge can also act as a leak detector, with the needle on the gauge moving into the red area if it senses gas passing through the regulator when the gas supply has been turned off.
Silver adaptor for Jumbo clip-on regulator Campers and caravanners heading to Ireland, Spain, Portugal or Norway should get an adaptor to fit Jumbo clip-on regulators. This allows you to attach a 21mm bolt-on regulator.
Three foreign gas regulator adaptors Other adaptors are available for various foreign countries including Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Greece and the United States. Frequent travellers might want to consider buying a set of multiple adaptors to cope with any eventuality.
Brass right-angle regulator adaptor with female connector A right-angle adaptor such as this 21mm bolt-on fitting can be useful in tight spaces when you need to change the angle of the regulator. This is sometimes necessary to fit the hose on safely, particularly when using foreign gas cylinders which may have different shaped collars.
Brass right-angle adaptor with POL connector You can also get right-angle adaptors with POL connectors.
Two right angle regulator adaptors attached to changeover regulator Right-angle adaptors are often fitted to changeover regulators on caravans and motorhomes. This is to ensure that hoses hang downwards and well away from the regulators and so are less likely to carry contaminants from the gas cylinders into the regulator mechanism.
Wonkee Donkee says right-angle adaptors stop hoses kinking

Gas level gauges

POL connection gas regulator adaptor with pressure gauge Gauges are very useful as they show roughly how much gas is left in your cylinder. Some regulators come with built-in gauges, but you can also add them on afterwards.

The gauge links the cylinder and the regulator, and works by measuring gas pressure in the tank. The outer circle indicates the level of gas left, and the inner circle gives the pressure in millibars.

Pressure gauge and leak detector attached to butane regulator As well as indicating the cylinder gas level, some gauges also act as leak detectors.

To test for leaks, attach the regulator to the cylinder and switch it on. The needle should move into the green part of the dial. Turn the regulator off and wait five minutes. If the needle stays where it is, there’s no leak. If it turns to the yellow or blue area, the system is leaking.

Gas regulator gauge showing options for different weather conditions Cylinder gas pressure rises in warm temperatures and falls when it gets cold, which affects the accuracy of the readings. Some gauges allow for this on their dials, with options for cold, mild or warm weather.

Gas spanners

Gas spanner Gas spanners are essential unless you have a POL connector with handwheel, or are using a clip-on regulator.

It’s important to tighten up connections between the regulator, cylinder and any adaptors securely to avoid gas leaks.

Close-up of gas spanner showing 30mm jaws Calor cylinders in the UK require spanners with an opening of 30mm. However, regulator connectors are not all the same size so buy with caution. If possible, take your regulator with you to the DIY store to make sure the spanner fits.
Adjustable steel wrench Some people use an adjustable wrench. This is a versatile tool that gets round the problem of different sized connectors, but is not as precise as a dedicated gas spanner.

You have to be careful, as if the wrench isn’t adjusted properly there’s a risk of rounding off the nut. It’s also bulkier to store in your gas locker.

Sign saying quality Quality is important in a spanner. Buying a cheap lightweight one usually proves a false economy, as it’s likely to be made of thin sheet steel which will ‘spread’ after a few uses and keep slipping on the nut.

It’s worth spending a few more pounds and getting a long-lasting, heavy duty spanner made of forged steel or cast iron. A good quality spanner will fit exactly, so you’ll need less effort to turn the nut.

Leak detector spray

Can of leak detector spray Keep a can of leak detector spray handy to check the connection between the regulator and cylinder, and between the hose and regulator.

When you’ve connected the regulator, turn on the gas and squirt the spray on the join. If any bubbles appear, turn off the gas supply immediately and disconnect the cylinder. The larger the bubbles, the bigger the leak.

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