Are Propane and Butane Regulators the Same?

Photo of Regulators

There is one main difference between propane and butane. Propane is a three-carbon gas while butane is a four-carbon gas. However, both are highly flammable and odorless gases that can be very easily compressed into liquid form.

All propane and butane gas bottle appliances need a hose and a regulator to connect to a gas bottle. These connectors are generally included with the item, especially with portable heaters and patio heaters as well as non-portable barbecues.

However, propane and butane regulators are not the same as butane gas regulators tend to use lower pressure regulators than propane.

A 4.5kg butane gas bottle will use a 29mm bar low-pressure regulator. This screws onto a valve outlet. When a regulator’s black washer is tightened, it forms a very gas-tight seal. 7kg, 12kg, and 15kg butane cylinders have 21mm valves. These can only be used with 21mm regulators which have a clip-on inlet connection.

A 3.9kg propane cylinder, on the other hand, requires a higher-pressured adjustable 0.5 – 2 bar screw-on regulator.  6kg, 13kg, 19kg, and 47kg propane cylinders need a high-pressure adjustable 0.5 – 1 bar screw-on regulator. 

You must check you have the correct regulator for your cylinder, whether it is propane or butane.

Can you use butane gas instead of propane?

Both butane gas and propane gas are used to fuel all types of vehicles as well as for heating stoves. Propane has a much higher boiling point than butane. This means that propane continues to change from a liquid into a gas, even when the temperatures are very cold. The coldest propane can convert liquid into a gas is a chilling -45c. 

When stored in a tank, propane also exerts a far larger pressure than butane, even at the same temperature. 

Propane has one main advantage over butane. For it to be usable, the liquid in the bottle has to be able to boil and convert into a gas. With butane, this conversion can take place at any temperature above -2c. On the other hand, the figure is much lower with propane at -42c to -45c.

You can use butane gas instead of propane as both are gasses that can burn. However, it is generally agreed that butane has a higher density while propane is a lot less dense. If you replace butane with propane in a stove, it should continue to function as if it was using butane. The same goes for replacing propane with butane but you should always use the recommended fuel with whatever you are using.

Can you use butane gas on a propane regulator?

Photo of Propane regulator

Butane gas regulators use lower pressure regulators than propane. While both serve as fuel to power different appliances, the main difference between the two is thier freezing and boiling points. As we mentioned, propane freezes at -180c and burns at -42c. Butane, on the other hand, freezes at -140c and has a much higher boiling point of -2c.

Taking these factors into consideration, they serve different functions. Because propane works well at lower temperatures, it is the perfect choice for outdoor use. Butane is a better option for indoor use due to its higher boiling point.

You can use butane or propane, as long as you have the necessary regulator. Butane and propane regulators differ in size so you should not substitute one for the other. It is crucial that you check you have the right regulator for your cylinder to avoid any potential problems. 

For a 4.5kg butane bottle, you must use a 29mm bar low-pressure screw-on regulator or a 21mm regulator with a clip-on inlet connection for 7kg, 12kg, and 15kg butane gas cylinders.

Is Flogas the same as Calor Gas?

Flogas uses the same setup for their propane canisters as Calor Gas. However, the clip-on regulators used by Flogas and Calor on Butane bottles differ. This is to prevent you from using different brands together.

Calor gas and Flogas are two separate national companies. As they compete with each other, the cylinders can only be exchanged with the supply company. However, the contents are identical. The main difference between the two is usually the price.

When it comes to the regulator with Flogas and Calorgas, many wonder whether they are compatible with each other. Simply put, the regulators are not typically compatible. Clip-on regulators for Flogas and Calor Butane bottles can differ. For example, Flogas usually uses a 20mm clip-on regulator. The sizes can depend on the volume of gas inside. On the other hand, Calor gas uses a 21mm regulator. Flogas will not change a Calor gas bottle for one of their one and vice versa.

So, bottles that contain Flogas and Calor Gas actually contain the same gas. However, Flogas tends to be a lot cheaper. The main difference usually comes down to the price and how easy it is to exchange a bottle for another. Apart from this, they are the same.

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