How to Change a Cooking Gas Tank



You’ve been in Yemen about a month or so, getting situated and used to your new environment when THE day arrives—the first time your gas tank runs out.

Now, if you are fortunate (like say, a married woman), you can have your spouse change it for you, but inevitably that OTHER day will come…..the day your spouse is gone and the tank runs out and you have hungry children awaiting a meal.

For some, its not big deal to change the tank or the thought of changing the tank. For others (like me) it spelled panic (and trust me, I know I’m not alone).

Its really not so bad as it may initially seem and once you’ve done it once, its not such of a big deal (though there’s always a little nervousness due to the fact that you are working with gas under pressure)  🙂

Anyway, I’ve put together a little “How To” on changing the tank.


Its best to have someone show you how to change the tank BEFORE you actually have to do it, instead of solely relying on the instr
uctions below or having to wing it alone.



  • Hammertools
  • Wrench (about 1” or slightly bigger)
  • Screwdriver, flathead






    In a nutshell, you’ll just be unhooking the old tank, attaching the replacement tank and opening the valve.


    What to Do:

    1. Start with bismillah   🙂




2. Turn tank in a way such that the open/close valve is closest to you. (the hose should be farther away from you than the valve—this determines the direction you use to loosen and tighten)




Open/Close valve on top of tank

3. Turn the valve in the “close” direction to close off the tank. (arrows on the top indicate which way you should turn it)

4. Using wrench, turn the bolt like connection of the hose connection to the left (leftyloosey, righty tighty) until it loosens.


5. Finish loosening it and take it off with your hands.


Attaching the replacement tank:

1. Again, turn the tank in a way such that the open/close valve is closest to you.

2. Put a washer, if necessary, on the inside of the hose connection ring (inside the bolt like connection that you previously loosened and removed).

3. Attach the hose unit to the tank, turning the bolt like connection (with your fingers) of the hose unit to the right to tighten.


4. Using the wrench, tighten the bolt connection as tight as you can.

Opening the Valve

1. Get your screwdriver and place it to the left of one notch on the side of the open/close valve.



2. Get the hammer and bang the handle of the screwdriver (from the left),

(carefully as your screwdriver will tend to fall off the notch). As you bang, you should begin to feel the notch move (it may take many tries).. Once it has moved enough, turn the valve with your hands to open the valve more.


3. Listen for gas leakage. If you hear gas, close the valve and try tightening the bolt unit with the wrench.  (Tip from TJYemen visitor for another method of checking to see if there is a leak:    “After you open the valve, bring a sponge filled with soap and pass it along the valve and the tank tube. If you notice any bubbles, it means the valve is not tight enough or there is hole in the tube. In that case you need to replace the tube! “

4. If you don’t hear gas, turn on the stove and check to make sure that its working.

5. Voile, insha Allah you are “cooking with gas.”







Caution In Swapping Tanks

It is common for replacement tanks to have a lot of wear and tear. However, if a tank is severely banged up, especially around the opening/top, do not swap yours for that one.

It is estimated (from the local newspapers) that around 4 million tanks in Yemen are not safe to use (and the government is working to get these tanks out of circulation).

Injuries and deaths have occurred due to below standard tanks.


You can purchase clamps for the ends of the hose (the part that connects to the tank and the part that connects to the stove/oven) at stores like Shumailah Hari or hardware stores. This pack (you just need the verysmall ones, so its probably better to get just a few of the size you need from the hardware store). This assorted size pack (below) ran for about $2.25 from Shumaila Hari.


Assistants pictured, 11 year old “Lego Boy” and 3 year old “Moody”



Here are a few printables I made for those using gas tanks:

Full/Empty Sign for extra tanks and chart to keep track of when the tank was last hooked up.  sign-chart-gas-tank1





How to Change a Cooking Gas Tank

Tools Needed:

3 Responses

  1. A great tip that I received from a TJ visitor:

    When checking for gas leaks:

    “After you open the valve, bring a sponge filled with soap and pass it along the valve and the tank tube. If you notice any bubbles, it means the valve is not tight enough or there is hole in the tube. In that case you need to replace the tube! ”

    JazakaAllahu kheyr ukhti! Listening for a leak may be less effective.

  2. As salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. I was nervous while reading your tips (smiles). Keep up the good work ukhtee!


    • wa alaykum us salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

      lol. Have you never had to change gas tanks, or do you have electric stoves where you are?

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