I will share my response to Victoria’s kind comments with everyone.
If you don’t have natural gas it is possible to use other gases
safely - the key is recognizing the unique properties of each gas
which make it dangerous and using the gas in a manner that respects
From your description it sounds like you follow normal safety
practices by bleeding lines, backing off the regulator key, etc.
but I would definitely get the propane tank out of the basement. If
you own the house then putting the tank outside and running a line
into the basement would be easy to do. While it may be inconvenient
to go outside and open the valve on the propane tank, you will be
safer if you do for two reasons.
First, while I work with natural gas cylinders in my business they
have the same type of fitting as a propane tank for connecting a
regulator, a CGA510 (CGA stands for Compressed Gas Association).
Often after connecting a regulator to a cylinder I use an electronic
sniffer to test for leaks
and I am surprised, even after tightening the fitting to what I
think is really tight, to find that I have a small leak anyway. If
the cylinder is outdoors it doesn’t matter but indoors, it might. If
you are going to bring the cylinder indoors you should consider using
soapy water (mixture of liquid dish soap and water) to check the
fitting to make sure you aren’t leaking even after you think it is
Second, there is always the potential for a manufacturer’s defect in
the tank or valve on the tank. Sometimes I find leaks in the valve
stem and this could cause gas to escape into your basement. This kind
of leak would also be picked up with a sniffer or soapy water if you
splash some on the valve itself.
In either of these cases having the tank outdoors will prevent the
leak from becoming a problem. You noted that putting a propane tank
outdoors in cold weather reduces gas flow and this is true but the
amount of gas you need with your Little Torch is so “little” that it
will not affect you.
As for the details of connecting an outside propane tank to an
indoors torch I would ask the local fire marshal or town building
department if there are any codes which affect doing this - you want
to be sure whatever you do is legal. They may say a simple hole
through which you run a red hose is satisfactory or there may be
other requirements. Personally I would have a plumber install black
pipe through the building wall, just like I am sure you have inside
your Illinois home to connect the furnace, hot water heater, etc.,
with a separate shutoff ball valve. It would have strength and
rigidity and be safer than a flexible hose - again, ask what the
building code/fire code says.
Unfortunately I am not aware of a torch booster that works with
propane; G-TEC’s Torch Booster is only for natural gas. If there was
a propane booster you could simply boost gas pressure to 5 psi to
your torch from the propane tank that supplies all of your other gas
appliances. I assume you set your propane pressure to about 5 psi so
connecting directly to the building propane supply would probably
give a very weak flame, although there might be someone out there who
has tried this. If you do, you want to be triple sure you have a
flashback arrestor, not just a check valve, on the gas hose.
Oxygen itself is not explosive…it just makes everything else burn
really well! The larger danger with oxygen is having a cylinder fall
and break off the valve, which turns the cylinder into a missle. A
full oxygen cylinder is charged at about 2,200 psi and if that
pressure is suddenly released the cylinder will penetrate concrete
When you get to the point of opening a retail business you may find
that either your lease or insurance company prohibits you from having
a propane tank indoors. We sell many of our boosters to businesses in
this situation because our boosters are permitted in places where
cylinders are prohibited.
Philosphically speaking, accidents are accidents - 999 times out of
1,000 you follow the safety practices that let you work with any gas
but one day you may forget to bleed a line, close a valve, etc and an
accident occurs. Or, when you swapped your propane tank the last time
you could get that 1 in 1,000 cylinder that has a leak.
When that happens the characteristics of natural gas and one of my
Torch Boosters are more tolerant of error than other gases and
storage devices. But if your only choice is propane, keep the tank
outdoors, check for leaks time you use the torch and be diligent
about how you begin and end each day so you are woking safely within
the limits of the nature of propane.
G-TEC Natural Gas Systems