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Fuel gas indoors


Alma, the answer to what size fuel tank is legal indoors depends upon
the laws of each state. The state in which you and I reside
prohibits all but the disposable size propane canister indoors but
allows much larger acetylene tanks.

As to the actual volatility of propane, my fire marshall and fuel gas
dealer, (poor men, I grilled them mercilessly) stated that leaked
propane does lay in low pockets and any tiny spark (phone, motors or
any other source of ignition) could quickly separate my body and soul.
If we use and store larger, illegal propane tanks indoors we are in
violation of state fire codes and in doing so, are pretty much
assure the voiding of our home- owners’ insurance in the case of
fire or explosion.

Large tanks of propane are not a problem ONLY if the gas is piped
into the building and are inspected and certified.

Kinda made me think…and be a VERY careful person!


All, One of the pitfalls of a public forum is that logic sometimes
falls by the wayside. For example, if we consider the term "volatile"
most of us think of explosive gas. In reality volatile simply means
rapidly evaporating. In a sense his would have to include water.
Therefore, we would have to consider it to be a non-flammable
volatile substance. If we contain water, and vaporize it by heat ,it
becomes explosive, but it is still not flammable. All of the fuel
gasses are volatile, flammable and explosive. Some of these gasses
are heavier than air and some are lighter. All are dangerous. Oxygen
is not flammable, but does support combustion.Some good examples of
flammable, volatile and explosive substances are acetone (fingernail
polish remover) ,ether and wood alcohol. The list of volatile and
flammable substances is endless and most of us have many of them in
our shops. As for the relative safety of the flammable gasses there
is no question about the fact that ALL of them are dangerous and
deserve our utmost respect. I remember that someone was considering
switching to domestic gas out of fear of acetylene…anyone who
reads the newspapers would have to observe the fact that domestic gas
often levels entire apartment buildings

I hate to sound like a preacher, but if you had to single out the most
hazardous substance in the typical jeweler’s studio, it would have to
be flammable gas…whether it be domestic, acetylene or propane.
If you value your life, you should ALWAYS observe the strictest
discipline in using these fuels. You should also remember that any of
the flammable, volatile liquids should be treated the same way. NEVER
store them in breakable containers ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos,


To show how little gas is required for a mild explosion, try an old
Chemistry Demonstrator’s trick. This works best with coal gas (if
there’s any still around) Coalgas contains hydrogen so it lighter than
air. OK, so take an empty lever top tin, like a golden syrup tin
and punch a 6 - 8mm hole in lid and bottom. Insert the nozzle of a
coal gas outlet into one of the holes, turn the gas on and you can
actually hear the hissing sound change as it fills. With a thumb over
the uppermost hole place the tin on a firebrick and light the top
hole. The emerging gas will burn nicely and quietly with air entering
the bottom hole to replace the lost gas for what seems an age until
you are sure all the gas must have gone. Then presently the flame
ducks into the hole and BLAM!! the lid will certainly hit the ceiling.
So you see, it doesn’t take much gas to ignite for quite a powerful
explosion. Long ago, A bloke where I worked did this under his
boss’s chair using a 3 litre can. The boss was away for a fortnight
with a nervous breakdown and my young colleague was looking for another
job. Murphy’s Law had kicked in - the senior Boss was walking past.
Finally, get a small paint brush, about 2 cm, and make up a solution
of a good detergent; about 15% - 20% and use it to go round every
joint, tap, and stopcock in the whole system. looking carefully for
bubbles in a good light. Not once a week, but every time you knock
off work; just spare that extra two minutes - you aren’t literally
dying for a sherry or a G&T, are you?. –

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ