Please tell me. What, if anything, is different about the
safety factor of using an oxy/propane torch with vigilant care
verses the widespread use everywhere of propane fueled BBQ grills,
indoor propane fueled heating logs, ovens etc.? Such grills are
also used in opened garages and enclosed patios. Wouldn't a room
with opened windows be as safe? Should the propane tank and oxy
tank both be stored outoors with lines running in? Is it safe to
keep an oxy tank outdoors exposed to the elements?
I quite understand your question but you left out: mobile homes,
boats, repairmen toting their gear from one place to the next, hot
air ballons, propane fuel refridgerators and the list goes on… As
you propose, if the user takes good care of the equipment and, being
aware of the potential risks (not as some say “dangers”) check all
parts regularly, then it will be less risk than many other everyday
propane sites. Actually, it will be safer than crossing the street.
Often people worried about propane are not keen on any gas that
comes in a tank. All safety rules have been on Orchid several times
this year so look in the archives.
1 Cap on tank during ALL transport, no tank is ever empty!
2 All tanks are used in upright position.
3 All connections and hoses are checked when exchanging tank AND
weekly. Valves and regulator should feel “smooth” in action. Use
leak detector aerosoles or soapy water and smell for odor, feel the
hoses (should feel like new). Natural gas and propane are odor
detectable. There are electronic devices to this as well.
4 Turn off all tanks at the end of day and put away. I have my
routine: pickle off, exhaust off, gas off, tank “off”, visual check,
lights off then me off home!
5 Never use old and illtreated gear. New rubberhoses don’t cost
that much and they do deteriorate with time. Regulators are a bit
pricier but can be repaired.
I’m sure I left something out but this is how I do things, still not
to old to learn.
When I did our first installation, I spent lots of time at the
fueldepot (where we get gas) asking questions and they happily
educated me. Today we use two 25 lbs propane (one with a fixed
lowpressure regulator and one regular), one 11 lbs acetylene and two
11 lbs oxygen, all safely stored in a airthight but ventilated,
steel cabinet when not in use. Vented by a small squirrelcage fan to
the outside, suction at floorlevel (very important) and fan made of
aluminium (sparkfree - very important).
If you wonder about the sizes it just happens to be the most popular
tanks in this country (=good economy and availability).
I don’t think you should do all of this since you won’t be handlling
that many tanks. Ask at your supplier or a plumber AND research
With knowledge you gain wisdom, insight and understanding thus
defying anxiety of the unknown.