Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Natural Gas and Propane

To add my 2 cents to the discussions on NG and LP

NG (Natural Gas) contains approx. 1000 BTU’s per Cubic Foot
depending upon your supplier. If they manufacture some of their
own it may be lower. (Our Utility has a Coke plant and is.
(Indianapolis)) It is delivered from the meter regulator at 1/2
psi or less. This is measured in Inches of Water Column ("w.c.)
with approx. 28"w.c. to 1psi. Commercial pressure is 2,3, or even
5 psi delivered from the regulator at the meter. This is usually
at large warehouses, manufacturing plants, auto paint shops etc.
NG is safer than LP because it is lighter than air and tends to
vent naturally it the event of a leak. But due to the low delivery
pressure and BTU content it will not be very practical to use for
some applications.

LP (Propane) generates pressure as it evaporates from a liquid.
Thats why with heavy usage and/or very cold tempertures there can
be pressure falloffs. LP is heavier than air and can collect and
pool in low spots. This is why good ventilation and safety
practices are so important. The line feeding the house from an
outside tank should be brought out above the ground and looped,
this is to prevent a leak from following the line into the
building. Shut offs before the torch should be used whenever the
torch is shut down at the end of a session, this will limit the
amount of gas that can leak out of a torch valve. Connections
should be checked for leaks whenever joints are disturbed or
suspected . (Important to use ONLY approved soap bubbles when
checking Oxygen fittings for leaks) Leaks can be checked for
with a soap bubble solution. And Oxygen safe solutions are
available at any welding supplier.

There have been other excellent safety tips already covering
this subject on orchid and I’m sure are available by searching
the archives.

I repair and service gas burners up to several million BTU’s and
will be glad to share my knowledge if someone contacts me


Dan, thanks for the you provide, I do have a
question, though. Where does acetylene fit in??? Is it lighter
or heavier than air. Do I have to worry about pooling in low
spots??? I have installed a hood which is large and fits over my
soldering area (walls on three sides, along with the exhaust at
the top - remote fan, so I think I’ve covered the ventilation

Thanks for any additional