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New to acetyline


#1

Hi,

I just set up my own studio for the first time… I purchased an
Acetyline B tank and am using that for soldering. I have gotten used
to it but am still a little nervous… :slight_smile: Does anyone have any
general advice or precautions I should take in order to avoid any
accidents?

Thanks!
M.


#2

It is my opinion that acetylene and propane have to be stored
outside for safety. Many people have a little space just outside the
wall of their studio where these gasses live, with piping or hoses
coming inside to the torch.

Both gasses have tremendous explosive potential.

It is a pain in the neck to have them outside. You have to go out
after work is done and shut them off, then turn them on again the
next day. BUT! It’s a whole lot better than having the whole studio
blow up and come raining down in little pieces.

You don’t hear of it happening (or at least I haven’t) but I know
the potential is there so my explosive gasses reside outside on the
back deck. It gives me a lot of peace of mind when I shut things
down at night to know that there won’t be an accumulation of the
stuff because of some little leak I missed or from some valve I
didn’t quite turn off completely because I was tired or in a hurry.

If you have any questions about good safety practices involving
these gasses, find your nearest distributor of welding gasses and
have them check out your setup.

Safety has to come first! Convenience comes second.

John
Indiana


#3

Get to know the smell of acetylene. It’s like garlic, with a bit of
a sharp quality because of the acetone it’s dissolved in. Good
ventilation is important, and make sure you follow the proper
procedure for shutting down your torch. The way I was taught is
this:

  • Turn off valve on torch. Check for small flame, if there is one,
    then the valve on the torch is leaking.

  • Turn off valve on tank.

  • Open valve on torch releasing pressure from hose/regulator.

  • Unscrew the screw in the regulator until it is loose(do not fully
    remove), this preserves the diaphragm of the regulator.

  • Close valve on torch.

If you have an oxygen/acetylene setup, do this with the oxygen
first, then acetylene. That way if you have a leak you can still
tell. If you shut off the acetylene first, you’ll get a pop that will
throw soot back into the torch tip - it will also extinguish any
flame and prevent you from knowing if there’s a small leak in the
torch valve. If you close oxygen, then acetylene, and the oxygen
valve is the one that’s leaking, you’ll hear a pop.

Paul Anderson


#4

Monica, First you are correct to be on the cautious side. I have
used these for years without a problem… but there can be problems
if you aren’t careful.

I would suggest always having the bottle in a rack where it can’t
fall… or chained to a wall…whatever it takes to secure it in your
location. Also make sure to use a PROPER hose and regulator. Make
sure there are no leaks at the regulator, hose or torch… use some
dish soap in a little water…and check the entire unit now and then
for leaks. Use a striker to light the torch… NOT a butane cigarette
lighter like so many do!! That lighter is a bomb! Lastly, ALWAYS turn
the tank off when not in use. I just leave the little wrench on mine.
Do this and you should remain safe I would think. I’m sure you will
get other suggestions too! GREAT QUESTION TO ASK TOO!

Good luck. Dan.
DeArmond Tool


http://www.dearmondtool.com


#5

Consider taking a class in beginning welding, possibly offered thru a
local community collage. This might be overkill. However, you will
come out with knowledge “to burn”. Classes offered thru a competent
Metal Arts studio either public like Recreation and Parks, community
collage or private, might be a more practical approach. The main
issue is safety. Make sure that however you pursue this project,
your teachers know the subject at hand…

rp leaf


#6

Safety is such a fascinating subject. One can write volumes about
absolutely nothing, on a surface it would look very impressive.

Do we completely understand all the dangers involved in drinking a
cup of tea?

First we have to boil water. Watch out! You can set your house on
fire, your stove can blow up, and you can set your hair on fire.

If we manage to live through this dangerous procedure, we have to
pour hot boiling water on top of our tea. The list of dangers here
would take hours to list, so I leave it to your imagination.

if somehow, we are going to make it through this minefield, we still
have to drink it. Can you imagine that! Taking a hot liquid and
bringing it close to our faces. What if handle of the cup, holding
the tea, would break off and all that viciously hot liquid drops in
out lap. Or what if instead of mouse, we pour tea in our noses. Could
happen you know, and etc, etc, etc…

Here is the solution. Make a cup of tea and put it outside. Run a
hose from you cup of tea to the table, and now you can sip your tea
with absolute safety. What can be more important than that.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#7
Here is the solution. Make a cup of tea and put it outside. Run a
hose from you cup of tea to the table, and now you can sip your
tea with absolute safety. What can be more important than that. 

Every welding shop in the US and Canada has a set of oxy-acetylene
torches. The acetylene tank or tanks, is inside. Sometimes they have
multiple tanks on a manifold. Acetylene is scary stuff, but risk can
never be eliminated - it can only be managed. My concern with having
the tank outside is that the regulator and hose are exposed to the
weather. They are not intended to be stored in that environment, and
I’d be concerned about it causing checking in the hoses.

Paul Anderson


#8
It is my opinion that acetylene and propane have to be stored
outside for safety. Many people have a little space just outside
the wall of their studio where these gasses live, with piping or
hoses coming inside to the torch.
Both gasses have tremendous explosive potential. 

Both gases burn well and have explosive potential. Otherwise they
would really suck as torch fuels.

Low concentration of floor hugging propane or most any acetylene
concentration can really do damage to you and your house. It doesn’t
take a gas tank burning, just a leaky torch inside not shut off
properly.

My attached wood shed houses a few gasoline powered machines, car
sometimes goes into the garage. Gasoline is rather more destructive
than any soldering gas. Making a big fire and crater is quite simple
with gasoline, acetylene and propane take more work and creativity. I
remember some rather large craters in the news caused by natural gas.

Treat the nasties with care and respect but never outright fear.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#9
! Lastly, ALWAYS turn the tank off when not in use. I just leave
the little wrench on mine. 

One of the 1st things I was taught when I learned to weld was this.

When turning on the oxygen tank, always turn the tank valve until it
is fully open & you can’t turn it any more. The reason to do this is
that oxygen is stored at about 2000psi. The valves on oxygen tanks
are double seated valves. One seat is used when the valve is closed &
the other seat when the valve is fully open. If you don’t open the
valve fully so it engages the open seat, the pressure of the oxygen
will cause a great deal of it to leak out around the moving parts of
the valve.

The fuel ( acetylene or others) on the other hand are stored at much
lower pressures & the valve packing materials can contain the gases
without the need for a 2nd valve seat.

Fuel gas valves should only be opened 1/4 or 1/2 turn. It takes 2
things to make a fire, a fuel & oxygen. The oxygen we can’t
eliminate, the air is full of it. But if we eliminate the fuel, the
fire will go out. If there is an accident & the torch can’t bee
turned off the quickest way to resolve the problem is to turn the gas
off at the tank. A 1/4 or 1/2 turn of the valve doesn’t take much
time.

Also when the soldering/welding job is finished, it’s a good idea to
fully turn off both the oxygen tank & gas tank valve to prevent
possible leakage.

Dave


#10

Leonid,

Safety is such a fascinating subject. One can write volumes about
absolutely nothing, on a surface it would look very impressive. 

Some times the stuff you write makes me boil, this time I am having
a hard time not giggling off my chair. Thank you for both.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#11

Oh good grief! A quarter turn on, use a striker, solder all day, a
quarter turn off at the B tank top valve and your done. This tool is
no more dangerous than your gas stove…now I feel better. I had to
let off some pressure so I would not explode with laughter at the
nonsense. Considering the esteemed collection of knowledge on this
list I am in amazement this has been discussed in such a ridiculous
manner.

Denise Jenkins


#12
Oh good grief! A quarter turn on, use a striker, solder all day, a
quarter turn off at the B tank top valve and your done. This tool
is no more dangerous than your gas stove....now I feel better. I
had to let off some pressure so I would not explode with laughter
at the nonsense. Considering the esteemed collection of knowledge
on this list I am in amazement this has been discussed in such a
ridiculous manner. 

Denise, Not so ridiculous, really. Well over half of the other
replies to the original question said about the same as you. Though
in different words. The rest simply took care to describe the basics.
Not much more. Remember that when someone posts a question, lots of
people will have sent replies long before anyone reads those replies,
so people don’t know they’re repeating what others have said already.
So perhaps you’re commenting on the sheer volume of replies? Just
understand that it’s not the proverbial horse being beaten to death.
Just lots of people chiming in at the same time, unaware that others
are also doing the same.

However, a couple points.

Yes, those of us with experience with the air/acetylene torches
don’t worry too much. But in truth, although acetylene dissipates and
doesn’t pool at the floor like propane, so it’s generally considered
safer, it happens to be explosive when mixed with air in much lower
concentrations than either natural gas or propane. So if the leak is
in a small closed room so the leaking gas can’t get out, then you can
get an explosion worse than propane will ever give you, with much
less actual gas having leaked. It happens very rarely compared to
propane simply because the acetylene tanks and regulators, etc, are
generally much better made than cheap propane barbaque tanks. But
while it’s minor, and generally not cause for worry, it’s still
something people should be aware of, if only so they remember to turn
the tank off at the end of the day. Bottom line, yes, it’s easy. But
never be cavalier with that acetylene tank. It’s contents are indeed
pretty explosive if you go out of your way to do things wrong…

Similarly, some sort of means of securing the tank so it cannot fall
over is a really good idea. In a tank cart, or tied/chained to a
bench leg, or whatever. Acetylene tanks are not high pressure like
oxygen tanks, so breaking or cracking the neck on an acetylene tank
doesn’t turn it into an instant high power rocket engine like an
oxygen tank can become. But it still dumps a whole lot, a dangerous
quanity, of gas into your space if this happens, and it’s easy to
prevent. yes, I know. The tanks are well built, and it takes a
really unlucky day to do that if the tank falls over. But consider,
if it falls towards the regulator, and the regulator hits first, then
all the force is on the regulator and the tank neck. Just not a great
and safe thing to be doing. So be sure to secure the tank. yes, I
know of a lot more problems with Propane tanks, which are already
rare enough. But I do know of at least one such accident with a B
acetylene tank. Quite a while ago, but it made a mess, and injured a
couple guys, so it can happen.

Also, you say you only turn off the tank valve. That’s safe enough.
But I’d suggest also Loosening /screwing out the pressure adjustment
valve on the regulator and bleeding the line, in both cases to take
the pressure off the diaphram when not in use. The regulator will
last significantly longer if you do this. Pretty routine, just a good
idea.

Cheers
Peter Rowe


#13

Denise,

Oh good grief! A quarter turn on, use a striker, solder all day, a
quarter turn off at the B tank top valve and your done. This tool
is no more dangerous than your gas stove.... 

You make me really smile, almost enough to hurt my face.

Even if you risk the possibility of quick and sure death by not
having a shut off valve in constant use on your kitchen stove :slight_smile:

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#14

I have heard some great safety suggestions and discussion of
opinions here but I still haven’t heard any feedback about using oil
or petroleum products on or in contact with gas cylinders or
regulators. I don’t know about Mapp or Propane but with acetylene and
oxygen it creates a serious danger of explosion from exposure to
these products. I have worked as awelder and fitter for many years
and have seen first hand the results of oxygen cylinder explosion.
Just wanted to address this issue. I love the great wealth of
and even opinions expressed here. Where else couldone
find this?

Mike Grace


#15

Thank you Denise for your common sense. Did any of you folks know
that if you fill a propane tank in the winter, bring it inside, as
it warms up to inside temps, the pressure will bleed off the relief
valve??? Guess what folks, boom! So, I’ve been using acetylene B
tanks for 27 years INSIDE with no problems. The tank is chained to
the bench and the valve is turned off when done soldering, then the
pickle is turned off, and then finally, the lights get turned off in
the studio. This method was explained to me by a certified gas
technician from a gas utility company as the correct way to handle
acetylene.

Ruthie Cohen ( still laughing)


#16

Hi Ruthie: Yeah, I’ve had my acetylene tank chained to my soldering
table inside my house for 20 years with no problem. Only difference
is that at night when I’m through soldering, I turn off the tank,
bleed the line, then back out the valve and I’m done for the night.
I’ve told my insurance company that I keep the acetylene in the
house and they have no problem with it.

I think if you pay attention to what you are doing and have a
standard procedure you follow at all times for shutting down your
soldering gear for the night, you should be okay. Occasionally you
may get a leaky tank, in which case just return it to your gas
supplier and they replace it with no questions asked.

Kay


#17
Thank you Denise for your common sense. Did any of you folks know
that if you fill a propane tank in the winter, bring it inside, as
it warms up to inside temps, the pressure will bleed off the
relief valve??? Guess what folks, boom! 

While there used to be a problem with propane tanks being over
filled which could lead to this scenario for at least a decade those
old style tanks have been illegal to fill in the US. All the new
tanks have stamped OPD stamped on the valve. OPD for Overfill
Protection Device. Propane tanks should not be stored in any living
space but that particular danger is not a current problem.

But your acetylene tank is just as much a potential bomb as a
propane tank. Pressurized gas tanks are not home appliances but
industrial tools. They are not designed for mindless operation. They
can be safely operated but if you don’t know what the safety issues
are you can easily set yourself up for a serious problem. So if you
don’t care about safety issues then that is your business but the
majority of safety tips in this thread are good valid procedures.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#18

Precautions. Let’s see.

A. Possible dangers:

  1. Gas Leak

B. How can gas leak? (not in any particular order):

  1. Loose fittings.
  2. Bad seat facing at valve/regulator seat.
  3. Bad tank valve.
  4. Damage to tank if it falls
  5. Hole in hose

C. What happens if gas leaks?

  1. Fire
  2. Explosion
  3. Asphyxiation

D. Where is the greatest danger if gas leaks?

  1. Near the floor (Acetylene is heavier than air).

Solutions:

A. 1. Ensure all precautions are taken to prevent leaks. Make a
checklist so no steps are missed. Schedule preventative maintenance
checks at regular intervals.

B. 1. Use soapy solution with brush to check for leaks at ALL
connections.

B. 2. Inspect regulator/valve seat for damage before use. Inspect at
every tank change.

B. 3. Inspect tank valve prior to acceptance.

B. 4. Secure tank to prevent tip over/falls.

B. 5. Visually inspect hose for damage. Re-inspect at regular
intervals. Don’t dismiss hose damage if gas is detected and soapy
water test shows no leak. Quickly inspect hose for damage if hot
metal is dropped in vicinity of hose.

C. 1-3/D. 1. Consider placement of tank. Place it outside if
possible. If tank must be inside consider the following:

  • Make sure all sparking devices (This would include all electrical
    devices not certified for use in explosive atmospheres) are raised
    high enough to be out of the highest level of gas if it leaks.

  • Have adequate ground level ventilation.

  • Consider installation of an acetylene gas detector.

This is a link with good oxy/fuel setups. Although for welding, many
of the precautions apply to our trades:

http://www.arcraftplasma.com/oxyfuelsafety.htm.

Another link with a good discussion of acetylene use:

Acetylene MSDS from Airgas Corp:
http://www.msdshazcom.com/COMMON/WCD00004/WCD00424.HTM.

Although the websites above primarily address industrial welding the
precautions are easily adapted to the work we do.

This is just something I’ve come up with over a few minutes of
consideration. I’m sure there are other things as well as
refinements that I’ve not addressed.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Alliance, OH


#19

This is maybe just a bit off-topic, but it’s in the same vein.

A while ago, I happened upon the show “Myth Busters” when they were
asking about the commonly-used plot ploy in tv and movies where
someone gets blown up by someone shooting a propane tank, usually on
a trailer occupied by a villain. The show guys tried shooting
propane tanks with various pistols and rifles-- no luck. If I recall
the details correctly, they even tried hollow-point slugs, all kinds
of things. The only way they finally got the tanks to explode was by
using an explosive bullet, in essence a tiny bomb.

This is not to say, obviously, that there is no reason to be cautious
with our fuel gasses. But I found it eye-opening and reassuring. And
funny.

Noel

p.s. Unless I have fallen for similarly fictional plot devices, it is
a LOT easier to get a car fuel tank to blow up. Or is it? Anyway, it
doesn’t keep me out of my car. Still, I don’t store my car in my
house!


#20
1. Near the floor (Acetylene is heavier than air). 

Acetylene has a specific gravity of.9 so it is just slightly lighter
than air so it will tend to rise not settle. Otherwise a good list.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts