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Propane coagulated in hose when not vented


#1

Ok. I know this is stupid, dangerous and a freshman mistake. I
recently upgraded to an EZ Torch disposable propane tank set up. I
formerly used a bernzomatic butane mini torch / creme brulee type
torch. I haven’t had any training on this type of torch obviously
with my post title :wink: Anyway, I forgot to vent the propane out of
my torch the last time I worked (2 weeks ago). When I turned on the
gas a light ocher colored goo, petroleum jelly-like, started oozing
and spraying from the nozzle/torch tip. I shut off the gas
immediately then took the tank set up outside and fully vented the
hose. As I did the gas venting became “white” and started smelling
horribly. So I opened up the valve on the tank hoping that the
remaining gas in the tank wasn’t fouled. It seemed to clear after a
minute. I called Otto Frei. We figured out the propane coagulated in
the hose from not venting.The tank is stored upright at all times so
it’s not from being on it’s side. It was suggested that I take the
hose and nozzle and tips to a compressed air pump and clean it. I am
wondering if this will remove all of the jelly or will it need to be
"degreased" by soaking the hose in a mild soapy water. I am also
wondering if the interity of the hose is still viable after sitting
for 2 weeks with a fuel jelling on it’s interior. Feel free to call
me an idiot as long as you have some ideas of how to clean my torch
so I can use it again (wiser for the moment). I have some rather
stupid mistakes under my belt, thank God I’m still alive and
"hacking" away :slight_smile:

thanks, Liz
mielemelograno.us


#2
Feel free to call me an idiot as long as you have some ideas of how
to clean my torch so I can use it again (wiser for the moment). I
have some rather stupid mistakes under my belt, thank God I'm still
alive and "hacking" away :) 

Liz, don’t feel like an idiot. From my point of view, this doesn’t
seem like the sort of situation everyone else here knows all about
and considers basic knowledge. I suspect many on this list would be
as puzzled as you are, and some have a lot more experience than you
do. So don’t feel foolish. While many of us, me included, are just
in the habit of relieving any pressure in the torch and hose after
shutting off tanks, it’s more habit, and to prevent things like
"popping" when you next light the torch. At least, that’s what I
think of. The notion that propane in a hose should cause the
formation of a gel, is something I’ve never heard of before. Propane
is a gas at normal room pressure and temperature. While it might
react with some things, that normally would not be expected to cause
the propane itself to form any sort of gel, or even liquid. Under
pressure, it liquifies, and in that form is sold as LPG in the tank.
But I wouldn’t expect you to see LPG liquid in the torch hose if the
torch is used correctly, and the tank upright. Forming a goo? I’ve
not heard of it doing that under normal conditions when used with
propane rated hoses.

However, not all hoses are compatible with propane. The types of
hoses normally used as the usual economical type in acetylene
torches, is not usable with propane, as the propane attacks it, and
could soften it. This might turn some of the rubber into something
like your goo, though as I said, I’ve not heard of that before.
Torches running propane need to use a different (more costly,
usually) type of hose that is rated for propane use, which won’t be
attacked. Even with the wrong hose, the risk I’ve heard of before
(which could be incorrect or incomplete) is that the propane can
attack those acetyelene rated hoses, causing cracking and leaks, and
possibly softening of the rubber. I don’t recall anyone ever
mentioning a resulting goo being formed, and with the right type of
hose, this really shouldn’t happen, so far as I’m aware.

My guess is that the hose on your torch is the wrong type for
propane. This seems odd, though, since that torch is sold as being
designed for propane use, and one would expect it to be compatible
and not react negatively with the propane. Apparently, something is
wrong with this expectation.

Without seeing the hose, I can’t tell you whether to trust it, but
I’d suggest two things. First, unless you get good solid accurate
info on this (better than what I know) from the list, you may wish to
ask about this at your local welding supply shop, where they probably
supply propane and other gasses, as well as varied types of torches
and hoses. Those folks should be well versed in potential problems,
and may know what’s going on.

Unless someone can tell you positively that this problem was unique
and won’t reoccur, I’d suggest changing the hose, being sure it’s the
type rated for propane use.

Peter Rowe


#3

Not sure, Liz, what type of hose that torch uses but propane torches
should be equipped with a type “T” hose. Either a single hose (mine
is black) or a combined hose (oxy= green, propane=red). The combined
hose looks just like any other fuel/oxy hose but is stamped "Type T"
on the red side.

These hoses will not react with propane. This is from the friendly
folks at my local Praxair store.

Take care, Andy


#4

Liz,

Ok. I know this is stupid, dangerous and a freshman mistake. 

Don’t listen to me, my torch and gas handling would curl the toes of
many people here. Still not living in a crater even if I know lots of
ways of making them :slight_smile:

Talk to your gas man, buy new hoses from him/her. Propane likes
different hoses than other gases. Propane hoses can be used with
almost anything, just not the other way around.

jeffD
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#5

I had the same problem with the same torch about 6 years ago. It was
spitting out a granular beige sticky substance and clogging the
vents. I talked to customer support at Frei about it and we came to
the conclusion that it was probably a problem with the propellant. I
scrubbed out the torch tips and changed to propane bottles (the
small green camping size) and. have never had a problem with the
torch since. I don’t remember any bad smell with the problem, though.

Donna in VA


#6

I’m of the opinion that you are using the wrong type hose also. If
you get a ventless fireplace or a gas stove and keep the pilot lights
turned off the propane is always in the hose. You don’t turn the tank
off and bleed the hose. It is fine. For some reason yours was not.
The propane must have eaten away at the hose. This is taken from a
glass site: Propane must only be used with a Grade T hose. Regular
welding type Grade R or Grade RM hose, which is fine for acetylene,
will rot with propane.

Val


#7

Thanks to everyone that has responded.

The hose in question is the original from the manufacturer of the
torch and is only to be used with propane. I have never used
anything other than propane with this torch. I used the torch and
tank for months without issue. It is a mystery and no one I’ve talked
to can say with certainty what it was. I still have a sample of the
goo and I’ve though about having it analyzed but that would be
expensive. I’ve called the manufacturer of the tanks and they are out
until the 6th of Jul.y Until then I will be using my bernzomatic hand
held torch. Everyone that has seen my torch and the hose and the tank
in question believe it was something in the manufacture of the tank.
The propellant is most likely the issue. I will keep you updated on
the results.

Thanks Again,
Liz Rishavy
mielemelograno.us


#8

Hi Liz et all,

I have had this happen to me twice. I use a small propane torch with
a hose and disposable propane bottles. The torch is a Weller brand,
and the red rubber type hose is also the original that came with it.
Both times this happened I had shut off the valve to the tank (and
the valve on the torch head, of course), but not bled the line of
gas, so gas sat in the line for, oh, probably a couple of weeks.

The alarming yellow goo clogged the orifice on the torch tip, so I
took the torch to Hansen & Miller here in Seattle to have them clean
the torch for me. The first time I took it in, the owner, Harold,
told me he’d never heard of this happening, but by the second time I
did this Harold had had an experience of his own with the yellow
goo. Harold told me his daughter is a potter and has a propane gas
kiln. She hadn’t used her gas kiln for some months and when she
wanted to fire it up, she discovered the same problem I had
encountered. Naturally she called her dad to sort out the problem for
her! Harold knew she’d left propane sitting in her gas lines, so he
believes the propane, or some other component of the gas, dissolved
some of the rubber hose.

I am now careful to bleed my gas line every time I finish work for
the day. Since I have begun being more diligent about bleeding the
line, I have not had the problem occur again.

Best, Julia