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Propane in the cold


Can one work safely with a propane torch, if the temperature is
below freezing? I want to do a few short things (a little soldering
and annealing, mainly), and my work area is presently out of doors,
on top of a big, old (disconnected) propane grill filled with those
lava lumps like are in annealing pans (only I bought these lumps at a
greenhouse, speaking of using things for other purposes). I can’t
work inside, and I’m still trying to find a “better” workspace to

Actually, while I’m at it, I may as well ask the same question about
working with acetylene in the cold.

Thanks in advance for any advice! Judy Bjorkman (It’s cold here in
upstate NY. I’d hoped that El Nino would = a warm winter, but not

 Can one work safely with a propane torch, if the temperature is
below freezing?" 

Hi Judy, Propane will work well, even in temperatures below
freezing (32F). You will start to run into problems in sub zero
temperatures. As propane gets colder its pressure begins to drop.
At room temperature, propane has a pressure of about 100 pounds per
square inch (psi), at 32 F, the pressure drops to about 70 (psi).
both of these pressures should be ample to operate your torch.
Somewhere about -30F, propane pressure drops down to less than 20
psi. At this pressure, it would probably be difficult to sustain a
flame on your torch, but then again, you probably don’t want to be
outside when it gets that cold. I know someone in Calgary, where
temperatures can drop below -30F, who stores her propane tank
outside and never seems to have a problem getting enough pressure to
run her torch…

Milt Fischbein