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Propane Story


#1

I have been told that propane is heavier than air and so will
sink to the botom of a room. This made me think that it would
not be a good choice for a basement studio.Was I misled into
believing an “old welders” story? Marilyn Smith


#2
I have been told that propane is heavier than air and so will

sink to the botom of a room. This made me think that it would not
be a good choice for a basement studio.Was I misled into
believing an “old welders” story? Marilyn Smith

Hi Marilyn, Propane sinks which is why it is illegal to have more
than a 5 pound tank in a home or business. It sinks, flows down
the stairs (if you are not already in the basement-eek) and then
finds the pilot light on the water heater and blows the place up.
It ‘pools’ around the feet snd you don’t necessarily know it is
leaking. If you ahve more than a 5 pound tank then you should
build a hutch for it outside the house (to keep the rain and
corrosion off it) and have your 20 pound or bigger tank outdoors
with a line in to connect ot your torch. Note again that 2 and 5
pound tanks are generally considered ok. Acetylene is dissolved
in acetone in turn soaked into cork (in a ‘B’ tank, and because
they are not pressurized they can’t explode, you can however (if
you doa lot of things wrong at once) melt the low melting metal
plug and you get a 10 foot flame (it is wise to install
flameproof stuff over the B tank area) and as bad as that sounds
it not nearly as bad as a propane explosion. Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

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#3

Marilyn,

This is very true, however, as I mentioned, propane has
additives to give it a very noticeable odor. When I was working
out of my basement, I did take the added precaution of putting my
tank outside on some cement blocks and piping the gas into the
basement with flexible copper tubing. Your local hardware store
should be able to help you with all of the fittings that you
need. After you connect everything and you turn on the gas, do a
soap bubble test on every connection to be sure there are no
leaks.(mix dish detergent with water and apply to all joints with
a q-tip. If there are any leaks, the soap will bubble up.) I
notched a plastic bucket to fit over the top of the tank and the
regulators and put a quick disconnect in the line for ease of
filling


#4

Yes, propane will sink to low areas. One jeweler I know, with a
basement shop, was found in violation of fire codes and had to
switch to natural gas. His torch of preference for soldering,
however, is the “Little Torch” which isn’t or wasn’t made for
natural gas. He is allowed to keep a very small tank of propane
for this torch, which uses very few cfm. Should this tank
accidentally empty into the room the danger is not as great.
Check with your local fire department.


#5

G’day, Marilyn; Propane is quite a bit heavier than air, and
if you want to prove this all you have to do is to put a toy
balloon on the business end of your torch, fill it, detach and
knot the balloon neck - then let go. It will drop to the floor
not quite like the proverbial lead balloon but like a propane
balloon. Take it out in the yard before you let the propane go!
Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#6

Marilyn said,

I have been told that propane is heavier than air and so will
sink to the botom of a room. This made me think that it would not
be a good choice for a basement studio.Was I misled into believing
an “old welders” story? <<

Just about every gas other than hydrogen & helium are heavier
than air. Lots of fumes from things like gasoline, naptha etc are
heavier than air also.

Anytime you’re using a combustible gas it pays to have an
adequate ventilation system. If your ventilation system is up to
snuff using combustible gases in a basement should present a
problem. After all, the majority of homes in the colder parts of
the US have their furnaces in the basement & many of them are
natural or liquified petroleum gas. While you do hear of gas
explosions, they are ususally the result of some kind of an
undetected problem until the BANG.

The safest way to handle any gas wether you’re using it in the
open or an enclosed space is to turn the gas on at the tank just
before you need it & turn it off at the tank just as soon as
you’re done.

Dave


#7

In a message dated 97-03-08 00:18:36 EST, you write:

<< I have been told that propane is heavier than air and so will
sink to the botom of a room. This made me think that it would not
be a good choice for a basement studio.Was I misled into
believing an “old welders” story? Marilyn Smith >>

I’ve known people who have basement studios and have been
working with propane and various other gasses for years, without
a problem! Perhaps, one should just be careful about what they
are doing? (aka, common sense?) I have propane, but I open my
basement window when I use it. Does that help??? I don’t know .


#8

To any who have wondered, I have used a Presto-lite system using
actylene in a basement studio for more than fifteen years
without worry or problems.I had debated propane but belived what
my welder friends had told me.I do almost all silver or copper
work and have not ever felt the need to add oxygen for a hotter
flame.So many young people who are in the process of gathering a
studio together feel like the little torch is the only thing
recomended because it’s what they see in many jewelry shops.
Thanks for all the discussion. Marilyn Smith