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Propane tank saftey


#1

I’m in the process of setting up my studio again after it was in
storage. Today’s project was to connect the new propane tank to the
2 year old torch. It is a propane/air torch with regulator and your
average BBQ propane bottle. As I put the regulator on and started to
tighten it the bottle started to release gas between the tank and
the regulator. This seemed wrong to me because the tank valve was
closed. I took off the regulator,checked the valve and tightened it.
When the regulator was out of the valve there was no gas being
released. I tried one more time with the same results and decided
not to blow up the house. ( I read all the horror stories about the
dangers of propane in the archives) This seems really wrong to me.
Should I return the tank? What am I doing wrong? Am I just too
paranoid?

Thanks, Tracey


#2

Tracey. Better paranoid than dead. Something is wrong. I am sure
that those Orchidians who are more familiar with propane tanks than I
am, can tell you if what you are doing is wrong, or whether the tank
is defective. You are wise to be ultra cautious and get more
before proceeding.

Alma


#3

unquestionably get another tank…also clean the filter on your torch
and check the seals.do not use the old fashioned water and soap test
on propane to test for leaks because it encourages rust. you may want
to get a product called “enjen joes grease”…he’s a new start-up
company with a great polymer based anti-rust substance fro applying
to -basically every area of the connection to the hose as well as
hose clamps etc…i’ll send you the link if you want it…i don’t work
for the guy, i just agreed to test his product…and it is superior
to most i’ve used in the past for rust and corrosion prevention…
propane gas stays low to the ground so for an extra measure of safety
you may want to install a monitor no more than three feet above the
floor if keeping the propane tank indoors… another thing to remember
is that even an arc from a light switch can ignite the gas so take
basic precautions like turning off your tanks every time you get up
from your bench, and do a monthly maintenance list on all hazardous
things in your shop…invest in a fireproof can for oily rags, install
flashback arrestors and/or check valves, get a metal locker type
thingy for chemicals and alcohols, have a fire extinguisher and
baking soda handt, get some moist burn pads and keep em dry and
fresh. mainly get a brand new propane tank, or trade yours in for a
new one…and store outside your building if possible…your insurance
company will like you more!


#4
for an extra measure of safety you may want to install a monitor
no more than three feet above the floor if keeping the propane tank
indoors 

What kind of detector works for propane? Acetylene?

Thanks
Noel


#5
for an extra measure of safety you may want to install a monitor no
more than three feet above the floor if keeping the propane tank
indoors 

First, Don’t install it indoors, but have a competent installer
install it outside if possible, with a pipe to a shutoff valve where
you attach the hose or low pressure regulator as per applicable
codes. If you must install it inside there are a whole different set
of regulations to observe which will generally exceed the cost of an
outside installation. In either case follow the codes applicable
where you live, and if no city or state code exists, look to the NFPA
model codes

Second In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if the tank is inside or
outside, or weather you use Propane, Natural gas or “LPG” installing
a detector is cheap and good insurance. Remember when installing any
flammable gas detector that it should be installed in keeping with
the gas’s behavior, Propane is heavier than air, so you want to
install it near the floor, some other gases are lighter than air, so
you would want the detector up high for them. Follow the installation
instructions, and / or call the manufacturer if you have a question.

B: A propane detector (Most are also good for Natural gas too). An
acetylene detector is a different and much more expensive animal.
Here
are some links to give you an idea

http://tinyurl.com/y87pwn
http://tinyurl.com/y74acu

Where to find?

A large hardware store may stock them in the same department as
smoke detectors, or can order them.

B. If you are in a rural area a farm goods store (Agway or Blue Seal
or TSC)

C. A place that sells propane appliances, or a propane installer

D. A place that sells to the RV market (Those bus sized motor homes)

E. A place that sells to the marine trade (A ship Chandler)

D & E will probably charge more than the first 3 for the same
product

Hope this helps
Kay


#6

As an old boating enthusiast that uses propane in a sailboat there is
a coast guard approved storage box for propane. It is not cheap but
might solve the problem some are having with propane inside a
building. Basically it is a fiberglass box that is sealed and vented
outside so if there is a leak the gas naturally flows out. It has an
electronic rheostat that must be turned on before the gas will flow
out into the hose (this might be overkill) so you have two ways at
the box to turn the gas off. The tank valve and the rheostat. The
box is coast guard approved for boats so I do not see why it would
not work for businesses that need propane (as long as there is an
outside wall you can vent through) if you could get your local fire
marshal to at least consider the possibility.

Just a thought
Bill Wismar
www.metalbendersgallery.com


#7

I did return the tank for a new one and It is doing the exact same
thing! It releases gas into the regulator when the valve is in the
closed position when the regulator is only partially screwed into the
tank. Had I not used this torch for a year with the same kind of tank
already, I would think it just didn’t fit this type of tank. I don’t
know what to do!

Tracey


#8
I did return the tank for a new one and It is doing the exact same
thing! It releases gas into the regulator when the valve is in the
closed position when the regulator is only partially screwed into
the tank. Had I not used this torch for a year with the same kind
of tank already, I would think it just didn't fit this type of
tank. I don't know what to do! 

Getting a small burst of gas when screwing the regulator to the tank
may be from the valve/connector design. The connection required on
grill size tanks (up to 40lbs) has a shut off in the coupling in
addition to the tank valve. So when you are screw the regulator to
the tank the gas trapped between the valve on coupling is released
into the regulator showing some pressure on the regulator gauge.

Norman
HowlingStudios.com


#9

Since you have seemingly eliminated the tank as the problem…see if
you can borrow a known good regulator and try that. If it doesn’t
leak that would indicate that your present reg is damaged or
defective. Compare the mating surfaces of the two regs, maybe you’ll
see something correctable.


#10
I did return the tank for a new one and It is doing the exact same
thing! It releases gas into the regulator when the valve is in the
closed position when the regulator is only partially screwed into
the tank. Had I not used this torch for a year with the same kind of
tank already, I would think it just didn't fit this type of tank. I
don't know what to do! 

Tracey, I think you should take the tank and your torch in to a
local welding supply shop. Ask the gas expert there about your
concerns, and show him what you are doing. I think it is normal for a
bit of gas to come out as the connection seats itself, but you need
to be sure about this. Kind of like that little puff that comes out
of your car or bike tires when you connect the valve to fill them,
you know? If it is holding well when fully connected, and when not
connected, you may be okay. Check it out by showing it to an expert,
and you might be fine.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#11

Tracy.

If you had acetelyne regulator maybe, you need to go to welding
supply and let them change the fitting to fit the propane tank. Hope
this is the answer.

Renato L. Ronquillo CMBJ
wwwrlrdesigns.com


#12
As an old boating enthusiast that uses propane in a sailboat there
is a coast guard approved storage box for propane. It is not cheap
but might solve the problem some are having with propane inside a
building. 

My understanding from the fire dept., who inspect my store every
year tell me to remove the propane so if there was a fire, the tanks
will not be there to explode and kill fire firemen.

Richard Hart


#13
I did return the tank for a new one and It is doing the exact same
thing! It releases gas into the regulator when the valve is in the
closed position when the regulator is only partially screwed into
the tank. Had I not used this torch for a year with the same kind
of tank already, I would think it just didn't fit this type of
tank. I don't know what to do! 

Take your tank and hoses to a welding store and have them check
everything over. Something is wrong if I go simply by your
description, and you will feel better having a professional check it
over.

BBR - Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co


#14

Hi…I’m new here…and new to both torches and kilns. I had to
start off with borosilicate so that I could encase the synthetic
opals with it, so of course I needed propane and oxygen both. I
bought an oxygen concentrator which is supposed to produce 5
(liters?) per minute?

But to get back to the question, I was not going to reply since it
was my first time connecting a tank (the large BBQ kind) and also I
did not have the valve shut on the regulator since I thought that
"screwed in" was the off position…well anyway some gas did escape
while I was fastening the regulator to the tank (which nearly scared
the lights out of me because it made a loud hissing noise) but the
duration of the “event” was so brief that I figured it might be
normal when attaching to a new tank.

But I didn’t have the valve closed so most of the propane went
through the hose into the torch inside the house so of course I was
greeted to hideous rotten egg gas additive smell when I literally ran
into the kitchen to see how bad it was in there. The gas dissipated
pretty quickly since I had a window open wide but it was pretty tense
for a moment there with such a strong smell of gas in the house.

I’m hoping that next time, with the regulator valve closed when I
open the one on the tank that any escaping gas will be caught by the
regulator valve.

I am still using that same regulator and tank of propane…once I
figured out that the valve had been in the wrong position I was able
to get a controlled flow of gas with no leaking from the regulator or
the hose. I am relying on my sense of smell to detect any leaks…I
am very sensitive to that rotten egg odorant that they add to the gas
and can smell it in very small amounts.

I am having trouble though with regulating the balance of the
propane with the oxygen. When I first start working the flame is
bright and hot but then slowly it seems like the gas pressure goes
down and the flame is burning too cool. I can’t read the numbers on
the valve on the propane tank and couldn’t find a correct amount to
open the valve on the tank so I suspect I’m not putting enough out
from the tank and the regulator valve is trapping gas, so the flame
burns correctly until the pressure built up between the valves is
dissipated (??)

I am setting the regulator valve at 15 which is what it said to use
in the book. What I’m afraid of is building up too much pressure
inside the hose, which is inside the house and therefore a potential
source of problems.

I also don’t like it when I first light the torch and get that huge
fire-thrower flame from it. I wonder if I should continue lighting
it the way that I am now and then turn up the pressure from the tank
outside? That means leaving the torch unattended for a few seconds
but I can see the flame through the window.

All of which is tending to make me think that fusing soft glass in
the kiln might be a better hobby for me than nuking the boro glass
with the added oxygen. Even then I would still need a propane tank
for the soft glass, but I suppose it could be a smaller tank.

Now if I could just make a flickin’ marble instead of a jumbled mass
that looks like one of those giant brains in a sci-fi movie…

(sorry this was so long)


#15

Remember this thread from last month?

As I put the regulator on and started to tighten it the bottle
started to release gas between the tank and the regulator. This
seemed wrong to me because the tank valve was closed. I took off
the regulator, checked the valve and tightened it. When the
regulator was out of the valve there was no gas being released.

I think I figured it out. The new propane tank valves have a safety
mechanism that won’t allow gas to flow unless a regulator is
connected. Tracey’s tank valve WAS ALREADY IN THE OPEN POSITION, but
not venting any gas because of this feature. When she tried to
install the regulator, as it began to make contact with the safety
mechanism, it leaked gas until the regulator was fully seated. The
tank valve was open all the time! As a test, I took my propane tank
outside and opened it without a regulator on it - nothing happen (no
gas). I started to screw in the regulator into the valve and it
vented gas until it was seated.

Tracy, the tank valve is shut when it is turned fully CLOCKWISE -
open when is turned fully COUNTER CLOCKWISE (or as an instructor of
mine used to say, "lefty loosy, righty tighty)

Mitch Adams