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Propane tanks rated for indoor use


#1

Are there small (5 gallon size) propane tanks that are rated for
indoor use available in the states?


#2

No, but one pound disposables are usually OK. Check your local laws.
Most localities have adopted the national standards but there is
still some variance. Fire Marshal here will allow up to 4 disposables
in a location.

Just pretend I went into all the negatives that have been posted so
often before, I’m lazy this morning.


#3
Are there small (5 gallon size) propane tanks that are rated for
indoor use available in the states? 

no! but some jurisdictions may allow a small 5 pound cylinder.

jesse


#4

Robyn

5 gallon size propane tanks should never be brought indoors. The
design of these tanks could allow the propane pressure relief valve
to open while the tank is in your studio and this could lead to some
very unpleasant consequences.

One pound disposable propane tanks are designed to be used indoors.
If you are using something like a Little Torch, the one pound tanks
can last a very long time, are safe and economical.

Regards
Milt


#5

Milt,

When researching fire codes in LA a few years ago, I spoke to the LA
Fire Dept. regarding using propane tanks indoors. As you said, the 5
ga. tanks are forbidden indoors, but those little 1 lb. camping
cylinders are perfectly fine in the view of the Fire Dept. So, I’m
using those small propane cylinders as the propane source in my
studio, where I’ve not experienced a single problem. They last quite
a while, even when connected to up to 4 torches. When they’re empty,
I take them home and refill them from my 5 ga. tank, with a refill
valve I bought online. It’s an easy and safe way to bring hot, clean
propane gas to your studio without the fear and danger.

Jay Whaley
whaleyworkshops.com


#6

I had a long talk with a propane guy, (installs the big tanks for
homes on down) about this. His explanation was that if the tank is
over full it has an ability to “dump” that extra into the surrounding
air. (Ie what Milt said.) He suggested to avoid this problem was to
not ever fill the tank up to the top. Then there is no need to worry.

hth
Carla
http://carlamfox.com


#7
He suggested to avoid this problem was to not ever fill the tank up
to the top. Then there is no need to worry. 

Except in case of fire then you’ve still got a bomb in your house.
Not to mention legal liability should it explode and injure/kill
someone or cause a neighbor’s house to burn down too. This propane
guy gave seriously bad advice. The dumping he mentions is caused by
excess pressure as the tank heats up…what do you think happens when
even an under filled tank gets hot in a house fire? The pressure will
build til kaboom.

Safety should always take into consideration extraordinary
circumstances. Because they do happen.


#8

Carla

The “propane guy” is somewhat right. If you don’t fill the tank full,
there is less chance of the relief valve opening, but it is difficult
to know how full your propane tank really is. Regardless of how full
you fill your tank, it is still a very bad idea to bring one indoors.
However, the 1 lb disposable tanks are safe indoors.

Regards
Milt


#9
but it is difficult to know how full your propane tank really is. 

You can get an idea though.

If I’m using a large tank, it frosts up where the propane is.

You can always rub some water on the side or your tank, and this
will give you an indication how full the tank is.

And for God sake don’t “just” open a tank to see if there is
anything in it.

Regards Charles


#10

Just a quick side note. I watched an episode of Myth Busters on the
Discovery Channel about a week ago where they attempted to blow up a
propane tank by simulating a house/garage fire. Turns out, the safety
valve on the tank purged the excess pressure that was built up due to
the heat of the fire creating something similar to a blow torch until
the tank was eventually empty, but they could not get the tank to
explode until they disabled the valve. And to think, these guys
actually get to call this kind of fun “work.”

Erich C. Shoemaker
www.ErichCDesigns.com


#11

Sigh, it’s not only about how safe you are. There is also your
neighbors and the fire department

It’s also about how safe the fire department is if they respond to a
fire at your location. It’s one of the reasons the fire department
maintains a database of what is going on at industrial and commercial
occupancies, and what ‘risks’ there are.

In a fire, a fireman might survive 1 or 2 1 pound tanks of propane
BLEVEing if he is standing near your house. He won’t survive a larger
tank. And even if you use one pound tanks, if a fire inspector finds
more than one full tank and one tank in use they will get huffy and
possibly issue you with a citation. Just remember citations are
public records and in larger cities, the insurance companies cull the
records and will ‘adjust’ your premium upwards (or cancel coverage)
if they see you are cited.

This is because when a Propane tank fails you get a phenomenon
called a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion). And before
you ask, no with acetylene tanks, there is a melt out plug in the
bottom that melts around 300 degrees and while you might get a strong
fire, you don’t get a BLEVE. Oxygen again when the rupture disk lets
go you will get the intensification of a fire, but no explosion. (For
those who watch programs like “Destroyed in seconds” tank failure at
an acetylene depot is a whole different ballgame, you don’t get those
kind of heat flux’s in a normal fire, and most of the acetylene
’rockets’ are caused by the tank being holed by debris from a
different tank exploding, thus creating an interesting pinwheel
effect.)

Only Propane is stored in a liquid state (at least that any of you
would be near (I say this because I am sure someone will email me and
say but NASA has lots of liquid gases and hospitals have a tank
outside of LOX)). This is why the code requires, larger tanks be
stored outside a dwelling. it’s also why some fire departments use a
penetrating T bar and a chain to rip garage doors off houses that are
heavily involved… they want to make sure some idiot has not stored
a gas BBQ in the garage.

Kay


#12
but it is difficult to know how full your propane tank really is. 

I bought a little magnetic plastic thingy at the hardware. You stick
it on the side of your propane tank and, by sensing the temperature
of the propane inside the tank, it shows you how full the tank is.
It is designed for the tanks used for barbecue grills but I don’t see
why it wouldn’t work on the little disposables too.

John
Indiana


#13
I bought a little magnetic plastic thingy at the hardware. You
stick it on the side of your propane tank and, by sensing the
temperature of the propane inside the tank, it shows you how full
the tank is. It is designed for the tanks used for barbecue grills
but I don't see why it wouldn't work on the little disposables too. 

Those things work on temperature, and it’s still only an indication.

Sometimes full tanks freeze up and stop working. You either wait or
put the lot in a tub of water, then you’re good to go again.

Having a propane tank that would not run my forge and was showing up
empty with a stick on gauge, I attached my Bernzomatic JTH-7 and the
torch ran for a further 2 weeks… on an “empty” tank :smiley:

Regards Charles