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Regulators and a propane gas line


#1

Hi, I am new to Ganoksin and to jewelry-making as a whole, so please
pardon me if my ignorance shows in this posting. My primary
questions here have to do with regulators and getting a propane gas
line installed. I’ve done many searches in the archives regarding the
safety of propane vs. other gases. I’ve taken to heart the
oft-repeated admonitions to keep the tank outdoors. My gas supplier
agrees – and who wants to tempt fate ;-). So, I’ve been keeping my
tanks (both oxy and propane) outside. But I’ve had a few
reservations, and I’m hoping someone can help me. First, I’ve been
uncomfortable leaving the regulators on the tanks while they’re
outdoors. This is mostly because they’re expensive and I don’t really
know how much they can take. However, this means I have to put them
on and take them off every day; and that’s a pain. Do I need to be
concerned? Can the regulators stay on the tanks outdoors, in all
weather (rain, snow, sub-zero)? (I would imagine I’d need some sort
of shelter to keep ice and hail from falling on them.) Also, I don’t
have an ideal setup for the connection. I work in my basement, and
have been hanging the torch hoses out a window to connect to the
tanks. I can’t see the regulators, so I get the pressure adjusted
once at the beginning. Is there ever any reason to adjust at the
regulator while you’re using your torch or over the course of your
work day? Here’s another problem: having an open window in the studio
is fine for the summer, but I have to find a better solution for the
upcoming, soon to be very cold winter months. I did find a recent
posting that said a licensed plumber could install a gas line. That
seems like the perfect solution – but again, I have questions: 1.
When you have a gas line installed, will the regulator then go on
the line? Is the tank just kept open then, feeding into the line, and
the line opens and shuts off the gas flow? 2. This setup would enable
me to bring the oxygen tank indoors, correct, and keep only the
propane tank outside? This would, obviously, take care of my concerns
about regulators outside, since they would no longer have to be
outside. Thanks in advance for your help! Jacqueline Kleinschmidt 1516
W. Hughitt Street Iron Mountain, MI 49801 Phone: 906.776.0958 Fax:
906.776.1978 www.fernlight.com


#2
Can the regulators stay on the tanks outdoors, in all weather
(rain, snow, sub-zero)? (I would imagine I'd need some sort of
shelter to keep ice and hail from falling on them.) 

Propane (LP) when used for a furnace or for cooking comes with a
regulator that is designed to stay outside. That regulator drops the
tank pressure down to a lower intermediate pressure. Finally there is
a regulator built in to the gas valve serving the furnace etc. I
don’t see why that intermediate pressure wouldn’t be sufficient to
run your torch regulator. Copper tubing is usually run outside the
house and many times black iron gas pipe is used inside. Since you
are in a basement I would recommend installing an electric shut off
valve outside that fails closed. Put it in a sheltered area with
ventilation out the bottom. Then you can use a wall switch to shut
down the line into the house when not in use. It could even be
interlocked with the lights so that it would be off whenever the
lights were. The reasons behind these aRe: LP is heavier that air and
sinks in still air. This provides an extra degree of safety by
shutting off the gas outside if a leak occurs in the basement. Your
oxygen can be kept inside “chained” up and never, ever get anything
with oil where it contacts the oxygen. Your local licensed furnace
man or better yet Propane supplier recommended heating contractor
should be able to do the work for you and be familiar with this kind
of setup. This is simpler than many commercial piping setups for
furnaces, boilers, ovens etc.

Dan Wellman HVAC Tech Speedway IN Dan.wellman@att.net


#3

Jacqueline, I suggest you talk with the supplier of fuel gas and ask
them about the best location of regulators.

My local supplier is Wonderful and is always willing to explain
answers to any question I have. When I began working with jewelry
they gave me hours of free time. They are, after all, the real
experts in fuel gas and in no way want to lead us wrong! I would best
describe the good as a free class in safety and operation
of tanks and regulators. Very important stuff, and not taught in my
local (and expensive) fine arts college. But that is another
story,

Good luck with your studio!
Frif


#4
 This setup would enable me to bring the oxygen tank indoors,
correct, and keep only the propane tank outside? 

Yes, precisely. I have a bulk propane tank in our yard, and a copper
line comes in to the studio. It travels along the baseboard and up
the wall to a spot right next to my bench, where the regulator is
located. All this is clamped to the wall with ordinary fasteners from
the hardware store. My oxygen tank stands nearby. I often change the
pressure on both regulators, when I change tips on my Little Torch. I
have #4, #7, and rosebud multiple orifice tips. Number four is the
one I use most of the time, and #7 is for larger bracelets, medium
sized annealing, etc. I rarely use the rosebud. It would heat a large
piece. I got it for casting, but now use a larger torch. I have been
very satisfied with this set-up.

– M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler
www.craftswomen.com


#5

When I had a setup like that in my home (previous life), I just ran
an extra line from the household service. Had one of the large tanks
outside with lines going to a cook stove and spa heater. Had the
company tee another line into my shop, ran my torch off that, no more
regulators at the torch end. It was simply the line pressure from
the outdoor tank, and it was more than adequate. Jim