In many places, it is permissible to use a SMALL 5 to 10 pound
propane tank indoors. These are often available from the same place
that distributes the BBQ tanks to the retail outlets, and supplies
propane to commercial and rural residential installations. Check
with your local city or county inspector of building codes about the
maximum sized of these tanks. A friend who was living in a rental
unit did this for a time.
Even though it cost me a bit, I had a plumber put in a black iron
pipe from the outside to the bench area specifically for propane. In
Memphis and Shelby County (Tennessee), the tank cannot be within a
certain distance of windows or foundation vents. Again, check with
your building code inspector. There is a hole drilled in the
foundation, and another in the floor. The pipe is only about 8-feet
long. If you are setting this up in a garage, you would likely be
able to drill a hole through the wall, and run the pipe straight
through it, with some arrangement to keep the pipe from moving
I have a regular BBQ tank outside connected by a hose to the pipe.
There is a “first stage” regulator on this tank set for a higher
pressure than your torch requires, about 15 to 20 pounds. Most
hardware stores won’t have this regulator. Even the local propane
tank distributing company didn’t know about (or admit they knew
about) such a regulator. Go to the company which supplies the
hardware store. They should have this regulator, and will likely
provide advice as well. The regulator isn’t terribly expensive. I
paid about $30 for mine. They are usually rated for semi-exposed or
exposed exterior use. As an extra protection, I keep a bucket upended
over mine. As propane is heavier than air, any vented gas flows
downward through the “top” of the bucket. This regulator and tank
are left on, just as if you were feeding a kitchen appliance or
heater with it.
On the inside I have a gas-rated ball valve to cut off gas flow into
the house. Attached to this is a regulator which would normally be
attached to the tank used as a “second stage” regulator. When I stop
working, I cut the ball valve off, and drain the hose, just as I
would if the torch was attached directly to a regulator and tank.
This regulator is set exactly like it would be if it was attached to
a tank for the use of your torch. I keep the oxygen tank chained to
the wall next to the pipe coming from the outside.
While this setup cost me a little - about $100-$150 over the cost of
the tank and regulator, it makes things a lot more convenient! It
also meets local building safety codes, which means it is acceptable
to insurance companies. Right now, I don’t have insurance, but the
next time I can afford it, I’ll be “legal”! When I decided to install
this, I spoke with a representative of the insurance company I’ll
likely use. As I am not using this as a “primary” source of income,
they classified this as a “hobby” installation. Depending on your
insurance company, you may need an additional rider. The ones I
talked to did not require it, as the installation is the same as for
a gas stove or heater.
I’m actually using this setup to feed two torches - One on my bench,
and one on my wife’s bench. One set of tanks. this has worked quite
well for us for several years. If I can be of any further help, you
are welcome to contact me off-list
BTW, propane is gas, just a different kind from “house gas”.