Storage of gas tanks

Greetings Everyone!

This is my first post and. should be educational as I have never
belonged to a forum that operates in this manner. Anyways…

I am contemplating the purchase of a torch. I am new to
metalsmithing and am researching my options. I will probably go with
a Meco Midget but am also contemplating a German made torch called
the Precision LP Gas Torch which uses no oxygen or compressed air
but only propane.

All of that aside… I am interested to know how Jewelers, who have
a shop at home, deal with storage of pressurized tanks, whether it
be propane, oxygen, acetylene… Are your insurance companies aware
that the tanks are in your home? Aren’t there regulations against
such things?

Thanks for your time in advance!..and any input about torches would
be helpful.



I just bought my torch as propane was not able to fullfill my
casting melt needs. The propane I store spare tanks the equivalant of
a room away from where I actual do the work. I have a warehouse space
so I am lucky in that I can make areas to suit my needs.

I just bought a Presto-lite air acetylene torch as acetylene I was
informed is safer to use than propane.

Silver & Cameo Heritage Jewelry

Acethylen safety versus LP Gas safety;

Acethylen is used at a lower pressure but LP Gas you will never cause
a flashback (flame travelling backwards in the hose and could go into
the gas cylinder). That’s why you always need to use a flashback
arrestor for Acethylen. It is also poisonous for the brain whereas LP
Gas is non-toxic. Additional on safety using LP Gas: LP
gas is described as having a low toxicity & low reactivity. There is
an odour added to LP gas to be able to detect leaks quicker. As it is
heavier than air, it sinks to the ground. If you had a gas leak,
remember to air the room well, preferably from two spots e.g. window
and door. Gas Suppliers offer Material Safety Data Sheets and should
be able to supply legislation requirements. To test for escaping gas
very soapy water with dishwashing liquid can be prepared and applied
around every connection with an old toothbrush. Then watch for
bubbles to develop. This can happen, if the connection nuts are not
tightened properly with a spanner. Always close the gas bottle valve
in the evening, as the small valves in the torch are more sensitive
than the bottle valve. They would react like a water tap, which can
start to drip, if they are constantly forced too tightly. Please also
check for Gas Cylinder Safety:

Martin & Dorte Planert

After I got my acetylene-only torch, I called my insurance company
to see if I needed additional coverage. My workshop is in my garage,
right at one of the bay doors. The door is always open when the tank
is engergized; I close the valve and release the line pressure every
afternoon when I’m through working. The tank is chained to the wall.
I have a fire extinguisher nearby, and another in the kitchen.

With that setup, the insurance company said there was no rate
increase, and it didn’t need a policy change or underwriter. I’m not
sure what circumstance would have generated a policy upgrade,
though. They were most concerned with it being a hobby (right now),
not a business.

Acethylen is used at a lower pressure but LP Gas you will never
cause a flashback (flame travelling backwards in the hose and could
go into the gas cylinder). 

ZWhile you are less likely to have a flashback with LP or propane it
can happen. You must always use a flashback arrestor on any oxygen /
fuel gas torch or compressed air / fuel gas torch. On naturally
aspirated torches like a prest-o-lite this may be overkill but it
can’t hurt and a flashback can ruin your whole day.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts



If you would have asked them, I bet they would have said it was the
worry of having customers on site, increases the risk to them and you
should someone get hurt.

At least, that was my insurance guys worry.


Kelley - I also contacted my insurance company since I keep my
acetylene tank on the sun porch which is connected to the rest of the
house by sliding glass doors that are always open. Their info was the
same - no problem. I even went so far as to ask them “Would I be able
to file a claim if I blow up my tank and burn half the house down”,
and their response was “Of course, this is no different than if you
had a grease fire in the kitchen and burned down half the house with
that. It is simply an accident and that’s why you have insurance.”

Incidentally I’ve gotten the same story from about 4 different
insurance companies in 3 different states where I’ve lived. I’ve
always had my tank inside and never had a problem. That being said,
I always chain my tank to the wall so it can’t tip over and I am
rigorous in my established routine to shut down the tank, bleed the
hose and back off the valve. In some 19 years of doing this, I’ve
never had a problem - not to say that I couldn’t still have one
(hope not). The outside wall of the sun porch has 18 feet of windows
which I open while I solder, along with a fan to suck the fumes away
and out the window. As a side note, I might add, I’m not soldering 8
hours a day and if I were I might possibly want a different
arrangement for ventilation. But I’m only a hobbyist so I don’t work
at silversmithing 24/7.