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Go Back   Lampwork Etc. > Library > Safety

Safety -- Make sure you are safe!

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  #1  
Old 2005-07-11, 5:59pm
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lunamoonshadow lunamoonshadow is offline
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Default Weird Propane (BBQ tank) question

Ok, so tonight I was torching...outside & it started to rain (figures!) & I of course tried to get under the porch overhang, failed & so shut down the tank--or tried to....my torch would NOT burn off the gas in the line--to the point I thought the tank valve was defective....I got a rubber glove (dish-type) & tried that for a better grip, still no luck...finally figured I'd just have to turn off the torch, drag the whole mess out into the pouring rain & disconnect it (which I was trying to avoid, as my desk is pressed particle board under the metal top--didn't really want it soaked!) & leave the tank out there to drain itself empty far far far away from the house!--but called my sister while the torch was still lit (no sparks) to whine about the defective valve (since it's a brand new tank, only used for one previous torch session, i'm the first owner, etc & I bought it from her store!)....so we're chatting for about 20 minutes & suddenly "pop", the torch goes OUT....
how much propane is IN a 5' bulk hose anyway??? Last time I torched it seems it took less than 5 minutes for the hoses to clear--this time I had "full flame" for over 10 minutes & then "dwindling" flame for easily another 5-10 minutes before the torch went out...
Could it be because it was in the mid/high 80's today & the tank was hit by some sun? or do I really need to return it for a different tank?
I'm NOT looking for opinions on propane vs. mapp, OR the hazards of bulk hoses--I'm in the backyard--I just want to know if the foolish TANK is defective!
~~Lyn
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new purple cricket @ home! minicc @ playing with fire in rockland! Sue & Nikki fighting over who gets to anneal the wonkies
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  #2  
Old 2005-07-11, 7:37pm
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Dale M. Dale M. is offline
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It could be one of those one time things that just happen. I would try tank again. If it does not happen again everything is cool. Worst case is you may have to wait for all the gas to burn off. The fact it actually did go out says to me, its not a defective tank valve. Possible a lot of liquid condensed in hose and due to weather conditions it just took a lot of time to vaporize and burn off.

WHAT EVER YOU DO. DO NOT TRY TO DISCONNECT TORCH/HOSE WHILE TORCH IS BURNING. That is a recipe for a nasty disaster. A release of fuel gas near the open flame will definitely be a experience you don't want.

Dale
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  #3  
Old 2005-07-11, 9:30pm
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Thanks for the sound advice, Dale.
I've had it happen with my bulk tank, a couple times, where it just seemed to take forever to drain, and of course I had the natural reaction - I PANICKED!!! I'd been using this tank maybe 2 weeks, and this is the first time it happened. I don't know if I had the loop of the hose too far below the level of the tank and the liquid accumulated? Just be calm, and don't leave it unattended. All will be good. (I don't know reasons as well, just that it happens, and panicking is the worst thing you can do about it.)
Hugs, and I will have Lynda-beads sometime. You have enough of mine. Bwahahaaaa
Nikki
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  #4  
Old 2005-07-12, 4:46am
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MikeAurelius MikeAurelius is offline
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You don't mention which torch you are using, but in my opinion, any more than a couple of minutes, something, somewhere, is goofed up.

I've got better than 25' of 1/2" copper, plus 25 feet of 3/8" T grade rubber hose, at least 50 feet, pressurized to 7 PSI. My personal torch (a Barracuda), takes less than a minute to burn off the remaining fuel in the line when the valves are closed.

If you have a hot head, I can't imagine that it would take more than a minute to burn off the fuel - remember it is high pressure - and it will burn fast.

It almost, and I repeat almost, sounds like a partially frozen valve - you think you've got it closed, but there is some frozen propane in the valve stem, which is allowing some propane to flow past the valve. It doesn't take much of an opening, the spud hole itself is extremely tiny, something like 0.002", so having that kind of gap in the valve, at full tank pressure will continue to release propane until the gap closes and the valve is fully sealed.

I agree with Dale that as long as it doesn't happen again, you should be ok - once is happenstance, twice is circumstance, three times is a habit. Once it hits 3 times, take the tank back to the dealer and tell him what's happening and that you think the valve may be faulty.
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  #5  
Old 2005-07-13, 9:53pm
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Yeah, it's a hothead running bulk propane--first time out took a few minutes--couple stringers worth of time to burn out the hoses--this time was just loooong & weird!
I torch in the driveway though, so I'm not worried about blowing up the house
Oh, and I DEFINITELY would have extinguished the torch BEFORE I disconnected it if it had turned out I needed to drain out the tank! (I work in my sister's hardware store part-time, I *am* smart enough to know not to disconnect an open tank from a lit torch, lol!)
Thanks for the valve-construction/safety answers guys~~and thanks for letting me know it's happened to YOU too Nikki--yes, at some point (when the ends aren't sharp?) you WILL get Lynda beads ...but I don't think I really DO have "enough" Nikki beads yet--you keep making NEW critters I just gotta bid on!
~~Lyn
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  #6  
Old 2005-07-16, 8:57pm
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Why do you bleed the gas line?

- Jim
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  #7  
Old 2005-07-16, 9:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbjvg
Why do you bleed the gas line?

- Jim
Because it is a rubber hose, and one needs to blead the gass off line when they wish to disconnect it from tank.

Dale
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  #8  
Old 2005-07-17, 11:07am
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Generally, we bleed the hose to remove all the gas in the line, especially if you don't want pressurized propane gas staying in the line during storage.

One of the things that the local fire inspector asked me to do (not a formal request, mind you) was to be sure to "depressurize" the fuel gas line at the end of the day, or essentially, turn off the gas at the fuel tank/regulator, and burn off the remaining pressurized gas.

This is considered a safety issue - if there was a fire in the building, the thinner copper pipe would break down at some point and there would be an additional point source of fuel (albeit small), which could lead to additional fire.
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