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Safety -- Make sure you are safe!

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  #1  
Old 2015-02-28, 10:02am
Kimagine Kimagine is offline
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Default Using a partially-filled propane tank?

Hello!

I'm setting up a lampworking station in my back bedroom studio, and I have spent the last month or so reading all the various safety threads regarding propane. Suffice it to say, there will be NO 20 gallon tank in my studio.

For reference, I have a Minor torch, and a NewLife oxycon.

I got really excited the other night when I read threads about using the 1-pound bottles with an adapter, but it made me think: some threads mentioned combining the two "allowed" bottles together, and I wondered if it would be okay to use the 5-gallon/4.5 gallon tank that I have and just put two gallons in it? This would avoid the adapters and such, and the torch package I bought came with a regulator.

Opinions? I'm okay with just using a one-pounder if necessary, but using the larger tank - even if I just put the two gallons in it - would be more convenient. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 2015-02-28, 10:45am
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AvenueBeads AvenueBeads is offline
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I have no idea what this "two allowed bottles" is that you speak of, but if you have a 5 gallon propane tank why only put half the propane in it?

It sounds like you are attempting to keep the propane tank inside the house. Which is not a good idea.

Oh, and welcome to your new addiction!
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  #3  
Old 2015-02-28, 11:09am
ESC ESC is offline
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I think the theory is that if you 'only' have 1-1# bottle, or 2, in the house, when/if they blow up, they can't cause as much damage as a 20# tank in the house. I wouldn't keep any of them in the house. The 1# in to use and then back out into the cold. As far as just putting 2 1/2# pounds in the 20# tank, you still need to store it outside. I keep it sitting outside, run the hose out under the rubber door gasket to my tank with a quick connect. When done, disconnect and store the hose coiled by my torch.
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  #4  
Old 2015-02-28, 12:29pm
Kimagine Kimagine is offline
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People keep the 1 pounders in all the time - for plumbing repairs and such. I'm not "trying" to do anything - I just thought I'd ask since I have a perfectly good 4.5 pound tank, which doesn't need an adapter and does NOT have to be filled all the way.

Thank you for the replies!

Last edited by Kimagine; 2015-02-28 at 12:52pm.
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  #5  
Old 2015-02-28, 10:22pm
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jhamilton117 jhamilton117 is offline
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Jist use the bbq tank
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  #6  
Old 2015-03-01, 1:45am
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I am pretty sure Dale or one of our safety experts can explain in detail why a one pound can is permissible under the fire codes regulations better than I can but I will give it a shot.

Propane is a liquid when it is stored in any container we might normally get our hands on.
This liquid will expand into a gas that increases in volume to something like 3000 times the space it occupies when in a liquid state.
So even a little one pound bottle of the stuff has enough power to take out a whole house and maybe knock down the one next door too.

A twenty pound tank used for grilling has about 16 pounds of liquid in it and when it goes boom it can take out a building the size of half a city block. That would include some five or six fire trucks parked out side trying to fight a fire before it goes off.

I think they "allow" us to have one or two one pound bottles in our houses because not allowing it would make us hide them inside anyway and that would lead to us hiding a stash of them rather than just one or two.

Ok so I think I have established that the stuff is extremely dangerous even in small quantities.

The problem with larger bottles with only a little in them is
(1) it is very hard to get them refilled in "just a pound or two" increments and
(2) anyone who watches what you are doing is going to assume that it is a full bottle and they will go home and use a full bottle and
(3) it is not the size of the bottle that is the inherent problem.

The problem is the age old "what if it leaks" question.

If it leaks you then have at best twice as much gas to ignite and I think that twice as much gas gives you four times as much "boom" or more. Two fire crackers at once cause a lot more damage than one fire cracker set off in the same place twice.

So to answer your question directly; Please use the one pound bottles in the house until you get plumbing installed to use the bar-b-que tanks with them outside.


Your homeowner insurance will not cover the damages if you have an accident with a bar-b-que tank in your house and your neighbor will be able to sue you as well.

We know its a pain in the butt. But the costs out weigh the benefits of the convenience.

Heck get a four of the one pound bottles and refill them from the bar-b-que tank out side and then bring them in two at a time and swap them out as you need to.

Or skip the bottles altogether and hook up a natural gas line instead.

Unlike propane, which is heavier that air and will pool in the crawlspace and basement and wait for a spark to go boom, natural gas is lighter than air and will go up and out of the house if it can. It will still go boom if it doesn't get out but it won't pool and wait for an ignition.
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  #7  
Old 2015-03-01, 8:06am
Kimagine Kimagine is offline
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Thank you for your answer! I hadn't really considered the "people will assume it's full" aspect.

I'm perfectly fine using a one pound bottle. I've read around the boards that people get around 4 hours or so, and that's an appropriate amount for a torching session.

I don't know that I will ever get plumbing done, but who knows? I do have natural gas in the house, but I think that will be a long time down the road.

Thanks again!
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  #8  
Old 2015-03-01, 8:11am
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My understanding is that it needs to be outside because the liquid can collect under the can. That's what can cause an explosion. I got a really long hose & ran it out my garage door. I use a bbq tank & it sits outside my garage on the driveway.
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  #9  
Old 2015-03-03, 5:37am
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1 pound bottles are legal to have inside.....larger are not, so a 5 pound bottle of propane is illegal and unsafe to have inside.....how many times must the same information be covered over and over and over and over and.....????
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  #10  
Old 2015-03-03, 8:31am
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So much misinformation.
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  #11  
Old 2015-03-03, 9:48am
nevadaglass nevadaglass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryC View Post
So much misinformation.
Yes - the laws vary from state to state. This debate has been going on for over 7 years on LE. I have seen so many people here in everyone's face about what you can and can't do in a studio, throwing it out there as a legal safety "concern" and when that fails as an ethics/moral safety issue, trying to apply the laws for their state to everyone else regardless of where they live. It's amusing at best.

Here in Nevada - most of what's been posted in the past 7 years on these forums as "law" is totally wrong....(ESPECIALLY from a what's legal perspective). I checked into those regulations for Nevada by having an inspection and also had the propane company come to the studio to check for compliance issues and provide recommendations on running propane lines outside - I was told I didn't need to make any changes as the studio is in compliance with the laws for Nevada. End of debate.

Even so, there are those that are going to lead you to believe that you are intentionally trying to kill yourself and everyone else on the block if you don't setup a certain "way" and that you are actually breaking the law.

Having said that - I recognize that there is a huge difference between a studio with concrete floors, as a separate building , detached from a house, and a "back" bedroom inside a home that may have wood floors, or worse - carpet.

Honestly, your best option would be to contact your propane/gas company and/or your local fire marshall as they will know the laws and look after your safety better than anyone on a forum.....

KIMAGINE - Best of luck and much success to you!

Last edited by nevadaglass; 2015-03-03 at 1:54pm.
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  #12  
Old 2015-03-03, 6:54pm
Kimagine Kimagine is offline
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Nevadaglass, thank you for the reply! I have to admit, I was very anxious about posting my question (I've put it off for weeks!) because I was afraid of getting those "in your face" kind of answers.

I'm trying to be as safe as possible. I have proper ventilation, a completely metal work surface, and protection for my floor, myself and my eyes!

Now I'm just trying to be safe with the torch.

The boards are full of so many different answers, and I get to the point where I'm just afraid to hook anything up.

But I want to learn this lovely artform! So I will get my 1 lb canister and adapter, take several deep breaths, and go for it.

Last edited by Kimagine; 2015-03-03 at 6:58pm.
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  #13  
Old 2015-03-04, 8:14am
nevadaglass nevadaglass is offline
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best of luck to you - unfortunately for every good answer you get on the forums - you will get 30 answers that are going to tell you that you are an idiot - one of the biggest reasons a lot of good people don't participate and have left forums in general - In the entitlement age of today, most think it's their God given right to get in your face about stuff they don't even have a clue about themselves. - You have to sort of learn what's a good answer and then pretty much ignore all the rest. /wink

Last edited by nevadaglass; 2015-03-04 at 8:18am.
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  #14  
Old 2015-03-04, 8:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevadaglass View Post
best of luck to you - unfortunately for every good answer you get on the forums - you will get 30 answers that are going to tell you that you are an idiot - one of the biggest reasons a lot of good people don't participate and have left forums in general - In the entitlement age of today, most think it's their God given right to get in your face about stuff they don't even have a clue about themselves. - You have to sort of learn what's a good answer and then pretty much ignore all the rest. /wink

This^^ !
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Old 2015-03-07, 12:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nevadaglass View Post
best of luck to you - unfortunately for every good answer you get on the forums - you will get 30 answers that are going to tell you that you are an idiot - one of the biggest reasons a lot of good people don't participate and have left forums in general - In the entitlement age of today, most think it's their God given right to get in your face about stuff they don't even have a clue about themselves. - You have to sort of learn what's a good answer and then pretty much ignore all the rest. /wink

Thank you ...
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