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Old 05-11-2014, 08:32 AM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Question Welding tanks gone really really wrong.

Always keep your welding bottles chained to the wall and hopefully where a fire canít get to them. Check out what can happen when things go really wrong http://ihmusedparts.com/highway-hazmat-hell/ for your education / amusement. Anyone know anything about keeping bottles outside the building and using pipe to run gas inside the shop ? Unfortunately , my shop is in a wood building. Thanks ~ John Buchtenkirch
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:52 AM
weldtoride weldtoride is offline
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My son had sent me that video a while back, totally creeped me out. Amazing also, the incredibly stupid cell-photographers.

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Anyone know anything about keeping bottles outside the building and using pipe to run gas inside the shop ?
Back in 1975, I built an O/A manifold system for my high school welding shop using black pipe. Gas pipe, which is galvanized outside only, would have worked also, but you don't want regular galvanized pipe as the zinc can flake off. The local welding supply had a guy from the home office who helped me through the entire process. The fuel tanks were outside, I had a hydraulic flashback arrestor for acetylene right inside the wall where the fuel came in, and check valves at each regulator, both fuel and OX.

After trial assembly, and before ever attaching ANY tanks, ALL PIPE AND FITTINGS WERE SENT OUT TO BE PICKLED, EVERY PIECE, to remove traces of oil from manufacturing, as well as traces of soap which can contain oils.

I cannot emphasize the above statement enough.

I would start with my local WS by asking them for a tech advisor from the home office.
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Last edited by weldtoride; 05-13-2014 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:34 AM
Lister1
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Once upon a time, while acetilene was created by dipping carbide into water, outside the workshop was a small concrete room where the equipment was located. The roof was light and weak. Just enough to protect from the rain, but the pressure of possible explosions could easily penetrate it.
With the dissapearance of these equipment, the concrete rooms also dissapeared. With todays bottles nobody uses these small concrete rooms.

Last edited by Lister1; 05-11-2014 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:49 PM
Doug M Doug M is offline
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Cleaning the fittings and pipe is not a fuel gas issue though both are important, more an Oxygen under pressure issue. A local Dentist and his plumber were never found after the plumber connected the oxygen to oil covered pipe fittings.

The remote tanks thing may be a good idea it is not a do it yourself kind of thing. I won't use a used welding hose, I've seen some of those in storage with "whatever" covering them and the ends exposed.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:23 PM
SCOTTRODS SCOTTRODS is offline
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A year or so back, a welding supply place near Downtown Dallas, had a fire and Tanks were exploding and Launching onto the freeway nearby. Nothing funny about that Stuff.

I've seen an Oxygen "rocket" bottle launched through a Long Hallway and through a couple of Hadite brick walls and out into a parking lot Dropped in an elevator and the valve broke off when it fell into the back wall. It basically just shot out of the elevator and down a long hallway)... no fire, but every bit as dangerous as a projectile of that size.

At our place, we have a rack away from the rest of everything with chains to hold all bottles in place.

I rather like the concrete room thing better.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:07 PM
SWT Racing SWT Racing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Buchtenkirch View Post
Always keep your welding bottles chained to the wall and hopefully where a fire canít get to them. Check out what can happen when things go really wrong http://ihmusedparts.com/highway-hazmat-hell/ for your education / amusement. Anyone know anything about keeping bottles outside the building and using pipe to run gas inside the shop ? Unfortunately , my shop is in a wood building. Thanks ~ John Buchtenkirch
I have similar concerns as you, John. I would like to have an O/A rig, but my shop is my attached 3-car garage. Personally, I would rather have the bottle on a sturdy cart or clamped/strapped to the wall. In the meantime, I just use MAPP gas for annealing.

As others have mentioned, the problem with Oxygen is oil in the line. The problem with Acetylene is flashback. Never open the fuel bottle more than 1/4-1/2 turn, so if you hear the hissing sound of flashback you can turn off the bottle quickly. . .hard to do if the main tank is outside.

The key is just to be careful with ALL pressurized cylinders. Shut them off when not in use, keep oil/hydrocarbons away from the fittings, and keep them secured so they cannot fall. Even an inert gas bottle, like Argon, can become a projectile if the valve gets knocked off. Remember, the valve fitting on the end of a cylinder is only swaged on, so treat it with care.
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:31 AM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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WHAT IíM REALLY AFRAID OF.
A friend of mine owned a body shop about 8 miles South of my location. There was a beautiful old brick warehouse 120 feet long by 60 feet alongside his shop. We would always speculate what a beautiful body shop it could be made into. I pulled up one day and the warehouse was completely gutted, nothing left but the four nearly 2 foot thick masonry walls. My friend told me the fire department got to the fire early enough to save the building but then the propane bottle on the fork lift exploded and they backed off over a hundred feet and watched the building burn.

Iím considering making a garden tool looking storage shed out of 1/8Ē plate and storing all my tanks in that. Iíd screw wood moldings on the outside to complete the deception of it being a Home Depot type tool shed. Iíd bolt the roof on with 4 aluminum or plastic bolts so the roof would blow off just in case there was an explosion. The shed would be about 6 feet from the shop with a large pipe running between for the various gas lines to run thru. Itís only an idea for now so any thoughts both pro or con are appreciated as always .

My final question is what if anything keeps fire extinguishers from exploding and therefore causing the fire men to back away from a burning building ??? I donít want to see any volunteer firemen die but the idea of losing my shop and where I live is pretty scary at this point , Iím too old to start completely over. ~ John Buchtenkirch
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:58 PM
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Marty Comstock Marty Comstock is offline
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Overkill, man. follow normal OSHA safety standards, and you are only going a little over the top.

I think you are over thinking things, which can lead to other dangers you are not yet aware of.


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Old 06-02-2014, 08:08 PM
weldtoride weldtoride is offline
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Much to be said about storing unused fuel tanks outside, very simple to do. However, there is a lot of work to plumb it correctly to inside to the building. And as Marty says, if it isn't done correctly you may have created a new hazard...

I would minimally include a water flashback arrestor inside, along with an inside shut off also. You cannot run outside quickly to give your acetylene tank valve the quarter or half twist to close it in an emergency. I had an acetylene regulator diaphragm fail suddenly at home several years ago. Thankfully I was immediately aware and that quick half twist kept the drama to a minimum. Inside shut offs also necessary for a burning hose, or a burn back. Again, your welding supplier can put you in touch with the people who design these systems.

Tanks do have some safety devices built-in. Non-fuel, high pressure tanks like Oxygen, MIG, and TIG, etc. have a pressure relief built into the valve. In a fire, with the obvious exception of oxygen tanks, I would think they would act as inhibitors once the relief pops off, due to heat expansion causing pressure rise in the tank. Obviously oxygen tanks are accelerants once they pop off.

Acetylene tanks have fusible plugs that are designed to melt and allow gas to escape in a stream (theoretically) instead of building to one really big bang.

A compromise might be to switch to smaller O/A tanks, keep all but the two you are using outside in the bunker. Or get some large diameter steel wheels and wheel your kit after use out to the bunker.
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Last edited by weldtoride; 06-02-2014 at 08:27 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 06-03-2014, 02:11 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Comstock View Post
Overkill, man. follow normal OSHA safety standards, and you are only going a little over the top.

I think you are over thinking things, which can lead to other dangers you are not yet aware of.


Marty
Thanks Marty, OSHA (occupational safety & health administration) is more aimed at saving employees from hazards. Iím more concerned with saving my large wood shop and living quarters (upstairs, second floor) from what happened in the first paragraph of my post #7. Just about everything I own is in that 70í by 50í wood building plus I live upstairs. Hey, I know itís not fancy but itís all paid for so at this point in my life Iíll take it. In hindsight (which is always 20 - 20) I shouldnít have invested so much time & money into a wood building but thatís water under the bridge at this point. ~ John Buchtenkirch
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