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Safe Propane Distance


John Martin
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Would this be a safe propane setup if I were to weld like 1/16" plate to the bottom to protect the tank from any hot pieces of steel getting to it?? Like one in the front, and the sides, but the back open??

 

http://fredlyfx.com/others/Dave%20Gifford%20finished2.jpg

 

I'm looking to make my setup like that, compact, and takes up less room, exactly what I need.

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For transport or storage, I'd think that the set up that you have is allright but I like to have the tank about 10' away from the burner. I also wouldn't recommend storing a 20lb tank of propane inside an inclosed area due to the possibility of an explosion from a leak. There is a reason that those tanks are store outside at the store. There was a video of a news broadcast a few months ago of an incident caught on a security camera involving a propane leak into the open cargo box of a pickup. Just the gas that collected in the cargo box was enough to throw a man 20 feet when static electricity touched it off. That ignited the gas where it was leaking from the valve which burned through the bed of the truck and ignited the gas tank which caused a fire that exploded the tank which caused shelves to fall over in the warehouse. Granted it was a 100lb tank that exploded, but that was outside the building.

 

Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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I second what Doug said - Distance is better than any kind of cover/container that could possably contain it.

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.

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keep your tank well out in the open in use to allow for any potential gas escape to disperse. I don't think distance is a big problem but after any long period of inactivity (i.e. not using the forge for a month or so) i test all the joints before firing up the forge.

 

This is done by closing the needle valve on the forge and opening up all the other valves (I have an extra regulator and a safety device as well as the main tap on the tank) all joints are then coated in a gas leak detector (a spray that has a slightly soapy consistency and will bubble in the presence of a gas leak)

"When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of Creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open and love steps forth to heal everything in sight."  Michael Bridge

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However you end up going about locating your tanks, please do not overlook the weak link in this chain - the propane line. Invest in some copper plumbing for the gas or an armored cable. A hot piece of metal, dropped onto your tank is likely to just make noise. The same piece of hot metal, dropped on a rubber propane line could be a catastrophy.

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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  • 3 weeks later...

That looks WAY safer than my setup. :(

I have cart with a tank on the bottom and a 3' rubber hose going right up to the 1" burner. The forge itself hovers about 10" above the propane tank. I do have the hose routed around the back of the forge to keep it out of the way of hot metal. I run it inside with the shop doors open. Doubles as a heater :| I used to wheel it outside the doors because I thought it would be safer, but the wind outside messes with the venturi burner and sometimes causes flameouts that end up exploding into the shop anyway.

 

I think its a really good idea to share shop setups for safety purposes. Thanks for bringing this up!

I haven't noticed any burns in my rubber lines yet. But I do check them.

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Bruce,

 

Do you have a source for armoured propane line? I've been trying to find braided steel line and have come up short. -Art

 

However you end up going about locating your tanks, please do not overlook the weak link in this chain - the propane line. Invest in some copper plumbing for the gas or an armored cable. A hot piece of metal, dropped onto your tank is likely to just make noise. The same piece of hot metal, dropped on a rubber propane line could be a catastrophy.

 

~Bruce~

"My sword and my shield are at your command"

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That cart setup is not only functional and compact but is also very safe. Distance from the forge is not as distance from a direct heat sourse ie in front of the forge. With a cart setup like that there are at least 1 or 2 shelvs between the forge and the tank. The tanks are very tough although not bullet proof. The guy that roasted his truck was a moron running around with a loose tank rolling around in the back. As stated above, use an armored line or copper. HD has a gas hose that is flexible and pretty tough. Its for hooking up a gas water heater or stove. The 4 foot line is about $15 and its hi vis yellow.

There are several hundred thousand gas grills out there with the tank right under the grill and every year a few go Thermal. I have seen several do it. Usually from a grease fire in the bottom, but sometimes just a bad design.

Use the armored line and some common sence in the setup and it will be fine.

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Do you have a source for armoured propane line? I've been trying to find braided steel line and have come up short. -Art

You should be able to find a company locally that manufactures custom hoses, look for businesses that provide parts for hydraulic and pneumatic machinery as well as aftermarket automotive parts. Hardware stores sell flexible lines to connect the house plumbing to gas appliances. The lines are not the braided cable type though, they are crimped every half inch or so allowing the line to bend more readily. Similar, hollow, cables are available in the electrical section for the purpose of protecting wires, you could put a rubber gas line in one of them. Here is the first one I found doing a Google search. Look under the "Metal" button, you probably want the SB3 hose.

Hose Craft USA

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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Bruce,

 

Do you have a source for armoured propane line? I've been trying to find braided steel line and have come up short. -Art

 

Use flexible electrical conduit. Cheap and easy to find at any Home Depot or Lowes.

 

Just be careful to deburr the edges after you cut the conduit so you don't accidentally slice the rubber propane hose when you're feeding it into the cable.

 

--Dave

FMC_Flexible_Metal_Conduit_UL_1_Standard.jpg

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"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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Use flexible electrical conduit. Cheap and easy to find at any Home Depot or Lowes.

 

Just be careful to deburr the edges after you cut the conduit so you don't accidentally slice the rubber propane hose when you're feeding it into the cable.

 

--Dave

 

Brilliant!

"My sword and my shield are at your command"

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