Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Alan Longmire

MAPP cylinder safety warning!

Recommended Posts

I was on another forum today and found a post by someone who suffered second-degree burns over 50% of his body when the neck of his MAPP cylinder ruptured while he was soldering plumbing pipes in April 2011. He linked a site that documents the problem, which is apparently well known to the companies who make the cylinders. These companies have chosen to deny the problem rather than recall the products or admit liability.

 

If you use MAPP torches, read this and beware! I know I'll stick to propane from now on. :ph34r:

http://www.bernzomaticinjuries.com/index.html

 

The short version is that small MAPP cylinders manufactured from 2004 through late 2008 have a defective friction weld at the valve which can break if the torch is subjected to sideways force well below that required to snap the safety groove on the torch head. Sometimes as little as 3 foot-pounds of force is enough to break the weld. That's a small enough force that it could easily be done by knocking the torch over. This will result in a large fireball if the torch is lit or if there's any source of ignition at all.

 

These cylinders are still on the shelves because the companies have refused to recall them as that would be an admission of a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy crap!

 

I use one to light my forge all the time, and the cylinder in it has to be that old (only use it for a couple of seconds at time for lighting the forge). I've dropped it at least a half dozen times that I can remember.

 

I've often said I'd rather be lucky than smart. I guess I am.

 

Thanks for the tip, Alan. That thing goes in the trash as soon as I get back to the shop.

 

--Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sucks because I just bought a MAPP/Oxy torch kit and three additional MAPP and Oxy tanks. I use either MAPP or MAPP/Oxy all the time. So for now I guess it will be propane/oxy until they improve the tank design.

 

Friend of mine that is a jeweler also uses MAPP so I need to let her know also.

 

It's bad when companies can get so big that lawsuits are nothing more then a business expense and a way to shut up the injured parties.

 

Thanks for posting this. I hope it gets put on the other forums also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Happened to me on two different tanks that I bought at Lowes. Made me give up using MAPP. I'm glad they're making them better now at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought one of the Bernzomatic combo's with the self igniting head, and the short/fat cylinder because I dropped my propane torch and broke it. I just bought it last weekend, and it was a newly stocked item in the store (I requested one the week before, so they ordered a whole case for the store) so hopefully the cylinder is post-2008 manufacture.

 

I mainly just use it to light my charcoal forge, and manipulate the color of Purpleheart, but I'll definitely be careful with it after reading this.

 

One thing I don't quite get about that warning though, is what they said about people holding the cylinder instead of the head because of the ability to lock the button down. I don't see how they figure that puts more stress on the tank-joint? The tank is much heavier than than the head, so it looks to me like actually holding it by the handle would put more stress on the neck of the tank, especially if you're holding it at odd angles...

Edited by Sean McGrath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I WAS Thinking of switching to mapp... :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on another forum today and found a post by someone who suffered second-degree burns over 50% of his body when the neck of his MAPP cylinder ruptured while he was soldering plumbing pipes in April 2011. He linked a site that documents the problem, which is apparently well known to the companies who make the cylinders. These companies have chosen to deny the problem rather than recall the products or admit liability.

 

If you use MAPP torches, read this and beware! I know I'll stick to propane from now on. :ph34r:

http://www.bernzomaticinjuries.com/index.html

 

The short version is that small MAPP cylinders manufactured from 2004 through late 2008 have a defective friction weld at the valve which can break if the torch is subjected to sideways force well below that required to snap the safety groove on the torch head. Sometimes as little as 3 foot-pounds of force is enough to break the weld. That's a small enough force that it could easily be done by knocking the torch over. This will result in a large fireball if the torch is lit or if there's any source of ignition at all.

 

These cylinders are still on the shelves because the companies have refused to recall them as that would be an admission of a problem.

 

 

Alan,

I use MAPP all the time , in the shop and to light my wood stove. I have seen the cylinder top appear off plumb ( not really straight up ) maybe due to some handling by someone after the making of the cylinder. Each cylinder has a code stamped into the bottom, which I assume is related to production date and line but I am not sure how to read it. I will edit the post and add the numbers of the cylinders I currently have ...maybe there is someone out there who knows the code.

 

These sem to be the same as the ones used for propane...why is only MAPP a problem?

 

Jan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jan, did you read all the information in the link? I agree that propane and MAPP share a cylinder type made by the same companies. There is apparently evidence that MAPP gas is somewhat corrosive as compared to propane, thus leading to statistically significant failure rates much more than those for propane. I posted this for informative purposes because it seems to be a not uncommon problem. If any of us can keep a single person from having an accident as described I don't think it's a bad thing.

 

I think the fact that Bernz-O-Matic has not been able to have that site taken down after two years, particularly after having read ALL the allegations, etc., speaks pretty clearly of the problem's basis in reality. Lawyers are a prickly bunch, after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good heads up. I haven't seen any separate but I have had a few that wouldn't reseal if I took the torch off.

 

A guy I knew in college used to work at the place that makes these types of cylinders. If I remember right he told me they were brazed together, not sure how factual that is though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently the necks are resistance welded on. And it wouldn't take much for the welder specs to be off a bit and not get a good clean weld. I need to look up the lot numbers on my tanks. I ran across them today reading more about this problem and then forgot the site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there has been a victory of sorts: Worthington Industries has issued a "voluntary" recall (after being nudged by the federal government) of every MAPP cylinder made between 2003 and January 15, 2012. They do not admit there was ever a safety issue with the neck separating, they just say that the seals are bad and may leak when the torch is disconnected, thus avoiding liability once more. :angry:

 

Well, at least they finally admit there IS a problem after the issue appeared on every internet forum... <_<

 

Official MAPP Recall Notice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey - I just bought new MAPP bottles. Does anyone know if they are some of the same problems, now?

hope not. They get hotter than the propane bottles and let me braze more easily. But, not worth the risk of getting burned.

Not much is, actually.

 

thanks, Alan. We play with enough dangerous stuff, without adding random fireballs into the mix.

kc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...