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PaulKrzysz

Regulation for Gas Forges

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Hello Everyone,

 

I am establishing a new shop in Toronto. One of the last things I need to do is run my propane from the bottle outside, to the forge.

 

The propane forge will be outside in a cage, the forge will be roughly 60' away, inside.

 

The burner is a blown burner, I got the idea from Geoff Keyes.

 

My question is how to run the propane from the bottle to the forge, what should the propane run in (rubber or black iron pipe?). What diameter of pipe is needed? Where would pressure valves and other devices be located?

Last question, I know this will vary by local but does this sort of thing normally need to be looked at and approved by an inspector?

Thank you,

Paul

 

 

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(Forge burn chamber is 6''x6''x12'', less once the floor is put in)

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Where is this forge going to be? Residence or commercial? City or county, (not sure if they have counties in Canada)! From the things I see on the HGTV (my wife likes the shows) some of the cities are absolutely strict about things within there jurisdictions!

 

If this is a residence do you own or are you renting???

 

You may have to have insurance and then you are talking a whole new world???

 

I think to get the kind of answers you are asking for you need to lay out the whole scenario! And then it will take someone who is familiar with the regulations in Toronto!

 

Sorry I can't answer your questions but a lot of it will depend on regulations in your area. The only one thing I can tell you is about my area here in Fl., propane or gas in general can not be run under ground in anything but galvanized pipe! Now that was close to 20yrs. ago. but at that time it was the local code.

 

Nowdays I think they use some plastic but I have been out of the construction field long enough that a lot of things have changed!!

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I am renting a industrial space, and I have insurance.

I am soon going to be talking to a gas guy but would like some info from you guys in order to be better repaired for the meeting.

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You have already cleared a large hurdle by renting a space from a landlord who knows what you are doing in the space and you already have insurance!


The type of line that the propane is going to run through, as well as the diameter of line is more than likely going to be dictated by local codes on running of any kind of gas!

Pressure valves and cut offs may be required by code at the tank, irregardless you will need a cut off at the tank and at the forge just for safety sake. IMO

 

Accurate pressure readings will allow you are able to control your forges performance. Therefore you will need a pressure gauge just prior to the gas forge to control that pressure.

 

For safety you need a cut off just prior to the forge as well. If something goes wrong you do not have the time to travel to the tank!

 

I do not think that the distance you are running the propane will effect the pressure. Your gas man can give a better answer to that than any of us will be able to.


I do not know what regulations are for your area but, installation of any kind of gas is something that often has to be done by a licensed installer and therefore has to pass any codes and all inspections required by the governing body!

 

I hope I have answered some of your questions. Your gas man will be able to tell you more about the local codes and what is required to meet those codes.

 

Around here even though I know how to and also know how to check for leaks, the fact that I am not licensed to do any kind of gas installation work would keep me from doing any of the work myself.

I would have to hire a licensed installer and he would have to draw a permit to do the work and then all of his work would have to be inspected at the conclusion of the job before the governing body would then sign off after their inspection. This would include type of pipe, as well as size of the pipe and what is required for valves and pressure gauges. When it comes to gas they do not leave those decisions up the laymen, and even those licensed to do gas work have to meet what has been set down as code by the local governing body!!!!

Edited by C Craft

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I think if you're working by yourself then you only have to keep your insurance company happy, and if you have an insurer in Canada that's OK with blacksmithing activities I would like to know their name. :) If you have employees you may need to have a CSA approved appliance rather than a self-made forge furnace.

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I can't advise as to codes and insurance, but for general safety tips, I'll tell you what I have done.

 

The burner looks good, you'll have a valve for fine control at the bushing. I put a 1/4 turn valve (like the one you are using for air control) on the line where it joins the main plenum. That way, if there is a problem at the forge end, a quick slap and you shut the gas off to the forge. I put one between every burner and the main line. I also have one as close to the tank, inside the building, as possible.

 

I used 1 inch black iron pipe for my plenum. Since my tank never moves, I could have a hard connection from the tank to gas plenum, but I use a soft hose. I did move the regulator into the shop after a tree shed a branch and crushed the regulator on the tank. Fortunately the tank was off at the time. I put "T" joints at every pipe connection. That way I can make a connection to a forge (or a torch or anything else) every 8 feet if I want to.

 

The tank is at about 100 psi, depending on the weather. The plenum I pressurize to between 1 and 10 psi. I have run two forges at the same time, and it seems to be mostly having enough gas in the system to keep up.

 

I went with iron pipe for safety. It's a hot shop, sparks, flying bits of metal, all kinds of hazards. I only use rubber in the last couple of feet, the main line in my shop runs about 60'.

 

I hope there is some help in there somewhere.

 

Geoff

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My input largely mirrors what you have already gotten.

Couple things I will add:

I keep my regulator outside the shop, but protected by a steel framed cover. I wouldn't disagree with Geoff regarding anything else on this topic, but I strongly feel regulators belong outside. When regulators start to fail, they can begin venting excess gas to maintain outlet pressure regulation. This is exactly what happened with my last regulator, so this is not just my "theory"! Since the regulator was outside, the vented gas was able to dissipate and the risk of blowing up the neighborhood was drastically reduced...

 

I use "soft" copper tubing 3/8" id to connect my 120 Gallon tank to high pressure propane regulator and then to a 1/2" id black iron pipe on a post set in the ground by the tank. The black iron runs from the post to the outer wall of the shop (5 feet minimum in my local codes) and then runs down the exterior of the building 15 feet to the point closest to the forge. After a 1/4 turn valve 15" inside the siding, just past the 12" support post it is mounted on, it goes back to 3/8' copper tubing to run 20" to the burner and another 1/4 turn valve.

I am running a Venturi burner, so operate at pressures from 3psi up to 20psi depending on the heat required for the task at hand.

At pressures above 10psi at the tank side regulator, I drop about 2psi on a gauge at the forge. When running under 5psi at the regulator the drop is below 1psi.

Hope some of that helps,

James

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I respectfully disagree with having my control of the forge where I can't get to. Personally I would never have my regulators and cutoffs any where but at hand! If you have to go outside to control the forge whether it is the regulator or the cutoff you are wasting valuable time in the event of a catastrophic event. If you are working in an area that will allow for a leak to build up you are working in your own coffin anyway! Anytime I am working with my propane forge, the doors at both ends of the shop are open, for flow thru ventilation.

 

A quick story, here in Fl. winter is the only time we have temperatures that prevent painting and such! We had a set of cabinets cleaned and sanded, primed and lightly sanded and we too spray them the next morning! My boss decided to spray the cabinets with oil base paint, inside of a two car garage, we had lined all of the walls and floor with plastic to stop any over spray from getting on anything it was not supposed too. Except it was too cold the next morning and the temp in the garage too cold to spray the cabinets. Cold weather will ruin a good finish on wood cabinets. Glossy finishes will have dead areas caused by the cold.

Now here is the part that I should have known better. To offset the temperature my boss gets his fish cooker with a high pressure regulator and we fired it off. In the confined space it began to heat the two car garage. He walks in and decides it is not getting warn enough, fast enough! He cranks up the burner on the fish cooker, and walks back out of the garage.

In just a few minutes I noticed I was getting a very raw feeling in my throat and my head was beginning to throb and well.............I felt a little loopy! About that time what little brain I had that was still working, I came to the conclusion that we were about to die! I ran to the burner and cut if off but, not before I observed what was happening. We opend the doors and got out of there.

Two things happened that morning and the third was getting real close.!The first thing was the air within the room was being reduced to Carbon Monoxide because their was no fresh air coming into the space.The second thing was the HP regulator he had on his home made cooker was overpowering the burner and raw propane was being expelled into the air as well as the CM level was steadily increasing. The third thing was not far from happening and that was myself and my co-worker passing out and dieing in the room!

 

As far as being able to do this I would bet you probably have the ability to do and do it safely! However if you have a found an insurance company that is fully aware of what you are doing and are OK with it, they will more than likely not cover you if you do the installation yourself. Mainly because of the inherit danger of any kind of gas and its use! I once wanted to install a fireplace, in my home. Now I knew how to do it and do it safely. However my insurance company said, "absolutely not" I could not do the install myself it would have to be done by a licensed professional, all permits pulled and all inspections done and passed, before they would cover it under my insurance!

 

You asked for advice and that is what I have tried to give you, I have even explained why I gave that advice.

 

I will say this I think if we are all honest with ourselves we probably know how to and how to safely. If I called my insurance company and fully explained what I do in my garage I would expect them to cancel me that minute. The only way I could do it with my insurance company having full knowledge, would be to buy a Million dollar liability policy along with another 20,000 more in fire insurance!

 

Having said that there is no way I would move into city jurisdiction an attempt to put a forge in a commercial area without trying to get all the proper permits. If my forge malfunctioned and burnt down half a city block and I had not followed all regulations! Not only would I be looking at Millions in liability, I might very well be facing jail time!
I am not trying to rain on your parade here I am just trying to tell you what you are opening yourself up for. The forge running properly and where to locate valves and cut offs, all that will be the least of your worries if something goes wrong and you have not crossed all the T's and dotted all the I's!!

Edited by C Craft

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CCraft,

Please take a moment to read my full post... Now if you have done so, you will notice not 1 but 2 quarter turn cut-off valves within arms reach of the forge opperator. If something is going wrong, I am not wasting my time with a regulator, no matter how close you put it...and though you are correct about the risk of a shop tight enough to build up gas, if the regulator becomes a high pressure pencil torch, as mine nearly did, I really don't want it close even with an open-air shop, but thanks anyway.

Now, rather than hijack this thread any further, I invite you to join me here: http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=31020

 

James

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Thanks for the input guys.

I'll let you know how this works out.
Jim Kehler, I will send you a PM with info on the insurance brokers I found.

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Paul I hope you realize advice is what I was trying to give you. If you feel like going to this thread I try to explain a bit more.

 

http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=31020

 

Around here when you move into basically a commercial setting such as renting a place within the city limits, you open a whole new can of worms.

 

I am glad were able to get the insurance. The only way around here you will get coverage in a commercial setting, is to buy 100K of business liability insurance, the premiums would be more than most start-up business can afford. However without it you are asking for huge lawsuits f something goes bad!

 

Best of luck to you in your new ventures!

Edited by C Craft

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