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Old 12-14-2020, 07:26 PM   #1
Dale Moser
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Default Cutting a Propane Tank

I've got a 100# propane tank I'm gonna try to build a little wood stove/heater out of. I just took the valve out of it, and I have it full of water and dish soap now.

Is there anything else I need to know or do before I cut it? I'm gonna cut it with a cutoff wheel.

I've been around propane, and propane appliances for a while, worked on a bunch....I know enough to not be scared of it, and also enough to ask if there's anything else I need to know about this....it's been a while since I blowed anything up, and I'd like for it to be a while longer


Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:29 PM   #2
Bowhuntingobsession
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As a precaution video it. That way if it does blow someone else will learn from your mistake !
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:42 PM   #3
kcmarullo
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You are good to go !
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:43 PM   #4
Walker
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No problem, just dump the water and torch it up.
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:54 PM   #5
RattlesnakeDan
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No big issue to worry about. I have made a handful of pits out of big propane tanks and it isn't as dangerous as people say.
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:56 PM   #6
kmitchl
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Leave the water in when you are cutting.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:00 PM   #7
waterdog
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Leave the water in when you are cutting.
this^^^^
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Leave the water in when you are cutting.
X2
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:02 PM   #9
RR 314
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Good to go. To be overly cautious you can throw some dry ice in there or pump it full of argon. At this point, that would just be a waste of money. Then again, if you throw some dry ice in there with a little bit of water thatíll get the neighbors talking before you cut into it. :-)
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:06 PM   #10
CabezaBlanca
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Propane boils at -44 degrees. By filling the tank with water you’ve purged any vapor residue that might have still been in there. You are good to start cutting with anything you feel necessary. Like said above, it’s not as big a deal as people make it out to be. Purge it and go.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:08 PM   #11
Walker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmitchl View Post
Leave the water in when you are cutting.
Will never work with a torch. Can't get it hot enough.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:19 PM   #12
Dale Moser
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Good stuff, folks! Thank you all.


I'll update when we get started.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:25 PM   #13
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Just be aware of two things. 1). It will take awhile to heat as the water cools the metal. 2). When you hit a pocket of gas it will send water squirting out of the hole. I nearly pulled a Dale Gribble when he said “gentlemen, the crap has literally been scared out of me”. Other than that you should be fine.

Bud.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:28 PM   #14
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I've cut into lots of propane vessels. Self employed oilfield welder and fabricator for 30+ years. Fill it with water, up to the top where there is no air space. You'll have to turn the torch up a little to compensate for the heat the water will absorb. When you cut into it, especially at first, it may rumble and spit water several feet out of the filler neck. This is normal. Unless you didn't know its normal, then you have to change underwear.
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Old 12-14-2020, 08:31 PM   #15
softpoint
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Will never work with a torch. Can't get it hot enough.
Yes, it will. You do have to turn up the torch, and maybe use a size larger tip if you are already using a small one. A #1 tip will cut into pretty thick water filled tanks if you turn it up..
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:25 PM   #16
Dale Moser
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I'm gonna cut it with a cutoff wheel. I'll start with it full of water, be carefull with my cords, and see how it goes.

I've been electrocuted plenty of times, I'll take my chances with that. Bein blowed up sounds less fun.
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Moser View Post

I've been electrocuted plenty of times, I'll take my chances with that. Bein blowed up sounds less fun.
LMAO Dale! Good Luck!
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:40 PM   #18
TheHammer
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Light a tape ball and toss it in. Any fumes that did happen to have held in a air pocket will flash off instantly.

Just make sure valve is open for a fire chute in case there is any gas left.
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:07 PM   #19
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You got the right idea. Fill with water and cut with cutoff wheel. All should be good with the valve out. Drinking always helps IMO.
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:14 PM   #20
Dale Moser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txhunter-1 View Post
You got the right idea. Fill with water and cut with cutoff wheel. All should be good with the valve out. Drinking always helps IMO.
Well ****, it's about time someone got to that part! I coulda been killed or ever worse!

Will have refreshments on hand, and some for the wife, who will be watching through the window with life insurance papers in hand!


It's settin outside full of water now. I have to do some layout, and make some design decisions before we chop it, but I think I'm good to go. Thank you all again, will video just in case I make the Darwin awards.
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:49 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
Will never work with a torch. Can't get it hot enough.
LOL yes it will work if you have a good torch

What it will do with a torch is "burp" and scare the chit out of you. I know
Was warned it would and still scared me

Dump the water Dale and use the cutoff for the cleanest cut with no mess
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:54 AM   #22
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Dale post progress pics....I want to build a wood burning stove for the shop and would like to see what your building.
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Old 12-15-2020, 08:11 AM   #23
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Just cut a 250 gallon tank to make a fire pit and a big feeder. Don't ever beleive a tank is empty, even when the Guage says it is, lol. Started removing one of the valves and gas was leaking out so decided to remove the whole valve before my wife pulled in the driveway and ignited something. Had a face shield welding gloves and a Arctic gun case between me and the valve. When that valve came off it felt like a horse kicked the gun case into my chest and the valve shot out a hundred yards from where the tank was. Of course our nest camera caught it all on video. Ended up filling it full of water and all was good. I too used a cut off wheel on a grinder, but I drained the tank by drilling a hole on the opposite side of the valve before I cut the tank.
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Old 12-15-2020, 05:25 PM   #24
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So are ya'll saying to fill with water, let sit, drain water, and then cut an empty tank with a cutoff wheel? I have one that I need to cut into and want to use a wheel rather than a torch. I've seen guys on Youtube do it while they are still full of water, then just have to be careful about keeping cords out of the water.
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:18 PM   #25
Dale Moser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sackett View Post
Just cut a 250 gallon tank to make a fire pit and a big feeder. Don't ever beleive a tank is empty, even when the Guage says it is, lol. Started removing one of the valves and gas was leaking out so decided to remove the whole valve before my wife pulled in the driveway and ignited something. Had a face shield welding gloves and a Arctic gun case between me and the valve. When that valve came off it felt like a horse kicked the gun case into my chest and the valve shot out a hundred yards from where the tank was. Of course our nest camera caught it all on video. Ended up filling it full of water and all was good. I too used a cut off wheel on a grinder, but I drained the tank by drilling a hole on the opposite side of the valve before I cut the tank.

Lol! Thereís a **** camera on us all the time anymore. I fell out of the back of my truck at work throwing trash in the dumpster, and made the mistake of telling my secretary. Totally forgot we had installed surveillance cameras 2 weeks before.


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Old 12-15-2020, 08:34 PM   #26
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After the bung holes were uncapped, and valve removed, I drilled a hole in the bottom of mine before filling with water. Then plugged it, filled it, let it sit a day, then drained it and cut away. Filling with water will push the gas out. The water will displace the gas. Letting it sit a day will also allow the water to seep into the metal pours forcing any gas out. Having a hole already plugged in the bottom is a lot easier than putting one in after it's full of water . And cutting while it's empty is less chance of making a shocking mistake.
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Old 12-16-2020, 07:24 AM   #27
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Looks good
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:15 PM   #28
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I guess no one here has ever seen a tank that is made with two sections sealed from each other, one side for gas and the other for liquid propane. Filling with water won't get water to that side. Cutting one end is fine and the other end.......... there won't be enough of you left to pick up with a shovel.
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Old 12-16-2020, 08:20 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
I guess no one here has ever seen a tank that is made with two sections sealed from each other, one side for gas and the other for liquid propane. Filling with water won't get water to that side. Cutting one end is fine and the other end.......... there won't be enough of you left to pick up with a shovel.
Curious as to what those would be used for? Iíve never heard of them.
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Old 12-16-2020, 09:06 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softpoint View Post
I've cut into lots of propane vessels. Self employed oilfield welder and fabricator for 30+ years. Fill it with water, up to the top where there is no air space. You'll have to turn the torch up a little to compensate for the heat the water will absorb. When you cut into it, especially at first, it may rumble and spit water several feet out of the filler neck. This is normal. Unless you didn't know its normal, then you have to change underwear.
^^This exactly. I am in the gas business and we have to scrap them when they don't pass test. Fill it and cut it.
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Old 12-16-2020, 09:39 PM   #31
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I’m following along. I’ve got two tanks I’ve wanted to make something with and couldn’t convince myself that I wouldn’t die in the process.
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:25 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CabezaBlanca View Post
Curious as to what those would be used for? Iíve never heard of them.
The side for liquid is for filling other tanks. A TBHer cut one in front of my welding shop. One end the water started running out when cutting, the other end, not, and it was down hill. If it hadn't of been a very, very old tank, it would have been bad.
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:28 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The side for liquid is for filling other tanks. A TBHer cut one in front of my welding shop. One end the water started running out when cutting, the other end, not, and it was down hill. If it hadn't of been a very, very old tank, it would have been bad.

Wow. Bet that was a crazy sight.


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Old 12-17-2020, 08:42 PM   #34
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I have a 500 gallon smoker in the diy section I did years ago. I filled her up with soapy water and drained 3 or 4Xs. Smelled the whole block up like mercaptan. Cut it full and made a bit of a mess but better safe than sorry. In for pics of final product Dale. Cut for hinges/ weld hinges then cut rest of door. Lesson learned the hard way.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:16 AM   #35
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I couldn't get the valve off of a small "empty" propane bottle so I cut the brass valve slowly with a hack saw. About pooped my pants when I broke through and it let out a tiny bit of residual pressure.
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Old 12-18-2020, 11:58 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockyraider View Post
So are ya'll saying to fill with water, let sit, drain water, and then cut an empty tank with a cutoff wheel? I have one that I need to cut into and want to use a wheel rather than a torch. I've seen guys on Youtube do it while they are still full of water, then just have to be careful about keeping cords out of the water.
So are ya'll saying to cut it while its still full of water or drain and cut empty?
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:00 PM   #37
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Any update? Dale do you still have eyebrows?
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:04 PM   #38
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The one we did we got rid of all the valves and let it sit in the pasture for a few months. Used a torch and no water. BUT, this tank hadnt been used in 30 years
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:34 PM   #39
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Last update from Dale was 3 days ago. Dale are ya still with us?
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:58 PM   #40
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If you got valve out and fill it with soap and water for a while your good. May be drill a hole on the other end. If your scared say your scared. Just stick a piece of a long piece on a stick and pass it over it. Again if your scared. If took valve out and fill it with what you said I promise your good to go. I have done 2000 gal. gasoline tanks.
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:50 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRettele View Post
Last update from Dale was 3 days ago. Dale are ya still with us?

B-Moe, Dale's wife, the one who holds Dale's life insurance policy, may be driving around in a new Lexus right now.
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:52 PM   #42
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If you have it full of water, drain it. Then have an opening or two you’re good to go.
Propane shouldn’t have enough residual left over that you’d need to worry about it.
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Old 12-19-2020, 09:57 AM   #43
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We filled with water and then drained. We connected a hose off of the exhaust on a truck and let it run for about 10 minutes and then cut. No worries. Worked great. Had a friend fill his with water but left a little air space at the top. Had to clean his drawers when he cut it.
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Old 12-20-2020, 08:20 AM   #44
Stan R
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I left the tank full and cut with cutoff wheel. All was good.
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Old 12-21-2020, 01:51 PM   #45
Dale Moser
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I'm ready to go, I've just been to busy goofing off to get started working.

I just found out it's Christmas on Friday too, so I'm a little behind on that.
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Old 12-21-2020, 02:27 PM   #46
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Or you do like a buddy of mine did back in the 70,s for his bar b que pit Ag project. Took the bung out of a 55 gallon lard barrel and decided to burn out remaining lard. Lite a rag and shoved it down the hole.
It blew the rag over the fence and caught neighbors yard on fire as well as making a pretty good boom! Wasn’t laughing then though!
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Old 12-21-2020, 06:44 PM   #47
Texas Grown
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Good to see your still alive brother!
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Old 12-21-2020, 07:10 PM   #48
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a spark is a spark. if it comes from a cutoff tool or torch. never trust a guage is correct.
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:48 AM   #49
Dale Moser
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We didnít blow up.



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Old 01-23-2021, 02:50 AM   #50
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Good to see you survived.
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