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Old 02-11-2008, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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welding on a used propane tank

i just got a 24 gallon used propane tank and i was wondering if i can just drain it and weld on it. it has a mount on the back already but i need to weld something on the front.

Does any one know??

I dont want anything blowing up in my face
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Drain it and fill it with water maybe?
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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air it out for a few days then test it with a match at the opening to burn any possible fumes. i know a guy who builds choppers who welded on a gas tank he rinsed for hours before welding. with cap on he started welding when BOOM! didn't get hurt but pretty sure he shit his pants. be careful.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Drain it and fill it with water maybe?
yep then you will have a nice big water filled ""BOOM""
if you really need to do this you could
flush it with water then drain it.
stick a hose on the exhaust of your truck running to the tank
run the exhaust in the tank, when the tanks is warm from the exhaust
you can cut or weld to it then
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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since propane is heavier than oxygen couldnt you turn it upside down and spray air into it?
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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not a 100% positive on this. but i'm pretty sure that your supposed to drain it, and fill it with an inert gas... such as argon.
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Not a good idea. Having said that, I've welded on tanks full of propane
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Never weld on a CLOSED tank. Like said earlier, drain, test with match, leave open while welding.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Rinsing with water doesn't do much for residual gasoline and fumes.

When I soldered a differnt filler on my gas tank with a propane torch, I filled it as full as I could with water so that the possible area that fumes could build up was very small.

I've heard of using exhaust or welding sheild gas to diplace any oxygen in there as well, but its a whole lot easier to "see" that there is little or no air in there when its full of water, so that's the route I went.

No idea if how hard it would be to do that with a propane tank...
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have welded or silvered soldered a few MC tanks. I always filled them wit water.

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Not a good idea. Having said that, I've welded on tanks full of propane
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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not a 100% positive on this. but i'm pretty sure that your supposed to drain it, and fill it with an inert gas... such as argon.
make sure you unscrew the valve and take it out of the tank. filling it with inert gas will also help keep the tank from oxidizing on the inside while welding and likely prolong the life of the tank. just leave the valve out. all gases expand when heated including air...
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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i tired the rinse and air method once.
as soon as i sparked it it blew an amazing ball of flame(imagine a jet engine) out of the top of the tank. made a sound that is still unmatched to this day and scared the crap out of me.
man it cleared the shop and the office.
once everyone calmed down they all though it it was pretty funny. i couldnt help but laugh at myself.

i would try flooding it with co2 or argon and leaving the lines open. as i proved it wont actually blow up as long as it can vent, but still ill never ever try that again.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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so fill it up with water and go at it huh?
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:37 PM   #14 (permalink)
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make sure to poop before you do this.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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mount it to something and point the open valve away from your face.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I used to fill propane tanks the guy from ferrel gas that trained us told a story of a guy in iowa that TRYED to weld a propane tank in his basement the tank exploded killed him and knocked the house off the foundation
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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so fill it up with water and go at it huh?
you're going to get a much better weld with an inert gas. the water is going to dissipate the heat very fast leaving a cold weld joint that will be brittle and likely to crack.
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I used to fill propane tanks the guy from ferrel gas that trained us told a story of a guy in iowa that TRYED to weld a propane tank in his basement the tank exploded killed him and knocked the house off the foundation
with the valve closed and fumes/liquid in tank that's no surprise. i wouldn't be in a hurry to weld a propane tank. getting hurt or killed is worse than driving an h2.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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FYI Propane explodes 10,000 times it's normal size or atleast thats what I was told might be true might not be.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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i asked a few of my friends today from work (we all weld/fabricate for a living, so i trust their words.) about this and they said that the inert gas would be your best bet. it will eliminate the chance for explosions, and it will also shield the backside of your weld, in essence. making a stronger, better, cleaner weld. but like spork said. make sure you just unscrew the valve and take it out. and as a precaution i'd try to be as generous with the inert gas as possible. a few extra bucks for the sheilding gas is a whole lot better than a face full of melted skin.


hope it all works out well for ya.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:02 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Yank the valve (the propane will boil off unless it's really cold outside, then it'll just take a little longer), fill the tank with water, drain the water, put a fitting on it and pull a vacuum (I used a line from the intake on my truck during the summer so the tank was warm) so that the water boils off, pump in some inert gas , weld the piss out of it... with the valve removed of course. ...as always YMMV, IMHO, blah blah blah.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:12 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I've welded gas tanks and propane tanks and always fill it 100 percent with water. Still alive today and never had the sonic boom. Might have a brittle weld but they never failed.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:23 AM   #23 (permalink)
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have someone you don't like do it for you. lol
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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so...valve off and full of an inert gas?
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The vacuum is a great idea first. Otherwise, you really don't know if you're getting the inert gas to displace the leftover propane.
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