Process to cutting an old propane tank

Yomax4

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Not propane, but many years ago a neighboring greenhouse farmer had an employee cutting up BIG decommissioned oil storage tanks.

Bad news is he was blown half a city block away and landed on a roof and unfortunately died.

Good news is it wasn’t my mom’s house.
Feel Sorry for the guy RIP but he should have checked in here 1st. KaBoom !
 

A-one

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I finally got around to cutting it. Filled with water and dumped some baking soda and vinegar in to produce carbon dioxide in hopes that would push out any oxygen. Cut a hole in the top where it was dented and had a pipe that was used to fill it. I guess it was an underground tank. Once the hole was cut, I dumped more baking soda and vinegar in and cut it in half. It sat with the valve off for about a month.
 

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Sberry

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They cut them in the scrap yard all the time. Had a crew up here cut 100s
They open the valve till the pressure starts to drop and burn them with a torch.
 

BigBlue

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As mentioned above, propane tanks often accumulate the chemical that is used to make the gas smell bad in the bottom of the tank. I've heard the sludge from that is just awful, nasty, disgusting to deal with. You've been warned. I don't know that I'd want to cook in an old propane tank.
 

A-one

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Cut it, load it with wood, and burn it out. Never will smell or get that hot again. I've cut a few more since this, and have one waiting now.
 

Sberry

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How they scrap them is make sure there is a little pressure at least in it and melt a hole in it with a torch. , dont blow 02 in to it. Melt it sand flare it off then cut in half.
 

PILOON

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One thing is that propane is heavier than air.
That being said if U place the tank with the opening at lowest , be it propped or whatever, all that propane will flow out.
You can help it by blowing compressed air while it sits propped up thus pushing out any remaining propane.
I've worked more than a few tanks and still here.
LOL, OK I've had a few 'poofs' but nothing to be upset about. (was in a hurry)
 

Sberry

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I almost forgot this tank had gas in it at one point. Propane not so much a problem as they are pressurized with gas but lots of people injured from working on other tanks. fuel cell.JPG
 

Sberry

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Last OP one I cited was colder out and only had 50# in it and burned about 20 seconds
It's a little unnerving the first time you do it but the scrap yard had a whole crew of Mexicans cutting them for weeks.
 

Sberry

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Whoops, I write that fast on phone. Last LP I cut was in cold weather and almost empty
I think it burned maybe 20 seconds.
 
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Sberry

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I believe at the scrap they pump them to recover the liquid. Then send them to the yard to the Mexicans with a torch. Use LP tip and had liquid O2 bottle. Had a yard best here and they cut 100s, 2 or 3 torches a time burning them up.
 

A-one

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I have another one that I'm dealing with. This time I'll use my plasma cutter. I filled it with water a couple of months ago to cut the valves out and patch the holes.
 

A-one

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I just got a plasma cutter about a month ago. Nothing top notch, but it gets the job done. It's more cost efficient to use. I don't use my torch for much other than heating now.
 

Yomax4

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I made a portable air tank out of a 20# propane tank 30 years go. Still smells like propane. Must be the nasty additive.
 
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