Why cutting into a gas cylinder is a bad idea


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/08/why-cutting-into-a-gas-cylinde.html


Lucky to not have a bar-b-qued worker.



Step one: Lose an eyebrow or two
Step two: make things worse

That tank was really quite full, it still had liquid in it.


Mistakes were made.


Damn! Thought we had a Darwin Award winner there.


Every welder I know won’t cut into a closed cylinder of any type for just this reason. A whole lot of surprising stuff is flammable/explosive when vaporized under pressure.


Correction to headline:

“Why cutting into a gas cylinder that isn’t empty is a bad idea”

Empty ones pose no threat.


Please, do not kick the angry flaming canister.



Gas scrap fever.


rip backhoe


Even “empty” cylinders usually have air in them, which can cause an explosion if you heat the cylinder.


We didn’t need that excavator anyway.


I love the “I’ll just kick this over with the rest of the fire” moment.


Mmm - not sure how high the PSI would be… especially such a large cylinder. And certainly not flammable.

At any rate, drill a hole or remove the valve first.


That happens every time I eat tacos in Tijuana off a street cart vender.


Someone told the ‘New Guy’ to cut it open. Now they need a new “New Guy”.


That escalated quickly.

Another addition to my list of bad ideas.


This is why we have labels warning us against otherwise completely obviously bad ideas.


If you must cut into any container that ever held anything that could be considered flammable, the best way to assure your safety and the safety of others around you is to open it using normal methods (wrench!) and fill it with water. Oils, fuels, etc float to the top and are lost in this process, gasses leave the container. If possible wait awhile, then drain enough water to do the work required, leaving the container open so pressure doesn’t build during cutting.

Even then don’t cut in an enclosed area, keep the surrounding area clear of people, flammable items, and keep another person on watch with an appropriately rated (ABC if you don’t know) fire extinguisher handy.