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Old 12-04-2012, 04:05 PM   #11
Mumbly
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Growing my father had all sorts of heavy equipment in the house (well the garage, but the garage was right underneath our bedrooms) including but not limited to a 250 gallon compressor, mig welder, and an Oxy-Acetylene torch. he never hid them (kind of hard to) he never lied about them, but from an early age, he taught us that without proper handling they can and will be very dangerous.

 
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknifefight View Post
I imagine 5 lbs of CO2 released into the air of an 800 sq foot apartment would not be noticable to anyone except your house plants.
Correct. At atmospheric pressure, CO2 has a density of about 2 kg/m^3. A 5 lb (2.3 kg) tank contains just over a cubic meter of gas. An 800 sq foot apartment (assuming 8 foot ceilings) has about 180 cubic meters of airspace, so it's less than a 1% increase, even if it's totally contained.

In a closet, however, things would be different.

 
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:10 PM   #13
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I'll echo what these guys are saying. Keep the kids away from the tank and you'll be fine. If it's empty now then it's safe, but once you get it filled keep it in a locked closet or kegerator.

I've worked in a few different labs, and I do a good bit of lab safety. Compressed gases can be quite dangerous, most companies require you to have gas safety training before you can touch a gas cylinder. Even inert gases (CO2, nitrogen, argon) that aren't poisonous/flammable are still under extreme pressure and can be deadly.

Much like propane, CO2 cylinders are filled with liquid CO2 that boils off to maintain the pressure in the tank. The vapor pressure is quite a bit higher than for propane though, depending on the ambient temperature the cylinder will see 500-800 psi.

Just treat the tank/regulator with respect and you'll be fine. Once it's full, be careful, don't drop it and don't leave it in a hot car. On a full tank, the safety disc can burst even at 100-110 degrees, people have had it happen in hot cars and garages. When it bursts the tank will vent ALL the CO2 out, this can be loud and unpleasant if you're standing nearby but it's not necessarily dangerous. Once the regulator is on the tank treat it with even more respect, since now the high pressure side is extended a bit.

I think most of the time when a safety disc bursts, it's because the tank was overfilled. So make sure your CO2 supplier knows what they're doing and only puts 5 lbs in a 5 lb cylinder. You can always check it with a scale.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:34 PM   #14
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If my O2 bottle is any judge, a 5# CO2 tank contains about 20 cubic feet of gas (when released). That's a LOT of CO2 into an 800 square foot apartment. Also, the noise made by the release valve triggering will be loud (probably wake up the neighbors too).

For the temperature, there's a sticker on one of my tanks that says to not store at above 120F. Since I'm assuming it's also talking about long term storage, a few days a couple of degrees above (in a good tank) shouldn't be an issue. I was just pointing out how the chances of someones home being above 120F for any real length of time (in NY especially) isn't all that great.

Reasonable safety precautions/education should be done as soon as the children are old enough to understand. Until then, a few minutes making sure an accident won't happen [IMO] is time well spent.

Growing up we had all kinds of tools in the garage/family room (when it was converted from the garage). Never had any issues with using them. I was hit with hot metal once, when my father was using the cutting torch, and it spat. As they say 'sheet happens'...
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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Take the same approach with your kegging equipment as you would with other items that you keep from children and you'll be fine. I'm assuming you have cleaners, breakable dishes, forks, knives etc. in the house. Put the tank and hoses where they're secure and can't be hung on to / used for climbing or walking.

If the kids can't reach it, you'll be much happier.

On the bright side a 5lb CO2 tank isn't a scuba tank. The force of it tipping probably won't fire the valve and tank off in opposite directions like something out of jaws or the A-Team.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #16
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:43 PM   #17
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In terms of making your wife feel better, make sure it is secured and kept away from kids as other have said, but she should understand that those tanks are over-engineered by a factor of 10X. Show her the expiration date on your cylinder, tell her they have to do hydrostatic testing on it every five years. Show her the safety valve release. Then remind her that everything, including hair dryers, have over-written warning tags written by lawyers that make them sound dangerous as hell. Then pour her a delicious beer. That should go a long way.

 
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:01 PM   #18
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Just make sure that your tank is stored so that the kids can't knock it over. They can bust the regulator!
The only real risk from CO2 is if the tank were to somehow get the valve knocked off in a small space ( like a car ) the gas would suffocate you, provided you didn't have the common sense to pull over and air the car out, or at least open the windows.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #19
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I've got the cages on my regulators. Or at least on the second body (for my dual body regulator). Went with the solid metal ones, not the wire style. I've already has a tank get tipped over (thanks mom) and land with the protector hitting the floor. At least it didn't chip the floor tile.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewguyver
Take the same approach with your kegging equipment as you would with other items that you keep from children and you'll be fine. I'm assuming you have cleaners, breakable dishes, forks, knives etc. in the house. Put the tank and hoses where they're secure and can't be hung on to / used for climbing or walking.

If the kids can't reach it, you'll be much happier.

On the bright side a 5lb CO2 tank isn't a scuba tank. The force of it tipping probably won't fire the valve and tank off in opposite directions like something out of jaws or the A-Team.
And even with scuba tanks (3000 psi) you would have to be pretty determined to bust off the valve. I'm guessing that CO2 valves are made of brass like scuba tank valves and they tend to bend instead of break.

 
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