10# CO2 filled this morning, exploded in my living room.

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Barbarossa

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How can a CO2, almost new, explode in my living room?

When I plugged the regulator this morning, I noticed that the indicator stopped and showed zero% full. Then this afternoon I heard a big pop and it emptied itself. I saw it was leaking under the knob to close it (Edit: the burst disk bursted).

Is it possible they overfilled? Too much pressure?
20210503_180845.jpg
 
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Barbarossa

Barbarossa

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Woof. Burst disk went to Heaven. Must've been exciting to see :D
I doubt there's any way to know whether it was an over-fill or just metal fatigue...

Cheers!
It was spectacular indeed. It was shooting out high and very loud for what seems to be a few minutes. Couldn't take pictures, had to get the kids and girlfriend out.

And yes, it looks like it was leaking from the burst disk(that you just made me aware it even existed). The tank is new. Second time I filled it.

Is the tank busted or can I just change the disk? I'm scared now. I had that thing in my trunk.
 
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It was spectacular indeed. It was shooting out very loudly for what seems to be a few minutes. Couldn't take pictures, had to get the kids and girlfriend out.

And yes, it looks like it was leaking from the burst disk(that you just made me aware it even existed). The tank is new. Second time I filled it.

Is the tank busted or can I just change the disk? I'm scared now. I had that thing in my trunk.
Good luck. The damage control with GF is going to be a bit of tight-roping.
 

day_trippr

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[...]And yes, it looks like it was leaking from the burst disk(that you just made me aware it even existed). The tank is new. Second time I filled it.
Is the tank busted or can I just change the disk? I'm scared now. I had that thing in my trunk.
The whole reason there is a burst disk is to preserve life and limb when something out of scope happens. That's usually an over-temperature exposure (eg: the filled tank left in a car scenario) but it also protects against over-fill. As a side-benefit it protects the cylinder, so you haven't lost any investment - aside from the CO2 (I would definitely go back to wherever that cylinder was filled and see if the filler will cut you a break).

Replace the burst disk and all should be well...

Cheers!
 
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Barbarossa

Barbarossa

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The whole reason there is a burst disk is to preserve life and limb when something out of scope happens. That's usually an over-temperature exposure (eg: the filled tank left in a car scenario) but it also protects against over-fill. As a side-benefit it protects the cylinder, so you haven't lost any investment - aside from the CO2 (I would definitely go back to wherever that cylinder was filled and see if the filler will cut you a break).

Replace the burst disk and all should be well...

Cheers!
I did get the tank in my car for 30 minutes but it is very cold in Montreal right now.

What temperature would be unsafe? My home is around 22C. Maybe 24c near my keezers and kegerator. Would that be too much?

I'm trying to figure out if I caused the problem. I also want to figure out what to say to the place that filled my tank as they are the only ones around to do it.

If they overfilled, does it means that only a few degrees difference could trigger such an explosion?
 

bracconiere

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my inside temp gets to like 90f in the summer, and my HP gauge on my tank only goes up to like 1000 PSI.

I'm not sure how 'over-filling' would blow a saftey pressure device? being that liquid co2 has a constant pressure? maybe just a defective burst disk? (something i just learned too)

when it was in your trunk did it roll around? i got a 4x4 poll to keep mine sturdy when it's in there....
 

bracconiere

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I placed it in a tiny space between my subwoofer and the side wall. Might have had a few inches but definitely couldn't roll around.

i always just swap my tank, and am VERY glad i've never had a burst disk blow on me. 🤞

i'm wondering if you do replace the saftey thing, will you have to have it hydro tested?
 

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My bet is that they supplier over-filed the tank. As has been mentioned, you can get a properly filled tank pretty hot (above 150F or 65C) for the 3000 PSI rupture disk to blow. However liquid CO2 has a high coefficient off thermal expansion, so if the tank is overfilled, a temperature rise of 10 to 15F (5 to 8C) can cause it to blow. Definitely take to back to who filled it for you. They should replace the rupture disk and re-fill at no charge. If you want to go hyperbolic, insist that they perform new hydro-test as well (it's not really needed, but there is no excuse for overfiling a CO2 tank).
 

bracconiere

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My bet is that they supplier over-filed the tank. As has been mentioned, you can get a properly filled tank above 150F (65C) for the 3000 PSI rupture disk to blow. However liquid CO2 has a high coefficient off thermal expansion, so if the tank is overfilled, a temperature rise of 10 to 15F (5 to 8C) can cause it to blow. Definitely take to back to who filled it for you. They should replace the rupture disk and re-fill at no charge. If you want to go hyperbolic, insist that they perform new hydro-test as well (it's not really needed, but there is no excuse for overfiling a CO2 tank).

i didn't know that, now i guess i'll stop complaining i only get 18lb's in my 20lb'er.....
 

ba-brewer

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I weigh my tank determine when it is getting close to empty so I weigh it before and after a filling. Sometime they add the nominal weight of a fill to what is still in the tank(normally about 1lb) and other time they add the nominal weight over the tare of the cylinder. So sometime my tank get overfilled by a pound or so and has not been an issues. The tank is usually very cold after filling and takes hours to come up to ambient.

edit:
Looking at my notes it appears I have been overfilled by close to 2lb in both my 10lb and 20lb tanks several times each. Tanks are kept in the garage beside the freezer so might see 90s some summer days.
 
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ba-brewer

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🖕 and here i have to be happy with a 18lb swap for a 20lb tank!

edit: is that with or without the reg attached, while track my ounces between pours, i have it on the scale with the reg attached....
That was the weight of the freshly filled tank only. That extra was my leftover CO2 from the previous use, like I said I have also been only filled to 10 or 20lb over the tare as well even though there was CO2 still in there. I like having my own tanks as I know what the last joker did to it.
 

Vale71

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My bet is that they supplier over-filed the tank. As has been mentioned, you can get a properly filled tank pretty hot (above 150F or 65C) for the 3000 PSI rupture disk to blow.
That information is wrong and also quite dangerous. Liquid CO2 cannot exist above 31.2°C or 88°F. Above that temperature it will turn completely into gas and the rupture disc will vent all the CO2, hopefully before the tank itself explodes.
 

duncan.brown

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While I do not advocate heating up carbon dioxide above its critical point, I’m not sure that the burst disk will rupture immediately at 31.2C for a properly filled tank. The carbon dioxide will become a supercritical fluid, but its pressure will not necessarily exceed the 2000 psi that ruptures a burst disk.

Here is a chart that shows pressure and density (expressed as % fill), for contours of temperature. You can see the supercritical region for contours above 88F. However, you can see how quickly the pressure rises if the tank is too full. If @Barbarossa had a tank at 120% fill, then room temperature is enough to rupture the disk.

If you want to know what the carbon dioxide inside your tank looks like, check out this video which shows the liquid/gas and supercritical fluid phases in an acrylic container:


1620124340531.gif
 
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Vale71

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Cool video.

Of course if the cylinder is nearly empty and especially if it's a large cylinder pressure after the transition might not be high enough to rupture the disc. Personally I would treat a non-empty cylinder like one should treat a gun, i.e. assuming it is always loaded or in the case of the CO2 cylinder assuming it's holding enough CO2 that excessive temperature will make the disc rupture.
 

duncan.brown

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Personally I would treat a non-empty cylinder like one should treat a gun, i.e. assuming it is always loaded or in the case of the CO2 cylinder assuming it's holding enough CO2 that excessive temperature will make the disc rupture.
I’m the type of person that drives home from the gas distributor with the windows down (since I don’t have a separate trunk), chains my cylinders to the wall, and has a carbon dioxide alarm in my basement, so you’ll get no disagreement from me there.
 

eyedrink

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That information is wrong and also quite dangerous. Liquid CO2 cannot exist above 31.2°C or 88°F. Above that temperature it will turn completely into gas and the rupture disc will vent all the CO2, hopefully before the tank itself explodes.
LOL, You must live up north. If what you said was true, which it is not, we could not have CO2 here in Texas. Pay attention when driving and watch for a delivery truck with cylinders on the back bed. They are driving around in 100+F and no problems. I have cylinders in my 100+F fab shop with no problems, I have a 10# cylinder in the back of my rock crawler for running tools and airing tires with no problems.
 

Smiling Frog

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My bet is that they supplier over-filed the tank. As has been mentioned, you can get a properly filled tank pretty hot (above 150F or 65C) for the 3000 PSI rupture disk to blow.
That information is wrong and also quite dangerous. Liquid CO2 cannot exist above 31.2°C or 88°F. Above that temperature it will turn completely into gas and the rupture disc will vent all the CO2, hopefully before the tank itself explodes.
Sorry to disagree, but there is nothing in my post that is wrong. I never said that the critical point for CO2 was not 88F, nor did I say that it was safe to heat the tank to 150F. My point was that you can get a properly filled CO2 tank pretty hot without causing the rupture disk to blow, and one that blows when warmed up to room temperature, in all likelihood, has been overfilled.

If you don't know how to safely use compressed and or liquefied gases, you shouldn't be using them.
 
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LOL, You must live up north. If what you said was true, which it is not, we could not have CO2 here in Texas. Pay attention when driving and watch for a delivery truck with cylinders on the back bed. They are driving around in 100+F and no problems. I have cylinders in my 100+F fab shop with no problems, I have a 10# cylinder in the back of my rock crawler for running tools and airing tires with no problems.
^^^ This. 100F+ in my garage, I've never had anything pop. A friend of mine did have a pressure disk burst but the CO2 tank was freshly filled, and he had it in the back of his car in high temps.

MC
 

Murph4231

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Very interesting discussion. I've never had an issue with heat affecting my CO2 bottles in Florida. I have 3 different sizes, 5, 10 and 20 lbs. Where I keep having problems is in the refrigerator, third time now I have put a 5 or 10 in the fridge with a keg only to find the CO2 bottle to be completely empty upon going for a brew a day or so later. I've eliminated gas loss due to hoses without clamps, used a different regulator and even turned the valve off. No problem with either tank until putting them in the fridge. I'm now wondering if it may have something to do with the burst ring mentioned here. Does anyone else experience cold side CO2 loss? Could it be loosing gas because the ring contracts, etc?
 
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Barbarossa

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^^^ This. 100F+ in my garage, I've never had anything pop. A friend of mine did have a pressure disk burst but the CO2 tank was freshly filled, and he had it in the back of his car in high temps.

MC
Now THAT must have been scary. I keep thinking about what would have happened if it blew up when I was on the highway.
 
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Barbarossa

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Very interesting discussion. I've never had an issue with heat affecting my CO2 bottles in Florida. I have 3 different sizes, 5, 10 and 20 lbs. Where I keep having problems is in the refrigerator, third time now I have put a 5 or 10 in the fridge with a keg only to find the CO2 bottle to be completely empty upon going for a brew a day or so later. I've eliminated gas loss due to hoses without clamps, used a different regulator and even turned the valve off. No problem with either tank until putting them in the fridge. I'm now wondering if it may have something to do with the burst ring mentioned here. Does anyone else experience cold side CO2 loss? Could it be loosing gas because the ring contracts, etc?
I did lost a bit of CO2 before I realized that I mixed the ball lock posts, putting back the out post in the in. I connected the gas and when I got my keg out to shake it, I moved the tubing a bit and I could hear a hissss. Very subtle.
 

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I too have had a burst disk blow on a newly filled 20# cylinder (exchange) it was behind the passenger seat of my 2-door Land Cruiser and happened while I was driving... It kinda made my heart skip a beat - very loud and great billowing vapor instantly filling the cab. It was hot outside, but not that hot - I think it was probably an overfill. I've had at least one other blow in my garage - probably more, but I'm not real good at keeping track of what is full and what is empty (I have at least a half dozen 20# cylinders). My practice now is to blead off a pound or so after getting a new exchange tank just for safety sake.
 
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Barbarossa

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My practice now is to blead off a pound or so after getting a new exchange tank just for safety sake.
That's what I thought I will do. Along with bringing a cooler with ice if it's hot outside.

But maybe I'm just overthinking.

Or maybe I'll bring in a scale to check on the weight. I'm sure I still had a bit left in the tank. The guy probably just blindly put ten pounds in it.
 

yowzers

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Yes they overfilled it plain and simple. They are supposed to fill CO2 tanks to roughly 80% of the water volume so the liquid has room to expand. Worked at a gas facility for 20 years.
 

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I would weigh my tank, but the gas supplier swaps them and I'm not sure the mass tolerances tank-to-tank would be close enough for me to get an accurate weight of the gas inside. And some times I get an aluminum tank, some times it's steel.
 

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