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Old 02-19-2010, 05:57 AM   #1
mebedave
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Default Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

I have a real nice two stage 175 psi compressor, but I have no tank for it. Does anyone have experience with converting a propane tank into a compressor air storage tank? I have apx. 100-200 gal. (30"w. by 48"t.) old school very heavy duty rust free propane tank that I would like to make into air storage. I have seen a lot of them 5-7 gal tanks made into air bubble tanks. Someone told me propane tanks are 300 psi rated, is that true?
So what do you think, can I do it without blowing myself up?
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

We have a big compressor set up with LP tanks. We only run up to 150 psi or so. We put it together 10 years ago and it still works like a charm. I will build another like that. Just get used to the LP smell for a while. We still get a smell of it some days.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
mebedave
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ihredo4 View Post
We have a big compressor set up with LP tanks. We only run up to 150 psi or so. We put it together 10 years ago and it still works like a charm. I will build another like that. Just get used to the LP smell for a while. We still get a smell of it some days.
Thanks hredo4..Did you flip the tank upside down so you can drain the water?

Does anyone else have any input?
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

Done it long ago with one of the "mobile" 100# tanks worked fine I am not sure about modern ones, but the wall thickness of propane tanks I have seen are greater than most modern tanks that are sold with compressors attached.
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Old 02-19-2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

yeah propane tanks are can get pressures up to 250psi sitting in the sun. So your good.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

No we left them set up like normal. Believe we put an air dryer inline though. Heck you expect me to remember that it was 10+years ago. lol

I do remember it has 3 40 gal tanks in line and with the 3hp 220 motor and Gardner-Denver two stage pump we can get 150psi in less than 5 minutes from empty. We have plenty of compressor. lol

Last edited by ihredo4; 02-19-2010 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

Thank everyone so far such good info here. I've had that compressor and propane tank for over three years now, just been to chicken to hook them up. I can move that project off the back burner.

Still would like more input please.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

I have an old automotive propane tank that I use as a second tank. Its aprox. 60 gallons and works great. The only thing I had to do was weld legs on to It.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

I used a 123 gallon LP tank for additional air years ago, and drilled and tapped a 1/8" pipe thread into the bottom for a drain setup. Took the valve out, used pipe fittings to provide a 4 way T on top for a pressure release valve, outlet, and an additional valved inlet with a Chicago coupling from my large portable sandblasting compressor.That way I could power up my whole shop with the compressor when I wanted to do extensive runs with my blasting cabinets. The tanks I have seen are rated for 300# pressure. They make a fine air tank. You can rinse it out with tomato juice to knock down the smell. Yes, tomato juice, then flush it out well. I have the privilege of adding the mercaptan odorizor to unscented butane as part of my job, and was told this by the fuel supplier. That stuff is so strong in it's pure form that most people wretch instantly when they get a downwind whiff of it. Only takes 200 ml to scent 8,000 gallons of gas.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by May Pop View Post
I have an old automotive propane tank that I use as a second tank. Its aprox. 60 gallons and works great. The only thing I had to do was weld legs on to It.
Ron
When I read your post, then looked at the name, I laughed right out loud......
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

cool... I'm going for it

thanks all
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

I little compressor I fixed up:
Note, I didn't weld the compressor and motor shafts together. It was already like that when I got it. It works fine like that, though.
It used to be a horizontal compressor, but the tank rusted out.
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File Type: jpg Compressor 1.jpg (68.2 KB, 275 views)
File Type: jpg Compressor 3.jpg (84.5 KB, 218 views)
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

Back from the dead..... Anyone else use a propane tank for air storage? Anyone know what they are worth or go for? I know gallon size depends on price butitgives me something to look for on clist. I have a gas powered compressor with no tank. It seems propane tanks is cheaper to buy than other tanks.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

Hate to be Debbie Downer here, but does anyone else think this is a bad idea? Between the propane residue and welding on a pressure tank, the potential for a Darwin moment is pretty good, not to mention that if there was an accident, any competent insurance adjuster would bounce the claim in a heartbeat.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

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Hate to be Debbie Downer here, but does anyone else think this is a bad idea? Between the propane residue and welding on a pressure tank, the potential for a Darwin moment is pretty good, not to mention that if there was an accident, any competent insurance adjuster would bounce the claim in a heartbeat.
I would say welding them up is not the best thing to do, BUT if for some reason you feel the need, some safety precautions (besides not doing it) should be enacted.

If you have a welder, you should have shielding gas. After tank is steam cleaned (to remove oil) and let any vapors come out, it should be purged with shielding gas, in a back flow manner. Just a low constant flow teed off from your regulator to the tank. Doesn't have to be sealed absolutely tight, tape will do. Other end needs a hole to maintain the flow, later that could become your drain....


That method is even approved for welding steel gas tanks, although again, I am not necessarily recommending it. My manuals even go on to mention steam or small engine exhaust as suitable "alternative" shielding/purge gases.



Think if I did ever do such a thing I would probably spend a few extra dollars and coat the inside of the tank, os I know it won't rust out in the next 150 years.
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Last edited by diesel research; 11-19-2011 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:38 PM   #16
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

There is no real need to weld on the tank itself. Put it in a frame if needed, and plumb it.
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotek View Post
Hate to be Debbie Downer here, but does anyone else think this is a bad idea? Between the propane residue and welding on a pressure tank, the potential for a Darwin moment is pretty good, not to mention that if there was an accident, any competent insurance adjuster would bounce the claim in a heartbeat.
I don't think there would be any problems if you take a bit of care to remove any remaining gas.

I used to make pot belly heaters for friends that are great for cooler nights in the backyard. I'd get old auto LPG tanks and fill them with water to displace any residual gas. Cut the brackets off, Oxy a hole in the top, cut a door in the side, then weld on a collar at the top for the flue and a car rim for a base.

Over the years I've made about 10 this way with no "Darwin" moments.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

So anyone else?
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:18 AM   #19
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

I have welded on the 20lb bottles. Filled with water then dumped. I think for price you should contact a supplier. I don't know the rules for recert but they may have some that are "junk".

How large do you want?
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:32 AM   #20
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Default Re: Convert propane tank into compressor air tank ??

At work, we are on what we call "party air" meaning one massive comp. supplies numerous facilities. You guys should see the size of the compressors. I mean they are MASSIVE.

At any rate, we have an old 500lb tank in back of the locomotive shop. Yes a 500lb former propane tank from back in the 40's. Heavy duty stuff from back in the day still getting the job done & passing annual inspection each year. You would be surprised how the U.S. did stuff during the peak of WWII, when this facility was built. 'Specially anything metel related.

Our local propane supplier had to come out & do work on dads tank a few years ago. He used dry ice to get rid of any residue inside the tank. Said it was the best way to get everything out.

Yes, it can be done, just go about it safely.
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