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Propane Tank Valve Removal

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  • Propane Tank Valve Removal

    Hey Good People,

    I finally scavenaged me a propane tank (100 lb. cap., I think), and started to prepare it for some more metal art. I am having trouble removing the valve on it. I would very much appreciate it if some of you experts (or not so expert ) could advise me as to how to remove the da*n thing. On the oxy tanks I have been working with, I just cut them off with a grinder with a cutoff blade. I am kinda skittish about doing this with propane though. Explosive gases are things I try not to play with.

    Thanks in advance for all your help.

    If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, Baffle them with bull$***.


  • #2
    The ones I've dealt with are all put in with a lock-tite type material. We're talking serious force to get one out. Think vises, homemade straps and big cheaters.


    • #3
      They do use some type of thread locking agent on those. I got one out one time with a 15 inch long crecent wrench and a pipe on the handle. You might have to cut off the circular guard to swing the wrench.


      • #4
        I've done a few of those. I soak the valve threads with penetrant over night, then lay it down, straddle it like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove, put a BIG adjustable on it, and smack it with my 5 pound hand sledge. Takes a number of hits, but it'll go!

        I also did one using ratchet straps to secure the tank to an up right (I use the bolted down leg of one of my welding tables, but a tree would work!) Then you could try a 10' length of 2" pipe, or something similar to just twist it off.
        Last edited by Hotfoot; 06-23-2008, 09:49 AM.
        "Good Enough Never Is"


        • #5
          Yeah, the hard part is keeping the tank from turning.


          • #6
            Bring it out in the sticks somewhere safe, back off about 50 yards and hit it with a high velocity projectile. After it has lost all pressure, you ought to be good to go. I've shot several over the years and there have been some interesting results. .22 long rifle won't penetrate the tank material and neither will .45ACP FMJ. 7.65X25 will punch the tank as will most center fire rifle rounds. I shot one with my 4 bore cannon and the 4000 grain soft lead slug put a hole in it that you could nearly get your hand through.

            The most fun we ever had with one was when my brother in law and I put a road flare next to a tank that we tethered with a log chain, backed off about 100 yards and shot it with my AR. That was a decent fire ball!

            Errr uhmmm, back on topic. I would feel safest, backing up and shooting that valve off. IMHO YMMV
            Two turn tables and a microphone.


            • #7
              Bring it out in the sticks somewhere safe, back off about 50 yards and hit it with a high velocity projectile. After it has lost all pressure, you ought to be good to go.
              Or you could open the valve.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sandy View Post
                Or you could open the valve.
                Think so? Give it a try.
                Two turn tables and a microphone.


                • #9
                  I've used a crowfoot.

                  I tacked the bottom ring to a nearly full sheet of .375, got a crowfoot on a breaking bar in there, and smacked the bar with a single jack. Broke the tacks!

                  Made the tacks a bit more sturdy and went at it again. Once I was able to crack it, it came out easily enough.

                  Sure as heck wer't no fun, though.

                  Opening the valve works on old timers, but these new ones with the OPD's have a ball check built in. Gotta screw sumpin' in there to vent it.

                  ...from the Gadget Garage
                  MM 210 w/3035, BWE
                  HH 210 w/DP 3035
                  Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange
                  Avatar courtesy of Bob Sigmon...


                  • #10
                    Even the OPDs have the vent screw in the side, or like hank says, screw in a fitting with no hose. Slow and easy so the piston doesn't slam up in place, or have a reg on it.


                    • #11
                      Take it to propane dealer and see how they secure tank and remove valve with hammer wrench.


                      • #12
                        Propane tank/Methtank/anhydrous ammonia WARNING

                        Just to add a word of warning! about picking up propane tanks from the side of the road or some that are given to you. From a friend of a friend etc. It seems that the drug culture is taking and discarding them after a couple uses.

                        Here is the warning from snopes .com

                        There are all kinds of stories about them being exchanged to regular people refilled with propane.

                        Which I find suspect as the propane companies do an inspection before they refill. And I sure they were one of the first to know about this. And they aren't going to raise their insurance and liability for a silly reason as using unsafe tanks to save a couple of bucks.

                        As to answering the question about removing the valve, unless you are going to do a bunch. I take it to my LWS/propane dealer. Slip him a couple of bucks, he puts it in his stand clamps it in place, places his wrench on it and its off in under 30 seconds.

                        Failing that option. place the tank on a log so the top of the tank with valve will be just above waist level. Next to a tree Ratchet strap it to the tree and use the appropriate sized wrench with extender to remove.

                        I you are planning to do more or just because you can hit the pawn shop or flea market for a wrench and heat and bend so it clears the guard on the tank.
                        glen, been there, done that and probably broke it!If you aren't on the edge. You'r taking up to much room


                        • #13
                          Hey knowledgeworker, I recently made 2 large gongs from old 100 lb propane tanks. First, I soaked the threads overnite with PB Blaster, then laid them flat on the ground, attached a chain wrench to the top of the tank(where the cap threads are), then a large pipe wrench on the brass valve, put my foot on the chain wrench handle and whacked the pipe wrench with a 3lb brass hammer, took just a couple hits on the first one, second a little more stubborn, soaked that one a second nite and came off easily the next day. Then, filled with water to purge the on the lookout for more salvaged tanks, easy way to make a couple hundred bucks for about 3 hrs work!
                          "Associate yourselves with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation, for it is better to be alone than in bad company" George Washington


                          • #14
                            Hey Gentlepeople,

                            Thanks for all of your suggestions. It gives me multiple ideas when (not if ) some of my efforts are less than successful. I haven't had a chance to work with the tank since I originated this thread, but don't fear, this is the weekend. Thought I would let you know that I went by the local scrapyard today and scored 7 more propane tanks (various sizes) and 2 oxygen bottles (respitory type).

                            I will keep you all advised of my progress.

                            I am also still open to any additional suggestions....regarding valve removal.

                            Thanks again,
                            IN GOD WE TRUST!

                            If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, Baffle them with bull$***.

                            AMERICA-LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!


                            • #15
                              Send us a posthumous post if ya get blowed up.
                              Arcin' and sparkin', Rocky D <><
                              Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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