Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #521

There's been a fair amount of talk on the list about the potential for
explosion using certain fertilizer ingredients, and some warnings about
DIY CO2 canisters exploding from pressure.  Yet I've never seen a warning
about high-pressure CO2 tanks.  So I'm filling that void.

I don't want to scare anyone, but this is a true story.  At my Alma
Matter, NJIT, we used to call the large gas cylinders used in the labs
"photon torpedoes" because of an incident.  A grad student moved some
cylinders, but failed to use the safety straps to secure the tops of the
cylinders to the harness at the top of the lab table.  After a hose was
tugged, the cylinder fell over, and is it did, the main valve struck some
equipment and was broken.  Because of the pressure inside, the valving cam
right off, and the tank took off.  And I mean OFF.  It went right down the
aisle in the lab, and gathered enough momentum to go THROUGH THE WALL and
into a professor's car.  As I recall, the gas was nitrogen, but it might
have been helium.

Anyway, secure your tanks.  Accidents like these are very, very rare.  The
smaller tanks used by aquarists may not even be large and heavy enough to
damamge themselves when they fall over, but caution is certainly
warranted.  Oh, and if the valve does come open full blast, and even the
tank tank doesn't come off, open a window quick.  Although the gas may not
harm you directly, it WILL quickly displace all or most of the air in the
room, and you may pass out from lack of oxygen.

Sorry, had all this drilled into me in college. . .

Would you rather I be pointed, or blunt?  -- Edziu