View Full Version : Propane feed hose

02-28-2008, 01:11 AM
Must be about 5 yrs ago now that I made up my propane torch with it's feed hose to be run from the 5 lb tank. The hose is starting to get a little stiff now. I made it from drip tubing, the stuff that's used to feed water to plants. I covered it with a copper braid for protection, since I had that on hand. Not the best choice, but it has lasted well enough. But now I should replace this hose before it exits, or exits me. The hose is about 5 ft long, and remains connected to the tank. I built a stand for it all so it's reasonably tip proof and I have somewhere to put the torch.

The torch itself is made from aluminum, brass, and vcr parts. I used one of the adjustable tape guides to make the gas valve, and it has pretty good adjustability. I was getting tired of the (almost) all or nothing performance of the typical propane torch valve.

Anyway, this isn't about the torch, just the hose. I just love that 1/4 inch flexible air line I got from Princess Auto. How do you think it will fare with propane? I know the core material is not the same as the outer casing, but I'm not sure what material it is. I don't want to use the typical propane hose as it's bulky and unweildly for this small torch. The air line has plenty of pressure capability so that isn't a problem. I always use the valve on the tank anyway to shut off when I'm done with the torch, so there's no day in day out pressure inside the hose.

I'd go back to the drip tubing, but I thought the air line might be a better idea. As far as the inside diameter, I think the drip tube is 3/16, but I don't recall right now. 1/8 ID would be lots for the flow rate the torch uses, but the fittings do have to have some strength, so - to me the 1/4 inch air line seems ideal. Any comments?

02-28-2008, 01:30 AM
Is this sitting at pre or post regulated pressure?

02-28-2008, 01:51 AM
The real stuff is easy enough to find..
Flammable gas hose is NOT something to scrimp on.....

02-28-2008, 02:36 AM
No regulator, full tank pressure to hose and torch. Same as ordinary propane torch with bottle screwed on.

Bguns, the reason is to get the lighter weight and more flexibility. The smallest size in the link you posted is similar to what's on my barbeque- overbearing for the size of my torch. I'd like to be able to put the torch down and not have the hose twist the torch off the stand. It's like having 12/3 cabtire hanging from your headphones.

02-28-2008, 02:47 AM
What you need is type "T" gas hose. Ought to be able to get it at a local weld shop. Should be able to find it in smaller sizes since it is used on small torches.

02-28-2008, 04:03 AM
Propane hose must be rated at 300 psi. This sort of rig is a lot safer if there's a good flow restrictor in place to limit gas flow in the event of a ruptured hose.

Make sure any rubber components are rated for propane, as propane _will_ attack some materials.


- Bart

02-28-2008, 04:48 AM
Go to your local welding supply,ask for the red hose(fuel usage) runs about .40-.50 cents a foot.

Your Old Dog
02-28-2008, 06:15 AM
Keep in mind you don't want to do anything that might compromise your home oweners insurance. Best to use the right stuff even though some other choices might be available.

02-28-2008, 04:45 PM
Thanks for the tip on using a flow restrictor, Bart. I will be incorporating that in the fitting I use right off the tank. I will ask about type T hose- and will visit a welding supply place. Thanks for all the advice.

It is my intent to ensure safety with this upgrade, and I think I will also ask my insurance company about the use of propane indoors. The tall and the stubby bottles are legal to keep and use indoors, as I understand it, but I feel they are more dangerous as they are tippy and the valves aren't that good. Some I've had can't be shut off all the way, and after some time all the propane has leaked into the shop. I don't think it's right to have to unscrew the torch from the tank each time it's put away, as that suggests that the valve on the throwaway tank is going to seal each and every time. To me those are more dangerous than the 5 lb tank I use with it's substantial and well protected shutoff valve.

With a properly rated hose, I would consider my system to be safer overall. I would feel safer if say I dropped the torch and had to quickly shut off the main tank, than if I dropped the throwaway tank/torch combo and had to deal with a leak there. Legalities are another matter, and I'll check up on it.

I realize that part of the reason for the 0000 welding cable sized gas hose is for cut, burn, and other damage resistance in the hands of the weekend beer-enhanced hamburger clutz fumbling with the barbeque, but I thought there had to be some hose made that's more apt for my application. The welding hose sounds about right- I'll be looking into it all.

Have I been lucky throughout my propane handling experiences- probably. I have used some very questionable hose/fittings/tanks/ etc. Do I intend to keep doing this- no. I think the last dangerous act I did is to empty the dozen or more full, partially full, old, dented, etc throwaway propane bottles that SOMEBODY had to deal with when my friend moved. I emptied these into my 20 lb tank. I don't recommend to anyone to do this- but there's no commercially available way to do it anyway. Propane accidents are often huge and life-taking.

I'm doing a relatively simple hose replacement for improved safety, not a big deal. But maybe it's timely that I bring this up for all to consider again. Maybe it would be good for all to assess the condition of any and all propane tanks that you may have around, especially the invisible ones like the throwaways that are hidden in the camping gear, etc.

Alistair Hosie
02-28-2008, 05:20 PM
Well said B'guns you are correct.get your wallet out and pay a few bucks for a good nights sleep.

02-28-2008, 08:13 PM
Well I took my wallet with me but was unable to find any hose to buy except pre-made barbeque ones.

That doesn't surprise me here. I could have come home with 13 light years worth of knitting wool, but I'd have to braid it into a hose myself, then seal it with a pate of overdone squid and corn starch. Somehow I think I'd be better off with the air hose.

We have several metalwork shops, a welding equipment supplier, a Lordco, hardware store, etc-

Maybe this weekend I'll get to go to a larger urban center and may find the right thing.

02-29-2008, 01:35 PM
Up here in Alaska you have to know where to look..
Local outfit Alas** Rubber :) stocks most anything made with rubber..
Hose, Fittings, V Belts. Pit Liner, Crown Rubber, Hand Fuel pumps etc
They are pretty much the only place to go to up here, and if they don't have it, know where to order it....

Hit your Yellow Pages under Rubber first Hose 2nd...

03-01-2008, 12:36 AM
So far, no one has suggested checking with your propane dealer. Tell them what you need. My dealer made up some hoses for me once and the price was quite reasonable, and I knew I was getting the right stuff and put together right. Also, McMaster Carr has many pages of hose for more uses than you can imagine. Their catalog is on line.

03-01-2008, 02:35 AM
Our propane dealers here do nothing but fill tanks. One used to have supplies but that's all gone now. Closer to the 'city' I'll have a better chance. I'm sure I can order it in, but I naively thought I might find it locally. One of our best machine shops suggested I go to a fireplace business. I did, and they didn't recognize grade T-

Not a big deal- I'll just have to hit the industrial area in the megaloptiklus when I'm out that way.

03-01-2008, 07:33 AM
The largest size propane bottle you are allowed to have in the house is what used to be a 1 lb bottle. Now it's 450 grams. :D

That is probably determined by the amount of propane it takes to produce a flammable mixture in air for the average size garage. I generally don't keep the disposable bottles inside as I have had them leak on more than one occasion. The problem with propane of course is that it is heavier than air and will settle in low areas waiting to be ignited. Have you thought about plumbing up a natural gas connection for your torch? That can be done legally just like they do in science labs everywhere.

03-01-2008, 07:02 PM
Good idea, Evan. I have n/g hot water and heat- that would be the answer of course. No tank changing, no fiddling with tippy and leaky bottles, and I already have a lline in place for the old gas stove which has been replaced by an elecric. This could be the legal way to having a small heat treat oven in the shop as well.

Now I'm wondering what pressure is used in the n/g piping inside the building-

I will likely need to have a certified gas man do the 'deed'-

03-01-2008, 07:26 PM
go to a plumbing supply house and get an acetylene hose for the "B" tank torch,
sold under the TURBO_TORCH name
ps gas pressure in residential is 3.5" water column, about one third of a pound pressure.

03-01-2008, 08:09 PM
one third of a pound- 3 HUNDRED times less than propane bottle. It's a wonder the gas can make it around the elbows :) How in heck can the pilot flame stay lit, not to mention the burners themselves-

At any rate, my torch would have to be redesigned to use n/g, and I doubt that my valve would pass enough gas at that low a pressure to make a decent size flame. I don't mind doing a redesign- I could improve on the torch as I jetted and valved it to suit n/g.

I called around a few minutes ago, but got very little info. One guy said that there's no hard and fast rules, it's just up to the gas safety branch to either approve or disapprove an installation. Hmm- how then would they know how to go about doing a proper instal- I don't think I'll be calling them back.

I'm constantly amazed at the seeming lack of knowledge about many things around here, though I'm not surprized. One field in which there does seem to be rules, guidelines, this passes inspection this doesn't, etc is electrical. Even there, we've had issues concerning an installation in an industrial building that have taken more than six months to get proper answers to, and even after the requirements were directly laid out by bc hydro, we had to go out of town to get an electrician to do the instal. It was no big deal- he came out with the right stuff, installed it, and went about his way. Couldn't get a guy from here to do that? Very stronge-

Anyway, I looked at my current gas pipe system, and it's all steel up to the take-off for the gas range, where it turns into copper for about ten feet. It must be proper design to have the inline valve right at the appliance since that's where they all seem to be. The only other place where there's a shutoff is right out of the ground before the meter. Nowhere can I shut off the gas inside the building except at each end use, which seems strange to me. Should there not be a main valve right after the pipe enters the building?

This isn't to say that I'm going to start hacking into my gas lines- I'm not. If I can re-route the oven feed down into the workshop and use it, fine. Otherwise I'm just going to forget about it.

03-01-2008, 10:00 PM
gas pressure in residential is 3.5" water column, about one third of a pound pressure.

First, the normal low pressure NG system is at 10 to 12 inches water column. Second, there are many systems in place (including mine) that run at 2 psig with individual regulators at the appliances. Also, 3.5" wc is about 0.13 psi, not 0.33.

03-01-2008, 10:15 PM

A safe and readily available hookup is a natural gas barbeque detachable connection. What you are looking for is a NG quick connect convenience outlet. It works exactly the same as a compressed air connector. You can find it at an RV dealer as well as small diameter flexible hoses.