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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my 5lb C02 cylinder into Praxair today and got it refilled. Brought it home and rehooked it up and got everything running properly. Sat back and was about to watch some TV and suddenly... boom!

Scared the heck out of me and my boy. C02 was screaming out of the cylinder in a white cloud and the tank was icing up like crazy. I got my kid and the dog upstairs as fast as I could and then ran back down, tore the tubing off the reactor and tried to turn off the cylinder. Holding my breath I ran as fast as I could outside with the cylinder. By this time it had emptied into my basement.

I opened all the windows and have been airing the place out ever since. Considering it's about -15 celsius outside the house is quite cool right now. Both myself and the kid laid upside down on the stairs hoping to get any C02 we may have breathed out of our lungs. Everything seems to be fine now about an hour later.

Last time I had the tank filled I noticed it was at about 800lbs. This time I noticed it was over 1000lbs. Did they over fill it? I'll be going back tomorrow with a bit of a mad on.

Very scary situation.
 

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Sounds like it was overfilled. I would take the regulator in with me and have them make sure it isn't damaged.
 

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Over reaction. ~5 lbs of CO2 is not going to be harmful in the house.

And if the cylinder pressure while cold is over 1000 PSI it was over filled.

If the burst disc of the regulator is blown then it will need to be replaced. If it's one of the cheap Chinese knock off regulators start shopping for another regulator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Rex,

5 lbs of C02 may not be harmful in the house, but when you get a few breaths of straight C02 you're better of being safe than sorry.

The pressure relief valve that blew was on the valve on the tank, not the regulator. The regulator is a Milwaukee reg and goes up to 3000 psi so I know that it is fine.

Still, scared the hell out of me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Took it back and talked to them today. They were very apologetic and the guy admitted he thought it was a "G" size bottle not the "R" that it is. They gave me a new cylinder and a C0 monitor for my basement.

They are also shipping some full tanks ("R" size) to their west end branch so I don't have to drive so far to get the next one filled.

All in all they were really good.
 

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They gave me a new cylinder and a C0 monitor for my basement.
I can certainly understand you being scared by this whole thing, but I also think you over-reacted. Especially when I see this statement, I think you're confusing apples and oranges. CO, carbon monoxide, is a by-product of incomplete combustion, and it is extremely dangerous. I can't remember exactly the biological process that occurs, but it bonds with hemoglobin in your blood in place of oxygen, and it can kill you. CO2 is not particularly dangerous. It's in the air all the time. In your first post, you talked about trying to get all the CO2 out of your lungs, which is impossible. It's always in there.

Some time ago, someone posted their concern about what would happen if a tank ruptured and spilled all its CO2 into the room. "Would I suffocate?" they asked. And someone with a knowledge of chemistry demonstrated that even in a modest-sized room, there would not be enough CO2 in a 5 lb tank to kill a person. And certainly not before they could leave the room.

Again, I understand this experience would be frightening, but the biggest danger to your person was the tank itself, not the gas in it. And I don't think that others should be frightened of owning a CO2 tank unnecessarily.
 

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I think you may have missed what he said in one of his posts. The co2 levels of the room will not be lethal. However the co2 levels within a couple feet of the tank with pure co2 blasting at you can be a 'tad' higher. I dont know much details, but once a high concentration makes it into your system it can be difficult to remove. Yes, co2 is always present in your lungs, but atmospheric co2 is usually only a few hundredths of a percent (oxygen is about 20%), your lungs will be a bit more since your body is creating some extra co2. In close proximity or perhaps even in an enclosed cabinet with a dumping 5# tank or more your gonna have more than 0.03% co2, probably 10's of percent until it disperses. 30% is considered quickly lethal. It will quickly dissipate though, not much to worry about, but the whole gulping almost pure co2 thing does sound a bit scary. And you got a free carbon monoxide detector too, wont probably do much for co2 level detection but always good to have, cool.
 

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CO2 is not particularly dangerous. It's in the air all the time.
Just because you are around something all the time doesn't mean it's not dangerous. Water can kill you, so can oxygen, ozone, uranium, etc.

Better yet, stuff your head in a plastic bag and try to breath only CO2......be sure to report back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I can certainly understand you being scared by this whole thing, but I also think you over-reacted. Especially when I see this statement, I think you're confusing apples and oranges. CO, carbon monoxide, is a by-product of incomplete combustion, and it is extremely dangerous
I'm fully aware of the difference between C02 and C0. They gave me the C0 monitor because they had one there and suggested that those of us using C02 should have 02 monitors in our aquarium rooms where C02 is being used. I haven't and won't be going to that extreme because it isn't necessary.

Now, did I overreact? I don't think so. When you have a loud explosion in your home and a white cloud of C02 filling up your basement what would you do? Sit down and light a smoke. I don't think so. You would probably do what I did. Get the kids out of the room, open windows and remove the cylinder. Wouldn't you? And then after the fact, wouldn't you also try to get any C02 you may have inhaled out of your system? If you say no to any of those questions... well then I doubt you would be telling the truth.

Trust me. The explosion alone was enough to get the heart pumping.
 

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Try standing at a grill in a restaurant when the 50 lb CO2 powered fire suppression system dumps. I've been there. Walked out of the kitchen with no problem.
 

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Hmm, a request for a person with a knowledge of chemistry?

5 pounds is 2270 grams.
CO2 weighs 44 grams/mole, for about 52 moles of CO2 in your tank.
Each mole will occupy about 22.4 liters of space at 1atm, for 1155 liters of CO2 in your tank.
CO2 is denser than air, which means that it will sink to the floor.
Assuming a 10ft x 12ft room, that's enough CO2 to cover the bottom 4" of the floor. Not a huge deal, and you can get rid of it with a couple fans.

However, when it's spraying out of the tank like in this situation, it will be in the air, and you'll be breathing a higher concentration of it than normal. To a certain extent, any that you breathe will sink to the bottom of your lungs and stay there (but it'll eventually make it out on its own from turbulence, etc in your breathing). That's a bit dangerous, because your lungs won't have room for oxygen with the CO2 sitting in there. High enough concentrations of CO2 are also poisonous (you'll die from that before you die from oxygen deprivation).

Although there wasn't a huge danger in this case, the original poster did the right thing. However, if it was a larger tank, what you did would have been very risky. Not only would there be more gas in the room, but the tank could go flying from the gas (blow up a balloon and let it go, see what happens). The tanks should be chained down for that reason (and to prevent tipping). If you're ever near a large tank that starts leaking, leave the area quickly.
 

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Dakota-
I know I would have done the same thing. Being the father of a 6 year old, she would have been my first priority also!!
Better safe than sorry. When you're a parent and something like that happens, you go into hyper-protect-your-kids mode. I guess some people don't understand that. Maybe they're not parents. :icon_smil
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There was no panic Rex. In fact, looking back, I know I did the right thing. Maybe I'm not the hero some of you like to portray yourselves as, but if it happened again, I know I would do the same thing in exactly the same fashion.
 
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