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Old 09-07-2010, 05:10 PM   #1
Alwims
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Why am I still alive?

I did the most stupid thing I've ever done in my 56yrs on this earth today. I was installing an electrical box so I could plug my generator in, that is in my pickup, to the Monty. That way we could run the air for about an hour before we get to our destination.

I ran the wires, without incident. I was going to install the plug-in box in the front compartment so I could run the cable for it to the generator.

That's when somebody and I hope it was the good lord, started looking over me. Keep in mind, I'm not what you would call a religious person, but I do believe in a higher power.

I picked up my cordless drill with the screw driver attachment, put a self tapping screw on it and proceed to mount the box. I drilled through a layer of metal and hit another layer and decided, hmm, must be a double wall. About 3 seconds later, I've got propane blowing in my face. Yep, you guessed it, I drilled right into a full 30lb propane tank.

My mind when into automatic and I ran to the back of the Monty and unplugged the electrical cord, went to the pole and shut off the power, sat down on the ground and prayed it didn't blow up. I have no idea why it didn't blow up when I punctured the tank, but I was using my cordless drill instead of my plug in drill. With my plug in drill I can see the brushes spark when I push the switch. I don't know why I picked up the cordless drill because the plug in drill had a screw driver attachment in it too.

I know I'm new to you folks, but just wanted to share my stupidity. My wife, that I love more than anything in the world, after she made sure I was alright, called me one of her pet names, A Dumb A$$.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
Trailer Trash 2
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OK Alan, how did you stop or slow down the flow just in case that mught happen to one of us out here, did you use a hand screw driver and put that screw back into the tank to slow down the leak or just let it run out.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:30 PM   #3
7.3Ford
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Alan,

Glad things didn't blew up on you. I here that LP tanks are under 300 lbs of pressure.

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Old 09-07-2010, 06:41 PM   #4
Alwims
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I just let it leak out. I figured I was better off leaving it alone rather than taking a chance of causing a spark. After about 30 mins. I took the tank out and there was still propane in the bottom below the hole so I took it to my garden and let it leak out into the ground. That's where it still is till morning, then I'll figure out how to dispose of it properly.

It felt like 300lbs plus when it hit me in the face. My beard had icicles on it in a split second. Even now, eight hours later, all I can smell is propane.
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:01 PM   #5
HamRad
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Alan,
Go NOW and buy a bunch of Lottery tickets! Actually for whatever reasons these tanks seem to be difficult to blow up. If you watch the Myth Busters on television you may have seen the episode where they tried to blow up the tanks. And you KNOW how they like to blow things up! Anyway they shot it. They dropped it. They even built a huge fire and dropped them into the fire. If I remember correctly they never did get a tank to blow. That is until the strapped some good ole C-40 or whatever they use. Then the tank blew.

My CRS prevents me from be able to give you an iron clad guarantee that this is what happened. But the gist of this rambling post is that it is apparently very difficult to get the tank to blow up.

I am glad you are still with us in our MOC world. Keep going.... Let's see what was I doing just before things got interesting? Oh, yeah I was installing an electrical box for the genny.

Good luck and let us know when you get it finished. Maybe even some pictures.
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:28 AM   #6
bobsals
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Alan, I think most of us have done one thing or another that we wonder how we got away with it. Just the fact that propane is very finicky about when it will ignite is probably the saving grace. Propane needs a mixture of between 2.4 and 9.5% gas-in-air to be able to ignite. How many multiple times have we tried lighting our stove or gas grill. I worked in the natural gas industry for 38 years and have gained a lot of respect for the potential power of compressed gasses. You were lucky, but I would have been even more surprised if it did ignite. Good luck with the project.

Bob
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:12 AM   #7
H. John Kohl
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I thought I would read about hitting an electrical wire. I was not expecting the Propane story. Definitely glad all is well and only bruised ego.

Thank you for posting so others can think about what might be behind or inside that wall.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:48 AM   #8
Fire5er
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Alan you did the right thing by walking away once you hit the tank and had a leak. All the other things can be replaced, but not you. You most certainly did have the good lord watching over you that day, and every day as a matter of fact. Great story that needs to be shared. Thanks.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:11 PM   #9
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Now that is a lesson we all can reflect on to do extra checks before operating our drill. Thank you.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:51 PM   #10
Mudchief
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Glad you are ok.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:55 PM   #11
Bill-N-Donna
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by H. John Kohl

I thought I would read about hitting an electrical wire. I was not expecting the Propane story. Definitely glad all is well and only bruised ego.

Thank you for posting so others can think about what might be behind or inside that wall.

I second that!
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:01 PM   #12
bob n pam
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Oh, my goodness. I'm so glad you are okay, just a little frostbitten. Thanks for sharing this cautionary tale.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:08 PM   #13
Waynem
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You are truly MOC'ing lucky.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:31 AM   #14
simonsrf
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Lucky you!

Others have had a lapse in brain power; one friend drilled into his batteries several times while trying to fasten a PVC pipe to his rig.

Best of luck in the future!
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:33 PM   #15
tonycamacho
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A few years ago a friend of mine with a class "A" RV had his propane tank filled in Oceanside, Ca. The operator that filled the tank remarked to my friend that as a favor he put a little extra propane in the tank so it should last longer. As my friend proceeded to San Diego he began to smell propane and his wife noticed a stream of vapor trailing the RV. They stop and as he opened the propane compartment where the vapor was flowing out, he heard the water pump cycle and fire ball engulfed the RV. My pal barely had time enough to extract his wife and the furball cat before the coach burn to the ground. The fire department arrived and was not able to save the coach but did get enough water on the propane tank cooling it and keeping it from exploding. Their investigation revealed that the tank was overfilled and as the day temperatures rose the pressure in the tank increased, it popped the safety disc and began discharging the propane. A spark from the water pump when it cycled lit off the vapor.
A later law suit over this matter determined that the operator was not certified to fill propane and overfilled or over pressured the tank. The company was found at fault.

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