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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Oregon
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    101

    Empty refrigerant containers

    What can someone do with empty refrigerant cylinders? I have a bunch of them and am wondering what to do with them. Someone told me to turn them into air tanks. Any suggestions? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,779
    Make a pontoon boat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,754
    I throw them by our dumpster and let the scrapers have em.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    2,750
    Quote Originally Posted by bigbucks View Post
    What can someone do with empty refrigerant cylinders? I have a bunch of them and am wondering what to do with them. Someone told me to turn them into air tanks. Any suggestions? Thanks
    That would be illegal, Open the cap and toss in trash.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,463
    I met a guy that cut them in half and converted them into charcoal grills. Another guy collected them, brought them to the woods, and shot the hell out of them. I, like jtrammel, leave them for the scrappers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    832
    Converting them to air tanks is a dangerously bad idea. Air contains moisture, which rusts the inside of the cylinder.

    You should open the valve, then cut it completely out with a torch. Then you should leave the cylinders by the dumpster or at the curb.

    A guy in a ratty old pickup truck with other various metal things dangling over the edges will be by shortly. He'll take them to the scrap yard for ya.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Pendergrass, GA
    Posts
    307
    Target practice

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    228
    You should open the valve, then cut it completely out with a torch.
    Are you aware that the cylinders have convenient little disc/dome things that you can hit with a wrench or other metal object and then render the tank incapable of holding pressure? You don't need to use a torch to make the tank unusable, which is all you need to do...

    I have a friend who cut a bunch of them up, silver-soldered them back together to make one long tank, then silver-soldered pneumatic fittings to one end. Made himself a nice air tank for his garage...

    Converting them to air tanks is a dangerously bad idea. Air contains moisture, which rusts the inside of the cylinder.
    Aren't normal air compressors just steel also? So they would also rust inside like a refrigerant tank would?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    wedged in freezer shelf
    Posts
    7,168
    They make steel drums and other insturments out of them
    The Check valve on the new tanks makes it tough to use as a air tank

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    I make jack-I-lanterns out of them and donate them to be sold at fund raisers. People seem to like em.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
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    1,221
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy knocker View Post
    I make jack-I-lanterns out of them and donate them to be sold at fund raisers. People seem to like em.
    Jack-o-lantern

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    832
    Quote Originally Posted by cmclifton View Post
    Are you aware that the cylinders have convenient little disc/dome things that you can hit with a wrench or other metal object and then render the tank incapable of holding pressure? You don't need to use a torch to make the tank unusable, which is all you need to do...
    Yes, I’ve punched through a few when I was in a hurry to rid my truck of an empty cylinder taking up space and move on to the next service call.

    I tend to be “over the top” in my endeavors on anything that passes through my hands. So, for ME, cutting out the valve leaves the cylinder readily and visibly rendered EMPTY and UN-reusable, thus removing all temptations of the innocent. Plus…cutting it with a torch lets me play with fire. AND...destroying an otherwise fully intact disposable cylinder allows me to release my pent up aggressions.

    That valve also serves as a one-way check valve to discourage their reuse. However, the internet is a tremendous resource for finding ways AROUND stuff…


    Quote Originally Posted by cmclifton View Post
    I have a friend who cut a bunch of them up, silver-soldered them back together to make one long tank, then silver-soldered pneumatic fittings to one end. Made himself a nice air tank for his garage...
    I certainly hope he "welded" them instead of merely brazing them with silver-solder!

    Quote Originally Posted by cmclifton View Post
    Aren't normal air compressors just steel also? So they would also rust inside like a refrigerant tank would?
    Heck, a PET plastic Coke bottle is rated to 150+PSI!

    A disposable refrigerant cylinder is engineered to deliver refrigerant. When considering how manufacturers try to cut their costs, don’t you think those cylinders will be manufactured as cheaply as possible?

    Those disposable refrigerant cylinders are relatively thin, non-rust-resistant tanks. (there's no anticorrosion lining or coating on the inside, since they're designed to hold moisture-free refrigerant). So, the walls on a "virgin" refrigerant cylinder aren’t nearly as thick as a recovery cylinder, a LP tank or an air tank.

    Refillable air tanks and other pressurized vessels are designed and engineered to be rated to a specific pressure and have wall thicknesses to serve in that capacity. They're a bit more expensive for a reason and, like all reusable pressure vessels, are required to undergo hydrostatic testing after a few years of service and then be retired after so many years.

    The little, el cheapo portable and rechargeable air tanks you can buy at the auto parts stores are date-stamped for a service life of five years. Then you dispose of them. THOSE tanks have a safety relief valve that releases when the safe limit is approached.

    Considering how cheaply those “purpose-designed” compressor tanks can be had, using a tank that once contained refrigerant isn’t worth it.



    A STORY TO SHARE WITH YOU

    During my years in the industrious environment of the military’s aviation community, we were multi-tasked with collateral duties. At several of my assignments, my collateral duty was as a safety manager.
    We had a tire shop. We didn’t do aircraft tires there, just tow tractor tires and the like. Solid rim, split rim and demountable-flange (like on 18 wheelers). For inflating any of those tire/wheel assemblies OFF a vehicle, we had to put them inside a tire cage (“ thick steel walls), then monitor the pressure with a ten-foot standoff gage from outside of the cage (of course).
    A Corporal that worked for me suggested that we do a demonstration for training purposes to amplify the importance of tire/wheel maintenance safety practices. So, we set up a demountable-flange tire & wheel assembly inside that cage to inflate it, but purposely DID NOT fully seat the wheel flange's locking ring.
    We held a safety class on the topic inside of our shop. The tire cage was outside. The stand-off hose was routed from the cage, underneath a closed bay door and to the inside our shop where the class would be held.
    With twenty guys in attendance, I commenced in my requisite dissertation on the subject. Nobody knew about our “intended” demonstration. While I conducted the class, Corporal Heinz proceeded to feed air to that tire outside while monitoring the pressure.
    The tire was rated for 80 psi. With our “setup”, we weren’t even sure anything would happen. He was giving me hand signals on the progress of the tire pressure.
    I was beginning to doubt this demonstration would produce any results after “six fingers” for 60 psi.
    J-U-S-T as he was going to flash seven fingers -

    BOOOOM!!!!!!!



    The class jumped! Corporal Heinz and I jumped!
    People came running from the maintenance offices. People came outside from the buildings across the street. Of course, the noise of that ring separating off the wheel was amplified by the steel walls of the tire cage. So it truly sounded like a bomb went off.

    With all the unintended attention brought to the scene by all of these people wanting to know what happened, I was having my own “Awe S#/+!” moment.
    Needless to say, the demonstration went off with a BANG. That wheel’s locking ring also left a permanent impression in the wall of the tire cage.

    With that, I leave you this a well. See post #13 >>http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread....brain+nitrogen

    *
    *
    So, aside from a coke or a beer (), I maintain tremendous for respect for anything considered “contents under pressure” and thereby highly discourage repurposing disposable refrigerant cylinders as portable air tanks.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    641
    Recover whatever refrigerant is left in it, then cut a hole a few inches in diameter in the top. Now you have an interesting container for all sorts of stuff. Like giving it to your children along with some junk gauge sets so they can be "the A/C guy/girl" on Halloween.

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