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CO2 Tank Started Unscrewing

#1 User is offline   Huff n Puff 

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Posted 10 October 2007 - 11:28 PM

A couple weeks ago there was a group of us playing and something bad happened. At the end of the day a young kid started unscrewing his CO2 tank and watched it. That was good, but the bad thing was that the CO2 tank was unscrewing from the valve. Thankfully he was smart and stopped and told us. Good thing is that the CO2 was near empty so one guy went into the middle of an open field, set the marker down and let the A-5 keep leaking out the extra air. A while later the tank was completely drained and another guy unscrewed the empty tank, nothing happened and we disposed of the tank.

The problem I had was that none of us really knew what to do. I can't find proper procedure on what to do when the tank starts unscrewing. I always hear to notify a field owner or properly trained personnel. Unfortunately this was a rec game with nobody who knew what to do. Did we do the right thing? What should we do different? Any other tips?
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#2 User is offline   BONUSROUND 

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 03:16 AM

You did do the right thing. Some of the other things that could be done are: (wear leather insulated gloves to protect against frostbite from the CO2 and get 100 yards away from anyone)
1) Screw the tank back onto the valve until it is properly seated.
2) Depressurize the tank by firing the marker till it stops shooting "AND" slowly unscrew a hose fitting until it starts to leak at a steady rate (you should see frost around the fitting) let sit till it stops leaking.
3) With a wrench, unscrew the valve (NOT THE TANK) from the marker. Then using a screwdriver depress the pin on the valve to make sure that the tank is fully depressurized. Don't point the valve at anyone or put your face near it when doing this!
4) Take the tank back to where you bought it from so that the manufacturer can be notified, by doing so you might save someone’s life!
The normal operating pressure of a CO2 tank is between 850-1800 psi, which is more than enough to send the tank rocketing around and "KILL" someone. This is why it is best to leave this kind of stuff to the pros, if and whenever possible. If it is not then use extreme caution when doing so, because it can kill you or anyone else around you.

This post has been edited by BONUSROUND: 11 October 2007 - 06:04 AM

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#3 User is offline   ag09 

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:43 PM

Let me first say I am not an expert by any means about compressed air and CO2.

That being said,
Once the tank is empty, could you slowly screw out the burst disk to finish the tank incase of any residual pressure?
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#4 User is offline   mtaylor 

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 09:49 PM

View Postag09, on Oct 13 2007, 10:43 PM, said:

Let me first say I am not an expert by any means about compressed air and CO2.

That being said,
Once the tank is empty, could you slowly screw out the burst disk to finish the tank incase of any residual pressure?


my thoughts exactly

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#5 User is offline   Fashion assasin 

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:35 PM

you should always be careful , thats it thats all

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#6 User is offline   little_ben 

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 04:30 PM

same thing happened to me when i first started, a guy screwed it back in all the way and used a cresant wrench to make sure the pin valve unscrewed.
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#7 User is offline   Traakon 

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 05:57 PM

You don't want to try and unscrew the burst disk to vent pressure...NEVER DO THIS! Visualize, a small brass fitting the size of a .44 cal slug with 1800 psi behind it. Got the picture! There is NO SAFE WAY to remove a burst disc from a pressurized tank.

Huff n Puff, ya did good based on the information and just what should have been done with no one of knowledge there.

As a matter of importance, this should have been caught by whoever filled the tank. The process of inspecting a tank for filling includes a check of the valve body to assure it it properly secured. I know this gets overlooked by some and for those with their own fill station, they overlook it, always thinking they know what they are doing.

Even if you fill your own tank from your own bulk fill station, always:
1) Check the tank for damage.
2) Check for being within hydro date.
3) Check the valve to tank connection.

All these BEFORE its ever attached to the fill station.

If you take your tanks in to be filled and you don't see them doing this, take them somewhere else.

Remember, if your going to play paintball, make sure the person filling your tanks is properly trained and certified to perform the task.
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#8 User is offline   BONUSROUND 

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:25 PM

The way a burst disk is designed, little or no CO2 will vent around the burst disk. Also, there are only 4 to 6 threads holding the burst disk in. So, unscrewing a burst disk on a pressurized CO2 tank is very dangerous like Traakon said.
Good job Traakon!
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#9 User is offline   ks~gunner 

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 03:32 PM

Good job. I have a question after you depressurized the gun did you change the burst disc or what?
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#10 User is offline   Huff n Puff 

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:22 PM

View Postks~gunner, on Oct 16 2007, 04:32 PM, said:

Good job. I have a question after you depressurized the gun did you change the burst disc or what?

The burst disk wasn't the problem. The tank unscrewed from the valve. Because you have to ship your tank elsewhere to have it hydrotested we figured it would be cheaper to throw away the tank and buy a new one.


By the way the guy who filled the tank did check it over. It was a in fairly good condition, well within the hydrotest date, and the mark on the tank valve and body hadn't moved and didn't show any signs of moving. This is why it was such a surprise that the tank unscrewed from the valve.
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#11 User is offline   mtaylor 

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 03:40 PM

i don't mean unscrew the burst disc to vent the pressure, but to keep the pressure from building up inside the tank afterwards. i thought that would be fairly common sense.

I'm kinda sucking at English right now...

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#12 User is offline   ks~gunner 

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Posted 17 October 2007 - 07:04 PM

Our local place dose hypr test for like $5, but ya it would be cheaper to just get a new air tank than ship it somewhere.
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#13 User is offline   Huff n Puff 

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:17 PM

View Postmtaylor, on Oct 17 2007, 04:40 PM, said:

i don't mean unscrew the burst disc to vent the pressure, but to keep the pressure from building up inside the tank afterwards. i thought that would be fairly common sense.

I'm kinda sucking at English right now...


pressure building up wasn't the big problem (actually the tank was almost empty so very little pressure was in it). After the valve unscrews then you need to have it replaced by someone who knows what they're doing, and it needs to be hydrod. So we just disposed the tank and bought a new one.
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#14 User is offline   ProX 

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 10:04 PM

View Postks~gunner, on Oct 17 2007, 09:04 PM, said:

Our local place dose hypr test for like $5, but ya it would be cheaper to just get a new air tank than ship it somewhere.

Count yourself as one of the lucky ones then. Nobody really does it around here. I would have had to send mine out of state! Yes, out of state - I called a very reputable industrial supply shop, one that supplies the filling places around me... 18.00 and a 2-3 week lead time! Hmmmmm - I think I'll just get new ones!
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#15 User is offline   Orpackrat 

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Posted 25 October 2007 - 12:20 AM

At a game not too long ago, will filling tanks, I had one kid come to me and want his 20oz filled. The tank started unscrewing itself so to fix it, he had put some glue around it. It was a semi-clear glue cover. I refused to fill the tank and basically told him that no one with a brain would fill it in that condition. It was a rocket/bomb/killer bullet, waiting to happen. He thought it was just fine with the glue on it :panzer: .
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