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skibum

Oxygen Tanks and environmental temperatures

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Hi all,

For starters, I searched for an answer to my question already and haven't been able to find it discussed anywhere. So my apologies up front if this is a repost (call it "user-error").

I have recently been issued a small oxygen tank (and accessories) by my volunteer squad to be carried in my POV, to be used when responding directly to a scene prior to ambulance arrival. My question is, is it safe to leave the 02 tank in my un-sheltered vehicle? Thus exposing it to cold temperatures during winter, and hot during summer.

I have put some thought into it, and haven't been able to convince myself one way or the other. On one hand, the tanks are designed for a large spectrum of use, including cold and hot weather rescues; and they are able to withstand high pressures. On this side of the coin, the tanks seem pretty rugged, and leaving it in its 'home' should be a walk in the park, right? On the other hand, I have read about regulator failure causing some serious problems/injuries, and I'd like to avoid this at all costs (as I'm certain everyone does). So to expand a bit on my question, it seems obvious for safety sake, the tank should be brought in every night when extreme temperatures are possible. Are the scenarios I depicted extreme enough to warrant this extra effort of bringing the equipment into the house and then back into the vehicle when necessary, or are these temperatures considered within the scope of the design of the equipment (or perhaps this varies based on tank manufacturer?)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/thoughts.

-skibum

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I contacted the manufacturer of our aluminium Jumbo D tanks and asked them this same question. We leave tanks closed up tightly inside vehicles with lots of glass (Tahoe, Suburban, Excursion) all day long in direct sunlight on 140 degree days and I too had the same question. According to the manufacturer, it is not a problem. The tank is not considered to be compromised until something like 450 degrees, at which point the special coating on it turns brown to indicate the tank should be discarded. And WAY before that, like at half that temperature, the relief valve would pop and relieve any dangerous pressure.

If I can find the e-mail, I'll come back and post it, but don't hold your breath. But yeah, the manufacturer says it's not a problem. Of course, if you're using steel or composite tanks, you'll need to contact your own manufacturer for peace of mind.

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Well one thing to consider is that the O2 coming out of the tank would be the same temperature as the ambient temperature it was stored in.

Also, I don't know how well plastic o-rings (if that is the kind you use) would hold up to extreme cold for long periods.

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Actually, the O2 would probably lose heat upon depressurization, ie. it would be colder when it would come out of the pressurized tank.

I've wondered about this for a large snow mobile ("cat") my volunteer SAR squad recently purchased and I haven't really come up with a solution. The cat would primarily be transporting patients in the wilderness where no other option exists (if the weather would permit a helicopter, the patient would be in it), since the cat can only do 20-30 mph. Therefore, in the rare cases a patient would be transported in the cat, we would probably be looking at long transport times. I was wondering about placing a 25L O2 tank on the top of it (that would give us about 5 and a half hour at 100% FiO2) and connect to an internal delivery system of some kind, so there would be an "O2 tap" inside.

Here's a picture of the cat before they made a bigger passenger compartment:

http://www.bjorgunarsveit.is/index.php?opt...;g2_itemId=2305

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I've always been told to bring the tank in with cold conditions.

It was said that the O2 could crystalize.

I suppose it could be considered foolish to not check it out and make sure

but it doesn't bother to bring it in. Habit now.[/font:bffe13842e] [/font:bffe13842e]

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I wondered if the climate or weather would hurt the dept. issued cylinder or regulator that I leave in my Unimed bag in the SUV. Air Gas East, pretty much the only EMS oxygen people that I could find in the state, said "Depends". It depends on the normal climates, etc. If you live in an enviroment with "extreme" climate, i.e. Alaska, Northern Canada; Arizona, Texas, Mexico, etc. High temps could ruin the seals and O rings; low temps can break the diaphram in your regulator. But with a shifting climate, no extreme changes like real cold to very warm in a matter of hours, such as Pennsylvania has, it shouldn't hurt it. However, for safety sake, All "Chemetron Cylinders, if possible, should not be left in temperatures that exceed 110*F, or drop below 38*F, for an extended period of time. The same goes for B&F, Flotec and Hudson Medical Gas Regulators".

So. I just bring the bag inside when its cold. Not really that heavy, so if I need it, I bring it along. If I don't have it with me, I go to the fire house, no big deal. But its a better plan than having to replace the brass and rubber O ring, which are more expensive than the plastic (vinyl) green rings, but last longer and comply with federal standards. (according to the oxygen people).

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I read an article today about not reusing the gaskets for O2 tanks because some times fire results.

Air leaks by the reused washer and can by friction causes heat and regulators, boom on fire.[/font]

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Actually, the O2 would probably lose heat upon depressurization, ie. it would be colder when it would come out of the pressurized tank.

I've wondered about this for a large snow mobile ("cat") my volunteer SAR squad recently purchased and I haven't really come up with a solution. The cat would primarily be transporting patients in the wilderness where no other option exists (if the weather would permit a helicopter, the patient would be in it), since the cat can only do 20-30 mph. Therefore, in the rare cases a patient would be transported in the cat, we would probably be looking at long transport times. I was wondering about placing a 25L O2 tank on the top of it (that would give us about 5 and a half hour at 100% FiO2) and connect to an internal delivery system of some kind, so there would be an "O2 tap" inside.

Here's a picture of the cat before they made a bigger passenger compartment:

http://www.bjorgunarsveit.is/index.php?opt...;g2_itemId=2305

As a side note to your cat pictures..

Those are the neatest, most beautiful mountian pictures I have ever seen! The picutre right after the cat if magnificant! I just had to share that!

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