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   Author  Topic: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?  (Read 5225 times)
Balanchine
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Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« on: May 19th, 2008, 1:16pm »
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Just discovered 02 and it's great, but at $23 a fill for an E tank from my good friends at the med supply house (they're a charity of course...), which I go through in about a day, this is going to be an expensive habit. I just got off the phone with a guy from a welder's supply company and am about to go see him. However he raised the question of safety. That is, he thought it was safe but couldn't absotively, posilutely guarantee it. Now I do hate the old pain ohyesohyes, but I kind of prefer it to, oh, being dead. If anyone has any commentary I welcome it!
 
Thanks, all.
David
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #1 on: May 19th, 2008, 1:51pm »
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Hi again David
 
  "He raised the question of safety" . . . . in what regard?
 
  If you're referring to the 02 . . . possible contaminates or such.  Don't worry about it . . . same stuff that goes into the med 02 tanks.
 
  Did you tell him you were going to be using it to abort CH?  Normally, we tell folks not to mention they're going to use it for medical purposes.  You do have a script . . . so if they deliver for med purposes . . . not a problem.  But since he was unsure of it's "safety" . . . they may cater strictly to welding supply.  
 
  The only real safety issue with the large 02 tanks is the protection of the valve.  When they're delivered, they will have a heavy steel cap screwed to the tank to protect the (brass) valve.  This cap is supposed to stay on till you've either secured it to a wall, or chained it to the tank dolly . . . . then remove the cap and attach your regulator (and you'll need a different regulator . . . available on ebay . . . about $50 . . . if they don't carry same).
 
  Curious what their initial tank rental/purchase price is for what size tank.  How much are refills?
 
  Go ahead and get it today . . . and if they don't bring up the medical use . . . you don't either.
 
   Be Safe,   PFDANs
 
 Richard
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #2 on: May 19th, 2008, 1:51pm »
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David:
 
I am not speaking first hand, but others here will.  There are many who use welding O2 here.  You probably shouldn't tell them that you'll be using it medically.
 
They cannot certify it for medical use.
 
Wishing you well,
 
Ray
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #3 on: May 19th, 2008, 3:05pm »
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I was at the Linde Gas Co. They fill welder's and medical tanks from the same liquid oxygen tank. The only difference is that they "clean" medical tanks by vacuum before filling.
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Balanchine
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #4 on: May 19th, 2008, 3:32pm »
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Many thanks to all of you. You've put my mind at ease and I'm indeed grateful!
 
Given the severity of the condition with which we all can well identify, I went ahead and dropped down to the bowels of Los Angeles and visited the welding supply company. The guy was fantastic and we explored several options for tanks and regulators, coming up with a combination which we tested out and seemed to work gangbusters.
 
I mentioned his raising the safety issue. In our phone conversation he'd said something about medical oxygen being rated safe for human consumption or some such rot but welding stuff clearly not needing that stamp of approval. That was his only point.
 
In any event I tried it out at his shop and it tasted the same as the med stuff I'd been sucking down so I went ahead and bought an 80 cubic foot tank for $148 and a Uniweld brand RUH8210 Oxygen Regulator for $99. With a few assorted brass fittings 'n valves to make it kosher with my mask, plus the state's little taste, the total was $306. There's no liters per minute gauge on the thing, but the valve will allow me to adjust the flow fairly sensitively to enable me to fill the bag on the non-rebreather mask my friends at the fire station were kind enough to give me the other day. I believe he said refills on the tank are only $17... a real bargain compared with the medical ripoff.
 
Oh and btw, there seemed to be no problem with discussion of medical use. We made some jokes and implied air quotation marks about my using the tank for "welding". He was a great guy, what can I say? Anyone in the LA area who needs 02 can contact me and I will, as the young people say, hook him/her up!
« Last Edit: May 19th, 2008, 3:35pm by Balanchine » IP Logged
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #5 on: May 19th, 2008, 4:40pm »
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thumbsup
 
  Way to go David!  Very glad this wasn't an ordeal.
 
  Now, make sure you keep your med 02 regulator in your vehicle and acquire another non-rebreather mask to go with it.  Just in case your welder's tank runs out . . . and you're hit before you can get it refilled . . . head straight to the firehall and they'll let you use one of their tanks to abort the attack.
 
  Last year I was out and about, had made one stop before I was headed to my med supplier with 8 empties in my van . . . well, I got hit . . . went to my van to huff some 02 . . . damn! tank almost empty.  Med supplier was 3 mi. away . . . firehall was two blocks away .  .  . went to firehall, explained my (obvious) oncoming attack.  They immediately pulled out a tank and (new) mask and set it at the flow-rate I requested.  Offered a chair or place I could lie down.   While I was huffing/rocking/pacing, I explained that lying down was not an option with CH, and what was happening . . . and why the 02 worked.  They got to see me abort a Kip 7-8 in about 15 min or less . . . and I walked away with a new mask . . . and of course referring them to this site for more info on CH.
 
  Members/visitors here have offered many horror stories of trying to get treated at a local E.R., refusal of med personnel to offer 02 at the rate we require, and often have the attack abate before the paperwork can get filled out.  Have seldom read of anyone receiving the same rotten treatment from firehalls/EMTs.  Those guys are great!
 
  Be Safe,   PFDANs
 
     Richard
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #6 on: May 19th, 2008, 4:54pm »
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Thanks again, Richard. Good to know. After my sterling experience at the firehouse the other day (about which I posted in the other thread to which you so kindly commented ), and realizing that to go to any LA ER would mean sitting in a hard plastic chair for 12 hours before I'd see so much as a clipboard, I think I'd trust those guys with my life. I'm also figuring that this green monster of a tank I just bought should last me a goodly amount of time, maybe even (hope hope hope) through the end of this cycle. Though of course no way to know. Meanwhile I've got some Canadian Imitrex enroute and am also on Topomax as of a week ago, which seems to help. 'course, it's also turning me into a lifeform somewhere between a sponge and a tuna casserole. But that's a tale for another time.
 
The REAL challenge is coming up in early June: I have to fly east to spend a couple weeks with my brother while he has heart surgery. No oxygen. Just gotta hope the cycle ends first!
 
Thanks again for your help.
 
d
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #7 on: May 19th, 2008, 11:43pm »
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Call the dude that you got the O2 from and see if he has a referral to a place where you are going to.  Maybe you can take your regulator with you and borrow a tank for a couple weeks over there
 
 
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #8 on: May 20th, 2008, 12:34am »
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BMonee - thanks and in fact I was just thinking today after I posted that assuming I'm still cycling when I take my trip that I'll take the regulator with me and just buy a small 02 tank down there. I have a buddy in the scuba tank biz down there who can probably score me one.  
 
d
 
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Balanchine
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #9 on: May 20th, 2008, 9:49am »
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I will say one thing as a last add - this stuff does taste kind of funky...
 
But since buying the tank yesterday around noon, it being currently 6:45 a.m., I've used it for 3 attacks including 2 last night and one that woke me up 45 minutes ago. That would have drained nearly both the puny E med tanks I'd rented. So thanksthanksthanks once again to all of you who've encouraged me to visit the good people of the welding profession. If I could I'd attach a picture of the tank!
 
David
 
hmm... maybe I can make the pic my avatar.... ah, nope, I don't have a website. anyway she's a beaut - 80 cubic feet, British racing green!
« Last Edit: May 20th, 2008, 9:52am by Balanchine » IP Logged
BMoneeTheMoneeMan
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Re: Safety of Welder's Oxygen?
« Reply #10 on: May 20th, 2008, 11:04am »
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on May 20th, 2008, 9:49am, Balanchine wrote:
hmm... maybe I can make the pic my avatar.... ah, nope, I don't have a website. anyway she's a beaut - 80 cubic feet, British racing green!

 
There's only one British Racing Green!!!
 
 
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