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How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Tips and ideas on how to make the most of what we have....or what others have thrown away.

How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby mattvh » Thu May 17, 2012 8:14 pm

I am a HVAC/R service tech. Through out my work week I charge up a/c and refrigeration systems with many different types of refrigerant. The one thing they all have in common is that they come in a small metal tank. Once they are empty they are considered trash. They have a one way valve so they cannot be refilled. I hate to throw them away and usually leave them on the curb for the metal scrappers in the area.
They are about the same size as a propane tank.
I would like to come up with an interesting use for them. Any ideas?
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They do make great targets!
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby Ed the Pilgrim » Thu May 17, 2012 8:37 pm

Cut them into thirds. Bottom section will be the grill, middle section can hold the grill section up, top section can be used for a wood/tinder rack.

Or cut the top & bottom off just past the curve, drill lots of holes along the bottom edge of the middle section, use the bottom piece as the cooking surface and you`ve just made a rocket stove...

Cut the top off, makes for a fairly indestructable bucket/privy....
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby mattvh » Thu May 17, 2012 8:50 pm

I never thought about making small stoves or grills........I might have to test this out. I don't know how much heat the steel could handle. Ill cut one open this weekend and build a fire in it to see how it handles the heat.
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby blue fox » Thu May 17, 2012 9:09 pm

Can that one way valve be changed out? If so how about turning them into air tanks to carry in vehicles to re inflate tires. If I remember right I have seen something somewhere about that. I know I have considered it just never got to it.
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby ESSENTIAL » Fri May 18, 2012 2:05 am

Have changed over many of the older r12 tanks, the 134 and others do seem like a lighter metal. They work great with a small 12v compressor as a reserve tank also. Ive never gone over 80psi with them. Pretty sure DOT regs state a pretty hefty fine if your caught converting to an air tank thats used on the road.

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Watchout using for target practice the shape tends to cause some to deflect off in all directions.

converting to a cookstove http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSOuLgKNwBI

remove the valve and turn them in for scrape metal
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby Tom Bergstrand » Fri May 18, 2012 11:13 pm

Just a thought. Cut the tops off and drill a LOT of holes all over the sides and bottom. Then bury them in your garden with about 2 or 3 inches sticking out. Then you can fill them up to the top with water and they will slowly add water to your garden as it needs it. after a few days you will have a good schedule working as you observe how long they take to empty out and how moist your soil is.
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby LdMorgan » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:45 am

Be careful about cutting old refrigerant tanks. All the freons are inflammable, and that means they can be explosive. Flame-cutting is also bad with Freons because burning it produces a toxic combustion-product gas that can kill your liver deader than a doornail. It smells sweetish.

Fill the tanks with water first, and then cut them open with a sawzall, still full.

Once the tank has been fully opened, no problem.

They also make nice grills split lengthwise. Just weld some old hinges on and toss in a chopped up SS oven rack.
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby Pedro wyoming » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:46 pm

LdMorgan wrote:Be careful about cutting old refrigerant tanks. All the freons are inflammable, and that means they can be explosive. Flame-cutting is also bad with Freons because burning it produces a toxic combustion-product gas that can kill your liver deader than a doornail. It smells sweetish.

Fill the tanks with water first, and then cut them open with a sawzall, still full.

Once the tank has been fully opened, no problem.

They also make nice grills split lengthwise. Just weld some old hinges on and toss in a chopped up SS oven rack.

This is phosgene gas!
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby D_Loki » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:01 am

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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby craigb » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:17 pm

Loki - great links. Thanks for providing them. Worked great.
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby goodbyesjohnson » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:05 pm

use a little water to clean it out and then use it to store h20 :wave:
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby RichDevos » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:09 pm

how you post surfing smile
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby goodbyesjohnson » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:18 pm

quick reply > full editor > smilies > catch those waavves
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Re: How to reuse/recycle small metal tanks?

Postby mattvh » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:04 am

goodbyesjohnson wrote:use a little water to clean it out and then use it to store h20 :wave:



They are untreated steel. The tank would rust very quickly.
I like the furnace idea the best.
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