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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.

Piggy bank for your pennys

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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