Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Flaming Hot!

So today at work we got a job sheet to run a new line out of a gas pipe that will eventually go to an emergency generator.  This is a pretty common thing that the welding shop has to deal with, but I've never worked on one.  I have worked on plenty of hot water pipes doing the same exact thing, so I didn't think it'd be any big thing.  Before we got to the job site the guy I was working with told me that it may be different because sometimes the shut off valves don't close completely and the gas will actually ignite...

Now the great thing about this little problem is that it's actually better for the gas to burn, rather than having it leak without burning, as this could fill the room and then ignite, which would torch everyone.  The flame won't go back into the pipe because there is constant pressure pushing it out, plus there isn't any oxygen to burn inside.  Secretly I hoped there would be a gas leak because how cool would that be!  I almost wanted to get some marshmallows just in case.


The end result
Well as it turns out, I got my show!  As we began to drill a hole in the pipe, a spark lit the gas and we had a nice little flame going in no time.  When the pipe does flame, it's best just to let it keep burning till the welding is done, so keep going we did.  It only took a few more minutes to finish the job and we extinguished the blaze, which amazingly went out simply by blowing on it, as easy as a candle!  I got to play with fire and learn something about physics, it was super awesome!

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