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  1. #1
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    Fridgie's van explodes






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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    always cap your cylinders springs to mind

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Not a refrigerant bottle, that's for sure, one hell of a blast, only oxygen or nitrogen can cause such damage.

    God save his soul.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Don't forget hydrocarbons CC.
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hydrocarbons, as far as i know, are not yet carried in any volume in Aus. Victoria is some 3000 Kms away from here so the practice might be different there.
    To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    if the van is like some of ours, -fitted with lpg tanks in the back,leak like a sieve- take it to the garage to be looked at and they tell u its ok,a week later all ur lpg gone and u havent used it??

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    I was obviously something he couldn't smell as he was sitting in the truck. O2?

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Quote Originally Posted by install monkey View Post
    if the van is like some of ours, -fitted with lpg tanks in the back,leak like a sieve- take it to the garage to be looked at and they tell u its ok,a week later all ur lpg gone and u havent used it??
    LPG! I overlooked that. Commonly used in the cities but not in the country areas due to the lack of filling stations.
    To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Accetylene or other brazing fuel, though even an overfilled bottle of non flamable refrigerant will burst if te temp goes up.

    Got told on a training course (so may be bollox) years ago by the trainer that when he started out he was told to fill two bottles up of R12, and he left a bit of space in the bottle, well then the guy he was working with told him that when he said full he meant full so he filled them right up!
    They drive to site and are in the plant room when they hear a bang, guy comes running in and asks if that was there van outside....
    Thing was just a chassis now! He said they threw the other bottle in the river to cool it and left it, thought you'd think they'd have just opened the tap a bit.
    Mostly found in Oxfordshire, UK :)

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Dangerous Trade
    In NSW I think there is a new law requiring all vehicles which carry pressureised gas bottles to have a vent in the top and one in the bottom. This would minimise the gas build up in the event of a leak. The company I work for started the process of fitting these vents 8 months ago.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    RIP, poor chap.
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    it was not oxy or accet as they are laying next to the van in tact with a bottle of r22 and a bottle of r404a it think.it is very common in Melbourne to use mapp gas to weld small diameter pipe work and allot of fridgies leave them rolling around in there tool bags.there was a similar incident in the late 90's in Melbourne that had the same out come.R.I.P Joe Cosentino.......

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    poor bugger. only young too

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hi All
    Sadly another Fridgie has been killed when his van exploded today in Darwin. This comes only 4 days after the one in Melbourne. We have advised all our staff to turn off all oxy acet equipment, remove regulators and make sure there are no leaks, also anyone using Mapp gas has to be careful as well as they can come on if left rolling around in the back of a van.
    Condolences to their families.
    Paul

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulZ View Post
    Hi All
    Sadly another Fridgie has been killed when his van exploded today in Darwin. This comes only 4 days after the one in Melbourne. We have advised all our staff to turn off all oxy acet equipment, remove regulators and make sure there are no leaks, also anyone using Mapp gas has to be careful as well as they can come on if left rolling around in the back of a van.
    Condolences to their families.
    Paul
    I heard that on the news this morning. I've been double checking my own gear since the Melbourne incident.http://news.ninemsn.com.au/mobile/ar...h&mchpost=pos1
    Last edited by mikeref; 16-12-2011 at 05:45 AM. Reason: No intention of going out that way!
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    These incidents will change the regulations in AU.

    You can never be too careful.
    Very sad.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hi Guys.

    Just thinking out load here, but I assume these guys were experienced and were doing nothing un-usual!

    So why did they blow up?

    Either you guys in Oz have some demented stalker / nutter.
    Or something unusual is happening.
    As far as I can make out the explosions occurred when their vans were started.

    How about if their vans contained This rouge R134a which is Highly explosive when it meets air having been in contact with aluminum.

    Is it possible their vehicle a/c has recently been Topped up?
    Because if this very scary crap was present (just like the 4 engineers killed servicing Container clip-on units.)
    That would explain the big bang. Which occurred in experienced guys vehicles.

    They are going to have known what propane smells like.


    Just grizzlys theory guys!

    But there seems to be more of this crap about, what's anyone think?
    Grizzly

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Just heard on the news over here that one of those unfortunate souls was a 24 year old Irish man by the name of Patrick Byrd (I believe) .His incident has been attributed to an over heated cylinder of "gas" ,doesn't say what type of gas.
    I worked with a guy a few years back who opened the back door of his van for 5 mins before he got in every time rain, hail , snow or sunshine. We all thought he was nuts.
    May both men rest in peace
    Cheers
    Stu
    Last edited by stufus; 16-12-2011 at 05:58 PM.
    Tool's ? check ! Condom's ? check !
    If you can't fix it , f*ck it !!!

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Interesting how both incidents happened first thing in the morning, and the blast totally destroyed both vehicles, probably not a temperature related incident but an accumulation of vapours in a locked car.
    Very sad for two young techs and their families. I obviously came close when a pressurized can of CRC/WD40 decided to let go, apart from the mess, the smell of LPG/ propane was there. I was driving at the time and conopy on ute is well ventilated.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Believe the second accident was an accetylene bottle. My brother knows a few guys that trained with him. he'd only bein in Oz two months, very sad...

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    ventilation is a must and should be installed by the maker/legal requirement for all commercial vehicles i see many fridge/ac guys in estate cars with only what can be described as a bomb in the back? any way our thoughts are with the guys friends+family.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Just thinking logically about a solution to protect against this type of event here.
    There should always be two safety processes in place, this would allow for a back up. There should be the two vents one in the lower part and one in the roof to vent any gasses, in Ausie I would expect there to be a gause mesh over the vents to stop those scary spiders getting in. The second could be a blast release vent which would minimise the pressure in the event of a blast directing the blast through the roof.
    I was at the local supplier only two weeks ago and as another fridgie came in he had just had a cylinder of nitro open up in the back of his ute. Just shows how we can make mistakes sometimes. There have been other reports of exploding refrigerants on this forum, not saying that in the last two cases there is refrigerant involved.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Ventilation is the best option however makes it easy for thieving scum to rob you of your precious tools.
    I wonder if there is a cost effective oxygen depletion monitor that can be applied to vehicles, China, India?

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Scary stuff. RIP to the second poor fellow.

    Have to wonder if it's perhaps not a combination event:
    1. LPG-powered vehicle - ?leak?, plus
    2. Gas emissions inside closed space

    Perhaps some combination of gases which could explode easily on vehicle start-up?

    Anyway, a thorough venting exercise before vehicle start-up must surely be a first precaution. Have to wonder if some sort of gas sniffer would help?

    Very sad.
    Engineering Specialist - Cuprobraze, Nocolok, CD Technology
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    First heard of this story in a non refrigeration forum, seeing pictures of exploded vans that had acetylene go off in different incidents, so it's not actually a unheard of thing. In those cases the acetylene exploded after been triggered by the remote door locks or ignition.
    So it's easy for it to happen. And it was while reading them that this first explosion happened just after, so it was reported there as well.

    For the first case where someone here says it doesn't look like the oxy-acet cyclinders are damaged, maybe the guy had some r290 or hychill, or some r600a if the did domestics? But then again a witness said really high flames and thick black smoke, that sounds like acetylene to me. Maybe the cylinder looked undamaged because it was empty as it had all leaked out and therefore no pressure inside it to damage it, just the van exploded because it was full of acetylene.

    By the way I doubt that van would be on LPG, for a start it's super expensive to get the conversion now with government handouts, ie what used to cost $2K to convert now casts $4k because the government pays $2k rebate and the greedy LPG fitters double dip to make lots of cash. Problem is business vehicles aren't eligble for the goverment rebate, so it would cost $4k out of your own pocket for a conversion on a trade vehicle. Not worth it at all especially as petrol costs are tax deductible anyway.

    Attached is a new landcruiser that exploded in the US a week ago due to a leaking acetylene cylinder.
    No fatalities because it blew up just when he pressed the remote key unlock.

    Fridgies shouldn't be driving vans when they have gas cylinders! Even the risk of asphyxiation from leaking refrigerant or nitrogen cylinders is too high.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by paul_h; 18-12-2011 at 01:42 PM.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    I don't know what the reasons for the explosions were in Australia but this welding website has some interesting comments and scary photographs:

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=36485

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    I always shut off the cylinder valves. As well oil ( or almost any hydrocarbon) and high pressure O2 do not go well. PTFE tape will burn quite well in pure oxygen. Just about the only lubricant is graphite, and even then it is a problem. One of my instructors was transporting HP oxygen when a strap broke, and he last saw 2 of the cylinders as they headed into orbit after breaking off the head. Then again you get the shade tree exhaust places ( premises are roadside under some kind of tree) where the cylinders stand in the sun all day.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    The following arrived in my email 23/12/2011...coincidence or related?????

    img-Z30104922-0001.pdf

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    I would imagine a leak of the contents from a mapp cylinder would at most cause a flame out and not an explosion of the magnitude involved in the deaths.
    But I couldn't be 100% about it ,just an opinion.
    These unfortunate incidents often result in knee jerk reactions although well meaning ,cause more hysteria rather than answers.
    I've lost count of the amount of times I have had mapp cylinders leak in my van some emptying overnight and some you get a wiff of while driving.
    But that said better to err on the side of caution and strive to prevent this type of accident re occurring.
    Cheers
    Stu
    Tool's ? check ! Condom's ? check !
    If you can't fix it , f*ck it !!!

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    This is what there supposed to have by law in Victoria, to carry acetylene in the van. http://www.roofrack.com.au/Products/...9/Default.aspx
    Most companies have them.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    That looks o.k. Better to have a 20mm hole out the bottom of the van than no van at all. Do you guys run LPG in your vans or just unleaded?
    To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    The only places i have worked where the vans had added ventilation in the back were WR (merc vito) and Honeywell (vivaro). Honeywell i chose the van as most guys had estate cars, but they dont carry refrigerant, saying that i think its only vans that can be ordered now. Im not sure if either had floor vents, just the whirly thing on the roof.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Quote Originally Posted by Goober View Post
    The following arrived in my email 23/12/2011...coincidence or related?????

    img-Z30104922-0001.pdf

    No Coincidence - these events are the cause of the recall.

    Melbourne victim was a plumber, not a fridgie (according to Heatcraft) and Darwin casualty was a fridgie.

    I find it somewhat disturbing that it took over a week to issue a recall.

    Sounds like it might be safer to leave the torch attached to the cylinder...

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    [QUOTE=Goober;249347]The following arrived in my email 23/12/2011...coincidence or related?????

    one of our office girls received the same email and i checked the mapp cylinder in the sealed toolchest on the back of my ute which i have noticed leak on a couple of occasions, sure enough my cylinder was part of the recall.

    got one of the apprentices to take that cylinder and the one on the shelf in the workshop back to reece, they had not heard of the recall but were happy to swap the two cylinders for two new ones.
    typically (being plumbers and not all that smart) they gave us another two that are part of the recall.

    our vans incidentally, are petrol, but i reckon if a mapp cylinder went off that would be enough to get your fuel tank alight.

  35. #35
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    From what I know of the recall was not because any investigation found the the Mapp cylinders to have caused the explosions in darwin and Melbourne. One of the major refrig companies had an employee notice his Mapp cylinder continued to leak after being detached from the head, they contacted the supplier (a refrig wholesaler) who initiated the recall in conjunction with the importer.

    Obviously the recent events made everyone take this as a very serious matter.

    To correct some of the above, both the incidents did involve fridgies, in Melbourne the refrig guys all have to be in the plumbers union (to work on building sites) hence they have very close ties to the plumbing industry.
    Last edited by 750 Valve; 08-01-2012 at 10:13 AM.
    ...and she said "give it to me you big fridgie"

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinkiwi View Post
    No Coincidence - these events are the cause of the recall.

    Melbourne victim was a plumber, not a fridgie (according to Heatcraft) and Darwin casualty was a fridgie.

    I find it somewhat disturbing that it took over a week to issue a recall.



    Sounds like it might be safer to leave the torch attached to the cylinder...
    I never take my torch off the cylinder till it is empty.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHolm View Post
    I never take my torch off the cylinder till it is empty.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one!

  38. #38
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    PinchValves just aren't trustworthy. No point risking it.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Quote Originally Posted by 750 Valve View Post
    From what I know of the recall was not because any investigation found the the Mapp cylinders to have caused the explosions in darwin and Melbourne. One of the major refrig companies had an employee notice his Mapp cylinder continued to leak after being detached from the head, they contacted the supplier (a refrig wholesaler) who initiated the recall in conjunction with the importer.

    Obviously the recent events made everyone take this as a very serious matter.

    To correct some of the above, both the incidents did involve fridgies, in Melbourne the refrig guys all have to be in the plumbers union (to work on building sites) hence they have very close ties to the plumbing industry.
    MAPP cylinders often do that, nothing new, bit like sometimes shraeders leak after removing your gauges, the liquid ices them up so they don't seal.
    But that's why I keep my torch attached to it MAPP gas cylinders after I have opened them.
    Was at actrol on Monday, people trying to return MAPP cylinders and actrol ran out of stock...

  40. #40
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hi All
    There is now a total recall on all Rothenberger Mapp cylinders in Aust, got the email today.
    Paul

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Interesting results have arisen that there will only be a refund on full unopened cylinders with cap on, where it would only be fair that a full refund be given on all mapp gas bottles regardless of how full they are. Also some of us have relied on this new oxy mapp gas for welding (and like me have done away with the big bottles). These two prior points make some of us reluctant to hand in our mapp gas bottles. What is the verdict - was it really a leaky acetylene, mapp or what?

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hi Tesla
    I think both WorkSafe Victoria and NT WorkSafe are still investigating. I check their website regularly for a report but nothing as yet.
    Most likely will take several months to come to a conclusion, after all we are talking about government departments.
    We have instructed all our guys not to leave regulators connected and supplied them with plugs for the acet bottles, also check their Mapp gas torches and make sure they are secure and not rolling around in the back of the van.
    Paul

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hi PaulZ
    All Mapp gas in our company has been ordered to go back a whlie ago and it sounds like the suppliers will not have any stock untill possibly Feburary. I should imagine those horrible utes with the steel back side containers are looking more attractive for safety reasons.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Not a single word from any of our wholesalers here. Business as usual.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Have just spoken to a wholesaler here - they are expecting a press release, likely with a world-wide recall of these cylinders within the next week or so.

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    I returned partly used Mapp gas bottles to heatcraft and got a replacement for each,

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hi AGSelec
    Actrol's will not give a refund on partly used bottels which I think is not fair.

  48. #48
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    We got a recal letter 15 / 2 / 12 on all Worthington Mapp Gas cylinders from our suplier. Not bad only a couple of months behind the rest of the world !!!

    RIP. to both engieers

  49. #49
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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    The two in the space of 4 days were definately both fridgies, and accetylene the cause. There was also another incident in Melbourne just over 2yrs ago involving a plumbers van. The central locking remote set the explosion off.

    http://youtu.be/qowfzBCmHsY

    Fortunately he was far enough away from the van when it exploded and was uninjured

    The guy at BOC told me the other day it was $40000 fine if caught carrying accetylene without it being vented through the floor

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    Re: Fridgie's van explodes

    Hi MacFrosty
    Was it definitely Acetylene or something else, Mapp Gas maybe.
    There has been nothing on the WorkSafe Victoria website or the NT WorkSafe website about either of the incidents. They will be doing the investigation and normally they post the findings on their website.
    if you know anything please let us know.
    Regards
    Paul

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