I.T. Skill Areas
Computer Certifications I currently hold
Self-Study Certification Books
News, Web log, Weblog, Blog
Veiled Chameleon Care Sheet
Veiled Chameleon Care Sheet
Frequently Asked Questions
If you like this website or webpage, please link it. I could use the help. Thanks.

April 10, 2005

What not to do with a can of compressed air

So I'm cleaning out an air filter and, being the thrifty individual (cheapskate) that I am, I get the idea that blowing the dust out of the dirty filter will allow me to use it for a few months longer. Thus, I head for my can of Dust Off - that "compressed air" that is typically used for blowing out computers when they've been opened for the first time in two years.

Now the instructions on the Dust Off label says to "pull trigger in a series of short blasts". That's code for: if you really want something accomplished and thus you need to get a sustained release of air at high pressure for more than a couple of seconds, then this isn't the product for you. Basically, they're telling you not to expect much. I rarely use this "short blast" method, and the task at hand surely wasn't going to be accomplished in that manner.

So I press and hold the trigger of a just opened can until it grows cold, ice forms at the end of its straw, and it scarcely continues to make any wind at all. I've been there before...many times. One method of dealing with this is to run the can under hot water until it gets back to room temperature. This restores the pressure to the inside of the can, and further it allows the liquid inside (whatever it is) to achieve its boiling point when the pressure drops upon pulling the trigger (that's where the "air" comes from). But I don't think that I've ever done that using quite so full of a can as I did today.

After a few brief moments of running it under the hot water, and before I'd expected the can to be warmed back up and ready again to go, suddenly I heard a loud *POP* and I felt a "hit" to the can that actually hurt my hand. I looked over and noticed that the top was suddenly higher than it had been before:

Cans of Compressed Air

I'm feeling kind of lucky that the welded seams didn't break. It probably wouldn't have been that big of a deal, unless a lot of the liquid managed to blast out all over my skin and do damage, but it sure gave me a shock.

Compressed Air

Whether it was intended to, or not, that little fold around the top of the can acted as a bit of a pressure relief valve which increased the volume of the can a bit to decrease the pressure. Kinda cool.

I think that, from now on, when I need more pressure immediately I'll just open a new can and let the old one resume room temperature in its own sweet time.

Posted by Jeff at April 10, 2005 09:51 AM


You lucky fuck.

Posted by: Zej at April 11, 2005 01:05 AM

Try breathing in the air from the can for five seconds. It will fuck you up and thats no lie.

Posted by: william at August 11, 2005 02:26 PM

How odd that, after first suggesting that a person try something, you'd immediately give a powerful reason to not try it.

Posted by: Jeff at August 11, 2005 03:10 PM


Today I tried to check how cold the "stuff" in the can is (same stuff, different brand). Unfortunatly, my thermometer only goes down to -60f, so I still don't know.

And clues how cold that stuff is?


Posted by: Randy at August 8, 2007 06:02 PM

Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Comment Spammers: Amazing...there's not any comment nor trackback spam anywhere on this weblog. And yet this weblog receives thousands of spam attempts every week. You'd think that these guys would instead devote their resources to sites where they have a chance.

. Original Copyright, May 2004. All Rights Reserved.