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Old 2005-09-14, 8:57pm
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Dale M. Dale M. is offline
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Join Date: Jun 10, 2005
Location: A Little Bit West of Yosemite Valley
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Default Connecting OXY/FUEL Torch

Setting Up a Fuel - Oxygen Torch

By Dale Meisenheimer

This is a simple document to get one started in hooking up a fuel/oxygen torch.

The red hose is for fuel (propane in most cases), the green hose is for oxygen.

Connect the green hose to output of oxygen regulator. Connect the red hose to output of the propane (fuel) regulator. Be sure the connections are tight.

Secure the oxygen tank to a wall, pillar, post or something so it cannot accidentally fall over. Once the tank is secured, remove the safety cap from the oxygen bottle (tank). Crack open the valve for just a brief moment, just enough to get a brief WHOOSH noise. This will clean out any dust or dirt in the oxygen bottle valve. Place the snout of the oxygen regulator into the valve body and tighten the nut. This is a clockwise tightening situation.

Do the same with the fuel regulator on the propane tank, but DO NOT BLOW OFF any gas to clean fittings. This would be a hazard. Threads on propane tank regulators are left-hand or counter-clockwise. This will cause you confusion until you get used to it!

Connect the red hose to fuel port on your torch, green hose to the oxygen port on the torch. Be sure all connections are tight. You may want to secure hoses to the table or bench near the torch so it will not get snagged when you move around, which might result in the torch being dragged off the table.

Going back to the regulators, back off the adjustment knobs counter-clockwise until you feel no more resistance to the knob being turned. Turning the knob counter-clockwise reduces the setting and by turning the knob all the way to the left, it effectively turns off the regulator (this is backwards to the average water faucet, as an example).
CAUTION – turning knobs on regulators extremely clockwise can damage internal parts, but you should never have to turn knobs to that extreme.

At the tank, slowly turn on the oxygen valve. Listen for the hissing noises. If you have that noise, then the fitting for the regulator to the tank is not tight. If you do not hear anything, spray an approved leak detection solution on the regulator-to-tank fitting to see if you have any leaks. Look for bubbles here. If there are no bubbles, then everything is okay. If you have a leak, try to tighten the nut on the regulator some more. There is the possibility of a defective valve on oxygen tanks, because they are used in many unfriendly (to tank) situations. If you cannot get a good seal, you may have a defective tank and may have to return the tank to your dealer. They will understand. It does happen.

Do the same thing on the propane tank!…Slowly open the valve fully and check for leaks. Remember, the threads on fuel tanks are backwards. Everything okay?

At the torch, be sure the fuel and oxygen valves are closed. Turn the oxygen regulator knob clockwise until you get about a 5 psi (maybe 10 psi) reading on the gauge. Check the hose connection at the regulator and torch for leaks. Remember, we are looking for bubbles here in leak-detection solution. Everything okay? If not, either try to tighten things up, or turn the oxygen off and remove the connection and inspect them to see if there is a problem. Repeat the process until you have the situation fixed.

Do the same for the propane. Turn the regulator on to 5 psi (maybe 10 psi) and check for leaks. Okay? If not, find and fix the problem.

NOTE: All connections at tanks, regulators, and torch are machined metal to metal connections. Do not attempt to stop any leaks with Teflon tape or pipe sealing compounds. If there is a leak, disassemble the connection and try to determine why it is not sealing properly.

Now, back off both knobs (counter-clockwise) on regulators (oxygen and propane). Open the fuel knob on the torch and let fuel bleed off. You are going to get a bit of free propane in the room. Let the room air out. With the torch fuel valve open, turn on the fuel regulator until you get a 5 psi flow, and shut torch off. You want to be rather quick in this process to keep excess propane from gathering in the room.

Do the same with the oxygen. Open the torch valve. Set the flow of oxygen to about 10psi and shut off the oxygen valve at the torch.

You now should to ready to "fire your torch". Open the fuel valve first and light your torch with a spark lighter. Adjust the flame to the desired level, then slowly turn oxygen till you get the proper mix.

At this point you can adjust the flame to desired level and try it out.

When done, shut off (at torch) oxygen first, then propane.

Here is a little something to remind you of the proper procedure for lighting and shutting down the torch - it's POOP. Yep, POOP. Propane On, Oxygen On - Oxygen Off Propane Off.

The fuel pressures and oxygen pressures I stated above are not cast in stone. You will have to experiment to find the "correct" mix for whatever you are doing, but the oxygen pressure should be about double the fuel pressure in most cases.

OH... And use proper fitting wrenches on regulator connections. If you round off the corners of nuts it will make tank changing in the future a miserable chore.

Hope this will get you started.

Just use care as you would when using any flammable gases and always have a fire extinguisher handy when working with torch and fuel tanks.

NOTE: This document is copyright 2003-2005 by Dale Meisenheimer.
This document may not be reproduced on any other website or forum without express written permission by the author.

Rev 06-26-2005
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Last edited by Dale M.; 2006-08-23 at 7:47am.
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