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  #1  
Old 2005-10-11, 9:12pm
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lunesse lunesse is offline
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Default stupid breathing #$@#$% torch.

Ok. I cleaned the filter on the concentrator. I do this:
Turn on concentrator.
Turn on propane tank.
Turn on valve on regulator, set to 5.

torch

turn off oxy and propane at torch.
turn off concentrator.
bleed oxy line.

undo t-bar valve on regulator.
Turn closed propane tank.

bleed propane at torch.

Have I screwed up my regulator somehow????

It starts breathing immediately now, never stops, and I have to keep my flame WAY small to keep the fluctuation in some semblence of control.

DAMMIT! I need this thing to work right now as I'm trying to get inventory up for my first public sale ever.

What can I do myself here?
Undo and reattach regulator? Is there something I can look for when it's off that will let me know it needs fixing?

How the hell can I replace it quickly if I have to?

My arm is screwed up from this, the flame is so low, it doesnt heat enough glass to be able to apply it without tension, and my left elbow aches now from fighting the tension backwards on the mandrel.

*sob*
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  #2  
Old 2005-10-11, 9:27pm
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ok I just went back out there, lit it. Within three minutes it started again. I watched the regulator. It's max is 30, I had it at 5. It started hopping to 7 and 8 as I heard it breathe.

So it's screwed, right? How? What did I do wrong?

What do I do next. Is this fixable? Do I need to order another from Arrow Springs tomorrow and pray it comes fast? *weep*
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  #3  
Old 2005-10-11, 10:02pm
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I can't answer your question but I have an O2 regulator I don't need (bought it without thinking.. I have an OxyCon) never used brand new... paid $65 for it I can ship it off tomorrow priority Flate rate box is $7.70. Course I don't know how long Arrow Springs usually takes to fill an order but if they usually ship same day it might come quicker from them since you're in the same "zone"
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  #4  
Old 2005-10-11, 10:25pm
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aw, thats kind of you, but I think oxy goes the other direction, not interchangable.

I just upped it to 10 and it still did it, but a lot less. I could work with it. I don't like it, but it's managable until I get a new one, or get it looked at. I just don't get how I could have screwed the thing up if I'm doing things in proper procedure. *hmmmmm*
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  #5  
Old 2005-10-11, 10:41pm
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can you try another tank of propane? that has worked for me many times.

and THEn! think about getting a two stage regulator-- they are the best for getting rid of the 'breathing %$#@&^ torch' syndrome!

lynne
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  #6  
Old 2005-10-12, 4:42am
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MikeAurelius MikeAurelius is offline
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Is the tank freshly filled?

There's no hard and fast rule that says the propane MUST be at 5 PSI. You indicated that the problem is less at higher pressure, try setting your pressure at 15.

Control the pressure further with the knob on the torch. I remember a conversation with Peter at Nortel (he's the guy who built the torch) - he indicated to me that the pressure provided to the torch is basically not worth worrying about - set it as high as you need to in order to provide an even flow of gas, then control how much fuel is burned with the needle valve on the torch.

With a higher pressure, you will have more flow and the valve will be more sensitive, but it should not affect your beadmaking ability. You don't have to worry about your oxygen supply, follow the usual method of setting your cone length and adding enough oxygen to the mix to get a neutral flame.
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  #7  
Old 2005-10-12, 4:48am
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I had this problem too, but my regulator maxes out at 200. I upped it to 20, and I don't have any more problems. If you switch out propane tanks, and it still doesn't work, you may need to get another regulator like rightbrainbeads says. One of the "guys" offered to sell me a BBQ regulator that may help. Here's a link to the thread I started on this topic:

http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3773

Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 2005-10-12, 4:50am
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MikeAurelius MikeAurelius is offline
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additional thoughts:

Regulators are notorious for not being accurate on the bottom side, especially the less expensive regulators which "some" companies sell to lampworkers. Even though the guage shows a maximum of 30 PSI, less expensive regulators won't be accurate until about 1/3 of the full pressure setting, in this case about 10 PSI, and as you noted, the fluctuation does seem to start to go away.

This is usually caused by not enough spring tension against the diaphragm - less expensive regulators use inexpensive spring assemblies and lower cost diaphragm materials.

I had a discussion with the marketing manager of one of the "other" suppliers - he indicated to me that they get a lot of returned regulators, then admitted that they buy the cheapest ones they can find.

My company sells the Smith brand. They are made here in the US, and are not the most expensive, but are up there in price, averaging around $95.00 each. In the 5 years we've been selling these regulators, I've had a grand total of 2 returned as defective, and when returned to the factory, it was determined that they were the result of the user not backing off the "T" handle at the end of every torch session, which put stress on the diaphragm.

I'm not saying this is what you are doing, but indicating that at least in the case of the regulators that I sell, this is the most prevelant reason for regulator failure.
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  #9  
Old 2005-10-12, 6:29am
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I agree with turning up your propane at the regulator. I have mine set at 20 and my oxycon set at 3.5 lpm.

If i don't have the propane that high, I get horrible breathing flame. Bad.

~~Mary
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  #10  
Old 2005-10-12, 7:54am
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Wow. Ok. I will definitely set it up to 10 or higher and continue my fiddling. Thanks, Moth, for the specifics on what numbers you run at.
and Mike, thanks for your extensive info. Mine was $75 or so from Arrow Springs, but when/if this one dies, I know where to go next time to get a quality piece.

I think I picked the "5" number from earlier threads on WC, I don't remember anymore. It's nice to know that the Nortel doesn't care what the pressure coming in is, comparitively, allowing me way more futzing room.
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  #11  
Old 2005-10-12, 9:02am
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Mine has begun to breathe lately and I attributed it to change in temp outside (both tanks are outside) and kind of old regulators, but will turn up the pressure to see how that works. Thanks for the info- very much appreciated.
Julz
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  #12  
Old 2005-10-12, 10:00am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAurelius
Is the tank freshly filled?

There's no hard and fast rule that says the propane MUST be at 5 PSI. You indicated that the problem is less at higher pressure, try setting your pressure at 15.

Control the pressure further with the knob on the torch. I remember a conversation with Peter at Nortel (he's the guy who built the torch) - he indicated to me that the pressure provided to the torch is basically not worth worrying about - set it as high as you need to in order to provide an even flow of gas, then control how much fuel is burned with the needle valve on the torch.

With a higher pressure, you will have more flow and the valve will be more sensitive, but it should not affect your beadmaking ability. You don't have to worry about your oxygen supply, follow the usual method of setting your cone length and adding enough oxygen to the mix to get a neutral flame.

Yes, Mike, it is a quite new tank.
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  #13  
Old 2005-10-12, 10:30am
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I also wanted to echo what Mike said about turning up the pressure at the regulator and controlling the flow with the needle valves at your torch. Cranking up your pressures will not affect your gas consumption if you run the same flame that you normally would. So, don't be afraid to do this.
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Old 2005-10-12, 10:36am
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thanks, kbinkster. That's really good info to have, that I didn't have before. =)
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  #15  
Old 2005-10-13, 6:12am
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Thanks for this information! Now I will go and turn mine up too. I had been keeping it all the way down on 7 and it breathes occasionally and when I really don't want it too, like when working with rubino or other striking colors.

My generator has a holding tank so I know the problem isn't there like it used to be. It's surely the propane regulator setting, so we'll see...
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Old 2005-10-13, 8:56am
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I popped it up to about 12 last night and it was much better.
Still, when I first got the regulator, 5 worked fine. So there must be something that changed...however, if I can keep things happy up at 12 or so for awhile, I'm good with that until the breathing comes back. At 10 it still was doing it here and there...
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  #17  
Old 2005-10-15, 8:52pm
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I had the same problem with a new tank once, all I did was unhook the propane tank and re-attach it. I can't remember who told me, Jed maybe, but apparently there is a ball that if not aligned correctly when you hook up a new tank, can stick and cause the breathing flame. It worked for me, so it might be worth a try. I also run my propane at around 12-14, especially when the temps start to drop.
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  #18  
Old 2017-10-13, 10:55am
Sujadragonfly Sujadragonfly is offline
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I have been experiencing the breathing flame too - now I have a better idea of what could be wrong and will be able to isolate what's causing it.

Thank you everyone!
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  #19  
Old 2017-11-11, 7:51pm
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I have been fighting with breathing flame too.

Thank you guys for the advice.

I too remember reading that the propane needed to be set at half the oxygen setting.
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Old 2017-11-11, 9:40pm
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I recently had this problem, and took my regulator to my local welding supply shop. He cleaned it for me and all is well now.
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