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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2008-11-24, 6:57pm
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Unhappy Winter and oxycons

I an a newbie and finally got my garage studio setup after working on it for 6 month. The flood in June slow me down but that is a different story.

I finally got my ventilation installed about two weeks ago which made me good to go. Working boro with a cricket and 2 oxycons and love it.

However it is winter here in Wisconsin. The colder it gets the noisier the oxycons get. The other day it was 40 degrees in the studio when I started. Well I tried to start but one of my oxycon would not.

Is there a mininum temperature to run the oxycons?
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  #2  
Old 2008-11-24, 7:01pm
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I use to run mine out on the porch in the Michigan winter all the time and never had a problem but I am sure it is hard on them. Can you put a heater facing yours for a bit before starting them so they aren't so dead cold?
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  #3  
Old 2008-11-24, 7:14pm
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I heard that it should be 50 degrees to run one but I don't know for sure. I work in my garage too. I have a kerosene heater in the garage. I start it up about a 1/2 hour or so before I go out to work and it warms the whole garage up.
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  #4  
Old 2008-11-24, 7:17pm
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Another important problem for an oxycon is condensation when you turn it off in such a cold room. As it runs the oxycon warms up, then you turn it off and it gets cold fast, that could ruin the seive beds.
Just a thought....
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  #5  
Old 2008-11-24, 8:41pm
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Somewhere I read, probably ArrowSprings site, that the range to run them was 55 to 90 degrees. I was bummed because my shop is semi-unheated. I have a little electric heater at my feet and a small woodstove in the back. I don't alway fire up the woodstove.
I was wondering what would happen if it was really cold in there and I used the oxycon. Sounds like I will have to fire up the woodstove or dig deep in my pockets for kerosene for the kerosene heater I have in there also.

WildBird
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  #6  
Old 2008-11-24, 10:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildBird View Post
Somewhere I read, probably ArrowSprings site, that the range to run them was 55 to 90 degrees.
WildBird
I am here to attest that the old beater oxycon I've got runs quite fine up to at least 110 degrees -- after that I don't wanna know how hot it is in my garage.
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  #7  
Old 2008-11-26, 6:34am
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Hi
it's got cold here in the UK and I'm running two oxycons which keep cutting out. they start ok and run for 5 minutes and then shudder and stop. I restart them no problem and they sometimes go on and sometimes stop again a few times.
I've discovered that by boxing in under the bench (where they sit) with heavy cardboard and putting a small, thermo controlled fan heater in there with them it pretty much solves the problem. Also, after a while they generate enough heat of their own to keep warm.
I'm informed also that it's the damp air which is the problem - not so much the cold - (very damp here) so a fan heater might be preferable to a radiator?
anyway, good luck, it's a very frustrating problem. Any further discoveries would be most welcome.
best wishes
John
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  #8  
Old 2008-11-26, 6:56am
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John, I would think it would be the moisture rather than the temperature that was causing the problems with your oxycon. Growing up in Surrey I can't remember it getting really cold enough to cause problems with oxycons.

Here in my unheated studio I have a parabolic heater which I use to heat up my oxycon for 30 minutes before I start it. It runs well after this preheating.
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  #9  
Old 2008-11-26, 8:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa View Post
I am here to attest that the old beater oxycon I've got runs quite fine up to at least 110 degrees -- after that I don't wanna know how hot it is in my garage.
LOL I agree! I used to work outside on my balcony when it was "cool" in the mornings...like 95-102. Dunno why, but 102 is my cutoff. But my Onyx worked just fine. Of course, out here we don't have condensation issues, either (except maybe today).
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  #10  
Old 2008-11-27, 5:15am
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Hi Carolyn
think you're right about the damp. I'm finding it's much better with dry air around it. Still cutting out occasionally but much improved.
Does anyone know of a link to service diagrams - Mine's a Puritan Bennett 590 with lots of mileage on the clock. I know in principle how they work but I have a specific question which is: might it be practical, and useful to somehow get access to the sieve bed and dry it out if it appears damp? Perhaps this is nonsense and not practical but would be glad of the thoughts of anyone with experience of this.
with best regards
John
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  #11  
Old 2008-11-27, 1:06pm
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Here's what I did to head off a possible problem with running oxycons in the garage. I put them inside the house on an adjoining wall (turns out my laundry room shares the same wall as my glass bench) I punched a small hole in the wall and ran the hoses and electric through to my bench.
If you have an attached garage you are dealing with consider what is on the other side of the walls.

Karen
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  #12  
Old 2009-01-06, 10:22am
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Default Same WI problem

I too just ran into the problem where my oxycon "froze up". My "Bead Hut" is a converted storage shed out back but I usually keep a small electric heater running to keep everything inside at about 50 F during winter. Well, Sunday nite I must have "bumped" the safety switch and when I went I returned Monday evening it was 32 F inside. The oxycon ran for 1 - 2 minutes and quit sending oxygen. After three tries, I cranked up the heat and left hoping I go out there tonite and find everything back to "normal". Thinking about getting a second unit for backup and/or Boro work but wondering if I would need to up my Natural gas line pressure?
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  #13  
Old 2009-01-06, 1:02pm
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I live in the Pacific Northwest,,lots of rain.I have my studio in an unheated 8x8 hut teehee,in the backyard. I have a little automatic temp controled ceramic heater.Im 100% sure my oxy appreciates a little heat and definatly the lack of humidity factor.

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  #14  
Old 2009-01-25, 3:48pm
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are there any safety issues with using a space heater or ceramic heater near an oxycon?
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  #15  
Old 2009-01-27, 1:24pm
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If it is too cold, the machine just won't run at all. Just how cold one will work seems to vary from machine to machine. Ironically, cold air is dense air and will yield very good purity from concentrators.

Storing a machine in cold weather should be another thing to look at. You don't want to store them in a place that gets extremely cold because they tend to have plastic parts that can get brittle and break or crack and leak if the machine.

As mentioned in an earlier post, concentrators do generate heat within the cabinet, usually increasing the temperature in the cabinet by about 30 degrees F.

Mary described the process of condensation. The air has moisture in it and when the machine cools off, the moisture condenses onto parts and can damage them. So, it really is better to have some kind of heat in the room as your machine cools down.

As for running a space heater near a concentrator, I'm not sure whether or not the heating elements would pose a fire hazard. I would be more concerned about the electric draw of the heater. If you are going to run a space heater, make sure you have enough electricity to supply it and everything else you're running.

As for enclosing a concentrator, you really should make sure that the machine is well ventilated. You want to have plenty of feed air coming into the machine and you do not want to block the exhaust. Blocking the intake or exhaust (the exhaust is seperate from the oxygen outlet) could overheat the machine and damage it. There needs to be some clearance all the way around the machine to have good ventilation. Keeping a machine under a bench is one thing. Putting a box up around it is something else.
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  #16  
Old 2009-03-22, 9:55pm
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What about wrapping the oxycon in some type of blanket while not being used and then unwrapping when getting ready to use it. I live in the high desert at it gets around 25 to 32 on average at night and my studio is in the back (of course in an unheated trailer). So, in the evening after done, if I wrap the oxygen concentrator would that help to keep it warm enough and not cause a problem?

Anyone know..
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  #17  
Old 2009-03-22, 10:18pm
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it has been pretty cold most the winter and my shop is unheated for my time spent lampworking. I dont seem to have a problem running my concentrators in this climate. when it is 18 degrees in the shop, it is me that is not working correctly.
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  #18  
Old 2009-03-23, 9:00am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovetomp View Post
What about wrapping the oxycon in some type of blanket while not being used and then unwrapping when getting ready to use it. I live in the high desert at it gets around 25 to 32 on average at night and my studio is in the back (of course in an unheated trailer). So, in the evening after done, if I wrap the oxygen concentrator would that help to keep it warm enough and not cause a problem?

Anyone know..
I don't know which machine you have, but just off the top of my head, I think the Regalia can be stored at temperatures as low as 4 F. You should be fine in the 20-30's.
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  #19  
Old 2009-12-12, 6:59pm
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Did a search and found this thread, want to revive it for the newbies and folks like me who missed it.
It's really cold here this winter and I was worried about my oxy con. It's 48 in the basement but I open it up when I torch so it will drop into the low 40's down there.

However, my new question is about the humidity here in the summer. How am I going to avoid all the moisture that's collecting in the oxy con in the summer? Does it shorten the life of the oxy con? What is happening to all that moisture that is created when the oxy con is turned off?

thanks,
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  #20  
Old 2009-12-20, 12:30pm
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My oxycon does not seem to work well in the cold, but it will usually at least start up. The problem is it blows air not oxygen and that puts out the flame. I work in my garage, and although it's usually above 50, it can dip down below that sometimes. If I fire up the kiln and turn on the heater ahead of time, it seems to help.
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  #21  
Old 2009-12-20, 1:16pm
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I have 2, the older one needs to be warmed up by a heater before it will start. The newer one fires up with no problems at 40f.
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  #22  
Old 2009-12-20, 2:48pm
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Well, so far I think I've been lucky. It was 52 in the basement today. When I opened the windows the temp probably drops a bit. I haven't had any problems with the oxy con. I just wonder if I'm shortening it's life by doing this in the cold weather.

But then in the summer it's so humid that I'm probably damaging it then too. Harumph!
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