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

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  #1  
Old 2015-05-04, 8:48am
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Mina Mina is offline
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Default Homefill questions

Im thinking about buying a homefill, but before I do I want to understand how they work.

Are you limited to the small tank, or can you fill a larger tank? What would be needed to fill a larger tank? How much torch time can you get out of the small tank that comes with it?

What is a whip? I've read that one is necessarybut don't know what it is or how to use it.

I've read it should not be near a flame....how far from the torch does it need to be? What kind of extensions (hose and electric) do you use?

Can it easily be switched to just use the concentrator?

Does the torch hook up directly to the homefill, or to the tank?

Is a homefill worth the expense?
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  #2  
Old 2015-05-04, 10:24am
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They were originally designed to fill small tanks for medical use but I use one to fill 200 cubic foot tanks. It's a concentrator that is hooked up to a pump that pressurizes the tank as it fills. The 'whip' is the high pressure hose connector between the pump and the tanks that's being filled.
It takes two plugs, one for the pump and one for the concentrator. You can fill a 200 cubic foot tank to a little over 1500psi in about 30 hours. It's not as high as a freshly delivered tank but it works fine for smaller torches. I keep two tanks, one to work from and a spare.
You don't hook it up directly to the torch, you fill your tank and then attach that to your torch via regulator.
I have found it quite handy and it's just about paid for itself, how fast that happens depends on how often you have to have your tanks filled. Another good run on the torch and I'll be ahead of the game.
Hope this helps
Robert
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  #3  
Old 2015-05-04, 11:45am
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That is what I needed to know, thank you
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Old 2015-05-04, 1:14pm
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"Is a homefill worth the expense?"

That all depends on your end use. If your torch will run fine at 5 to 10 psi directly from concentrator/s and your have sufficient capacity, then no.

If you need greater capacity for raging or your torch runs best at higher pressure then perhaps. What is the cost to fill a tank at a welding firm in your area? Do you have issues with moving a large heavy tank? Are there stairs involved? Are you satisfied with oxygen purity at 95% in place of 100%? Are reasonably priced oxygen cylinders available in your area? What is the cost of power in your area? If the unit breaks down can it be fixed without a lot of cost or shipping issues? How long do they last?

You may want to check with the folks at Talk Glass as another source of information.
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Old 2015-05-04, 2:13pm
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Alaska, the homefill allows you to re-fill your own tanks from the O2 generated by your compressor. There would be an increase in utility use, but you would have the benefit of a higher pressure flame and the tanks are smaller and easy to handle.
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Old 2015-05-04, 5:21pm
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I run a Mirage at 25psi and have been pleased with the performance and savings on delivery costs. I don't use the outer flame a lot but do need it from time to time. When I factor in the time for delivery, costs of O2, Hazmat fees, delivery fees and taxes I think that it's been a worthwhile investment. I'm not a professional so I don't work every day but over all I've been good with it.

Robert
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  #7  
Old 2015-05-04, 6:52pm
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Robert, how big is a 200 cubit foot tank?
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  #8  
Old 2015-05-04, 10:32pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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I am going to buy a homefill, I own a new concentrator, own 3 tanks.

All I need is the compressor and whip.

It will cost me $975 for what I want. That is the price of 24 K tank fill up's. not including the time and gasoline to go take tanks in for a refill.

here are tank sizes.
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  #9  
Old 2015-05-04, 10:41pm
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I think the 200 cf tanks are shoulder high but I could be mistaken.

The cost of getting tanks delivered in your area is so you can figure out if it would be less expensive to just get tanks delivered and not have to be concerned with getting the homefill unit overhauled every 3000 hours of use (There is another on of those 'I thinks')

The Invacare oxycons have a separate connector on the back on the bottom that hooks to the homefill unit that puts out a slightly higher pressure so it can refill a tank at the same time as it supplies oxygen to the patient ( or torch ). I have no idea if that duel use would slow the tank refilling to any significant amount.

Getting your hands on a tank can be problematic because most of the welding gas companies rent the tanks at an annual rate and if you do buy one make sure it comes with paper work that proves ownership. Taking an empty tank in to trade it out for a full one might get it confiscated if you can not prove it belongs to you.

I picked up a knee high tank that I think they call a "forty" and I have been told that those and "twentys" usually don't raise a fuss if you don't happen to have proof of ownership.

Something I have learned from watching youtube welding videos is that oxygen tanks have valves that you want to open all the way or close all the way. It seems the valves leak around the valve stem unless that are all the way one way or the other so you could lose a whole tank over night if you just shut off the regulator.


Shop around for the Whips too. I have seen them being sold for outrageous amounts. I think I have some reasonable sources hidden in this computer somewhere but it has been a while since I bought mine and will take me a while to relocate if you need it.


Excellent picture! Thanks for that.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2015-05-05 at 2:48am.
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Old 2015-05-04, 10:48pm
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One other thing about refilling tanks is that pushing in that last 500 psi can take as much effort as pushing the first 1000 psi so if you really want to "Rage The Torch" often you may be better off getting two tanks and tying them together.
You will wind up with twice the volume of oxygen at 1000 psi for probably less than half the energy compress one tank to 1500 psi.
Much more efficient.
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Old 2015-05-05, 1:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mina View Post
Alaska, the homefill allows you to re-fill your own tanks from the O2 generated by your compressor. There would be an increase in utility use, but you would have the benefit of a higher pressure flame and the tanks are smaller and easy to handle.
Yes, I am well aware of the pros and cons of a homefill system. Own two of them myself.

These questions are for you to assist in making a determination on your part as to the viability of such a system for your lampworking needs.
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  #12  
Old 2015-05-05, 2:54am
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There are those working boro that swear the extra purity of bottled oxygen can make a lot of difference in how the colors play for you in hard glass.

Welding oxy tanks run to 99.9% purity versus the 90 to 95% you will get out of oxycons on their best days. I don't know at what percentage purity oxycons will set a low purity alarm at. It might be as low as 85%.

I bet Shawnette would know.

Maybe someone experienced in boro and tanks will chime in about the difference between sources.
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Old 2015-05-05, 4:41am
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A Homefill unit won't even work with an oxycon that puts out less than 93% purity, so you'll be getting a minimum of 93% pure.
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  #14  
Old 2015-05-05, 3:55pm
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Thanks Shawnette.
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Old 2015-05-06, 12:15am
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I work nothing but boro and tanked is not that big a deal over generated oxygen. Real nominal other then I get O2 at 15 psi when I would like 25 psi.

People with big torches and working boro production will have a HVO system or be buying LOX.
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  #16  
Old 2015-10-04, 10:19am
Jarid22 Jarid22 is offline
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Default I think I've been ripped off..

Hi there, I'm new to the forum and somewhat new to lampworking. I've been using a K size tank and I recently bought a homefill system second hand. Last night I hooked it up and let it fill all night, everything seemed good, it started out saying O2 lower than normal but after a couple minutes the light switches to filling and stayed there all night. This morning I stopped it and put my regulator back on and the tank still seems to be at the same psi. Anyone know what's going on with it? It wasn't cheap and I don't have a ton of money. It's a invacare home fill 2.
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Old 2015-10-04, 10:42pm
snoopdog6502 snoopdog6502 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarid22 View Post
Hi there, I'm new to the forum and somewhat new to lampworking. I've been using a K size tank and I recently bought a homefill system second hand. Last night I hooked it up and let it fill all night, everything seemed good, it started out saying O2 lower than normal but after a couple minutes the light switches to filling and stayed there all night. This morning I stopped it and put my regulator back on and the tank still seems to be at the same psi. Anyone know what's going on with it? It wasn't cheap and I don't have a ton of money. It's a invacare home fill 2.
I have an invacare homefil 2 and they are slow, 2 liters per minute. you need to let it run a long time, over night is nothing. Let it run a day or two.

Also check your whip for leaks, its hard to fill anything with a leaky whip.

Lastly they can be a huge fussy pain in the ass, when they work they are nice but when you have to fix one they are a rinkey dink headache.

I have about $2,500 into my oxygen equipment and the homefil has been the worst part of my investments.
I have 3 oxygen concentrators for when the dopey homefil does not work.
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