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

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  #1  
Old 2018-02-12, 6:57am
sherryfen sherryfen is offline
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Default Losing Propane

Went to use my torch and had no propane at all. Hadnít torched for a week, and the tank was recently new. My husband changed the tank, watched the regulator, and noticed that there was a decline in the propane. Assuming there is a slow leak in the hoses which are about ten years old. Until we can get new hoses, is it okay to use my torch? Appears it is a very slow leak. Any help is appreciated. I need to make beads today, while he is trying to locate new hoses. Thanks for any help. I am on a mini cc with an oxygen concentrator from extreme oxygen, ex-20.
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  #2  
Old 2018-02-12, 7:26am
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Three Muses Glass Three Muses Glass is offline
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No! Too dangerous. BTW- regulators and flashback arrestors wear out as well. If you haven't changed anything in 10 years, it may be time. I've replaced everything 3 times in the same amount of time.
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  #3  
Old 2018-02-12, 7:44am
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Oh no! Do not torch. You are aware that propane pools in low spots, right? It does not dissipate. Is it inside? Either way, you need to use some fans to blow it away from wherever it may have settled. I hope your tank is outside, but it will also explode there, so corrective action is needed.
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  #4  
Old 2018-02-12, 4:54pm
losthelm losthelm is offline
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it may be a loose fitting, a mix of 15 parts water to 1 part dish soap may help find the leak.
Or you maybe able to hear what's hissing.
At the very least it will identify the part that needs replacing.

Turning the propane off at the tank should be standard practice.
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Last edited by losthelm; 2018-02-12 at 4:57pm.
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  #5  
Old 2018-02-13, 1:48am
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well that doesn't sound good. I would check your regulator for sure. Unless your torch is leaking, and that can happen too. if your hoses are that old, it is an obvious thing to replace them. But I would check to make sure you know where the leak is. Stay safe and hope you can get back to melting soon.
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  #6  
Old 2018-02-13, 12:11pm
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Default Leaks

Mix up some soapy water and spray it on to the hoses etc to find the leak.
You will get bubbles where the leak is.

Have fun, Wayne
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  #7  
Old 2018-02-14, 1:45am
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Oh and for propane make sure you are using "T" rated hose.

It should be marked on the hose and they are typically black like bar-b-que hoses.

The red and green hoses for acetylene can disintegrate from the inside because the propane chemically destroys the hose.

And all hoses can break down down from sun light and weathering and just from getting old.
I think need to be replaced every dozen years or so.
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Old 2018-02-14, 10:32am
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My T grade hose is red
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  #9  
Old 2018-02-14, 8:56pm
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Thanks Kathy.

I didn't know it came in red.
It has be a decade or more since I followed the details so I am out of touch, again.
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  #10  
Old 2018-02-16, 12:09pm
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Ok, so how do I know if my torch itself is leaking? Just process of elimination? I hate to spend the money on a new torch if that isn't it. Is it possible the typical propane smell is a product of the fuel burning off? I don't smell anything when my torch/propane isn't on. Will the soapy water also work to test the arrestors and quick connects? My dials on my regulator are steady. Does that mean it isn't my regulator? I got all new hoses and I'm pretty sure I didn't smell anything when I first (recently) started using my torch again after years.
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  #11  
Old 2018-02-17, 12:17am
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if the torch is leaking, you can smell propane around the valves. Sometimes they leak but you can just replace them.
Soapy water for all the connects. Some say that Dawn corrodes brass and there are some things online you can buy to check those connections. I haven't tried any, yet anyway
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  #12  
Old 2018-02-17, 12:43pm
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Today's project: Testing all the connections and lines. I have a very diluted solution of Palmolive.
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Old 2018-02-17, 1:30pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beadazoid View Post
Today's project: Testing all the connections and lines. I have a very diluted solution of Palmolive.
OK! Mission accomplished!! Parts tested, leak found, part replaced! It was the non-torch half of the quick-connect. I happened to have an extra one here! Now all that's left is to re-verify once I start up my torch (later today).
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  #14  
Old 2018-02-17, 2:01pm
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I'm using quick connects on my hoses to connect to my torch and have standard flashbacks on the regs. For finding leaks I will open the tanks and turn on the regs with everything hooked up ready to work. then I close the tanks down and watch the regs to see if they are dropping. If one is then I will disconnect the torch with the quick connect, no worries they have check valves, and watch to see if the reg is still dropping. Hopefully it is as I would rather replace the hose, quick connects, or regulators than torch valves.
I have Y splitters on my hose lines to run my main torch and the hand torch with quick connects on the splitters. This is my second stage to check. I'll open the tank and close it again to fill the next section for checking. Soapy water in a spray bottle is best for checking.
Make sure to check around all the connections on the regs also.
Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 2018-02-18, 12:40pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beadazoid View Post
OK! Mission accomplished!! Parts tested, leak found, part replaced! It was the non-torch half of the quick-connect. I happened to have an extra one here! Now all that's left is to re-verify once I start up my torch (later today).
Nope. That apparently was not the only one. After I replaced the quick connect part I retested all the connects and regulator again and found another leak on half of the flashback arrestor. I'm going to see if that will tighten enough if I use 2 wrenches. I hope so or I'll have to buy another.

So test and retest.
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  #16  
Old 2018-02-18, 4:24pm
losthelm losthelm is offline
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For the peanut gallery
If there is an issue with the torch your local welding supply or the manufacture maybe able to clean the metal pieces and replace the O rings and needle valves.
The flash back arrestors are at least something you can address and replace locally being a common universal part.
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Old 2018-02-18, 5:09pm
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Another thought from one who has learned the hard way;

These brass fittings at designed with soft metal and if a person cranks down on them too hard they can ruin the sealing surfaces and wind up needing to get them re-ground.

Also if the torch valves are hand closed really hard the stem can get bent and that will entail sending it back to the manufacturer to get repaired.

With these precision surfaces the amount of pressure needed to seat the parts gas tight really isn't much more then what is needed to to push the blood out of your skin to a lighter color as you close the parts together.

Seems there is a way that metal to metal contact can actually weld the two parts together and when they are opened again chunks from one surface will get torn out because it is bonded with the other. I think the metal guys call it galling.
I remember that there was an issue with that happening on one of the first space flights when the astronaut (or it could have been a cosmonaut) could not get the hatch closed because of it.

ETA: It's called cold welding and here is a youtube video on the subject;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8FgA7Narfs
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2018-02-18 at 5:29pm.
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  #18  
Old 2018-02-19, 5:29pm
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Do you not close the propane tank after torching, and burn the fuel out of the lines after? I mean, it's also good to check and fix leaks, but doing those steps may help extend the lifespan of your equipment.
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