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

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  #1  
Old 2017-11-14, 4:36pm
donna@campacci.com donna@campacci.com is offline
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Default Propane dies after a few minutes of lighting my torch

Hi All,
This is my first time post so I hope all goes well

I came back to my Phoenix Studio (which is in my garage) in September. I store my concentrator in the house during the summer but Everything else was left in the garage. I started up my torch and lite it. It ran for about a minute and then the flame died. I tried it several times. I took the propane tank to the station and had it checked. If was half full and they filled it up. Told me I might have a gas bubble so turn it upside down for a while and then try again. I did all that several times. No change. I then got another tank and tried it....same thing happened. I let it sit a week or so upside down and lit the torch again...it ran for about 10-15 minutes and then died. When it does you can see the regulator gauges are at zero.

My setup is this: propane tank outside with black hose connected from tank to a pipe (that runs through the garage wall), pipe to brass ball value to regulator to frame arrestor to hose to torch.

I installed this in Oct of 2015 and have used it for about 5 months in the winter. The hose looks ok and the torch has been lit for about 15 minutes so I'd thinking those items are not the problem. Although I haven't cleaned the torch It's a mega minor. My regulator is a Smith from Frantz Art Glass. I have written to Mike Frantz today and he is also not sure what is going on so he wrote to Nortel.

I thought I would put this out for anyone who has had a similar experience.

Thank you in advance for help!
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  #2  
Old 2017-11-14, 4:47pm
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Eileen Eileen is offline
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I'm not sure if it would make any difference, but my regulator is attached to my propane tank, and when I was having problems I took my regulator to the local welding shop. He opened it up and there was rust in there, so he cleaned it wll and put the special "grease, but not grease" in it and it appears to have fixed it.

What is your regulator set at?
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  #3  
Old 2017-11-14, 6:55pm
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Three Muses Glass Three Muses Glass is offline
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Both gauges go to zero? Have your regulator checked out. And one other thought...when you stored everything in the garage for the summer, was there a cap on the pipe outside that runs to the valve inside? What I mean is...is there a possibility that some creature got in there?
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  #4  
Old 2017-11-14, 9:46pm
donna@campacci.com donna@campacci.com is offline
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Thank you both for your replies!

Eileen, I did read your post on the rust found in the regulator. I believe I had the regulator set at 8 lbs. I have now taken everything apart, but I'm almost sure that both gauges went to zero. I never took the system apart for the summer. The only thing I did was to remove the propane tank and leave the black hose from the tank outside on the ground with the end cap covered. When I came back in September the plastic that had covered the end cap had degraded and the cap was exposed. Perhaps purchasing a new black hose to attach my tank to the pipe that runs through the garage wall might be in order. It's been out in the sun for two years now. I don't think a creature could get in but our fine dust out here could have. Donna
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  #5  
Old 2017-11-15, 3:29am
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Speedslug Speedslug is online now
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You would be surprised at the tiny size of some of the spiders that live outside and would think that tiny hose opening would make a wonderful home.

As for turning over a propane tank I don't have any idea what kind of "gas bubble" the guy was thinking of but I do know that all kinds of gunk can collect in the bottom propane tanks and that just moving them from the trunk of the car into the house can stir it all up and clog everything from your regulator to your hoses to your check valves and flashback arrester to your torch internal tubing.

I always let my propane tank sit for at least an hour if I can help it. A full day if it is at all possible.


Is there any chance you hose or your regulator is made for acetylene? Make sure the hose is marked "Type T" to be compatible with propane.

Propane gas in acetylene hose will cause it to disintegrate and form tiny balls of liquid rubber that will then clog everything else.

If you leave it too long the hose or regulator can leak as well and that can lead to unexpected 'Booms' that your home insurance will most likely not cover.


I would start by removing the flashback and check valves and trying it without them.
They are not strictly needed and they will be the things that would be the most sensitive to gunk, corrosion or cheap manufacture.
Then I would beg, borrow or buy another regulator and see if you can isolate it to one of those keeping in mind that it could well be all three that have problems.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2017-11-15 at 3:35am.
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  #6  
Old 2017-11-15, 8:11am
donna@campacci.com donna@campacci.com is offline
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Ok, you got us thinking so we went back outside and started checking from the tank. We noticed the hose clamps holding the black hose from the tank to the pipe that goes through the garage wall was loose ..... yikes....you could spin it around. So that would be the problem. We are off to purchase a new hose and clamps. The current hose has become hard as well....likely due to the heat and sun here in AZ. We will put the system back together and try it out. We did take the flame arrestor out and try the system again but it was the same. Hope this works! Donna
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  #7  
Old 2017-11-15, 8:33am
kansassky kansassky is offline
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Donna, to protect the exterior portion of my propane hose (the part from the regulator to the exterior wall of the house) I use a foam pool noodle.

The guys at Airgas told me the fuel hose will more affected by UV light than heat.

Using a box cutter, I slit the pool noodle lengthwise on one side only.
This allows you to slide the pool noodle over the hose so it is inside the hollow center of the noodle.
I cut the end of the noodle to fit the exact length of the hose.
Then, I use a few zip ties to secure the noodle closed.

I write the date on the noodle with marker so I know when it was changed.
I replace it every fall.
Fast, simple. And, the hose underneath feels and looks like new!
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  #8  
Old 2017-11-15, 10:58am
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Check for water in the fuel lines too. It can condense in the fuel line.
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  #9  
Old 2017-11-15, 11:36am
donna@campacci.com donna@campacci.com is offline
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Wow...I think I'm up and running again! We replaced the black hose from the tank to the pipe and torch has been running for 15 minutes so far no problems! I will take the black hose in when I leave and also the other equipment in the garage in the summer! And what a great idea with the pool noodle! I can get those easily here in AZ. thank you all so much for your help!!! Sincerely, Donna
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  #10  
Old 2017-11-15, 7:30pm
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You can also run the black hose through over sized PVC piping to keep the Sun off it as well.
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