View Full Version : Cleaning Acetylene torch
04-30-2010, 12:04 PM
Had a problem with the trigger valve on my cutting head not seating properly so took it apart to check & see if the seat was bad. This is the secound time I've used it senece I had it reworked a couple of years ago, noticed what appeared to be dirt of some kind in it. Need to know if anyone knows if it would be alright to clean parts with denatured alcohol to remove any possable oil on parts due to handling parts pluse I did drop the little spring on the shop floor, which to say the lest is not the cleanest place to have it land.
Any help would be appreciated, after all I do not wish to become a Statistic:eek:
04-30-2010, 02:18 PM
Jim, Is it dirt or rust.? Check with a magnet. If it's rust it could have come from your oxygen bottle. Take off your regulator and see if there is a screen in the inlet on the fitting tube that mounts to the bottle valve. All of mine has a screen on the fuel and oxygen regulators. If you clean your torch make sure all the o-rings are out. Any thing that don't leave a residue should be good to clean it out, I am thinking acetone if you clean metal off before tig welding, it should be good for torch cleaning maybe even blow it out with "clean" compressed air. Just some thoughts..
04-30-2010, 03:21 PM
Couple things to note. First, NEVER blow out a torch with compressed air unless it is known to be 100% oil and debris free ( so for all intensive purposes, never ). Acetone or Denatured Alcohol are suitable solvents.
04-30-2010, 08:00 PM
First, NEVER blow out a torch with compressed air unless it is known to be 100% oil and debris free ( so for all intensive purposes, never Would you really worry about this on a torch head? I understand the sensitivity on the regulator.
04-30-2010, 08:31 PM
I would worry.
Oil residue, pure oxygen, and a flashback could be a real bad scene. Also, as the torch warms with use, oil would volatilize into the gas stream and change the flame or contaminate the oxy jet when cutting. In the oxy jet circuit, might even flash off without a flashback.
04-30-2010, 09:34 PM
Yes I am very awary of the hazards of OX, ACC. My Grandfather taught me about OX/ACC welding when I was 10 Yr's old the first thing was stand off to the side as far as you can before opening the gauge this way if it does blow out you have a better chance of excape. What comes to mind approx. 40 Yr's ago A young man who worked for a local HVAC Com. was changing his OX. bottle at the local supplier & cracked the valve open to check it & make for sure it was full. Unfortunetly for him he was standing in front of the bottle when he did. The OX. Regulator blew out & went through his chest killing him, the only thing they could figure out at the time was the body oil on his hands got on the regulator connection causing the explosion. I shall never forget this HE left behind his wife & two young children.:( It still haunts me to this day.
At this time my concern is damaging the rubber "O" ring seat of the trigger valve.
After talking to a local Company who works on these I was told they bead blast them so the only thing I could figure out was that the dirt I suspect was the material used to origanal clean the thorch was not fully cleaned out. Also I don't think the trigger valve was fully seated.
05-01-2010, 02:34 AM
I've seen on web procedures for rebuilding regulators that should be O2 clean. They are ok as for as they go. Often small bits are missing that could cause problems. Procedures can't replace on site expert knowledge and experience. On line O2 clean proceedures ignored need to test that parts are really O2 clean. If your cleaning agent, solvent, or water is contaminated with hydro carbons your wasting your time.
05-01-2010, 05:31 PM
When in doubt, get 'em redone by a pro.
if you are outdoors and don't mind dumping a bit of oxygen, you could clean the torch, string the hose out as far as it will go, open the torch oxygen valves, then go back to the cylinder and open it gently then fully. That puts you away from the torch when testing.
That's bascially the way aircraft oxygen systems are often purged (nitrogen is used first to blow them out) since it is better to go BOOM on the ground than scatter parts and aircrew over the scenery, or have said aircrew get ill from poo in the lines. :eek:
You could secure the torch in a vise or by hose clamping it to something stable if you want to hot test it.