Propane plumbing torch questions.

Once in a while I need to do a little plumbing work on my house using copper pipe and a propane torch. I often seem to have a problem with the torch -- primarily the flame going out while working. I thought it was just a low tank pressure, etc., but it still happens with the new tank I bought.
Mostly, it seems to happen when the torch is not held in an upright position. In most cases, I can get the torch to be facing at least partly in an upward direction, but for some jobs it's not easy to do that.
Is this normal? Does the torch have to be facing mostly upright to keep the flame from going out? If so, is there some other type of torch set-up that I can get that won't have this problem?
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When you tip the tank, liquid propane gets into the burner--normally you are tapping the gas bubble which sits on top of the liquid.. It's a problem of the the design of the torch burner--not every one does this. I have an old Bernz torch which behaves as you describe--the flame roars and then usually blows itself out. I also have a (smaller) torch with built-in igniter, and it doesn't care how you hold it. It would not be real useful for soldering pipe--not enough heat, but I imagine other (more expensive) torches behave better than the one you have. The pro's use a torch on a length of tubing attached to a propane (or, more likely, acetylene) tank.

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accetylene. The torch and gas are a bit more expensive than the propane ones, but they really crank out heat. Dave
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I'll agree with this. I got a Surefire (bernzomatic) T501, instant on/off torch, and it is great. Much hotter than the old torch, even with both on MAPP gas. Heats up copper fittings in a couple of seconds.
Doesn't have the hose, however the enclosed manual says it can be used with an extension hose and adapter.
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I'll have to try that next time I buy a torch. I was soldering 1-inch copper today and I could have used more heat on some of the fittings.
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040122 2128 - RJP wrote:

a propane torch head that had a 3 foot hose on it and the tank and valve hung on my belt. This kept the tank upright and I was free to hold the torch at any angle. I used it for 1/2, 3/4, and 1-1/4 copper and it soldered OK for them all.
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Just had to jump in here. I have the same sort of rig, with electric starter, and I can't believe how much easier it is to soldier. I have done up to 1 1/2 " copper which was no problem, I'll never do without it again. Dave W.
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Dave Winslow (Dad) wrote:

I have a pistol-grip torch that I bought from Harbor Freight Tools a few years ago for about $15; the brand was "Goss", I think. It has a piezoelectric start and hooks up to an acetylene tank. Works great. Much easier to use than a propane torch, especially out-of-position.
Victor "turbo-torch" is the cadillac though. I think it will run propane, MAPP, propylene, and maybe acetylene.
Best regards, Bob
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I use several different torches at work, one is the TurboTorch TL-44, it self ignites, has a swirl flame to help bring in more air, and has a regulator so it will not flame-out when tipped. It is a good torch for when I need a cooler tip, like when repairing coils or sweating smaller copper. It will do light brazing with Mapp gas also. A step up would be a TurboTorch acetylene torch with either the B or MC tank. It has interchangable tips and uses a hose. I have a holder for the tank, tips and striker. They make tips for them that are self igniting also. And then the next step up for heat is the oxy-acetylene comes in, it isn't needed for general plumbing or refrigeration work. Look on Ebay for new and used TurboTorches at good prices. Information overload?
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the boss and I used to solder 1 1/4 copper. Two of us, one on either side, each with a torch and roll of solder. We'd usually be talking about anything except soldering, heat it up, wick the solder in, and wipe it all off. Still chatting about anything except soldering.
I miss those days. That sure was a lot of fun, working together with a fellow who thinks much the same as I do.
Yes, Mapp is much hotter than propane. I've also seen someone else stick braze small compressors with Mapp. The tanks are more expensive, but well worth it.
I've also seen a pro plumber (second generation plumber) with a B-tank acetylene and a torch on the long end of the hose. He spends more time looking for his sparker than he does plumbing. My boss asked him try the touchfire Bernzo torch with a mapp tank, but the plumber was so used to the tank and hose rig. His loss.
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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Hey, thanks! I never thought of that. Somehow I just assumed that the tank was full of gas, not a liquid that vaporizes. So, it makes sense that when the liquid part gets to the valve it shuts down. I think I'll buy the pro type tank setup next time.

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RJP wrote:

pointed where i need it, it goes out.. kinda like its doing it on purpose... well i had the same problem with a rechargeable shaver... worked and when going to the face it would stop... it was a shorted wire in there.. just took it apart and soldered it in place and no more problems.. with the torch i got another one and another one.. each about 3 -5 yrs. apart... and then found out it was the dirt in the orifice of the torch head... when they get old this happens.. they have orifices in a small tin can at an ace hardware store.... pretty cheap.. probably needs a new orifice.....
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Thanks. I used to think it was probably the torch head. In fact, I've switched those in the past when I had other problems with the torch. But this problem seemd to recur even with different torch heads. So, I think it's the liquid vs. gas issue which someone else pointed out.
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Burn Fat Without Ephedra
Just hold a lit propane blow torch against you big fat belly and watch the fat burn....
You might even want to invite your friends over to watch because it's real fun and exciting to watch burning fat while they are high on something good.
------------------------------------

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snipped-for-privacy@nofatass.com Stormin Mormin posts another classic
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