Propane torch questions

I finally got around to trying my hand at sweating copper, and it went well (except the appearance, but it doesn't matter in this application...).
But: My aged Berz-O-Matic wasn't working very well at all, and I picked up a replacement torch at Menards -- it's called a MagTorch.
About ten minutes into the job, the torch decides that it's no longer going to operate inverted. Pretty handy -- I can heat only from beneath and (partially) laterally. If I tip the torch too far close to horizontal or beneath, it changes pitch and dies. Pretty annoying, when I couldn't restore my water service until I finish the sweat job... and it seemed to take forever to get the fittings hot enough to get the solder to flow.
WTF! So the questions are: Why is it doing this (flaming out), and is there a decent torch kit on the market that will perform basic functions like sweating residential copper without costing a bundle?
I found this: http://cgi.ebay.com/TurboTorch-SK-100-TurboSkill-Pencil-Flame-Propane-Torch-/200477409092?pt=BI_Welding_Supplies&hash=item2ead627f44
Any experience with this brand?
TIA.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&gbv=2&biw=1259&bih=605&q=turbo+torch+TS-1B&bav=on.1,or.&wrapid=tlif129756293779010&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=2068136520405131343&ei=Pz1XTbL4Gov6sAOUvtibDA&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEcQ8wIwAA #
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

when run with the tank up, because they are designed to be vapour withdrawal units, not liquid. When upside down you get liquid propane or MAP gas in the jet, and the torch runs super rich and goes out. You can get a propane extension hose that screws onto the bottle and the torch, allowing the torch to run in any attitude with the tank held upright.
The turbo type torches are FAR superior to the older BernzOMatic type torches in heat output. I usually use mine on MAP gas for plumbing. If I need more heat than I can get out of MAP I use acetelene.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/12/2011 9:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

The torch heads with a built in regulator will operate regardless of the tank position. I bought one from Sears 30 years ago and the design does work.
http://preview.tinyurl.com/4cxy3u6
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I looked this up, and their page does mention: "Solid brass regulator is pressure regulated to burn in any direction"
(I like this other 'feature', too: "Ignites with a sparker for dependable ignition". Wow, some feature. In other words, this tool doesn't have some troublesome trigger ignition -- the ignition is as dependable as the striker you purchased separately).
About $25 at Amazon, or $36 at Sears. A third option that someone mentioned is the hose torch, so the user doesn't have to hold onto a propane cylinder.
Sounds like time for a new toy or two.
Thanks for the replies.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/13/2011 8:57 AM, Robert Barr wrote:

Some of the self ignition torch heads may have the built in regulator also. I linked to one that actually said it had a regulator and looks like the one I acquired so long ago before the built in ignighter was a feature. Notice it has less bulk than a self lighter. :-)
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Robert Barr wrote:

That's the one I've got, from Bernzomatic. It's worked great when I've needed it, has the starter right on the torch, and it's nice to have the tank on your belt instead of in your hand.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 13, 11:49am, "Jon Danniken"

The best torch I have is one I got in a hobby shop. My daughter decided she wanted to try her hand at making glass beads. Long story short I laid ot about $100 for supplies she made 4 or 5 beads and I claimed the torch. It has a swirl tip and adjustable air mixture and though the direction didnt say so it works very well with MAPP gas. I bought a 10ft hose at the local camping supply place to attach it to a bulk tank. Think the torch only cost about $30 at Hobby Lobby.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
.

Thanks. That explains a lot. For some reason, I remember using a propane torch with the tank up, for a different purpose. Probably working on a stubborn fastener. At least I know that the torch I purchased is doing what it's supposed to do
I think I'll pick up one of those basic TurboTorches for next time, but it was a productive weekend -- I got my project done, saved a bundle on what a plumber would have cost me, and learned a lot. When your home is 70+ years old, that's important!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Menards has the Bernzomtic you want for about $50. Self lighting, works best right side up. If you need to solder upside down, rethink your technique. Heat travels up, and heat is conducted by the copper, so there is seldom a need to force the flame downwards. If you are concerned about setting fire to materials above the work zone get a a double sheet of scrap galvanized for a shield. That's something you should have in your soldering kit anyway. Work safe.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Menards has the Bernzomtic you want for about $50. Self lighting, works best right side up. If you need to solder upside down, rethink your technique. Heat travels up, and heat is conducted by the copper, so there is seldom a need to force the flame downwards. If you are concerned about setting fire to materials above the work zone get a a double sheet of scrap galvanized for a shield. That's something you should have in your soldering kit anyway. Work safe.
Joe I tried the galvanized sheet and still got the wood smoking. Now I have a cloth that I bought at sears that is made for protecting flammable items near soldering. You can put the flame on one side and it stays cool on the other. Works real well.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/12/2011 10:07 PM, ROANIN wrote:

I use Thermo-Trap Gel which can be purchased at HVAC and welding supply houses. It protects coated items from the flame but rinses off with plain water. You can also clean it up with a damp rag.
http://www.nucalgon.com/products/speciality_thermotrapgel.htm
http://www.nucalgon.com/assets/prodlit/3-23.pdf
TDD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 02:09:27 -0600, The Daring Dufas

gel even keeps heat from migrating even on copper pipe etc.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 12, 11:31pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I made a metal shield, two piece of sheet metal riveted together separated by a few washers. Figured that out after working in a bakery as a kid. They would place two baking pans together one inside the other with a few pennies separating them. This kept the cookies from burning on the bottom. Dont use galvanized . Fumes off of it are poisonous.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sat, 12 Feb 2011 23:31:28 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

based and often rock-wool filled. Still not good to breathe the dust.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stormin Mormon wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)97565634&sr=1-94 I don't think they'll sell many. OTOH, at that price they don't have to :)
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 02/12/2011 08:29 PM, Joseph650 wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/TurboTorch-SK-100-TurboSkill-Pencil-Flame-Propane-Torch-/200477409092?pt=BI_Welding_Supplies&hash=item2ead627f44
Nothing wrong with heating a pipe joint from the bottom or side without tipping the torch. It will get hot enough to sweat.
--
LSmFT

I'm trying to think but nothing happens............
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 08:41:24 -0500, LSMFT wrote:

One should not have any problem with residential sized copper pipe. When you get to 2 or 3" it becomes a problem and requires specialized equipment.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It will not work upside down either. For that you will need one that attaches to a bulk tank through a hose. When you turn it upside down you will have liquid propane entering the torch body. This is pretty much like flooding your car. Propane being a pretty good refrigerant will also cause various parts to freeze up if you let the liquid get inside the tourch. From your description it sounds like the torch is not adjusted properly or you are holding it at the wrong distance from the flame. I suggest you google a video on sweating pipes. And a happy Wednesday Thursday and Friday to you too.
Jimmie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.