This is a bit off topic, but I figured someone here would know the
answer. A neighbor has a 20 year old oxy acetylene welding setup I'm
interested in buying, but I don't know much about these and a I want to
make sure the tanks, regulators etc. are not obsolete (eg, they haven't
changed the fittings since the mid '80's & I'll be able to get the
tanks filled or exchanged). Anyone know?
The fittings are still the same, but if they haven't been filled in a while,
the cylinder's pressure check date has passed. They should have a date code
stamped near the top, I forget how long it is good for, 5 years? Anyway, if the
cylinders have a dealer's sticker on them(and you go back to the same dealer),
they will usually just exchange them when you bring them in. If not, then you
will either have to have your cylinders checked or they will give you new ones.
Either way you pay for the testing, about $15 a cylinder the last time I had
one done. If by some chance you have strange fittings anyway, they would just
swap them out for a similar cost.
you might want to repost this question in sci.engr.joining.welding.
What I can tell you is in Canada anyway most High pressure tanks have a
finite life span and if the tank is past its life span you cannot get it
re-filled untill it has been inspected. Or if the tank(s) are owened by a
Gas company ie: BOC, Praxair, Air Liquide ect. you cannot own them but
rather lease them from the company that is stamped on the neck of the bottle
below the valve.
Most regulators can be rebuilt if the rubber diaphram is old and leaking and
the pressuer guages can be replaced without much cost (approx $15-$20 per
guage) There has been a thousand different manufactures of regulators so I
cannot tell you if these ones are obsolete or not, however some of the
common names are Victor, Praxair, Harris, Air Products. If they are anyone
of these they are good equipment.
What you might want to do is ask at a local welding supply store or a Gass
supplier and ask if there are still replacement parts for these items and if
they are not going to cost mega dollars to repair. New stuff could cost less
to buy than you would spend to repair old stuff. Over time the diaphrams in
the regulators get hard and crack but most of the other brass or stainless
fittings will not corrode if they have been stored in a dry area. I have
some cutting torches that are almost 35 years old and they still work just
hope this helps some but again I would suggest reposting your question in
the above newsgroup. Someone there will be able to provide a better answer.
Please be sure to learn how to use one. There is a proper sequence to
opening the valves for lighting. There is a maximum safe pressure on the
I attended a safety demonstration years ago. The instructor filled a small
balloon with just acetylene. He put a match to it and it made an orange
flame and some black soot. Not a bit deal. He filled another balloon and a
little "pssst" of oxygen. Put a match to it and B A M, it made quite an
I used one once or twice in highschool autoshop (the only
non-"academic" course they offered) and about 14 years later I
needed an auto front fender, and made a deal with the owner over the
phone to buy his for 25 dollars. the cat was parked at a gas station
between where he lived and where my mother lived, about 20 miles from
me and 30 or 50 from him. I go back for the fender and realize the
door can't be opened and i can't get to two bolts.
Thank goodness the attendant was 16 years old and so young he just
lent me his torch without making sure I could use it.
I'd forgotten so much I started the gas and the O2, and when I tried
to light it, the hot flame zoomed out!!!. At least I knew enough to
hold my hand to the side!!
If I had hurt myself, I wouldn't have sued anyone, because I know what
is my fault and what isn't. OTOH if I had no insurance or money to
pay medical bills, I'm not sure what I would do. I think I would
have lost though, since the guy was lending it to me for free. And
since the torch wasn't defective. Only I was.
I got the fender off, carried it back to NYC in the back of the
convertible, and replaced it with no problems. Same turquoises color,
didn't require painting.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
It works something like this:
First, give me a hint. What brand name? If it's Victor, buy it with
confidence. Any other, run.
Changing fittings? Fittings don't need to be changed. Hoses may. Bend
them and look for cracking. If cracked, get new, not a lot of $$, and new
fittings come with them. Look for anything broken or bent. Victor repairs
are no big deal, but some things can cost a lot to fix. Look for neglect.
Look for a greenish cast, meaning they have been used in a chlorine
environment. Not good. Plain crud is okay, and will come off easily.
Depending on where you are, you will have either lease bottles or owner
bottles. Or rentals. Look on the thick metal collar at the top of the
tank, and take it to that supplier IF one is on there. Get a bill of sale
from the man if you buy them. Take that paperwork to the gas supplier. Ask
to open an account. They are much more lenient if you have an account.
Those particular bottles may already be in their system. If they show they
are owned by the previous owner, you have the necessary paperwork to put
them in your name. If they're rentals, then you owe for years of rental
fees. Same for lease. They could be stolen, and they will confiscate them
on the spot. Don't fuss too much, because they usually will call 911, and
then you have to explain it all again from a cage.
Any way you go, you need bottles. I prefer to own all of mine, and that
does get pricey. But it is just the way I like it.
Now, when you take your nice looking red bottle in, they don't fill it while
you wait like a scuba tank. They just give you another bottle. Ownership
is a concept, and you don't keep the same bottle unless you have one of
those nice C02 ones that you ask to get back every time. You might get
another nice looking red bottle, or some derelict looking like it's spent
too much time in the ditch.
I have given you different scenarios. You will not know until you
physically take the bottles in. And if you have more than one place, go to
all and shop. Some will be more accommodating than others. Asking here is
like asking what the weather is. You will get all sorts of weather reports,
but it don't matter. It only matters where YOU live.
If you DO buy them, each use, turn off the valves, drain the hoses, and then
back off the t handles until there is no resistance. The regulators will
If the current owner has not kept the tanks up to date you will need to
confirm if they are owned or leased. An inspection sticker on the tank
should tell you when the last pressure test was done. If its more than
5 years the tank needs to be tested.
The hoses are fairly cheap and I would replace them.
The regulators may need a rebuild and the torch may need new seals.
New price on a decent torch and small tanks is around $300 in my area.
I would only go 50% on used gear.
If you don't know about acetylene tanks there are two things you need
1. do not tip them, they are liquid filled.
2. do not set an acetylene pressure over 15 psi. In fact do not go over
10 unless you know what you are doing.
if its been stored properly its probably ok. the acy regulator will fit
the old propane tanks also. propane/oxy works good if you get a propane
tip. the trouble ive seen with old guages/torches laying around is that
mud dobbers and spiders get in the fittings a build nests.so be sure to
coverem up when storeing. lucas
Also I grew up on a farm in Idaho and we had these tiny flies or bees?
I guess that would build nests in all the little mixer inlet holes it
would drive you nuts cleaning them out and sometimes they would never
work right. This would happen even if they were in their cases. But
I've never seen that whatever it is in the Midwest.
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