I've been using a late relative's spare blowtorch that he left at my
house ~20 years ago. It consists of an orange tank with a valve, a
rubber hose maybe 2 m long, and a handle/outlet with a valve, & two
hose clamps. (I don't use it very often.)
When I used it last week, I had occasional problems with it: switching
between "neat blue flame" & "orange flamethrower", occasionally going
out, & leaving some wet-looking stuff on the nozzle. Does this just
mean the tank is almost empty, or is there something wrong with the
Should I replace it with a newer model? Any recommendations for
occasional plumbing jobs?
Most propane torches do this if liquid propane reaches the nozzle. Maybe there
is some sort of liquid in the tank, from sitting 20 years...
Try new tank first, maybe, depending on cost and other use?
And if the hose is still OK-ish, i.e. not cracked and stiff. Otherwise, depends:
"Orange flamethrower" mode is perfectly ok for garden or outdoor work, not so OK
in a loft...
You should be able to assess the tank by moving it about - you should
hear some gas slopping about. If its the small 4kg Calor type tank, then
you may be able to take it to a supplier and swap it for less than the
cost of a new tank.
I would give the torch a clean - make sure the nozzle is not full of
The type you have is probably better suited to extended use with lower
costs per hour. However its quite cumbersome for a quick job.
Something that fits on the top of a standard Propane or MAPP gas can is
My favourite by far is the Rothenberger Super Fire 2. Since this has a
trigger operated mode where when you pull it, the torch lights and then
runs at your preset flame. When you let go, it extinguishes. That makes
it very easy and safe to use for plumbing applications - since you can
put it down without needing to worry about what you are about to set
light to. It also burns in any orientation from cold, and has a good
accurate swirl flame patten.
However they are rather pricey for occasional use. Ebay etc has some
more basic can mounted torches.
I have seen a few positive reviews of things like:
There also appears to be a knock off copy of the super fire:
(no idea how that compares in use though)
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