Blowtorch sputtering

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 handle/nozzle?
Should I replace it with a newer model? Any recommendations for occasional plumbing jobs?
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Adam Funk wrote:

often means it needs warming up a bit before you start waving it around
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On Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 2:08:00 PM UTC+2, Andy Burns wrote:

+1. Waiting a few minutes before cranking it up to full flow seems to fix the problem frequently.
Tim
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wrote:

Did you have the fuel tank upright all the time you were using it?
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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...
Thomas Prufer
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On 22/05/2019 12:53, Adam Funk wrote:

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 dust etc.

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 ideal.
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:
https://ebay.us/pO89RX
There also appears to be a knock off copy of the super fire:
https://ebay.us/AFZN0d
(no idea how that compares in use though)
--
Cheers,

John.
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On 2019-05-22, John Rumm wrote:

I certainly like the idea of a dead-man switch on a blowtorch! I'll take a look at that & the other links. Thanks.

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After serious thinking Adam Funk wrote :

Sounds like liquid gas (propane) getting through to the burner. Tank needs to be upright, with the regulator at the highest point, to prevent liquid coming out of the jet.
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