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Balancing Gases

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  • Balancing Gases

    In a old thread someone explains how to balance the gases on a torch. They said to open the torch acetylene valve all the way and have the regulator closed. Then open the acetylene tank valve and start to slowly bring up the acetylene pressure until the flame lifts. Then back down the pressure slightly. Now you are supposed to do the same thing with the oxygen until you get a neutral flame. Then this was supposed to be the settings you are supposed to leave the regulators at.

    I gave this a try and my gauge said the acetylene pressure was 4 lbs. and my oxygen pressure was about the same which I guess is expected if you are balancing the gases. What I don't understand is that with a cutting head you are supposed to have 20-40 psi of o2 according to harris and be in the range of 5 to 15 psi for acetylene.

    Which is correct?

    Also, is it normal for a torch to pop some until it warms up after a bit?

  • #2
    Use your regulators...if they are damaged...get new regulators...
    Paul in VT


    • #3
      Also, is it normal for a torch to pop some until it warms up after a bit?
      No, either it has a leak or the fuel pressure is too low for the tip size. About pressures, it needs enough fuel to run the size tip, 4 or 5# may be enough for a 00 while a 2 may need 7 or so, small tips 5 to 7 at the regulator. O settings, a number one tip in good condition will cut 1/2 plate with as little as 20#, 35 or 40 may be needed for inch, under ideal circumstances just enough O to go thru the plate and finish the cut. Usually it isn't a perfect world and most people bump up the O a bit.


      • #4
        7 and 40 are common cutting pressures. for oxy/fuel welding, 5 and 5 is ideal.

        If you're talking the flame, turn the acetylene on until the smoke disappears and then add the oxygen. When you apply the oxygen slightly, you'll notice a long white-ish blue between the main cutting flames near the head of the torch and the blue tail around it. Dial this in until that disappears. Pull the cutting lever at this point, and if you still see it, add further oxygen until it disappears. You should have 5 (I think it's 5, never paid attention to it) defined points of flame and a steady blue tail.

        Hopefully that made sense. I'm notoriously bad at explaining things to people.

        The popping isn't normal. Try cleaning the tip or tightening the connections.

        If you're talking about getting your regulators dialed in. crack the valve relating to the gas you're trying to dial inon your torch body slightly and then dial the psi settings in on the regulator.
        Last edited by mb_welder; 11-09-2010, 06:38 PM.


        • #5
          What keeps torch flame from burning back into torch tip orifice?
          Velocity of gas flowing out of torch tip is higher than velocity flame can burn up stream. Torch tip conducts heat away from flame makes it harder for flame to burn back into torch starting a flashback. First a series of closely spaced pops in torch tip. A warning, that can develop into roaring flame back to torch mixer and beyond. This series of pops often happens when gas welding or cutting in a corner that confines and reflects heat to torch tip.

          Pulling torch away from heat should stop the pops.

          Then fix the problem. Turn up the flame higher which might seem counter intuitive for ignorant beginner or use smaller torch tip.
          Don't turn down flame on large torch tip to weld thinner metal. Use proper sized tip for the thickness of metal.

          Proper shut down and start up procedures purge fuel and O2 gas mixtures from hoses before lighting torch.

          Flashback arrestors and check valves are final fail safe measures between torch and cylinder valves.

          Hose fire you must turn off cylinder valves if you can.
          Last edited by Roger; 11-10-2010, 05:52 AM.


          • #6
            ok, so it sounds like the balancing gasses procedure is used only for welding tips.

            My regulators are only a few years old and still work and look like new. I was just attempting to try this procedure.

            I was using a cutting tip to burn the paint off of a barrel and when the oxygen lever was not pushed down, the tip would give a small pop maybe once every couple minutes for the first ten minutes or so. The acetylene pressure was in the 5 to 7 range and o2 was around 30psi. I started the flame as recommended, turn on acetylene until soot stops and then add o2 until the outer blue flame just disappears. I tried tightening the cutting tip but that did not help. I guess I will try cleaning it but the tip has hardly any time on it.


            • #7
              Sounds like the OP needs to do some study on Ox/Ace before he blows himself up.

              There are basic principles to be followed to keep things safe. If you don't know and follow those principles, you're putting yourself and others at great risk.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SundownIII View Post
                Sounds like the OP needs to do some study on Ox/Ace before he blows himself up.

                There are basic principles to be followed to keep things safe. If you don't know and follow those principles, you're putting yourself and others at great risk.
                I am thinking you obviously didn't read what I just wrote or even any of the thread. I feel it is pretty clear I knew what I was doing.

                I took 2 semesters of welding in high school about 8 years ago. I bought and read the Linde manual. As I said in the last post, I already am following what is the recommended procedure for starting the flame and setting it. So how does that show I need to study on Ox/Ace before I blow myself up. I really take offense to misplaced comments like that.

                I simply read about the balancing gasses procedure and gave it a try and didn't understand the results which is why I asked about it on here. I did not leave the regulators like that!

                As I said in the last post, I will get one small pop every couple of minutes for about 6 to 8 minutes and then they go away. I have flash arrestors on the torch and check valves/flash arrestors on the regulators. This will also not blow myself up.

                I will not argue that I am still learning but I am learning safely!
                Last edited by snorulz; 11-10-2010, 03:30 PM.