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  • Regulator issue

    Im having a regulator problem that perhaps someone can help me with. Ive got old victor regs on my oxy and acetylene. Just today, the acetylene regulator started making a pulsing sound like it wasn't letting the fuel out at a consistent rate. It "pulses" every second or so....psst, psst, psst, psst when my torch fuel valve is on. When ive got the torch lit, i can see the flame pulse a little each time as well, so the regulator is clearly letting out little bursts of fuel at a time. Also, when I ramp up the psi, the needle doesnt ramp up evenly, it jumps about 4psi at a time as im turning the valve, with a little psst sound at each jump. I also noticed that, even with the fuel valve on my torch turned up all the way, it still isnt high enough to get past the smoke. When I first noticed this, i thought it might be the torch as its a loaner from the shop but now im thinking it probably has to do with my regulator. Obviously something isnt right but im wondering if you know what it is and if there might be an easy fix instead of having to send my regs in for a few weeks to get rebuilt.

    Many thanks.

  • #2
    update:

    I took the reg off of the tank, flicked it a couple of times, turned it over, shook it lightly etc, put it back on, fired it up and it wasn't making that pulsing sound anymore. Im still getting smoke, however, regardless of how high I adjust the fuel... anyways, I imagine that there is still a problem with the regulator and that its only a temporary fix so any information would be appreciated.

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    • #3
      Do a search for adjusting an O/A torch. I think you can't get a smoke free flame without a little oxygen. You can just turn it up until the little soot "paratroopers" go away.
      Blacksmith
      Stickmate LX AC/DC
      Big cheap (Chinese) Anvil
      Hand cranked coal forge
      Freon bottle propane forge
      HH 210 and bottle of C25

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      • #4
        I set acetylene at 8 psi to start and call it good. Preferences vary.

        Read this thread and watch the videos:

        http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?t=63275


        The sound on adjustment is the regulator changing pressure due to being adjusted. If they are slightly sticky from sitting that can be more pronounced.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by michos View Post
          Im having a regulator problem that perhaps someone can help me with. Ive got old victor regs on my oxy and acetylene. Just today, the acetylene regulator started making a pulsing sound like it wasn't letting the fuel out at a consistent rate. It "pulses" every second or so....psst, psst, psst, psst when my torch fuel valve is on. When ive got the torch lit, i can see the flame pulse a little each time as well, so the regulator is clearly letting out little bursts of fuel at a time. Also, when I ramp up the psi, the needle doesnt ramp up evenly, it jumps about 4psi at a time as im turning the valve, with a little psst sound at each jump. I also noticed that, even with the fuel valve on my torch turned up all the way, it still isnt high enough to get past the smoke. When I first noticed this, i thought it might be the torch as its a loaner from the shop but now im thinking it probably has to do with my regulator. Obviously something isnt right but im wondering if you know what it is and if there might be an easy fix instead of having to send my regs in for a few weeks to get rebuilt.

          Many thanks.
          As I said in the previous thread, the fuel gas should be turned up enough at the regulator, that the acet. flame just blows away from the torch tip (about 1/8-3/16"), regardless of the size of the tip. If you do this, then the flow will exceed the speed of flame propagation reducing burnback problems. Usually, when you do this on a cutting torch, and check the regulator low pressure gauge, you will find it is close to the mfg. recommended pressure for that tip size if the gauge is registering normally (old abused gauges often do not). The acetylene flame will still have some carbon smoke, but will be bright and have a low roaring sound.

          The temporary disappearance of the pulsing may mean that you have dislodged some debris inside the regulator, but the failure to achieve a good flow rate means you still have a valve problem in the regulator (Do not screw the adjusting screw in too far, and do not exceed 15psi!) Proper pressure should be achieved with 2-3 turns of the screw after you have taken up the slack in the spring.


          I am afraid that the pulsing of the acetylene regulator is not good news. The sound of a properly operating regulator should be a steady buzz, and the sound you are hearing and the pulsing / jumping as you are adjusting the screw in, indicates that the high pressure valve attached to the diaphragm is sticking, likely because someone
          tried to draw too high a flow from the cylinder and drew in some acetone, which can leave a sticky residue causing this condition, (or used a cylinder that had just been moved from horizontal to vertical without waiting a few hours, or tried to draw the last few pounds from a cylinder that was below minimum pressure). The regulator needs to be dismantled to be cleaned, and while it is apart, it would be senseless not to replace the spring, diaphragm, valve and seat. A rebuild would probably be a good idea, and the regulator is worth rebuilding if it is the old heavy-duty Victor. (I believe Bill's Welder Repair charges about $75 plus mailing and has a good rep. among pro weldors).

          (I am assuming that you have replaced the hose, since it could cause a similar problem)

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          • #6
            Thanks for the insight. Yes, I replaced the hose with a good T grade. And yes, I must have some sort of block in the regulator as im not able to get the flame to blow away from the torch tip. Def not getting enough pressure. I didn't go beyond 9psi, but even at 9 it still seemed weak. The pulsing sound started again so you may well be right that it is a particle that is inhibiting the flow. I could have loosened it when I shook it around. I was still able to get the torch to cut but not as clean as it should. In any case, sounds like a rebuild is the way to go.

            Many thanks for the link to the thread on oxy acetylene cutting. Very informative vids. They will be a major help in my progress with these skill.

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