View Full Version : Backing off the T handles on OA regulators
02-04-2006, 02:51 PM
I've always backed off the T handles on my oxygen and ace regulators at
the end of a welding or cutting session.
TxRedneck (whom I regard as very knowlegable) said he does not as a rule
back off the T handles at the end of a session.
I was taught that backing off the handles at the end of the day somehow
contributes to the longevity of the diaphragm. Is this BS, or is there some
scientific foundation for this practice? Hope to hear from TxRedneck on this
one since I know he's been OA'ing for a long time.
02-04-2006, 06:31 PM
a long time ago it was a safty thing ,it was poasble that turning on the tanks to fast could couse the T to unscrew with a nuff force to hurt or kill you if you get hit with it and yes it can damage the reg to lave them set and open the tanks but if you get in the habit of opening them slowly it should not hurt the new reg's
02-04-2006, 09:40 PM
This is a cut from an Army pdf tutorial. Someone else posted a link awhile back and I snagged a copy. This is the first time I've taken the time to look into it.
I do not back off the regs myself.
p. Always use the following sequence and technique for shutting off a torch:
(1) Close acetylene torch valve first, then the oxygen valve.
(2) Close acetylene cylinder valve, then oxygen cylinder valve.
(3) Open torch acetylene and oxygen valves to release pressure in the regulator
(4) Back off regulator adjusting valve handle until no spring tension is left.
(5) Close torch valves.
02-07-2006, 03:23 AM
Yes, It is deemed safest to relieve the pressure on the diaphragms of your regulators, but I have owned my Airco 2 stage regs for about 44 years (they were used when I got them back in 1962) and they have never been backed out between uses. I only turn the tank valves off. In fact, I don't use them as much today as I did before and they set, for a month or more, without any gas pressure on them, but still screwed in to where they will produse the right pressure when my tanks are opened. They might go a month or more before I turn them on again. No problems. I guess these are pretty well built units. I do open my tank valves slowly too.
I also have an almost new, 1952 vintage Craftsman torch set, and I think I would probably back off the regulators, if I were to use them. I haven't even hooked these regulators up yet.
02-07-2006, 09:27 AM
Backing off the Tee handles:
Prevents the regulator springs from taking a permanenet set.
Saves the regulator valve seats. When you turn the main tank valves on the pressure reaches the diaphragm and rams the little valve home hard on its seat. Over time the seat will be damaged and the reg will become unstable.
Backing off the regulator handles creates another valve closure in the torch outfit. If the tank valves were to leak the regulator would stop the flow of gas down the hoses. It is a belt and suspenders thing.
The procedure is simply the proper way to do things. At work the people around me don't back off regulators among other things.... there isn't a reg in the shop that controls pressure accurately.
If you want your torches to last back off the handles and GENTLY close the hand valves on your torches. Over tightening damages the seats then they have to be overtightened all the time to seal.
It is truly a credit to lady luck that we don't see more welding torch accidents.
02-08-2006, 10:22 PM
I was always told to release the pressure on your regulators. the reason was the regulator will last longer . But the one thing that stuck in my bighead was if the regs are backed off you know where you are starting at zero pressure. cause you never know when some knuckle head will crank up the acetylene regulator and then you will have a big problem when you turn the tank valve on!
02-09-2006, 08:48 AM
on the issue of shutting off your torches, the army manuel that sandy posted is what I was taught in high school. but now days they tell you to shut off the oxy first then ace to prevent pops that could damage the torch. and also not to bleed the lines at the same time. this is how I do it now , am I correct or not?
02-09-2006, 11:19 PM
The reason for bleeding gases separately is to prevent accidental mixing in the hoses. If both are bled at the same time there is a remote possibility that some Oxy could chase up the lower pressure acetylene line leaving an explosive mixture waiting for the next person. Safety check valves also prevent this from happening. You have to make things idiot proof!
02-10-2006, 01:24 AM
If that manual said to shot off the acetylene first, it was likely a typo.
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