Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    21

    Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    I've got a nice--but not new--Victor VTS250B two-stage regulator that'd I'd like to use for oxygen in a light duty oxy-fuel welding setup. Only problem is that the regulator has previously been used in nitrogen service. Is this just a matter of changing the inlet fitting and Bob's Your Uncle, or not?

    Nitrogen is only sort of inert--the brown haze over the skies of Southern California confirms that nitrogen does oxidize. Also the low side pressure gauge on this regulator pegs at 30psi, although I plan to be using significantly lower oxygen pressure.

    Of course the undeniably right answer is to have the regulator rebuilt and cleaned for oxygen service. But is that really necessary for safety's sake?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    643

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    While that nitrogen regulator may work for oxygen the problem is that it LIKELY has grease and oil in it to lubricate the parts and any kind of grease or oil in a oxygen system is a big NO-NO! They even use special teflon tape for oxygen service. Dealing with pure, pressurized oxygen and not knowing what you're doing and doing it incorrectly can lead to dire consequences!

    " But is that really necessary for safety's sake?"

    How much to do you value your life?

    No intelligent person ever said that nitrogen is inert. But it does not burn or support combustion (usually!) so that's why most of the time it can be treated as if it were inert. But that's completely irrelevant to the idea of using nitrogen rated equipment with oxygen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    21

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    It never occurred to me that any regulator used for any gas could possibly be lubricated with petroleum products. Now I've heard everything. I guess the modest cost of a rebuild is the only safe way.

    BTW the value of life is a complex question. One way to back into an answer is to compare the wage rates of workers in dangerous occupations (e.g. police officers, firefighters) with those of similarly qualified individuals in safer jobs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cave Creek AZ
    Posts
    2,700

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    Definitely a bad idea.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    1,621

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    Quote Originally Posted by jackw19 View Post
    BTW the value of life is a complex question. One way to back into an answer is to compare the wage rates of workers in dangerous occupations (e.g. police officers, firefighters) with those of similarly qualified individuals in safer jobs.
    So somebody that blows themselves up with a frier flipping burgers at MacDonald's is less of a loss than a lawyer jumping out of a window on Wall St.? Somehow I doubt that the remaining relatives would agree with your assessment...
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    396

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    The Victor 250B is a very good regulator and most defiantly worth rebuilding, If you never plan on exceeding 40 PSIG outlet pressure then this regulator will you just dandy for you.
    The 250 B has a working output range of 2-40 PSIG.
    The model B was used for Oxygen, Argon, Helium and Nitrogen, The C and D models were a little more common with oxygen use as there output pressures were C=2-80 PSIG and D=2-125 PSIG.
    The internal parts of the B model are the same, all the different gases used the same low and high pressure seat assembly's with the only outside changes being the gas inlet swivel and nut assy and the outlet were different.
    As well as the pressure gauges remained the same regardless of type gas used.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Midland, Texas
    Posts
    1,201

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    Quote Originally Posted by jackw19 View Post
    One way to back into an answer is to compare the wage rates of workers in dangerous occupations (e.g. police officers, firefighters) with those of similarly qualified individuals in safer jobs.
    Actually, police & firefighters are safer than many jobs. One of the most dangerous it arborist and lumberjack. Indeed, traveling salesmen are at a higher risk. Construction, oilfield, etc. are killers, too!
    America Needs AMERICA'S Oil!!!

    "Global warming is the greatest scam in history ...There is no run away climate change. The impact of humans on climate is not catastrophic. Our planet is not in peril."--John Coleman, Founder of The Weather Channel

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    4,355

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    You can rebuild and clean regulators for oxygen service yourself per the manufacturers manual (should still be available for download on the company site) but it saves little money especially if the regulator is old and crusty. I've done it a few times but I had a pile of used regulators which made learning worthwhile.

    Nice unit as mentioned above and will last many years before needing another rebuild. Send it out and be happy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    396

    Re: Nitrogen Regulator for Oxygen

    Just my 2 cents , NEVER rebuild your own high pressure oxygen regulators, depending upon manufacturers there are special tools used for the tear down and rebuild.
    As well as the cleaning process for contaminated regulators.
    All regulators are tested with Nitrogen not Oxygen.
    There is also pressure gauge testing (calibration conformation) and leak testing.
    I spent an afternoon years back with one of the worlds largest gas apparatus manufactures attorneys reviewing regulators explosions, not pretty

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