Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!
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  1. #1

    Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    A little introduction: I've been welding and working on vehicles for more then 45 years. I purchased a set of Harris Model 96 torches a long time ago, after my first set was stolen. These are obviously a very good quality 2 stage setup. I didn't know how good i had it, because these things have work flawlessly all this time.

    SO, the other day I needed to heat a few things, and in the middle of this, I hear this BOOM! Just like a balloon broke, and instantly I hear gas leaking.
    Tunrs out the Acetylene regulator blew the rear diaphragm. I immediately turned the tank off to stop the huge leak. SO, my dream is over.


    Here's my options:
    1 - COmpletely rebuild both regulators Oxygen and Acetylene ($120)
    2 - Just rebuild the Acetylene regulator ($50)
    3 - Just install the diaphragm that blew out (cheapest fix)
    4- REplace everything with a new set of good quality regulators ($400)
    5 - Buy a cheaper single stage regulator ($75)

    So, does anyone have any experience with fixing these things, who care to give
    some advise?

    Eric
    Pgh. PA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Not there
    Posts
    2,488

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    Rebuild them both. No problem. They'll be better than anything coming off some bean counters quota driven assembly line today.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    441

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    Rebuild them both. No problem. They'll be better than anything coming off some bean counters quota driven assembly line today.
    True,

    One thing I hate about all the newer model regulators is the plastics housing, they can be a PITA. Unnecessarily bulky. Give me all brass, with T screws.

    I’d say get them rebuilt, glad you’re safe and here to ask the question!
    -Mark Smith

    Vulcan ProTig200
    Vulcan MigMax 215

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Central pa
    Posts
    36

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    I would absolutely rebuild them and while your at it freshen up everything those torch o rings and flash suppressors are likely just as old new hoses new tips make it new again it'll be hassle free for another century

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lockhart,Tx (BBQ capitol of the world)
    Posts
    622

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    Get them both rebuilt. There is no way you could buy brand new anywhere near as good as your "old" ones!
    While your at it, if you haven't already, get the torch rebuilt also. The rubber parts in the torch are as old as the rubber parts
    in the regulators that are failing. I think you will realize there were problems with the torch that you had not recognized
    because they were gradual and you were used to them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Barre Town, VT
    Posts
    820

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    The regulator deserves to be repaired at the very least. If it were me I’d slap 2 new diagrams in it and call it good. That’s what I did to my old Smith regulator and it’s seen a lot of use since then and hasn’t missed a beat.
    My "collection":

    Homemade Stick Welder
    Victor O/A Torch
    AC 225
    Ideal Arc 250

    HF 90 Amp Flux Core
    HF Mig 170
    Solar 2020 Plasma Cutter
    Power i-Mig 140E
    Harris O/A torch
    HF Dual Mig 131
    140ST
    Alpha Tig 200x

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    bar stool
    Posts
    650

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    https://www.regulatortorchrepair.com/categories

    You can even call and talk to the man who knows what he's doing.
    Prices ain't bad and generally all parts arrive with hard candy in the box.

    Generally 3 days delivery too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    44

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    Oh what’s the name of that shop in IIRC at does them in the Midwest. I sent a set there 10 years or so ago. It cost me about $50 plus shipping . It’s the same place the LWS send them to anyways so save the extra cash and do it yourself. Turnaround is pretty fast . Somebody will remember the name.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    2,687

    Re: Harris model 96-15 gauge/regulator goes BOOM!

    Get them rebuilt and made safe again. It reminds me of a guy I was working with when years ago safety check valves started to become SOP. I mention that this shop seemed to be up with safety as all the torches had check valves. The guy rolls up his sleeve and casually says " Yeh. This is what happens when there are no safety check valves." His upper arm above the elbow was scar tissue. He had been standing beside the regulators when there was a flashback.
    Getting regulators done by a certified gas fitter/service center is good insurance.
    If there is a torch accident on a job site and there is a formal investigation the first thing that will be asked will be the age of the equipment and if it had been repaired. If there were past repairs they will want to know who did the repairs even if there was no defective workmanship.
    Last edited by lotechman; 09-12-2018 at 04:58 PM.

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