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Thread: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

  1. #1
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    Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?



    That's a 9 second video of a Smith 235424 regulator. Would you consider that noise "normal"? My other regulator -- which is a different model -- doesn't sound anything like that, and really makes no noise at all. It's not leaking anywhere that I can find, and you can see soapy water on all the fittings in that video. Other than the noise, it seems to operate correctly. The gas is straight argon. It only makes noise when gas is flowing -- unseen in this video is my foot tapping on the pedal, which starts the noise.

    If that's not normal operation, how can I quiet it?

    Thanks in advance.
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    It's not a normal sound. My argon regulator was doing that (Also Smith's) and I got sick of listening to it so I took it apart and turned the diaphragm over and the sound went away. I'm still not sure why I got that result but it's quiet and works just fine.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Check this out. https://www.airgas.com/resources/new...its-not-a-leak

    If its still under warranty, send it back to them and ask them to fix it. It may not be leaking but I wouldn't want to live with the sound. None of my welding regulators do that, but I have seen a gas grill regulator do that before.
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Thanks.

    Unfortunately, no, it is not under warranty. I actually found it in a drawer, where I apparently placed it, and then forgot I owned it for a few years. The gauges are nicer than on the one I have been using though, so I'd like to switch.
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Sounds like the diaphragm may be weak from sitting. When it was in storage was the adjusting screw completely backed off? A lot of users don't but the adjusting screw should be backed off every time you won't be using the regulator for a few hours or more. This goes for O/A outfits too. That's not always possible though with flow meter style regulators that have preset pressure and just the flow is adjusted. Should be a simple fix at a repair shop.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    I would call them. Smith equipment of this vintage carried a lifetime warranty. They may just hook you up. Smith is owned by ITW/Miller now, but I am guessing they will want to keep you happy
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    The screw wasn't completely backed-off when I pulled it out, but it was close... but obviously, since I entirely forgot that I even owned it, I can't say what happened previous to that.

    Thanks, sounds like a phone call might be worthwhile.
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Hmmm...I have at least one regulator (either O or acetylene) that does something similar, but about 2 octaves lower (and not as loud). I wonder whether it's bad. I never thought about it...

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    I received a quick reply from Miller. This regulator would have had a 3-year warranty, and apparently there's a date code on it somewhere. I didn't even look for it, because I know this has to be at least five years old.
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    If older than 2013 may have lifetime warranty.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Sounds like the diaphragm may be weak from sitting. When it was in storage was the adjusting screw completely backed off? A lot of users don't but the adjusting screw should be backed off every time you won't be using the regulator for a few hours or more. This goes for O/A outfits too. That's not always possible though with flow meter style regulators that have preset pressure and just the flow is adjusted. Should be a simple fix at a repair shop.
    You always hear that but you have to realize that all floating ball type real flow meters the regulator is not adjustable. It is preset to a certain pressure and you only adjust the flow and you certainly don't want to back that off every time as it would accomplish nothing. The regulator itself ahead of the flowmeter tube is same regulator as you would use for Oxy/Acetylene/Propane/or gauge type flowmeter.

    I personally think it is better to back them out when you can but just some proof it isn't required for those that don't wanna have to reset it every time. That is royal pain if you always back them off if used very often.

    So if it is not possible to back off another exact same flow meter regulator that works that way for years then backing out the others may not be as necessary as we like to think.

    All the same regulators. But the floating ball flowmeter can't be backed off or it will be out of calibration. It is a set screw factory set and covered over with sticker. Same exact regulators used with oxy and acetylene too.


    Last edited by danielplace; 1 Week Ago at 04:10 PM.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    If older than 2013 may have lifetime warranty.
    Per Miller, this model does not. Only 3 years.
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    2013 is when Miller discontinued the lifetime warranty. It would be good to check the date to be sure.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    You always hear that but you have to realize that all floating ball type real flow meters the regulator is not adjustable. It is preset to a certain pressure and you only adjust the flow and you certainly don't want to back that off every time as it would accomplish nothing. The regulator itself ahead of the flowmeter tube is same regulator as you would use for Oxy/Acetylene/Propane/or gauge type flowmeter.

    I personally think it is better to back them out when you can but just some proof it isn't required for those that don't wanna have to reset it every time. That is royal pain if you always back them off if used very often.

    So if it is not possible to back off another exact same flow meter regulator that works that way for years then backing out the others may not be as necessary as we like to think.

    All the same regulators. But the floating ball flowmeter can't be backed off or it will be out of calibration. It is a set screw factory set and covered over with sticker. Same exact regulators used with oxy and acetylene too.


    Did you read what I posted? A flow meter is the floating ball vertical tube style that the regulator pressure isn't adjustable. The gauge style that is adjustable is a flow gauge. The 2 regulators you show are not exactly the same. Especially on high pressure cylinders the adjusting screws should be backed off. For safety and if you want your regulators to last, the screws should backed off if not being used for a while. Look at Smith safety tip #1. It takes about 3 seconds to set the pressure or flow in the case of a flow gauge. A flow meter with the floating ball can be left at the desired setting because it isn't taking direct cylinder pressure. Cylinders should be opened slowly too. Not uncommon to blow the high pressure gauge from opening a cylinder too fast. Adjusted screws not released put constant pressure on the diaphragm that wears them out prematurely.

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    Last edited by Welder Dave; 1 Week Ago at 03:08 PM.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Did you read what I posted? A flow meter is the floating ball vertical tube style that the regulator pressure isn't adjustable. The gauge style that is adjustable is a flow gauge. The 2 regulators you show are not exactly the same. Especially on high pressure cylinders the adjusting screws should be backed off. For safety and if you want your regulators to last, the screws should backed off if not being used for a while. Look at Smith safety tip #1. It takes about 3 seconds to set the pressure or flow in the case of a flow gauge. A flow meter with the floating ball can be left at the desired setting because it isn't taking direct cylinder pressure. Cylinders should be opened slowly too. Not uncommon to blow the high pressure gauge from opening a cylinder too fast. Adjusted screws not released put constant pressure on the diaphragm that wears them out prematurely.

    https://www.google.ca/search?source=...pczfPyB6Y3o48M
    Of course they aren't the same after the regulators that is the point. But the high pressure regulator is the same ON BOTH.

    ONLY ONE is factory set for pressure so it never gets backed off. That was only thing I was trying to say. Same regulator on each tank. One has a set screw in the threads under the sticker setting the pressure permanently. It doesn't get backed off ever.

    Doesn't hurt the reg. Is not unsafe.

    The one with the sticker over it has a set screw in there doing the same exact thing that the handle does. It sets the pressure on the outlet side. You never back it out. If that same regulator that is used on both styles and oxy/acetylene too and it works forever makes you realize you may not have too if you use it often enough that it is ridiculous to do.

    Whether you back them out or not has no effect whatsoever on how they take cylinder pressure. The high side pressures up the same whether they are left on or not. If anything the high side would fill less rapidly if it was discharging out the output and filling the lines while coming on.

    Same exact 30 series regulators on the bottles only the floating ball flowmeter is set permanently but it is perfectly safe that way and doesn't ruin the regulator in record time or anything.

    I back out my oxy/acetylene but not the mig or tig but if was using the oxy/acetylene everyday I may not back those out either. We had a oxy/acetylene setup that was used everyday for 10-15 years and never backed out or even hoses bled down after use. You close the tank valves and go. Perfectly safe for most people that way.

    Many do not bleed down and unscrew and many do. Of course it is slightest bit safer to bleed down and back off but the little bit of gas in the hoses is not really a safety problem. Not much that can happen as long as the tanks are off. If it leaks the little bit of gas in hoses can't see how that would be a issue.

    As for OP's question. It is common to hear the regulator working. It is usually not a issue. You are merely hearing the diaphragm pulsing the inlet needle. I would open it up and check and clean it and reassemble if your comfortable working on the regulator. They are very simple inside.
    Last edited by danielplace; 1 Week Ago at 05:07 PM.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    If you have the option to relieve pressure on the diaphragm it is best to do so. You don't think someone found out the hard way why you should back off the adjusters? I'm sure Smith's didn't make the poster decades ago as simply a suggestion. In normal use it is NOT common for a regulator to make a noise like the OP's. It does take literally 3 seconds to set your pressure.
    Last edited by Welder Dave; 1 Week Ago at 06:08 PM.

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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Some of the imported Victor regs used to make that noise. What it was is the diaphragm wasn't completely seated all the way around in the body. It would shudder. Seems the rubber was drier from china. So people simply unscrewed the bonnet and used the slightest amount of oxygen safe grease around the outer edge. Problem solved. Plasma cutter grease works well. Very slight amount is key. That Smith reg is of the vintage when Smith/ITW was bringing in the parts and assembling here. Spin the bonnet of. There's really nothing in there but a circle of rubber and a spring.
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    Re: Is This Regulator "Noisy" or "Normal"? And if the former, how can I fix it?

    Water heater element socket fits the 30 series regulator so you don't damage the plating on the nut.

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