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Thread: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

  1. #1
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    Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Just got a new 330 bottle of argon and hooked it up, and got out the acid brush and soapy water to check for leaks, and I couldn't seem to eliminate them. Backed off the nut, retightened, tested, tightened some more, retested, tightened some more, lather rinse bubble repeat a dozen times or more and I swear by the time I got the bubbles to stop I was probably up around 175 or 200 ft-lbs of torque on the nut for my regulator/flowmeter. (With a 10" wrench I was basically lifting the full 330cf bottle -- and then some.) I was actually to the point of being afraid of stripping it.

    Somewhere along the way, I pulled off the flowmeter/regulator and checked the male and female sides for any dirt or burr, but nothing. And I cracked the valve on the bottle to clear out any dust, first. And when I backed off the nut a few times, I got a burst of gas each time, which I would have expected to clear any microscopic debris.

    Anybody got any tricks for getting them to seal up airtight? I've never had this much trouble seating one.

  2. #2
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Take it along with your regulator back to where you purchased it and have them show you how to stop the leaks. If they say it's your regulator tell them to attach it to another tank and leak check. It sounds like you have covered all bases.
    Ol' Stonebreaker
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  4. #3
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?


    Kelvin


    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Anybody got any tricks for getting them to seal up airtight?
    I've never had this much trouble seating one.
    The 'real answer' is your experience - it did not tell you - 'when to STOP'.
    If your regulator seats are good - and do not seat - the valve is bad -

    More Power Scotty - makes everything worse . . .

    You possibly - have ruined your regulator seats, by forcefully seating into -
    a bad valve seat . . .

    If - I have a leak [proper snug] with a new bottle - I take it back.

    I go with a regulator, and attach to the replacement bottle, in attendance
    of the Sales Agent [with a 10"] . . .

    Over decades - my LWS has never refused my issues - they're the best . . .

    I essence - your issue may be the collective result - of More Power Scotty .

    In short - 'everywhere and everyone' this bottle has touched . . .
    'has done the wrong thing' - same as you . . .

    All - is a result, of not understanding basic valve procedure . . .

    hth


    Opus



    .

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  6. #4
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    I get bottles all the time that have bad seats. I never overtighten my regulators to try to get rid of the leak. If the leak isn't too bad, I just keep the bottle, and turn the valve off when not cutting.

    I never use the torch in an enclosed area, so I don't sweat it too much. If the valve doesn't leak when closed, I just purge the hoses prior to putting the cutting rig up. Not that purging prevents leaks, it's just something I have always done.

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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    If I didn't live 60 miles from the LWS, I probably would have taken the bottle back. But my hunch is that the mope behind the counter would have done the same thing I did. ("Here, let's put this 6' pipe on the wrench and on it...")

    Hopefully I didn't fubar the regulator...we'll see on the next swap...

  8. #6
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    If you really have a 330cf bottle, then you are likely to have the same problems again. These are generally the commercial lease bottles and the go to places that use a lot of gas. Hese places abuse bottles like you wouldnt believe, if it leaks (and I doubt many places check for leaks) they just use a bigger wrench.

  9. #7
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Did you try a different regulator ??
    I did use Teflon tape as a last resort in job once. Avoid having loose it frayed ends. Stay away from opening in wrap on threads only. You don't want any tape getting into regulator. We had no options .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Oh........one more tip..........for those not familiar.

    Always crack the valve for a second before you attach the regulator. This blows any crud out that might have gotten into the seating area. Keeps it from getting inside your regulator.

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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Forget about stripping it I would be more afraid you don't snap the valve off.

    If you use a stem with oring built in you can fasten the regulator with a hand wheel and have no leaks even on a not so great valve seat.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Western-E...f54e4c5894ae96

    Last edited by danielplace; 11-29-2020 at 01:11 PM.

  12. #10
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    "spit on it" !!
    ive haven't yet had one that i couldnt stop that way. i put saliva on my finger, and smear it around, and tighten it up, and it works long term - guaranteed. try it and let me know

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  14. #11
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Oh........one more tip..........for those not familiar.

    Always crack the valve for a second before you attach the regulator. This blows any crud out that might have gotten into the seating area. Keeps it from getting inside your regulator.
    Not only that but if it whatever crud gets in the regulator and blocks it up it can blow the gauge off....One old welder years ago got killed when the gauge blew out and it hit him between the eyes. MSHA investigation revealed that the valve got blocked with coal dust from the breaker and blocked up the regulator. So blow out the valve before you hook up the regulator and keep your face and arm out of the line of fire

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  16. #12
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Cracking the valve was the standard for decades but now some suppliers are cautioning against it. Probably over protective safety police.

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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Welder Dave View Post
    Cracking the valve was the standard for decades but now some suppliers are cautioning against it. Probably over protective safety police.
    There is always some genetic throwback who will look inside the seat when cracking the valve

  18. #14
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by danielplace View Post
    If you use a stem with oring built in you can fasten the regulator with a hand wheel and have no leaks even on a not so great valve seat.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Western-E...f54e4c5894ae96

    Thanks for the tip. Never saw one of those. I'm surprised that little o-ring can hold back 2500 psi but I'll keep that in mind if I boogered up the regulator.

    Quote Originally Posted by 123weld View Post
    "spit on it" !!
    ive haven't yet had one that i couldnt stop that way. i put saliva on my finger, and smear it around, and tighten it up, and it works long term - guaranteed. try it and let me know
    Interesting...never heard that one before, either. Just to be clear: Spit on the threads of the regulator nut...or on the "male" end of the regulator where it seats inside the bottle valve...or both?

    Thanks again, everyone.

  19. #15
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    It is also possible that the sealing face on the nipple has a small ding or dent that will also cause a leak. On inerts you could use a sharpie marker on the nipple then loosely install and rotate. remove and you may see a witness mark. If the nipple is damaged it can be replaced, Western 153-SF.

  20. #16
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by vwguy3 View Post
    It is also possible that the sealing face on the nipple has a small ding or dent that will also cause a leak. On inerts you could use a sharpie marker on the nipple then loosely install and rotate. remove and you may see a witness mark. If the nipple is damaged it can be replaced, Western 153-SF.
    Good tip. I hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

  21. #17
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Thanks for the tip. Never saw one of those. I'm surprised that little o-ring can hold back 2500 psi but I'll keep that in mind if I boogered up the regulator.

    Thanks again, everyone.
    Yes sir they work. They are on a lot of helium regulators for balloon filling. Same CGA580 valve. Just a rubber oring doing te sealing around your brake caliper pistons.

  22. #18
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post



    Interesting...never heard that one before, either. Just to be clear: Spit on the threads of the regulator nut...or on the "male" end of the regulator where it seats inside the bottle valve...or both?

    Thanks again, everyone.
    spit where it seats to seal, like on a jic fitting. spit in the valve and wipe it around a lil. then spit on balled end, wipe it around (threads have nothing top do w/ it) then tighten it. now its fixed
    Last edited by 123weld; 11-30-2020 at 10:24 PM.

  23. #19
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Welding supply houses around here shrink wrap a plastic sleeve around the valve.

  24. #20
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Only on gases that it matters. Ultra high purity, laser mix, spec gases, medicals.

  25. #21
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    Wrapping the valve is more to certify it's a newly filled cylinder. It does keep dirt out but there's no guarantee it won't leak when the customers regulator is hooked up.

  26. #22
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    Re: Any Tricks for Seating Regulators without Leaks?

    If I have a tank that does not want to seal I crack the valve as I tighten the nut. I was showed that by an old guy back in 1975 and it usually works.

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