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Thread: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

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    3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    I just picked a spring loaded oxy acetylene hose reel, with 50' of 1/4" hose. The whip hose to connect the reel to the gauges is too short, so I will have to make my own. Problem is, the only extra hose I have is all 3/16"...is there any measurable difference in flow rates between 3/16 & 1/4"?

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason280 View Post
    I just picked a spring loaded oxy acetylene hose reel, with 50' of 1/4" hose. The whip hose to connect the reel to the gauges is too short, so I will have to make my own. Problem is, the only extra hose I have is all 3/16"...is there any measurable difference in flow rates between 3/16 & 1/4"?
    For a short connector hose to the reel, 3/16" will probably be fine. Unless you are going to run huge cutting tips. Also watch your swivel connection for leaks. Most will leak and that's why I wont run reels.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Yeah, I'm a little concerned about leaks...but I'll never leave the valves open (when not in actual use).

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason280 View Post
    Yeah, I'm a little concerned about leaks...but I'll never leave the valves open (when not in actual use).
    Don't never say never. We all forget to shut the tanks off at times.
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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by mla2ofus View Post
    Don't never say never. We all forget to shut the tanks off at times.
    Shoot - I left the shop with the MIG machine still running. Came back the next day and had to figure out where the fan noise was coming from.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    Shoot - I left the shop with the MIG machine still running. Came back the next day and had to figure out where the fan noise was coming from.
    I did that several years ago,, when I came back to the shop on Monday,, the barn cat had welded the scraps from under the bandsaw into a dog wrangling robot!!

    I never left the welder on,, after that!!

    (I really think some of the feral cats in the neighborhood came over and helped,,,)

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    I did that several years ago,, when I came back to the shop on Monday,, the barn cat had welded the scraps from under the bandsaw into a dog wrangling robot!!

    I never left the welder on,, after that!!

    (I really think some of the feral cats in the neighborhood came over and helped,,,)
    Cats are evil, especially if you give them a chance.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    I did that several years ago,, when I came back to the shop on Monday,, the barn cat had welded the scraps from under the bandsaw into a dog wrangling robot!!

    I never left the welder on,, after that!!

    (I really think some of the feral cats in the neighborhood came over and helped,,,)
    I don't have a barn cat... I have shop birds. Back of my shop is usually open and a pair of little birds come in there at night. They've been there for years. I can walk up and poke one and it'll just turn around and look at me. Fortunately, they aren't big enough to pick up a MIG torch.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Teenage sons in the garage can be interesting too.
    My oldest once helped one of his friends fix a quad with the torch, and left the gas on. A week later I load up my WeldanPower 150 AC, and my O/A tanks to cut the chains of the driveway entrances, and fix a swing gate to a dump. I go to cut off the chains, and realize there's no oxygen left. https://www.weldingweb.com/images/smilies/angryfire.gif
    Luckily I had lots of 6011 with me, and was able to burn most of the big stuff off, and finish with the grinder. This was before cutting disc's were readily available for grinders.

    Another time I came home and found he had beaded a 12"x12" plate completely..... with 316L !!!! At least he left a few rods in the can

    There are also rumors of a large black garbage bag being filled with O/A ......Luckily I don't live in town anymore...

    Maybe the cats talked him into it.... They're always trying to be cool.

    OOPs, off track again.

    I think if you're cutting less than 1/2" thick steel, you should be fine. If you do bigger stuff like 1", maybe. I can't say its ever been a problem I've noticed anywhere, but I rarely cut much over 1" thick. If you already have the fittings, and hose, I would make the hose. I you have just the hose, but no fittings, I would build or buy the 1/4". I try to use some of the stuff I save from other jobs, and use it later. It doesn't always work as planned. Let us know how it works out for you.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    I was thinking it "might" be an issue with a big rosebud, but when you think about it, the orifices in any torch handle are going to be a lot smaller than any hose, so probably not...
    The harder you fall, the higher you bounce...

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    I was thinking it "might" be an issue with a big rosebud, but when you think about it, the orifices in any torch handle are going to be a lot smaller than any hose, so probably not...
    I was thinking similarly. Also potential draw desired from large tanks.

    16 holes at 1/32 inch is 1/2 inch. Or 16 at 1/64 is .25 inch.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    There's certainly gonna be a difference in flow... if you notice it or not depends on your torch tip. 3/16" hose is going to have about 60% of the crosssection of a 1/4" hose (right?). If you find out you need a bigger hose, swap it then. Otherwise, I'd run it with the 3/16".

    I can't seem to math right now. It'd be about 56%, right?
    Last edited by 52 Ford; 10-12-2021 at 11:10 PM.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    I was thinking it "might" be an issue with a big rosebud, but when you think about it, the orifices in any torch handle are going to be a lot smaller than any hose, so probably not...
    No correlation really. The torch orifices are short. The hose is long. Liquids and gases in a pipe follow similar rules to electricity in a wire.

    Pressure same as voltage.

    Flow same as amperage.

    Certainly you need WAY more flow through the hoses versus the torches few short inches of restriction.

    Certainly the bigger the torch the bigger hose you need but the torches through sizes do not correlate to hose size very much. Longer the hose the bigger hose you need.

    Just because the equipment needs only 15 amp doesn't mean a 14 gauge is a good size for a long cord even with same 15 amp plugs at each end. You only need bigger in between the 15 amp plugs. Same with liquid or gases.

    Another way to look at it is a hose with fittings. Even the same size fitting at the ends the one with larger hose will flow way more.

    Smaller torch of course needs smaller hose of similar lengths than big torch but flow through torch orifices are WAY small compared to size of hose needed to feed it.

    The flow rate of 1/4" is considerably better than 3/16" but whether it is a issue or not can only be determined by flow rate required by the torch you are using and the length of the hoses and their sizes.

    It is no good when you have to crank up the pressure to get what you need out of the end.
    Last edited by danielplace; 10-13-2021 at 10:33 AM.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    You should be fine. I have about 20' of 3/16" hose feeding 100' of 1/4" hose. I've never had any issues, even with a rosebud.

    Zach

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Most time I used 1/4" hose 75 foot long.
    But a small set I would use 3/16" 20 foot long. They both work for cutting and welding.
    The short 3/16" hose wasted less gas too.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason280 View Post
    I just picked a spring loaded oxy acetylene hose reel, with 50' of 1/4" hose. The whip hose to connect the reel to the gauges is too short, so I will have to make my own. Problem is, the only extra hose I have is all 3/16"...is there any measurable difference in flow rates between 3/16 & 1/4"?

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    3/16" is fine in shorter lengths but whether you would want it in front of the 1/4" partially defeats the purpose of the 1/4".

    But to answer the question I am quite certain it will not be a issue unless large heating tip and high withdrawal rates.

    Mainly say this because even the big sets like say a Miller Smith Heavy duty torch set comes with 3/16" hoses. Granted they are short.

    But then again I believe their small burglar bottle set comes with a cutting torch that exceed the safe output of a 10 cu ft tank by almost 7 times it is supplied with or is meant to be used with. The rule for acetylene is revised to 1/10 tank capacity. So the 10 cu ft can only deliver 1 cu ft per hour and the cutting tip acetylene consumption is 7 cu ft per hour.

    Just saying I guess their packages may not be all sized compatibly either.

    The one thing you never want to do is increase pressures to unsafe levels in order to feed the torch. This is the reason for having the larger hoses. The acetylene needs good flow because 15 psi pressure limit and the oxygen needs flow if your going to run cutting torch or larger sized heating tips.
    Last edited by danielplace; 10-14-2021 at 01:33 PM.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    If flow is the same for electricity and gas, I think a 3/16" whip at the end of a larger hose set would be fine. I know that isnt the OP's question or concern, though. Either way, I like the idea of running a short stretch of smaller gauge wire at the end of a set of big leads. Less weight to drag around with the stinger and it's more flexible. This is assuming you're using bigger leads to lessen voltage drop, not 'cause you need the extra ampacity of a bigger lead.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Does anyone know of a chart showing maximum
    cfh for different diameter hoses according to length
    and pressure? I’ve wondered about limitations of a
    1/4” hose on my Purox,and why my Smith Little
    torch(with the largest tip) is able to run such a
    large flame, considering how tiny the hoses are.
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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    I don't have a barn cat... I have shop birds. Back of my shop is usually open and a pair of little birds come in there at night. They've been there for years. I can walk up and poke one and it'll just turn around and look at me. Fortunately, they aren't big enough to pick up a MIG torch.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
    Cats are evil MIG hackers, birds are really more TIG welders. They especially like the short pieces of filler rod that you drop on the floor as it fits heir beaks perfectly.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    Cats are evil MIG hackers, birds are really more TIG welders. They especially like the short pieces of filler rod that you drop on the floor as it fits heir beaks perfectly.
    I was wondering where that stuff was going... I'll have to check the nest.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpump5 View Post
    Does anyone know of a chart showing maximum
    cfh for different diameter hoses according to length
    and pressure? Ive wondered about limitations of a
    1/4 hose on my Purox,and why my Smith Little
    torch(with the largest tip) is able to run such a
    large flame, considering how tiny the hoses are.
    I'd like to see a chart like that, too. I looked for one a few days ago but just kept seeing charts comparing types of hoses.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    I'd like to see a chart like that, too. I looked for one a few days ago but just kept seeing charts comparing types of hoses.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
    Most of your flow issues will be regulator or torch handle related. Both have smaller tubes and passages than the hose. The acetylene regulator will only safely let 15psi out so the 3/16 hose if fine up to about 25'. At Victor we offered high flow torch handles for rosebuds if the flow needed to be high using alternate fuels. In that case some were using 3/8 hose to help with pressure drop. On the oxy-fuel cutting tables we installed gauges at the torch on the table and used those readings vs the settings of the regulators. Even 1/4 and 3/8 hose will show pressure drop at 100'. Victor has a free safety booklet and cut charts that talk about the flow rates available at the welding supply stores. Lots of good info in there. They might be calling the book and ESAB now after the Fiasco of joining the companies.
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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    I believe the lack of these charts is due mostly to it being a non issue for most. If you use the hoses in lengths and sizes supplied it will be enough to feed most situations unless getting into larger sized heating and cutting equipment.

    When you put the hoses together and start make longer lengths and restrictions then I recon it starts to matter as in OP case where a 3/16 and 1/4 are used together. Well we know if we/he had unlimited funds and resources I am sure he would just use the correct length of 1/4" hose for the patch hose.

    The only way you will really know is to use use it and see if working for what your doing. The problem becomes when you need to much pressure to feed something that shouldn't need that much pressure. Torches work best at low pressures or flame and adjustment of flame won't be normal.

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpump5 View Post
    Does anyone know of a chart showing maximum
    cfh for different diameter hoses according to length
    and pressure?
    Quote Originally Posted by 52 Ford View Post
    I'd like to see a chart like that, too. I looked for one a few days ago but just kept seeing charts comparing types of hoses.
    I built a CNC oxy-fuel torch back in the year 2000, and found out about hose size, and length.

    In my case, I ran 1/4" hose, and had to cut the hoses to be as short as possible.

    I was trying to get the torch to run the same, from cut-to-cut from a full oxygen tank to close to an empty tank, without resetting the torch.

    HOSE LENGTH REALLY MATTERED in that case, hose size also.

    I ended up trying two tanks side-by-side,, that did not help.
    Shortening the hoses helped a LOT!!

    (hose size reduction would have been a killer)

    The ultimate "fix" was to run two regulators in series, in effect making a "3-stage" regulator.

    So, if you do not mind custom adjusting the torch for each use, hose size and length will be compensated for, by the regulator.
    (that does not include giant rose buds,, etc,,)

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    Re: 3/16 vs 1/4" oxy acetylene hose?

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    I built a CNC oxy-fuel torch back in the year 2000, and found out about hose size, and length.

    In my case, I ran 1/4" hose, and had to cut the hoses to be as short as possible.

    I was trying to get the torch to run the same, from cut-to-cut from a full oxygen tank to close to an empty tank, without resetting the torch.

    HOSE LENGTH REALLY MATTERED in that case, hose size also.

    I ended up trying two tanks side-by-side,, that did not help.
    Shortening the hoses helped a LOT!!

    (hose size reduction would have been a killer)

    The ultimate "fix" was to run two regulators in series, in effect making a "3-stage" regulator.

    So, if you do not mind custom adjusting the torch for each use, hose size and length will be compensated for, by the regulator.
    (that does not include giant rose buds,, etc,,)
    Sorta like SCBA, where the first regulator steps it down to something like 150PSI (edit: from tank pressure), then the second regulator is "breathing pressure".

    So, you stepped from tank pressure down to something like you're minimum acceptable tank pressure, then stage two was torch pressure? Good idea.

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