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EZ Torch maintenance advice


#1

OK, I know I don’t use the most elegant torch in the world - just
the small “plumber’s” torch cannister with the EZ Torch hose and
tips

http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=1238

and have been really happy with it for more than three years. Over
the past two weeks, I wasn’t getting as smooth a flow of gas and it
seemed that it was cutting off at odd angles. I decided that it
might be a low tank and replaced the tank with a new one two days
ago. But the problem has escalated and now, when I angle the torch
head down to solder, the torch sputters and blows itself out. This is
happening with enough regularity that it is ruining my soldering or
causing meltdown of my bezels because of gas surges. Can anyone
suggest what might be wrong or how I could clean the torch heads? Has
something similar ever happened to any of you with a different torch?

Any advice would be greatfully accepted.

BBR - Sandi Graves
Stormcloud Trading
http://www.Beadstorm.com
Saint Paul, Minnesota


#2

the torch sputters and blows itself out. This is happening with
enough regularity that it is ruining my soldering, causing meltdown
of my bezels because of gas surges.

I’ve had my EZ torch for at least 7 years now. I had a similar
problem and asked the guys at the Otto Frei table at Denver SNAG
about it. They couldn’t suggest anything. I suspect that it was some
sort of problem with the propellant or additive in the propane tank
(I was using the little ones for camping) and I was getting some
sort of a beige, granular, damp material in the torch tip. With the
heat, it was closing up the holes in the tip. I swabbed it out with
a Q Tip, used a dental pick to scrape out anything I could see ( the
slots in the tip had to be well cleaned and they were really clogged.
I then soaked the torch tip in alcohol overnight. It worked again,
but I ran into 2 or 3 of the small bottles of propane that had this
problem. After that I had no problem.

Donna in VA


#3
Has something similar ever happened to any of you with a different
torch? 

I have had this happen with a hand-held butane, but never with any
of the “real” torches I have used (Little, Hoke, Prestolight, Smith,
Meco). Maybe it’s time to upgrade!

Noel


#4

sounds like a backfire :

if you hear a loud pop then a few things could be happening:

  1. the torch could be running at too low a pressure for the tip
    used, or

  2. touching the tip to the work… or

  3. overheating the tip…- so cut the O2 off first when that happens
    and then the fuel- then adjust/check your regulator- it should be
    around 5lbs of pressure and the O2 the same as the tip size you are
    using with those all in one torches-(Bernzomatic makes a really good
    one for $50 dollars) - the drawback is it runs only on disposable
    canisters- and has one tip size ( about a #4) but is reliable and has
    an arrestor built-in like the easy torch (I believe the ez torch has
    one in the head anyway!).

If it is making a loud hissing or squealing noise then it’s a
flashback:that could be a clogged tip, or equipment in need of
maintenence- by the maker…

If it’s its dirty- feeler gauges are what I use to clean out the
holes around the tips in those types of torches- they are hair fine
and a bit of alchohol on a swab to clen the tips out hastens the
process…Disconnect from the tanks to clean the tips…


#5

Sandi,

I have used an EZ Torch (along with my others) for several years and
have had that problem a couple times. Once, I determined that the
tip had become clogged with flux. I simply unscrewed it and put it in
the ultrasonic for a bit and it was back to normal. The other time I
had a faulty propane tank and the tip was clogged with a white,
creamy foul smelling “crud”. In that case I again cleaned the tip and
switched tanks and all was back to normal.

Chris


#6

Thanks, Donna (and others). What you describe sounds exactly like
what I am seeing. Now, one more question. You mention soaking the
head(s) overnight in alcohol. What type of alcohol please?

Sandra Graves
Stormcloud Trading
http://www.beadstorm.com


#7

I experience the problem you describe about two or three times per
year; liquid oily stuff comes through the gas hose causing the torch
to sputter, surge and blow itself out, as well as leak and drip. It
seems to happen with the onset of winter and may have some relation
with the heating in the workshop

Initially I would remove the torch nozzle and clean it in the
ultrasonic, and with the nozzle removed I would blow out the hose by
opening the gas tap on the tank for a quick blast. This is best done
outdoors with the hose directed at some newspaper as the oily
substance is quite noxious and comes out as droplets and mist…

Now I deal with the phenomenon in a different way. First let’s be
clear that my torch is the gas/air type that uses high pressure LPG
direct from the cylinder via a thick high pressure hose. If you have
a second hose carrying oxygen to your torch, then you will have
pressure regulators and you probably will not experience the problem
under discussion, however please do not try to do what I am about to
describe on any gas/oxygen burners!

I’m in the middle of a soldering operation and suddenly my torch
surges and fades and surges. I now know what the problem is - oil in
the orifice! I light my other torch (oxy/acetylene) and use it to
heat the nozzle of the offending gas/air torch. I heat the nozzle
part including the orifice until the oily substance vaporises and
burns along with the gas, giving a bigger orange flame that surges as
before but will not go out. As long as the heat in the nozzle doesn’t
travel down the metal body of the torch to the control knob (which
has rubber ‘O’-rings) then I believe this is safe on my torch, but
not necessarily safe on your torch. With the nozzle hot and alight I
lower the torch to ground level and shake the hose to drain any
liquid oil in the hose down into the torch where it burns fiercely.
All done in about 5 minutes and I can continue working even while the
nozzle is hot. This is best done near an open door, or outdoors,
because if the flame does go out during the process then the unburnt
vaporised oil will permeate the workshop.

My theory is that the LPG in cylinders contains volatile oils that
are nearly gas, but not quite. The oils usually stay in the bottom of
the tank and don’t give trouble, but under certain conditions they
condense in the hose and move on into the torch. The conditions seem
to be a very cold cylinder from over-night being warmed up quickly
when the room heater is turned on.

Alastair


#8

Donna (and others). What you describe sounds exactly like what I am
seeing. Now, one more question. You mention soaking the head(s)
overnight in alcohol. What type of alcohol please? I used isopropyl
(rubbing alcohol) and I forgot to say, after soaking the removable
tip I also scrubbed it with a child’s toothbrush.

Donna in VA


#9

Thanks to all of you. I removed and cleaned the tips thoroughly and
soaked them overnight in Isopropyl alcohol. All seems to be working
well now. Ganoksin Rules!!!

BBR - Sandi Graves
Stormcloud Trading Co
www.Beadstorm.com