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EZ Torch won't stay lit


#1

Does anyone know who manufactures the EZ torch? I’m about ready to trash it, but would rather fix it if possible. I’ve had nothing but trouble with it. The head does not swivel, which makes it awkward to use, but the worst is that every time I open the air control ring, the torch goes out. It also goes out when I point it down. It’s got to be perpendicular to stay lit, and even then it’s not guaranteed to stay lit.
I thought I might have put it together wrong, so I disassembled it and followed the directions again step by step (sparse as they are), and tried again. No change. I’ve tried changing the propane canister because I thought that might be defective. No help.
A sticky brown substance accumulates around the torch head and the tip when it’s been in use for any time. I’ve cleaned it off many times, but it keeps coming back. I attached one of the larger tips which I hadn’t ever used to see if that performed better. It was marginally better insofar as it was easier to light it. But it too went out as soon as I opened the control ring & whenever I change direction.
I’m hoping if I can get in touch with the manufacturer that I might get some useful advice.
Any info or advice would be much appreciated.


#2

You might try contacting the folks at Otto Frei who sell that torch, and seek advice.


#3

I found that gooey brown residue in my ez torch too. It had clogged not only the tips but also the hose. I disassembled and cleaned the tips and valve assembly including where the hose attaches to the handle. After investigating I seem to remember that the residue had formed due to the way I turned the torch off and stored it after use. I had hung it so the hose was hanging below the tip and the tank. Also that I had turned it off at the tip then the tank, which didn’t release the gas in the hose resulting in the gooey brown residue.

For a variety of reasons I ended up replacing it with an acetylene torch.

Nancy Arnold


#4

This is the second user of this torch that has this problem. My guess despite not using it is as follows.
The fuel is propane, the propane container, the regulator and the torch are all metal. the only thing that is in between the metal parts thats not metal is the hose.
So if it was me, the first thing Id do is remove the hose, and cut it length wise to look see if the inside is being dissolved by the propane. If it is then its unfit for purpose and all current users need to have a tech recall for safety and have it replaced.
Ive used propane for 50 yrs and use acetylene grade hose. Never a problem.
It has to be the hose.
I wonder where its made China? I wouldnt be at all surprised.
Ted.


#5

We use several EZ Torches at our club. The residue is caused by the propane I believe and we soak the torch heads in acetone for 24 hours to clean them. Hope this helps. The original EZ Torch was made in New Zealand and I had all the info for it way back when several computers ago. The only thing I can find now is this https://contenti.com/media/catalog/pdf/instructions/114-031_instr.pdf

Aurora


#6

I have an EZ Torch that I bought from Otto Frei several years ago. I bought it to be a quick in and out annealing torch, and it serves this purpose well. That is not to say that my torch doesn’t suffer from many of the same ills that are described in this post. I have taken it apart and cleaned it many times. I have the same stuff coming out of it that is described in this post. I clean the tips, and any other parts that will fit, in my ultrasonic sink often.The EZ Torch is an attractive solution for a first torch for people new to what we do. It will quickly disappoint them. Spend a little more for a a better torch and don’t let the torch stand in your way of learning how to do what you want to learn. Good luck…Rob


#7

I’ve been using an EZ Torch for the last three years. I have never experienced any of these problems. Is your propane tank located above your torch or below and do you store tank vertical or in its side? If the tank is on its side, then you will get surges of liquid propane which could be making your flame unstable. RE the brown gunk, the only thing that I can think of is contaminated propane. Do you use the disposable cylinders or a bbq tank? If you are using a bbq tank, is it possible that something contaminated the tank?

Good Luck
Milt


#8

Thanks to everyone who gave me the benefit of their advice.

I always bleed the line & shut off the tank, even if I’m just stopping for lunch or to run a quick errand. And the tank is always stored in an upright position. It’s duct-taped to the leg of my workbench, so it doesn’t tip over. I can’t see how propane could build up inside the hose, causing that residue. But I agree that it seems to be the only answer that makes sense. I do recall that when I bought it from Otto Frei, I asked if it was necessary to disconnect the hose from the tank after each use and was told it was not necessary. But several other sources advised exactly the opposite.
However, I wonder if this propane residue is what is causing the torch to go out whenever I open the air control ring, and whether it explains why it’s so difficult to get the torch to ignite in the first place? I also own a MAPP torch that I use for enameling and wonder if MAPP gas might be “cleaner”. Would MAPP gas also leave this residue?


#9

My response does not address the brown residue accumulation, but I’ll add
my recent experiences with the ez torch.
I recently attended a week long retreat where the teacher recommended we
have an ez torch for class work on argentium. It’s the only torch she
uses at home.

When I hooked up my torch it leaked at every joint. We were able to
tighten up the metal parts but the hose connections could not be tightened
and needed to be replaced. This was a brand new torch. Another person in
the class had the same experience. One student showed us her ez torch that
had metal collars around the hose connections. Ours, being newer did not.
Something to watch out for. I sold mine.


#10

Hi Agnes, our club has 6 EZ Torches in use at all times, the hoses remain on the tanks until depleted. We have 300 members, teach classes all week, easily more than a third of our members use the torches. The yellow/brown gunk is a byproduct of the propane according to the man who supplies our gas. Its my guess that it would make a big difference whether a neutral or oxidizing flame used most often.
We were told to soak the torch head in acetone 24 hours to help clean it out. Works for us.
Aurora


#11

Ah ha. I noticed that the last class I instructed - no crimps on the hoses where they attach to the torch head fittings. I noticed because the hose was leaking gas. As you say, the older hoses DID have crimps, were very secure. In the past we never had a leak from the hoses. One wonders how it can be legal to sell gas equipment with such a dangerous hose. I wonder if BBQs have the crimp or not…

:When I hooked up my torch it leaked at every joint. We were able to
:tighten up the metal parts but the hose connections could not be tightened
:and needed to be replaced. This was a brand new torch. Another person in
:the class had the same experience. One student showed us her ez torch that
:had metal collars around the hose connections. Ours, being newer did not.

Aurora


#12

Hi Agnes
It sounds like you have your tank positioned correctly and that you are using good practices when you shut off your torch.
It also seems like the propane is the likely cause of your problems.
You mentioned that you have already tried to switch propane bottles and this did not help.
You might want to try switching to a different brand of disposable propane as there may be something in your current brand that is causing the problems. I am currently using Coleman propane, but I have used many brands over the years and have never had problems
Good Luck
Milt


#13

The EZ torch is acceptable for remote location use and such, but for studio production work where higher heat is needed, and you don’t want to be troubled by leaks and the daintiness of the torch, get the cheaper, and more substantial HOKE torch. Attach it to tanks and regulators with high quality red/green hose from a welding supply house with good screw type hose clamps. There are plenty of tips for the Hoke available. The next accessory (which I couldn’t live without) is a Smith Equipment Gasaver. The Hoke hangs on it perfectly (the EZ does not) and will save you LOTS of hours now lost in opening, fine tuning and lighting the torch - it automatically shuts off the oxygen, then the fuel when you hang it up, leaving your torch safely off but perfectly adjusted for the next use. The little pilot light feature worked fine for about 10 years, then plugged up, so I just laid in a supply of big fat candles.
This may sound paradoxical, but the extra thousand degrees of heat you get from adding oxygen to propane makes avoiding fine stain much easier when soldering silver. Putting more heat to the piece faster is essential to getting solder to flow before the coating of flux burns off, which is more likely with a lower temp torch. Many years before germanium alloyed silver came along as a solution to avoid raising firescale, I’d solved the problem with the right torch, properly adjusted, and spritzing the entire piece with methanol based flux.


#14

Thank you for this valuable discussion about leaky torches. I’m ready to upgrade and will take your advice to heart.

I wonder if hose clamps - the kind with screws for lateral tightening- would help on the rubber hoses?

Lorraine


#15

Good morning all,
I am coming to this conversation very late, so I am unsure if someone might have mentioned this possibility before. I am wondering if the cause of your problem is actually too much pressure on the fuel, which could make the torch more difficult to light and cause the flame to blow out. If this were the issue you would probably see a small gap between the torch tip and the flame. Just a thought.
Jim

James Dailing


#16

My experience with OXY acetylene torches comes from work in a commercial boat yard cutting up to 1" plate with hand held torches. I have never applied OXY acetylene to my jewelry work.

Since I absolutely don’t care if I sound like an inexperienced newbie, what type of regulators are required to connect a Hoke torch to gas and air?

Prestolite has served me well for years but as I am changing my shop to a more aggressive business I am open to ideas.

I have the torches,. What do I need to connect back to the bottles?

Don Meixner


#17

Don:
I use a big regulator on the oxygen side from an old Victor cutting rig; on the propane side an adjustable regulator from a propane dealer. Having pressure gauges on both is nice. DALE


#18

I do not use the small disposable propane bottles at the bench, so I cannot say if that is the source of the goo.
I have used propane tanks at the bench for nearly all of my 40+ years riding a bench. These are 20# tanks like those on the bbq, with a small adjudtable propane regulator, then connected to the torch using commercial grade red and green torch hose, using hose clamps that can be tightened, and tested.
I have never, ever seen any goo in any torch, and I have used quite an assortment. Unlike many posting here, my Oxygen and my propane tank valves are seldom shut down, even overnight, just on the weekend and during vacation, so my hoses and torch remain pressurized for days on end. Other than a recheck for leaks with soapy water whenever anything has been changed, and replacing the hoses and maybe a regulator ever 15-20 years as they have aged, I have to say that propane and Oxygen have been as trouble free a heat source as I have ever required, with plenty of heat for what little casting I have done, and for welding Platinum ( before I acquired the laser).


#19

Come visit your brother. I have a hoke torch with all the hoses and regulators to do what you want to do. You can try them out. Not sure about air, but we can hook up to the air compressor and see what happens. I have run the hoke on propane and O2 and tried it on NG at street pressure and O2. That didn’t work very well…Rob


#20

Hi Don,
Go to a gas equipment supplier and look see whats on offer, especially as you like a few of us here have experience of professional gas cutting/welding/brazing/heating kit. Dont waste your time with the hobby stuff like the EZ torc, hoses and tanks and equivalent. You mention Prestolite, ive a real beauty circa 1920 minature oxy/ acet/propane torch, the brass hose fitting are 1/8th bsp !!
go for proper oxygen and propane tanks, the largest you can store ,with 2 stage regulators, the proper type of hose for the gas and an industrial type hand piece. you can always fit a small torch to a big supply setup but not a big torch to a small system. I use a 47kg propane tank and a 200ltr oxy tank at 300 bar.
A torch is one of the basic bits of kit you have to get right.
Do your research, look at everything,on offer, dont buy on line,but develop a personal relationship with the equipment supplier.
Best investment you can make.
Once you have kit this size, you then can put in a T junction to feed the propane to say a general heating forge.
Ive several As follows
I use a bicycle stand that is circa 1920, with a cast iron 4 legged base. then it has a 1in piece of water pipe some 3ft long upright. then i made a 8in sq rt angle frame bolted horizontally at the top. inside of which i have a weldmesh of 1in sqares . underneath I have a 1,1/2in dia upright propane air torch bolted to the 1in tube, turn it on and i use stainless gauze as a domed cover over the metal im heating this concentrates the heat as well as seeing how hot its getting. Use it to anneal, punches anneal coils of wire , so with a long say 12in flame anneal the 1 yd long twists of metal for the bracelet material ive mentioned previously.
Its probably the most important gas heating setup I have.
As an aside, When in the production of a 2500 plaque order in bronze, thats to be hot drop stamped Ive taken this forge and extended it with a lift up lid also i then can see through stainless the gauze, . when the metal is inside the atmosphere is in fact oxygen free so theres no oxide formation. I lift the lid pick up the redhot metal, place in the die and strike.
Getting back to the long metal annealing, with this setup I anneal say 2in wide by 2ft long by 1/8in thick 70/30 brass with no problems. To quench and pickle I use 4in dia by 36in long plastic drain pipe with a sealed end full of old battery acid. dunk hot and it comes out shiny!. then rinse and dunk in alkali water, sodium carbonate. rinse then dry. Then continue power rolling down to whatever I need.
In this case your taking the work to the heat, with a hand torch you take the heat to the work, like brazing on the loops on the sterling buttons I mint. I use a jig for this,can do some 40 an hour.
hope this helps.
Ted.