Gas regulator does not drop to zero

With a 2 guage setup, the guage closext to the tank shows how much
gas is in the tank, the one away shows the amount of pressure going
to the torch. If you turn off the main valve on the tank and purge
your lines (open your torch for a couple of minutes), both guages
will read 0.


that regulator you are using should drop to zero when there is no
pressure in the line or hose between the torch & regulator

step #1 turn the tank off w/ the little wrench to right till it stops

step #2 light the torch tip and watch the pressure on the gauge and
the flame die out at the same rate

step #3 close the valve on the torch handle

Step # 4 back off the pressure adjustment to the left most of the way

step# 5 turn the little wrench to the left open the tank 1/4 turn

step #6 adjust the gauge wher you wanty it 6-7lbs sould be fine if
this doesnt work take the whole set up to a welding supply for
inspection by an expert -

good luck - goo

I have only been using a torch for two years so I am not an
expert...yet. I have had two leaky tanks lately and that has given
me the creeps. 

This is my biggest complaint about acetylene for jewelry studio use.
When we get a small tank (B or MC size are the main culprits) from
the supplier it is typically been used and abused for many years in
the construction trades. Hauled around in the back of trucks dragged
through job sites and in general knocked around. Since they are used
outdoors or in a new construction area a little leak is sometimes
not noticed or ignored and not reported to the gas supplier. When we
get one of these tanks and set it up in the studio we have to deal
with an abused tank and valve that often leaks, then to call for a
new tank to be brought out and deal with the lost time etc.

The tank I just got does not have a leak, I've tested it with
bubbles. I have an acelylene tank with a prest o light torch. When
I turn the tank off, and the handle off, the gauge/regulator does
not drop to zero. I have a single gauge on the tank. 

Are you opening the torch valve after you close the tank valve to
vent the regulator and hose? Your procedure should be as follows

(1) Open acetylene cylinder valve 1/4 to 1/2 turn.

(2) Open torch valve 1/4 turn.

(3) Screw in regulator adjusting valve handle to working pressure.

(4) Turn off the torch valve (this will purge the fuel gas line).

(5) Open torch valve 1/4 turn and light with lighter.

NOTE Use only friction type lighter or specially designed lighting
device. NEVER use a butane lighter.

Always use the following sequence and technique for shutting off a

(1) Close torch valve

(2) Close fuel gas cylinder valve.

(3) Open torch valve to release pressure in the regulator and hose.

(4) Back off regulator adjusting valve handle until no spring tension
is left.

(5) Close torch valve.

If your regulator is still indicating pressure after this procedure
it is in need of servicing. If the regulator goes to zero but then
climbs back up your acetylene cylinder valve is not sealing and is
leaking into the regulator, get a new cylinder.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


You won’t waste any money by having your regulators serviced
regularly. And it might save your life.


I thank all of you master silversmiths for helping me with my torch
dilemma. An orchid member emailed me this morning with information
about how she deals with her prest o lite torch. After following her
instructions and the others of you who responded, it still did not
drop to zero. It inched its way up. So, I called Rio tech support. A
nice guy said I needed to call Indian Jewelry Supply because they
sell my torch. (I had forgotten I got it there) their tech guy,
Alex, talked me through tightening the bolt below the key on the tank
top. since then my regulator has not inched up. I am still having
issues with the lighting though. I put a new flint in my striker and
it did help some, but the torch wants to go out after it ignites. I
turned the handle knob up higher and that keeps it going. I never did
have to do that before though and am wondering why it is going out.
The IJS guy said it might be because I haven’t used the tank for
awhile. It is a new tank… Does anyone out there have a reason
for the torch going out on its own? If I can get it going good then
it won’t go out though. Whoever mention the fact that B tanks are
from welders and construction companies- that sure is true. Every
tank I have gotten looks like it has been at war. Those of you
masters on this list are invaluable to those of us beginners. I thank
you all again.

Jean in Minnesota

This may not be your problem, but it is good advice none-the-less.
The acetylene tanks should always be kept upright, they are
constructed with a honeycomb like matrix inside. This holds the
acetone in which the acetylene is disolved. If tipped the acetone
can come out with the acetylene (little spits in the flame). This
also is how they store acetylene in the tank @ a pressure greater
than 15psi. (Acetylene becomes unstable around 15 psi).

About the beat up tanks… it is best if you can take the tank in to
exchange yourself, that way you can check the tank before you take
it. Sometimes they mistakenly send out an empty tank, or one where
the square valve is so tight that it breaks. You don’t have to
accept any that are too beat up etc.

Dan Wellman