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Leak detecting problem

Hello folks! I have a small problem here. On my prest-o-lite acetylen
torch, I know there is a leak because I can smell the gas coming out
from somewhere. I think, though, that the leak comes directly from
the regulator. Those who posess a prest-o-lite outfit could help me.
There is, on the regulator, a small hole in which you can see the
knob turning in or out for the gas pressure. I think the leak comes
from that hole. Is there a way to prevent leaks from that place?

Just to make sure the leak is not coming out from anywhere else, do I
have to buy a leak detection fluid suppliers sell or can I just use a
water-and-soap solution?

Please write me back before I blow up (hahaha!!!)!

Benoit Hamel

With Actelyene regular soap and watercan be used as a leak detector,
with that said, I would reccomend getting and using a bottle of leak
detector bubbles rated for use on Oxygen equipment. They work a bit
better and they don’t have any problems with being explosive in the
prescene of oxygen. If the leak is coming out of that little hole I
would suspect that there is a problem with the diaphram in the
regulator. Get your local Acetylene supplier to help you as I suspect
that it will be cheaper to buy another regulator than repair a leaking
one. Good Luck Dan Wellman

Hello Benoit, You can use water and soap to see where the gas is
coming from, however, I think, no, I know for shore that you have to
buy an new regulator or overhaul the existing one. The main membrane is
leaking probably due to age. It is not difficult to screw the
regulator open and put in a new valve seat and main membrane. If you
have bought your acetylene and oxygen regulator at the same time it
also wise to overhaul the oxygen regulator as well.

Do it quick because fire is not nice and a little bit hot

Good luck
Martin Niemeijer

Benoit, You can use a dish soap water solution.If it is coming from
the regulator the diaphram in the regulator may be bad.You can take
the regulator into a gas and welding supply store and they should
check it for you.I would shut the tank off and not use the unit until
you have it under control.Best J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio

You can use soapy water. A foamy dishwashing detergent like Joy is
better than soap. If you have a leak from the diaphram vent hole you
have a situation where you should have the regulator repaired. Most
welding distributor s do the repairs but tru top find one that carries
your regulator brand if you can. Jesse

Hi Benoit, Yes, a solution of 50% dish soap and 50% water, applied
liberally with an old toothbrush (or a new one, I guess) will quickly
reveal the source of your leak. I haven’t used a Prestolite in many
years… possibly take it by your local welding shop where you buy
your fuel and they can help. P.S. Keep the windows rolled down in the
car and don’t smoke! :wink:

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Don’t fool around with a leaking tank, hose, or regulator. If you
think the leak is in the regulator, disconnect it from the tank and
take it to the place from which you get your gas and have them test
it in their shop on their tanks. If it isn’t the regulator you can
test for leaks at any of the joints or hose with just plain soap and
water. I was given this bit of money saving advice from the company
from whom I get my gas. they deliver my tanks for a small
fee----well worth it when you consider the hazzard of hauling these
tanks around. I was advised that an “empty” tank is even more of a
hazzard than a full one. From super cautious Alma who is still in one piece.

You can use soap and water on all of the connections. Sometimes the
valve on the tank will leak. If you find a leak in the body of the
regulator, take it to your local welding supply house. If the cost of
repair exceeds 40% of a new one. Buy a new one.

If you want to try a commercial leak detecting solution, “Snoop” works
very well. Whenever working with acetylene I also strongly recommend
check valves at the torch and flashback arrestors on both regulators.
They are cheap insurance. Ray

Answer to leaking regulator…do not try to find the leak. It can
blow up…I have had that misfortune…between my legs trying to
tighten the fittings…no damage to precious jewels, just tore my
Levi’s off and turned me black and blue, you know where… Turn it
off, take it to a dealer who fills tanks and repairs regulators…you
might not be so lucky as me, otherwise. tom chatham

With regard to leaks, this should be standard procedure when you get
a new tank. Our gas supplier hates us because he has to lug a
mid-size tank up a flight of stairs. But after changing out to the
new tank, I make him stand and wait until the tank passes a leak

When my husband was doing some gas welding in our downtown studio, I
walked by and saw a little flame from the key stem of the acetelyene
tank. Without a word, I grabbed the fire extinguisher and tried to
put it out. That’s when I realized that just because I had this nice
fire extinguisher hanging on the wall, I didn’t know how to use it.
All I could say at that moment was “Dave, Dave, Dave”. My husband
Dave turned to look at me, saw the fire extinguisher and the flame on
the tank. He grabbed the extinguisher and put out the flame. I
figured we were about minutes from blowing ourselves to bits.

Word of caution. Always check for leaks on your tanks. AND learn to
operate your fire extinguisher!

Karen Christians
10 Walnut St.
Woburn, MA 01801
Fax: 781/937-3955
Accredited Jewelry Instruction

Hi, If you know there is a leak, please please please bring it to a
welding shop ( or other reputable fix it shop) to have the leak
fixed. We need all the Orchid members intact. Beth Katz

Word of advise. When you have a gas leak fire protocol is not to
extinguish the fire, but shut off the source. If you have a gas leak
fire the gas is burning off. If you extinguish the fire, you let the
gas leak out and have a potentially larger fire.


Recently, I had a problem with a faint smell of acetylene when the
tank was turned on (but not when it was off and I had bled the hose).
So, I thought the problem was a leak in the hose. Not wanting to put
soap bubbles all over the hose and tank, I took it into the shop and
paid about $25 for them to check everything. But they could find no
leaks at all. It turned out that I had simply not screwed my gauges
onto the tank tightly enough the last time I changed tanks (I THOUGHT
I had, but…). Just another option to check. Judy Bjorkman

Tom, Just curious.What caused the blowup? Stay in one piece.J Morley
Coyote Ridge Studio