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Little torch hoses


#1

Dear folks,

I had an unfortunate situation the other day. I went to my garage to
set up my oxy/propane tanks for the day, only to find that since I
last used my Little Torch (a couple of months ago), the hoses have
perished all the way along their length. Big gas leak happened, which
was pretty scary!!! My hubby had to disconnect the Little Torch and
connect my big welding torch, as the job I have at the moment
(fabricating sterling tiara from 2 mm wire) required far more heat
than my handheld butane torch (which I’d been making do with during
the freezing weather) could handle.

So now, I’m having to make do with either the butane handheld or a
big bruiser of an oxy/propane welding torch - one extreme to the
other - until I can find some replacement Little Torch hoses. The
problem is, that a) they’re so darned expensive, and b) I’m really
not happy with how short a time they’ve lasted (less than a year!!!)
so I’m thinking of finding an alternative.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m struggling to find anything in
the UK. There’s only one company that sells the torch itself in the
UK, and they don’t sell replacement hoses for it. Thanks in advance.

Incidentally, I managed to solder the tiara with the huge torch
without melting anything, so I’m pleased as punch, although still
missing my Little Torch. :frowning:

Helen
UK


#2
The problem is, that a) they're so darned expensive, and b) I'm
really not happy with how short a time they've lasted (less than a
year!!!) so I'm thinking of finding an alternative. 

Check to see if there might be some sort of warranty repair
available. Less than a year indicates to me that something is very
clearly not right. The hoses on my little torch are a bit dingy
looking, but what would you expect. They’re over 20 years old and
still going strong. That yours gave up this quickly suggests a flaw
(or some major abuse of some sort.)

Peter


#3
the hoses have perished all the way along their length. Big gas
leak happened, which was pretty scary!!! 

What kind of gas leaked? I have used the same hoses on my Little
torch for 20 years.

Richard Hart G.G.
Jewelers Gallery


#4

Helen

I’m no expert on hoses. I do know that with rubber hoses some are
rated for just acetylene and some also for propane too. My little
torch is set up to run either gas and the hoses came from a fish shop
(aquarium clear plastic hose) a couple of decades ago. Maybe I’m due
to make a deep crater or reach low orbit any day. So far so good and
don’t take my advice :slight_smile:

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#5

Helen - Hmmmm. I have had my little torch for 5 years with orignal
hoses. Why did they decompose? I am really curious. Why was there a
gas leak? There should not be any gas left in the hoses? correct? I
use oxy/propane also. I am assuming the same torch and set up. Just
curious to others posts.Smith will stand behind their product if you
contact them directly if the hose was faulty. Sorry I am not much
help but I am really baffled.

Joy


#6

Stuller sells replacement hoses for the Little Torch. A little
tricky to install but I’ve done it before, and need to do it on
another one right now.


#7

I’ve finally replaced the hoses on my Little Torch, first time in
well over 20 years, which was rather recently. Failure in less than a
year sure sounds unusual.

Michael David Sturlin
http://michaelsturlinstudio.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#8
My little torch is set up to run either gas and the hoses came
from a fish shop (aquarium clear plastic hose) a couple of decades
ago. 

Same here. My hoses started spontaneous leaks after two years. Just
like in the morning I would switch on my gas and oxygen and it was
leaking. And they weren’t abused either. So I went to the petshop and
got some of that clear hosing and I have never had a problem since.

Hans


#9
My little torch is set up to run either gas and the hoses came from
a fish shop (aquarium clear plastic hose) a couple of decades ago. 

Thanks Jeff. I may end up with some alternative, as the replacement
hoses from Smith are So darned expensive and I simply can’t afford
them at the moment. Darren (hubby) thinks getting replacements fitted
by a welding supplier will be much cheaper, and I reckon he’s right.

Helen
UK


#10

Hi Joy,

There should not be any gas left in the hoses? correct? 

Correct. I always empty the hoses after use and close the torch
valves after all the gas has emptied from the hoses. Then of course
under normal circumstances, when I switch the tanks on in the
morning, you get a quick “woosh” as the gas refills the hoses and
stops at the torch valves. But this time I got a constant
"woooooooooosh" which wouldn’t stop. I checked the torch and sure
enough I had remembered to turn the valves fully OFF. Hubby checked
all connections in the line and they were gas tight, until he put
the hoses into a bowl of water and the oxygen hose (which was the
only one tested at that stage) violently fizzed along its length. I
don’t know whether or not he checked the propane hose, or whether he
assumed it had suffered the same fate. We’re ringing the supplier in
the morning, so hopefully we’ll get some sort of warranty
replacement. If not, we’ll be investigating some alternatives.

Helen
UK


#11
What kind of gas leaked? I have used the same hoses on my Little
torch for 20 years. 

Well fortunately it was the oxygen I switched on first, and after
testing every joint in the line, hubby put the hose in a bowl of
water and it fizzed violently along its whole length. I’m not 100%
sure whether or not he checked the propane hose. I disappeared
because it was all too scary and stressful. We’ll see what the
supplier has to say in the morning. If they won’t do anything under
warranty, then we’re going to investigate getting properly rated
hoses fitted by a welding supplier. Smith’s prizes are SO expensive
for what they are.

Helen
UK


#12
I've finally replaced the hoses on my Little Torch, first time in
well over 20 years, which was rather recently. Failure in less than
a year sure sounds unusual. 

Yes, I was hoping for something closer to twenty years out of my
hoses too! I’ve been very careful with them, but for some reason
they’ve failed drastically. Hopefully we’ll get some answers and
I’ll post again.

Helen
UK


#13
Check to see if there might be some sort of warranty repair
available. Less than a year indicates to me that something is very
clearly not right. 

We’re ringing the supplier in the morning, so hopefully they’ll
honour some sort of warranty.

That yours gave up this quickly suggests a flaw (or some major
abuse of some sort.) 

They’ve certainly not had any abuse at my hands. I can’t think of
what sort of abuse they’d need to fail along their whole length like
that. They’re kept in a locked garage. The garage is not heated and
we have had several severe frosts over the winter, and then spring
and warm weather came rather suddenly, but you’d think that they’d
stand up to such things. They’re not exactly kept outside, exposed to
the elements. Although there’s no heating where they’re kept, and it
is an outside building, they are protected to a certain extent, by
virtue of the fact that they are inside a building.

Helen
UK


#14

Helen

Little torches really are not that scary. Low pressures and just
about any hose close to the same size should work. I have been noted
in the recent past as being relaxed with nasty explosive gases but
if you think they aren’t so bad.

The fancy red and green fabric coverings can be a pain to exchange
but they don’t serve any real needed function. Buy some fish tube
and it is not to hard to switch the hoses. Use the same fittings, If
you get in over your head Darren should be able to help but I think
that you are pretty damned clever.

If two in get over your heads send me the pieces, just postage and
figuring out the customs codes on weird stuff

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#15

Are these hoses made of a rubber compound? If so then they are
deteriorating in the same way that old fashioned gutta percha hoses
do. Its a slow hardening caused by sulphur compounds in the air.

Tony Konrath


#16

Helen,

one thing to consider in the O2 hose failure would be the smallest
amount of water vapour freezing if the hose was laying flat along the
length…but the chances of that much condensation occurring if you
had used the torch endlessly for hours with cooled O2 passing through
it for hours is slim. . It sounds like " a defect in workmanship or
materials " : the hose if sold as new was clearly flawed. Smitth
should replaace the pair and all the fittings as well ( cite to the
representative handling your replacement /warranty service that you
don’t want to take any chances when gasses are involved!)…the point
of the matter is that they should be replaced at no cost to you…
however I always keep aquarium tubing on hand as it is a great
extension “hose”, and is far cheaper than replacing any hose that has
any problem. just put a plug of wax, etc. in the ends if storing to
keep, insects, debris, dust and moisture from collecting and
encouraging algae to grow inside the tubing if in a humid ( out of
doors) location. Caall the manufacturer directly instead of the
vendor- they will try to tack on all sorts of charges from shipping &
handling (they must handle it to give you service!) to even
restocking fees ( though it would be rather idiotic to think they
would resell the mdse.) and ultimately they will call the
manufacturer (smith in your case). Do insist on both hoses and all
fittings being replaced though- if there has been a problem in one
ther may be a problem soon following in the other hose…If it were
me, I’d return the entire smith unit and if you NEED a little torch
get a Gentec, looks like the smith but far superior construction, gas
chamber, and cheaper than any Smith outfit no matter which model kit
you opted for… but all things considered, a Hoke is the torch of
choice around here! I think you’ll find it far more versatile than
the smith and it will last forever, though mastering a larger ( not
like your welding torch though) torch in your hand takes a week or so
of adjustment…and the hoke is around 50 $ or less (Cookson’s had
them for $42. 00 EUR about a month ago)… rer


#17
Little torches really are not that scary. Low pressures and just
about any hose close to the same size should work. 

What pressure is used for the Little Torch? I have seen Fischer in
Germany is selling a special, low pressure, regulator as an add-on to
the torch. But no technical details are given.

Thanks!


#18

my little torch hoses also began to leak after relatively short
while. took them apart and saw they were made of a gum rubber type
material. very reactive stuff (especially to oxygen).

maybe they use that stuff to keep them light?

bill g


#19
Call the manufacturer directly instead of the vendor- they will try
to tack on all sorts of charges from shipping & handling (they must
handle it to give you service!) to even restocking fees (though it
would be rather idiotic to think they would resell the mdse.) and
ultimately they will call the manufacturer (smith in your case). 

We contacted the vendor, as they know when we purchased it. They are
testing it and replacing as necessary. They said they will even
refund us the postage charges, so it won’t cost us anything. I will
put a letter in stating that I want both hoses and fittings
replacing.

Hopefully my replacement hoses will last more like twenty years,
rather than less than one!

Helen
UK


#20

Helen, I would suggest checking the area where stored for any
chemicals or solvents that may have attacked the hoses. Things that
lids are closed can sometimes still vent small amounts into the air.
If close to the hoses can cause break down over time. Sometimes not
very long depending on product. A lawnmower with gas in the tank can
vent fumes in the air. With the leaks being the full length I would
think more of something attacking then poor quality.

Rick McC