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Little Torch problem


#1

Hi Friends,

I hadn’t used my Smith Little Torch in a while, and finally fired it
up this week to do a repair on a customer’s ring. After a few minutes
I noticed the odor of acetylene and a hiss from the base of the
torch! The gas hose leading to the torch is leaking gas. Fortunately
I have a backup, but don’t know what to do about my main torch.
Again, the gas hose is leaking at the base of the torch. I had it set
at 15 PSi… normally than my normal 5 PSI setting. Is this too high?
Does this require manufacturer’s assistance, or is this a problem I
can rectify myself?

Many thanks,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)


#2

Hi, you should be able to buy a new hose from one of the larger
supply house. Rio Grande, Stuller should have it in stock. And that
little puppy should take 15 psi with no sweat. I have cranked mine up
to 25 psi more than a few times. I was using propane and couldn’t
get my project hot enough.

Randy Hayes, The Store, Ventura Ca.


#3
the gas hose is leaking at the base of the torch 

dave -

unscrew the grip from the torch & pull off the red & green hoses.
cut off about 4 inches & put back onto torch. check for gas leak.
this could be the problem; even if not, you’re only out 4" of hose.
(reason for trimming both? to keep them the same length.) if this
does not solve the leak contact the smith company:
http://www.littletorch.com

i received a new kit after a similar incident.

good luck -
ive


#4
I had it set at 15 PSi... normally than my normal 5 PSI setting. Is
this too high? 

I have been taught that acetylene becomes explosive at 15 PSI and
you should never run the pressure that high. All the literature I
have seen on the Little Torch show recommended pressures to be in the
5-6 lbs and lower range. If you have to crank it up that high you
would be better served with a bigger torch.

Tim
A2Z Metalsmith Supply Inc
5151 S Federal Blvd Unit I-9
Littleton CO 80123

720 283-7200 Phone
720 385-2118 Fax
www.A2ZMetalsmithSupply.com


#5

Hi Dave, I recall that Smith recommends replacing the hoses every few
years. I think that the hose material is neoprene. Perhaps it
deteriorates over time. Also check that the connection is tight. If
the hoses are in good condition and the connections are tight I don’t
think that 15 psi should be a problem although the highest setting
that I use is 10 psi for a 4 orifice melting tip.

Joel
Joel Schwalb
@Joel_Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#6

Dave, I have had many smith mini’s. I would put the hose under water
in your sink or if that is not handy put use a brush and water with
dish soap in it to find exactly where the leak is. I have had the
base of the hand piece loosen and leak you can tighten that up
easily. The needle valves in the knobs have also gone out on me those
I have not been able to fix. The hose leaks are easy to fix. I have
replaced the hoses many times over the years. They should have given
you a square flat piece of steel with a key hole shape cut out of it
in your box. There should also have been directions on how to fix the
hose. It is a tool used to replace the hoses. There is a piece of
aluminum tubing at the end of the torch where it connects to the hand
piece. You insert the keyhole at the end of the tubing and pull on
the hose you have to brace the tool. I put the hand piece in a vise.
You have to pull on the hose fairly hard it will pop off. Once the
hose is off cut off the hose section that is bad or replace the whole
hose. You can buy replacement hose anywhere that sells the torch.
Slide the aluminum tube on the new hose section and push the end of
the hose on the nipple of the hand piece. Insert your keyhole tool
behind the aluminum tubing and push the tubing towards the nipple
while pulling on the hose at the same time. The tubing has a bevel
on the inside lip that is directional so check to see the way it was
put on originally before taking off the hand piece. I regularly had
my pressure that high on all my torches with no ill effects.

Regards J Morley
Goldsmith Laser Welding


#7
    Again, the gas hose is leaking at the base of the torch. I had
it set at 15 PSi... normally than my normal 5 PSI setting. Is this
too high? Does this require manufacturer's assistance, or is this a
problem I can rectify myself? 

Hi Dave,

You can do it yourself if you like. You can replace the red
Acetylene hose only, but you’re best off replacing both hoses which
are normally supplied with the metal collars and connecting tool. If
you do it yourself, be sure to get some leak detector fluid from the
same place you get your hose(s). If you’re not comfortable doing it,
most welding supply stores carry Smith products, even if they don’t
carry the Little Torch in particular and will be able to replace
them for you. The hoses on the Little Torch are not interchangeable
with most standard torch hose sizes, so a welding supply is unlikely
to have them in stock. They can also test for leaks once you’ve
changed the hoses yourself.

My Smith owner’s manual states the proper pressure for both gases is
5 PSI. I’ve used up to 15 with the multiple orifice melting tip, but
I don’t go over 7 with the regular tips.

All, most torch manufacturers recommend checking your hoses with
leak detector fluid periodically, and I’m guilty of not doing it
often enough myself. Dave, I’m glad for this reminder that your post
has given me and I’m even happier for the fact that you’re not
reporting a mishap along with it!! Awareness of shop safety is one
of the considerable benefits this group has always offered. Thanks
again.

James in SoFl


#8

Is the leak in the hose itself or in the fitting connecting the hose
to the torch? Check to see if there is a welding supply house in
your area that services torches. Many of them do…and if they
don’t, they could probably offer you advice on how to repair it
yourself.

Dee


#9

Just a follow up on acetylene at pressures over 15 psi. Finally had a
chance to do some searching. Found a MSDS at

http://www.hoopersupply.com/msds/acetylene.htm

Here is the reference regarding pressuRe: ACETYLENE IS EXTREMELY
FLAMMABLE AND EXPLOSIVE. IT MAY DECOMPOSE VIOLENTLY IN ITS FREE STATE
UNDER PRESSURE IN EXCESS OF 15 PSIG.

So use whatever pressure you like but be aware that it could be
deadly.

Tim
Laser Welding rental and trade work.
A2Z Metalsmith Supply Inc
5151 S Federal Blvd Unit I-9
Littleton CO 80123
720 283-7200 Phone
720 385-2118 Fax
www.A2ZMetalsmithSupply.com


#10

First, get rid of the Acetylene! To hot, dangerousness. Second,
move your ‘bottles’ out of the room of your work, Third, never use a
torch with a leaking hose, and Forth, get a safety valve on both your
oxygen and ‘Propane’ tanks… You’re in deep trouble if you are not
doing a few safety procedures!

Jim


#11
If you do it yourself, be sure to get some leak detector fluid from
the same place you get your hose(s). 

“Snoop” is a good brand to look for. It comes in a squeeze bottle
with a long, thin extension tube for those hard-to-reach places.

Usual disclaimer.
Ray


#12

You folks are awesome! “Ask and ye shall receive!” Since I needed
to exchange my acetylene bottle anyway, I headed down to my welding
supply house and took the torch with me. They definitely cater to the
industrial welder, so I doubted they would have anything (or any
knowledge of) the Little Torch. In a fortuitous twist of fate, they
had a set of hoses for the Little Torch that they had special ordered
for another customer who failed to come back to buy them. I “did them
a favor” and took them off their hands at a steep discount so they
wouldn’t be left holding them for an upcoming inventory. :slight_smile:

I was still hopeful I’d be able to use the existing hose, but the
keyhole tool J Morley talked about was in the kit. Long story short,
even after trimming back the ends of the existing hose a few inches,
I still had a leak. Since the torch is about ten years old, and
considering Joel’s advice, I decided to replace the hoses after all,
and everything is fine now.

As a side note, it turns out there are about three different
configurations of Little Torch. I was confused when ive was talking
about unscrewing the grip of the torch, as the hose connections on my
torch are exposed at the base of the torch. Different models actually
have the connections inside the torch handle. It depends on the
model… probably the age of the torch. The instructions that came
with the hoses address each different style.

Thanks again for all the tips and advice!

All the best,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)


#13
Here is the reference regarding pressuRe: ACETYLENE IS EXTREMELY
FLAMMABLE AND EXPLOSIVE. IT MAY DECOMPOSE VIOLENTLY IN ITS FREE
STATE UNDER PRESSURE IN EXCESS OF 15 PSIG 

When we had a studio over the stores on our town’s main street, we
had the fire inspector in to check it out. He told us to get the
acetylene tank out of the studio (we use propane and oxygen but had
the acetylene for when I did teaching). He said since we were on the
second floor, and since acetylene is heavier than air, if there was a
leak it could go into the store below us and if a spark occurred,
could cause an explosion. Also, here in Ontario you cannot have a
propane tank larger than 5 lb inside a building. We have a 20 lb (BBQ
size) outside and the gas is brought in through a copper pipe with a
shut off inside the studio.

Sandra


#14

Hmmm. According to my books acetylene is lighter than air. Propane
is heaver than air.

Cheers.
John Fetvedt
http://www.jef.com


#15

I believe that acetylene is lighter than air. Propane is heavier.
This is why I chose acetylene for my basement studio.

Marilyn Smith