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Oxygen Concentrators


#1

There were a number of posts about oxygen concentrators last month
and today I decided to look into getting one. A local dealer told me
he has several units that would meet my needs but he cannot sell one
without a prescription, and he can’t sell one for non-medical use.
However, there are a few online retailers selling them for glass
working.

I do not understand the types of glass torches they list and how
they might relate to my purposes.

Can anyone suggest what output capacity one would need for an
acetylene Little Torch? Would 5 PSI and 5 LPM be adequate for the
Little Torch?

Thanks!
Neil A.


#2

Neil,

I bought a rebuilt Devilbiss 515 oxygen concentrator from
hobbiesforus.com about 2 months ago. I just went to their website and
the special for $250 with free shipping is still posted so check to
see it the special is still good. I took about 3 weeks for it to
arrive after the order - it was a rebuilt unit with 14,000 hours on
it - they are supposed to last about 20,000+ hours - so at my usage
rate of about 3 hours per week it should last about 38 years. That
was the cheapest I could find. It is rated at 5 lpm and 9-10 psi. I
am using it with my Little Torch with propane and it works fine. With
a #5 tip, I have to turn down the oxygen concentrator to 1 lpm to
avoid blowing the flame out. So it has plenty of pressure for the
smaller tips. I don’t have anything bigger than a #5 tip so I can’t
give you any experience there. I do not use an O2 regulator but I do
use flame arrestors on both the O2 and propane lines. If I remember
correctly, propane takes more oxygen than acetylene so this
concentrator should be ok. If you are using a much larger torch or
some of the large glass blowing torches then you might need two of
the concentrators with a Y connector. Make sure you run the
concentrator at least 20 minutes a month - it isn’t too loud but it
does make some funny noises as it cycles - I have right next to my
bench and it doesn’t bother me. You have to let it run about 5-10
minutes before it puts out good O2. The concentrator doesn’t like it
when you turn off the torch so after shutting off the torch flame I
turn the torch O2 back on and let it run (if I am going to use the
torch again soon). The concentrator beeps loudly when the the flow is
blocked as it thinks the old lady who is usually at the other end of
the line has kinked the hose and isn’t getting any O2. I use a spare
bedroom for a shop and I just didn’t want to have the high pressure
O2 tanks around the house. I even went with the 1 lb propane bottles
as I didn’t feel comfortable with the 20 lb bottle that I had been
using(I even took it outside when I wasn’t using it).

I think I included answers above to all the questions I initially
had. If I missed something just ask.

Scott


#3

Hi Neil.

I was told to use 4psi with my oxygen concentrator with a Smith
Little Torch, but that was for propane or natural gas.

Dawn Lawrence Floen
Sunshine INdustries
http://www.sunshineindustries.ca


#4

Most O2 concentrators are used by older folks, thus Medicare is
involved. Medicare pays the provider a monthly rental fee for each
concentrator. Their contracts require that after 3 years of rental
fees, the concentrator is paid in full. Therefore, users who outlive
their contracts own the concentrator. When they die, their families
don’t know what to do with them because it is illegal to resell them
for medical use, but they are too expensive to throw away. So the
advice is to network with people who have elderly family members,
and put out the word.

Jamie


#5

Hi Neil,

Last year I purchased from an Unlimited Oxygen dealer
(unlimitedoxygen.com) a generator that was made specifically to be
hooked up to a torch.

They offer different models; after a lot of research I chose the
Tornado. It is hooked up to a Meco Midget using natural gas and I
have been very happy and satisfied with the torch performance on the
generator.

During my research it seemed to me that people who tried hooking up
torches to generators producing 5 lpm often (but not always) found
the oxygen flow to be insufficient for their needs. The Tornado gives
10 lpm @ 20 psi. It is a bit noisy, but I was willing to tolerate
some noise in exchange for not dealing with the oxygen tanks. Set-up
was very easy and adjusting the flow of oxygen is as simple as
reaching down to the generator and moving a knob.

Usual disclaimers–I don’t have any monetary or personal
relationship with the manufacturer. I am just a happy customer. Feel
free to contact me offline if you have specific questions about my
experience.

Leslie


#6

Hi Jamie, et al

HOHO…I am one of those “older folks” who has the Concentrator.
Medicare may pay part of the monthly cost, but I pay about $39.00
each month for the use of it. Glad to hear of the three year
contract - guess I had better check into that! By the way, don’t
count on getting mine for a long time!

This is very interesting to read that the O2 output could be used in
such a fashion for providing the oxygen for the other gas systems!

Rose Marie Christison


#7

Folks,

Oxygen generators are not the same as oxygen concentrators.
Generators are higher-volume, noisy, and more expensive. I have not
used one, but my impression is that they are typically more
industrial-grade.

Concentrators are smaller, usually mounted on wheels, fairly quiet,
and used can be purchased used for under $300 US. I used mine with
propane running a Nortel Minor torch (for lampwork), which has a
much-higher rate of flow than my Little Torch.

Two thoughts; as someone mentioned earlier, you can easily link two
or more concentrators together to bump up the flow. The other is that
you should run them at least monthly, or they will cease to produce
oxygen. That’s why I no longer use mine; it sat idle for too long.

David Stitt


#8

I found mine in the trash. I’m not going back to ask questions. It
does not have a DME name on it. I have it set on about 1 liter /min
and it works better if on for a few minutes…


#9

Hello Neil,

Can anyone suggest what output capacity one would need for an
acetylene Little Torch? Would 5 PSI and 5 LPM be adequate for the
Little Torch? 

According to Lacy West, 5 PSI should get you up to a number four
tip, and 5 LPM should give you ten times the volume of oxygen which a
number four tip requires. Therefore, you should need to keep the
pressure up, while turning the volume down.

Mike Mandaville


#10

I have both a concentrator and a tank (and actually a laser too).
Concentrator great for general soldering work, sizing rings that
don’t need stone protection, general fabrication or retipping. I’m
afraid that the line pressure generated would not be sufficient for
the higher heat applications you have in mind. I switch to the tank
for melting or say sizing a silver ring that needs to have a mounted
stone submerged. Gary