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Regulator behaving unexpected


I am having issues with my regulators. They are single stage Smith
and I purchased them from Rio Grande. I am using oxygene and propane
tanks and a Meco Midget torch. I have flashback arrestors (also from
Rio) installed at the tank.

Here is what I wonder about:

  1. When I am working on bigger pieces I am using a number two tip. I
    want to get a nice bushy reducing flame with just a bit of orange
    and no hiss. I cannot seem to get this to work. I might get a bit of
    orange, but it is always a very long pointy flame cone and the flame
    seems to be always hissing, no matter how I adjust the oxygene on
    the torch.

  2. My regulator also seems to be “breathing”. That is what it sounds
    like and I also see the oxygene levels appearing to increase and
    decrease. At other times the oxygene seems to get higher without me
    adjusting it. I might start out with a bit of orange and after a few
    seconds I have a much smaller and pure blue flame. I am also
    noticing the setting on the propane regulator move up and down as I
    use the torch.

  3. When I turn off the tank, then open the torch to bleed the line I
    expect the pressure on the regulator to decrease immediately.
    Instead it starts to increase significantly before falling. Is that

I am somewhat concerned about using my torch without knowing what is
going on. Can you please help me?


I would love to hear a answer to your question myself I also am
having a bit of a problem with the same set up you are using mini
torch with propane just added the arrestor a week ago and now its
acting up and I just blow the line on my torch. It could have been
from age that torch is at least 15 or more years old with original
lines. But that does not explain it acting up just before it blew
out. Has me a bit concerned about using it indoors till I under
stand better or can get it adjusted right. I would turn it down and
open the line and it would peg out the gauge? Looking forward to some
ones response to both. Thank you birgit for posting this question.
Stay safe


If the unit is 15 years old, there may be a problem with the
regulator. They do need refurbishing at times and if the diaphragm
stuck in the open mode, the full pressure of the tank could/would be
applied to the supply line and blow it up/out. Regulator diaphragms
will often go bad faster if not treated properly, which includes
shutting off the gas when finished, bleeding the line of any
pressurized gas then opening the regulator up so there is no pressure
on the diaphragm. I sort of doubt that a regular welding supply shop
will repair the mini torch units but you might call and ask. If they
don’t, get ahold of the manufacturer and ask them. If they don’t work
on them, I am sure they can tell you who will/does. Also the supply
lines can get old and give out at relatively low pressures, but from
your description of the way the regulator acts, it sounds like it is
your problem. The arrestor install most likely has nothing to do with
the problem,

Good luck
John Dach

Regulators that are old have parts that wear out. Eventually you
just have to replace them. Wear and tear on your soldering tools are
just like wear and tear on your car. Think of a 15 year old rubber
fan belt, or hoses. Risking a flaky regulator is not worth your life.
Good ones cost between $85 to $125 and that is a small price to pay
for you to continue and make jewelry.

Regulators should always be turned counter clockwise when you are
finished. This releases the stress and pressure on the regulator
diaphragm and places them in their relaxed sleep mode.

For your mini torch, it will cost more to repair than to replace it
and I would be surprised if the the knowledge to repair a mini torch
even exists any more.

Good luck.
Karen Christians