Hi everyone, I have had some recurring trouble with my smallest torch
tip. I use a basic prestolite acetylene/air torch. I started getting
really poor flame quality with this tip, a very oxidizing flame. I
wasn’t sure what the problem was and took the hose and regulator into
my local welding supply place. Everything checked out fine there and
I ended up replacing the tip. That seemed to fix the problem but now
it is back. So I am assuming that the tip is just getting dirty inside
and carbonized. Any thoughts on what causes this to happen? And what
is the best way to clean and maintain this tip so I will have good
flame quality? A wire brush to ream it out? Soaking it in
There are a couple of things you might try. I don’t know what size
your smallest torch tip is, but if it gets dirty & you want to clean
it, you can get an assortment of torch tip cleaners at most welding
suppliers. They’re basically different size reamers that are inserted
into the hole in the tip. Inserting & removing them several times
cleans out the tip. You only use the size that fits the tip, if you
use a larger size you may increase the size of hole in the tip.
Another thing you might try is adjusting (increasing or decreasing)
the pressure the gas is delivered at. This is done by turning the
knob/handle on the regulator attached to the tank.
A 3rd thing to check is the flame arrestor in the base of the tip.
Most tips for acet/air torches I’m familiar with have a removable
filter/flame arrestor in the part of the tip that screws into the
torch handle. Remove a tip from the handle. Look inside the end that
screws into the handle. You’ll probably see a steel ring with a hex
shaped hole in it. At the bottom of the hex will appear something
that may look like a very fine screen or porous stone, this is the
filter/flame arrestor. The hex opening willaccommodate an allen
wrench, which is used to unscrew the filter/flame arrestor.
I don’t know what the symptoms of a dirty or partially blocked
filter/flame arrestor are, but if it is removed from the tip, it can
be cleaned by soaking in a solvent that will cut petroleum products.
After soaking, clear the solvent out by blowing a strong air stream
through the filter. The other option is to buy a new replacement
filter at a welding supply.
The purpose of the filter/flame arrestor is to prevent the flame from
following the gas down the hose to the tank. DON’T use a tip that
doesn’t have one!