#1 Acetylene bottle valves

Fedup

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Hobart Lincoln
I have a portable torch setup, using #1 size bottles. Granted, I don't use it much, but whenever the need arises the gas bottle is always empty. I can't help but conclude the valves on these small tanks must be junk. Maybe I need to leave the regulator, hoses and torch valve (turned off)installed for storage, but should that be necessary? I've exchanged bottles for full ones and they were empty when I got home. Is this an issue anyone else has experienced or is it just my luck?
 

Gary Fowler

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My acetylene bottles last years. I dont use it much either but there doesnt seem to be any leaks. If acetylene leaks any at all , you should smell it. Also do a soap test at all the gaskets/ seals and regulator seat area. I leave my gauges on all the time and just turn off the bottles when finished with a tightly snugged valve handle.
 

PILOON

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Hobart 200 stick
I also have problems but with the oxygen valve in the small porta tanks.
Seems they us an impact to close after they fill with O2.
Very tight vice grips is the only way I can open the O2 and then can never re close .properly.
It gets very costly, 5 mins of brazing costs me a tank every time.

I tried using the small 'key' (has a small 3/16 square opening) but they get rounded out B4 actually opening that valve.
 

Gary Fowler

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I also have problems but with the oxygen valve in the small porta tanks.
Seems they us an impact to close after they fill with O2.
Very tight vice grips is the only way I can open the O2 and then can never re close .properly.
It gets very costly, 5 mins of brazing costs me a tank every time.

I tried using the small 'key' (has a small 3/16 square opening) but they get rounded out B4 actually opening that valve.
You need to go to another company for your gas if that is the case. I would complain loudly to the LWS agent about empty bottles, leaking bottles etc. and demand replacements. Bottles should not require a pipe wrench on the valve to close and they should be hand snug, not gorilla tight, to not leak. Check the bottles as soon as you get home, or better yet, make the LWS check them before you get them if you have been getting empty or less than full bottles.
The small bottles should be no different that larger bottles when it comes to leak check.
 

PILOON

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They sure don't leak when you get them, only later after you manage to crack them open.
Problem is that nearest exchange is the auto parts store that is an agent.
The closest gas co is a 2 hr drive.
Shame is that for my occasional usage the small volume of the porta tanks suited me just fine plus I don't wish to sign up for a contract for $100/yr per tank.
With the advent of cut off discs and chop saws about my only gas needs are 'frozen' nuts/bolts.
As to body work, I rarely did that.
When I was in the big city I always somehow had a bootleg gas supplier that never demanded rental fees., kinda different out in the boonies.
 

Fedup

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Hobart Lincoln
My O2 tank has what I would call a "standard" valve, similar to my larger tanks. they seem to work just fine. It's only the gas bottle that has this funky type with a square stem without a handle. Probably 3/16" square. Seems that in order to get a tank with a standard valve it requires going to a size that I can't consider "portable". It's frustrating when every time I want to use it, it's another $45 bottle exchange. I knew going in that I wasn't going to use the portable unit all that much, but I've cut the usage to near nothing since it costs $45 every time I light it up.
 

Gary Fowler

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My O2 tank has what I would call a "standard" valve, similar to my larger tanks. they seem to work just fine. It's only the gas bottle that has this funky type with a square stem without a handle. Probably 3/16" square. Seems that in order to get a tank with a standard valve it requires going to a size that I can't consider "portable". It's frustrating when every time I want to use it, it's another $45 bottle exchange. I knew going in that I wasn't going to use the portable unit all that much, but I've cut the usage to near nothing since it costs $45 every time I light it up.
Those 1/4" square valve tops are old style from the early years on even the larger tanks. I think they stopped using that style in the late 70"s or early 80's due to safety concerns (a leaking valve fire and no one had the wrench handy to turn them off). Well if you are using one and you dont have the proper wrench for instance if you are using a crescent wrench, ask your local welding supply for the purpose built acetylene valve wrench which has a square head that will allow you to wrench down on that valve without rounding off the corners.
 

PILOON

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Those 1/4" square valve tops are old style from the early years on even the larger tanks. I think they stopped using that style in the late 70"s or early 80's due to safety concerns (a leaking valve fire and no one had the wrench handy to turn them off). Well if you are using one and you dont have the proper wrench for instance if you are using a crescent wrench, ask your local welding supply for the purpose built acetylene valve wrench which has a square head that will allow you to wrench down on that valve without rounding off the corners.
I did so but it was but a flat piece of mild steal and the square hole elongated without opening the valve at the first try.
Adding insult was the price @ $6.00 or so.
Guess they dumped all those 1/4 valves onto the Canadian market as I'm not talking '70's here but as recent as 2 years ago.

Another bone of contention is the welding supply depot.
They close at unusually early hours, perhaps they open early but don't know.
I suspect the majority of sales are via the delivery trucks and not 'in person'.
 

Gary Fowler

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I did so but it was but a flat piece of mild steal and the square hole elongated without opening the valve at the first try.
Adding insult was the price @ $6.00 or so.
Guess they dumped all those 1/4 valves onto the Canadian market as I'm not talking '70's here but as recent as 2 years ago.

Another bone of contention is the welding supply depot.
They close at unusually early hours, perhaps they open early but don't know.
I suspect the majority of sales are via the delivery trucks and not 'in person'.
IIRC, those were 1/4", if you have a 1/4" drive socket, (check to see if it fits the tank valve) then using the 1/4" drive end for the tank valve, weld a T handle to the socket end and you have a wrench that wont ever round out the hole. Use an old spare socket that will fit at least a 3/8" diameter bolt , then use that bolt to make a T handle. The bolt head will make a perfect joint to the socket for welding.
 

Yomax4

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I have 4 of each of the small porta torch tanks. some sit for 3-4 years and I have never had a problem with the valves.
 

Fedup

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Well, maybe it's just me. I know that for as often(or more accurately, seldom) I use them, I think they are just too expensive to be practical for me. I need the portability maybe once or twice a year. Every time it takes a $45+ bottle of gas, sometimes two. I used it again last week and got a whole ten minutes use of a rosebud before the full bottle was empty. Didn't get near enough heat to do the job, so there went another trip. I managed to pack the bigger bottles out there and got the job done.

The refill price on the #3 bottle(rated at 125 cu. Ft)was under $70. The #1 bottle, at 10 cu. ft, was nearly $50? The portability factor just doesn't justify that. I picked this unit up pretty cheap, thinking it would be handy. So far I've spent plenty ON it, but done precious little WITH it. Maybe I should cut my losses and see if I can peddle it. Surely someone out there needs it more than I do.
 

Gary Fowler

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Well, maybe it's just me. I know that for as often(or more accurately, seldom) I use them, I think they are just too expensive to be practical for me. I need the portability maybe once or twice a year. Every time it takes a $45+ bottle of gas, sometimes two. I used it again last week and got a whole ten minutes use of a rosebud before the full bottle was empty. Didn't get near enough heat to do the job, so there went another trip. I managed to pack the bigger bottles out there and got the job done.

The refill price on the #3 bottle(rated at 125 cu. Ft)was under $70. The #1 bottle, at 10 cu. ft, was nearly $50? The portability factor just doesn't justify that. I picked this unit up pretty cheap, thinking it would be handy. So far I've spent plenty ON it, but done precious little WITH it. Maybe I should cut my losses and see if I can peddle it. Surely someone out there needs it more than I do.
Why dont you try trading it in on a slightly larger bottle or better yet, just get a portable bottle cart to haul them around like I do mine as seen in the left side of this photo. That is a 125CF oxygen, dont recall the size of the acetylene but it lasts me for a year or more. It is about the most weight that I want to lift in and out of my truck for hauling. With a ramp, it is easily loaded into a truck if needed.
 

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PILOON

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Hobart 200 stick
I would not mind the price of larger Oxy bottles but it is the $100/year per tank rental (contract) that kill it 4 me.
While to have gas on hand is super handy it simply no longer worth it IMO.
Guess I have to find a shop that'll let me 'piggyback' on their contract .
 

Lis2323

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I would not mind the price of larger Oxy bottles but it is the $100/year per tank rental (contract) that kill it 4 me.
While to have gas on hand is super handy it simply no longer worth it IMO.
Guess I have to find a shop that'll let me 'piggyback' on their contract .
That is how much I overpaid Air Liquide for more years than I care to admit!! I was a customer since the age of 16.


Almost $200 per year for one oxygen and one acetylene bottle until I found an “alternative”.
 

Gary Fowler

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For $300 you can buy a 125 CF bottle of O2, cant recall what I paid for the acetylene. Owning is the only way to go for occasional users. Bite the bullet one time and forget it. I havent found any good deals on rigs on Craigslist, it seems they all want the price of a bottle from the LWS.
 

Lis2323

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For $300 you can buy a 125 CF bottle of O2, cant recall what I paid for the acetylene. Owning is the only way to go for occasional users. .
Depends what area you are in.

Around here they rigged it so that "owner " bottles of oxygen and acetylene are of useless sizes.
 

Gary Fowler

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Depends what area you are in.

Around here they rigged it so that "owner " bottles of oxygen and acetylene are of useless sizes.
The only sizes that I cant buy are 240 CF and larger. MY LWS doesnt sell the 240/300 CF because they are like $700 each and no individual will buy them for that price. I didnt ask about swapping them out if you have one though since I dont have any.
 

A-one

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas
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Lincoln Pro Mig 180
I've been told the largest owner cylinders in my area are 80³ft. I have a 75³ft acetylene, and an 80³ft oxygen. The oxygen is $24 for a refill, and acetylene is $48. I average about $100/ year using 2 oxygens and 1 acetylene. I only use them if I have some long cuts in 3/16 or thicker steel. A 4 1/2 inch angle grinder just doesn't have the guts to do it fast enough. Not to mention if the cuts are long enough, I'll go through a few discs.
 
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