View Full Version : OT for O/A welders on gauges

Your Old Dog
08-24-2005, 07:56 AM
I inadvertantly left full pressure from a full tank on an Oxygen Regulator for about a month. I failed to bleed it properly. Now when I fire it up it gallops making a clicking sound about every 2 seconds. Did I ruin it or is it possible the rubber seal will relax if all pressure is taken off of it for awhile. If not, is it something I can fix myself or will it require being sent out?

I posted this here to avoid signing up for one of the welding forums. I know we got plenty of welders here on this forum.

No need to scold me for improper shut down, SWMBO already did all that http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif I'd tell you what she said but the blood in my ears made it hard to concentrate.

(It gets worse, thought I'd mig this simple project instead and found out a full tank of 25/75 bled out as I didn't shut it off either. May have to hang a reminder in the doorway to shop!)

Thanks for any help or ideas.

08-24-2005, 08:20 AM
Hey Old Dog...does the regulator still "regulate" ?? The flame's not hissing & sputtering (fluctuating) is it? If its not, and I doubt it is its probably just a "f**ked gauge"...they're relatively cheap to pick up at a welding supply.... I've gone through quite a few of them for some reason...

take care,

Your Old Dog
08-24-2005, 08:24 AM
thanks for the quick respoonse. No the flame is steady but the clicking noise is pretty loud. So you think it's okay to use as long as the flame appears normal?

08-24-2005, 08:51 AM
is the clicking coming from the gauge needle slamming back and forth or is it in the regulator itself? If its the gauge its probably not a big deal and I'd use it knowing that the gauge is soon going to crap out (in all liklihood) shortly. If its the regulator itself I'd back it out all the way and adjust it up a bit to make sure its workingand maybe "free it up" a bit..sounds like its "hunting"...surprised you don't see any difference in the flame though if thats the case. I'd also give it a few taps with a "beating iron" of some sort...lol...this is just what I do/would do...I'm not endorsing or encouraging the abuse of O2 regulators! I've never had one of these babies apart so I'm not sure if there's a little piston in there (I've always assumed it was a diaphragm from the shape of my Harris')...whatever it is it will be spring-loaded and you're pushing against this spring when you adjust the knob/wingnut arrangement...possibly the springs a bit weak? Wouldnt have though so from leaving it with an avg pressure of what...25 psi (assuming you've been cutting??) for a month or so...hell on jobsites and in shipyards these things get left for months & months...there's always some set of outoftheway bottles that someones forgotten about. I've even seen them with the gauge glasses smashed out and the gauges nothing but memories! Definitely NOT the way to go about things...but amazingly they still work. If it doesnt respond to the "rapping" technique maybe, and assuming its a decent reg to start with, take it into a welding supply place...if they're any good they'll throw it on a bottle and try it out for you before trying to get you to buy the latest & greatest....

take care & good luck...wish I could be a bit more "definitive"....


Your Old Dog
08-25-2005, 08:08 AM
Thanks for the help. I know what you say is true that many of these things are left on but I thought if you used it every day that might make a differance. Mine sat with full pressure of a full tank for over a month with no use. I suspect there must be a rubber gasket in there somewhere and I'm afraid that leaving it on for so long may have put a "set" in the gasket. I'm hoping it will relax back to normal but maybe not.

I shut the valves, bled everything out and then put screw pressure back on the valve to cause it to not be in contact with the seat. I'm hoping the rubber will relax over time. If not I'll have to do as you suggested and ask the dealer to put it ons some bottles for me.

This set of Victors was a Christmas gift from a friend and doesn't have 15 minutes of welding on it and I screwed it up already!

Thanks for your help Chris.

08-25-2005, 10:46 AM
Sounds like a fairly standard failure mode for a regulator diaphragm. I have lost a couple that way over the years. Leaving it under pressure most definitely affected it. I wouldn't use it.
Go to ebay and get a replacement.

08-26-2005, 11:23 AM
Hey, fellas -
Is this type of problem something that only happens with O2 gauges and regulators? (I know that O2 is hard on materials due to oxidation) Or would this be a potential problem on MIG rigs?
I ask because I have a MIG setup and two tanks - one argon and one tri-gas. I'm careful to shut off tanks when I'm not using them, but I'd hate to pooch my guages or regulators if I ever forgot.

Your Old Dog
08-30-2005, 07:15 PM
My gauges are now okay.

I shut all the valves down tight. Then screwed in the valves on the gauges just enough to take the pressure off any rubber gasket that may be inside. Evidently the gauges are new enough that after a week of setting the rubber gaskets relaxed back to normaL position. now when I fire them up I don't hear any pulsating cycle sounds and the flame burns clean.

Thanks all for your help and suggestions.