What are the most common problems with torch welders?
Many of the problems associated with cutting torches are due to failures in torch tips and O-rings. Torch tips may develop blockages over time from particles of metal and other debris in the workplace. O-rings harden and lose their sealing ability as they wear out from the operating conditions. In many instances, the torch tips will need a thorough cleaning and the O-rings will need to be replaced.
Troubleshooting tips for your torch welder
- Oxy-acetylene cutting torches have separate tanks for each gas and lines that attach to the torch. There are fittings, bushings and O-rings at all connection points of the hoses that can wear out and leak. The hose itself can develop cracks and slits that will compromise the weld.
- The torch trigger controls the flow of oxygen to the torch tip. If the trigger is malfunctioning, then you'll either not get enough oxygen or too much. In the former case, the flame will not burn hot enough for cutting, and in the latter, the flame will be extinguished.
- The torch neck is the conduit that the gases flow through to the torch tip. Over time, the neck can degrade, causing the torch to not function. The neck attaches to an insulator that connects to the tip on one end and the cable assembly on the other. If the fittings or bushings on either end are worn, then they may need to be replaced to avoid gas leakage. The insulator should be inspected regularly to ensure it's not compromised in any way as it keeps the flame from traveling back up the neck.
- On some models, the only gas valves will be located on the gas tanks while on others, there will also be valves on the torch itself. The bushings in these valves can wear out and may need to be replaced.
- Pressure gauges on the tanks or the torch are an important tool for knowing how much pressure each gas is under as it travels to the torch tip. Too much or too little pressure will severely affect the ability to perform a cut.
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