Always use the proper size tip for the job! Never use an oversized tip and then cut the fuel and oxygen back to work on a small job. This will starve the tip of oxygen and acetylene resulting in improper operating pressure that may cause tip damage, overheating, backfire and flashback. The following is a good example of the proper procedure for lighting an oxyacetylene tip. This safety tip is not a substitute for carefully reading the manufacturer’s operating instructions. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before use.
[STEP 1] Prior to opening the cylinder valve, make sure the regulator pressure adjusting screw is backed all the way out by turning it counterclockwise until there is no pressure on the spring. When the opening (or closing) the cylinder valve, always stand to the side of the cylinder with the regulator facing forward. The oxygen cylinder valve should be “cracked” open slowly until the cylinder contents gauge stops moving. Then, open the valve sufficiently to provide adequate flow. The fuel gas (acetylene) cylinder valve should be opened a maximum of 3/4 turn and a wrench should remain in position on the stem of the valve while the cylinder is in use so that the valve can be quickly turned off in case of an emergency.
[STEP 2] After the proper tip has been selected and installed, the proper operating pressure needs to be determined from the manufacturer’s tip chart. Set each regulator to its corresponding pressure by adjusting the pressure adjusting screw. Purge hoses and equipment by briefly opening and closing the oxygen valve and fuel gas valve separately and venting gases safely. Purge hoses and equipment before each use.
[STEP 3] To light the tip, open fuel gas (acetylene) valve first about 1/2 turn and quickly ignite with a spark lighter. Adjust the flame so that it is not separated from the tip end. The flame should be a bright yellow with no black soot. If necessary, increase the fuel to clear the black soot.
Next, open the oxygen and adjust the flow until the white feathers disappear into a well-defined bullet nose cone called the neutral flame.
[STEP 4] When you have completed the job and are ready to shut off the torch, always shut the oxygen valve first and then the fuel gas valve (acetylene). Note: Shutting off the fuel gas first can cause backfire and/or flashback!
[STEP 5] To shut down the torch for storage or transportation, close the cylinder valves. Release the oxygen pressure by opening the oxygen torch valve (vent safely). Close the torch valve (vent safely). Close the torch valve and repeat this same process for the fuel gas (vent safely). Close all valves tightly and secure the equipment. Now the shutdown is complete!
Safety first: Shade #5 tinted goggles, heavy duty welding/cutting gloves and protective clothing should always be used.