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propane vs acetylene

mtfallsmikeymtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
Dragging a B tank around in a tight crawl space is bad. used MAPP for awhile, but cost was a factor.


  • theprenticetheprentice Member Posts: 26
    propane vs acetylene

    i'm an apprentice in the plumbing/majority heating trade, and just wanted some input on the pros and cons between an acetetylene tank and a propane tank. my employer provided me with a small one gallon propane tank and turbo torch connection. this was all i have ever used until about 2 months ago when I began using another employees acetylene turbo torch b tank. i was taught the proper size of the flame for different propane tips but now that i have began using my co-workers acetylene tank, i'm starting to become quite fond of it. problem is that my co-worker is more electrician than plumber/pipefitter. he doesn't really know what the flame should look like on an acetylene tank attachment. i'm just curious what the majority of the pros use and why. i love the versatility i have with the acetylene as far as flame control, but neither of us know the proper setting. i'm getting to the point where i am buying all my own tools and don't want to make an investment in something i am not knowledgeable about.
    also, the b tanks for acetylene seem quite large and awkward for hauling into tight spaces, the mc tank however seems quite reasonable. any pros, cons for either. how about an estimate of the money i'm going to spend on a complete setup. sorry for all the questions but i feel like this is the best place to look for a wide array of educated opinions.
    thanks again

  • Glenn SossinGlenn Sossin Member Posts: 592

    Acetelyne will burn several hundred degrees hotter than LP so in theory, you would be making your joints quicker and using less gas to do it.

    Depending on the number and size of the tips you would be using, you will probably shell out around $250 - $300 for everything.

    They do make MC to B and B to MC adpapters. This would allow you to have one regulator that could be adapted for either tank. You will probably spend more on gas using the MC tanks, but their light weight and small size may be worth it for you.
  • hrhr Member Posts: 6,106
    Depends on the work you do

    if it involves large diameter silver soldering, 1" and up, you almost need a Oxy/ actylene rig. Also best for refigeration work with a small pin point flame.

    Personally I would skip the LP and use Mapp gas which is an acteylenizied (sp) LP product. Hot and portable and paid for by the customer :)

    I believe Mapp burns near as hot a just actylene??

    You might sign up for a welding course at a local trade school. Many have night classes.

    Also visit the JW Harris booth at the next trade show. They have great demos and training at their booth.

    Ocassionally Johnstone Supply will have classes.

    Check the JW Harris website for class locations and online training.

    hot rod

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  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,369

    Depends. Acytelene is getting expensive probably $15 for a "B" tank contents. Propane is much cheaper. If you do mostly or all soft soldering I would go with a propane turbotorch. You can also (as pointed out above) use Mapp gas in a propane torch. It burns hotter. A Mapp or Propane rig is a lot lighter to carry around and a full bottle stays full longer.

    I use Acyte because I carry a cutting and brazing outfit.

  • oil-2-4-6-gasoil-2-4-6-gas Member Posts: 641

    i have 15# propane tank with a turbo torch -an assortment of tips -its light -i use it for 2" and under for jobs where i have a days work ,then i have MAPP gas set-up for small jobs repairs and i charge the customer for the bottle--then i have an actylene "B" tank turbo torch with an assortment of tips use when i'm brazing or larger piping --and have access to an oxy-acetylene set-up when doing anything over 3" --------the key to setting the flame with a normal "B" tank is having the correct sized tip - if you don't do large piping and all day jobs i would pick-up a MAPP gas torch with the ignitor on the tip ,regulator with a swiveling head -- advantages $50-$70 you charge the customer for the bottle -$7-$10 portable,light weight-can carry in your belt
  • Mike.CMike.C Member Posts: 43

    I use MAPP.
    works fine for my stuff. 1/2-1 1/4 anything larger if it is a lot of sweating I bust out the oxy/Acy setup.

  • ChrisChris Member Posts: 319

    From some one that once outfitted emcor and Edison...stick with the propane unless your specificaly brazing ac or medical gas work, propane is less expensive, safer, and readily avalible everywhere. As well as the equipment is more versatile and less expensive.
  • soldering

    I have all my apprentices start with propane. The flame is cooler and the process slower but I feel it trains them the best. I personally use ascetyline with a 13 tip for every size of copper pipe and brazing, I understand that this is overkill but I began using it when I my Dad bought it for me used at a yard sale and since then I have just become accustomed to it.
  • MitchMitch Member Posts: 549
    For construction and remodel

    and some service work I use a MC tank, started with B but it is way to heavy to carry around. I like the soft flame the best but if you have to get in a tight space the turbo with a small tip works great. The lager tips melt lead for pouring well. I keep the tank in one side of a plastic tray and the other side has copper working tools, solder flux a rag and some fittings.

    I also have a small sure fire propane bottle but it does not fit well in tight spots and the flame does not control as well as the soft flame.

    My partner that does only service uses only the hand held propane.

    Kind of got to find out how much soldering you will be doing and go from there.

    Mitch S.

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