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HVAC brazing torch

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  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,738
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    What about getting some kaowool or a non-asbestos heat shield and soaking that?

    Also, perhaps unscrew a component and move it away from the case a bit while you braze.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    Back in the day, it was easier. The copper lines extended out from the unit’s casing, Now they’re surrounded on most units. Makes no sense to me other than making them easier to ship w/o damage. 
    Steve Minnich
    pecmsg
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    Back in the day, it was easier. The copper lines extended out from the unit’s casing, Now they’re surrounded on most units. Makes no sense to me other than making them easier to ship w/o damage. 
    The service valves pop out easily making it easier to move then from the cabinet. 

    I still have a few asbestos shingles the help protect the paint. 
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    I think there are both crimp and push fittings for refrigeration piping now? If torch work frightens you :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ratio
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    edited June 2022
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    pecmsg said:
    Back in the day, it was easier. The copper lines extended out from the unit’s casing, Now they’re surrounded on most units. Makes no sense to me other than making them easier to ship w/o damage. 
    The service valves pop out easily making it easier to move then from the cabinet. 

    I still have a few asbestos shingles the help protect the paint. 
    You’re talking about just removing the screws and bringing them out further? Yep, I do (did) that. I was brazing long before I was soldering. 
    Steve Minnich
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,738
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    hot_rod said:

    I think there are both crimp and push fittings for refrigeration piping now? If torch work frightens you :)

    I mean I already suggested flare...
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    @mattmia2 @hot_rod

    Obviously if stuff could be unscrewed and moved, or flared etc that wouldn't be an issue. Flares I see no issue with in refrigeration equipment, crimp etc you'll never see me using.

    However, the equipment I can use, and the equipment I have access to uses brazed joints that are very close to the valves on the equipment. I can't special order different equipment and I can't change the connections. Sheet metal close by has not been an issue, I either remove it or I use a piece of sheet metal as a heat shield.


    It is what it is. ;)

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    The job above that I talked about was a condensing unit where successfully brazing to the valves was impossible (in my opinion).

    I thought about taking the charge out of the condensing unit and cutting the tubing on the condenser side of the valves and removing that assembly and then brazing some tubing to the field side of the valve putting the whole thing back in and reconnecting the cut tubing with a coupling.

    If someone had insisted on brazing that's what I would have done. When Trane said Stay Brite was ok that's the way we went
  • targetman74
    targetman74 Member Posts: 6
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    Stay Brite 8 all day long.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    There were a very few times I used Staybrite 8 on R-22 systems. I can’t see using it on R-410 systems ever. 
    Steve Minnich
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    There were a very few times I used Staybrite 8 on R-22 systems. I can’t see using it on R-410 systems ever. 
    In fact, the few times I did use it was in the mid 80’s on Carrier condensing units with failed compression nut fittings at the service valves. 
    Steve Minnich
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    There were a very few times I used Staybrite 8 on R-22 systems. I can’t see using it on R-410 systems ever. 

    What is the reasoning you wouldn't want to use it with 410A?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    @ChrisJ - because different solders and brazing material have different temperature and pressure limitations. 410A operating pressures are much greater than 22. I have data somewhere that clearly states that you shouldn’t use Staybrite 8 with 410A. Not sure where it is but I took a deep dive into this a long time ago. 
    Steve Minnich
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    @ChrisJ & @Steve Minnich

    I am conflicted on this as well. I think the code calls for brazing (but I can't back that up). JW Harris on their website says Stay Brite joints are stronger than brazed because the tubing does not get annealed.

    What I heard was the old firefighter's story, Stay Brite melts in a fire easier than brazed joints around 500 deg versus 1000 deg.....phosgene gas
    Tinman
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    There were a very few times I used Staybrite 8 on R-22 systems. I can’t see using it on R-410 systems ever. 
    Why
    it will hold the pressure
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    It may have been the AC manufacturers that I  was using required brazing with 15% silver or the AHJ. It would be interesting to see what various install manuals say. I know I harp on manuals a lot, but I don’t want to have my customer’s warranty voided because of me doing something that should’ve been avoided. Nitrogen purge while brazing alleviates much of the problems associated with it. 
    Steve Minnich
    ratio
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    Has anyone seen a cap for a B tank for when it's not in use?  Or one for a nitrogen tank to keep crap out of the connection?

    I could 3D print one for N2 but for the B tank I'd rather something that actually seals for safety etc 
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    This is a B tank adapter to use a standard acetylene gauge. I'll bet you could just buy the small nut, drop a brass disc in to it. Maybe solder it into the nut.

    I know you can get the nut with tail piece at welding supply shops. That is where I got this assembly.

    If you want to protect the entire valve from damage or breaking off, this is another homebuilt cap/ protector.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    hot_rod said:
    This is a B tank adapter to use a standard acetylene gauge. I'll bet you could just buy the small nut, drop a brass disc in to it. Maybe solder it into the nut. I know you can get the nut with tail piece at welding supply shops. That is where I got this assembly. If you want to protect the entire valve from damage or breaking off, this is another homebuilt cap/ protector.
    It's fascinating.
    When you read about B tanks all you see is it's dangerous and should be treated like a bomb ready to go off.

    But when you look at what they give you from the factory, you get this fragile brass valve sticking out with no way to protect it and pretty much a "you're on your own good luck".


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    ChrisJ said:
    hot_rod said:
    This is a B tank adapter to use a standard acetylene gauge. I'll bet you could just buy the small nut, drop a brass disc in to it. Maybe solder it into the nut. I know you can get the nut with tail piece at welding supply shops. That is where I got this assembly. If you want to protect the entire valve from damage or breaking off, this is another homebuilt cap/ protector.
    It's fascinating.
    When you read about B tanks all you see is it's dangerous and should be treated like a bomb ready to go off.

    But when you look at what they give you from the factory, you get this fragile brass valve sticking out with no way to protect it and pretty much a "you're on your own good luck".


    Right after 9-11 NO B tanks were allowed in the midtown tunnel. You could have 20 or 30 MC Bottles. Go figure.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    The last time I exchanged a B tank it came with a thumb wheel instead of the square stem. The stems get worn down to a nub by guys using vice grips or pliers on them.
    I'm surprised OSHA never came down on a protector cap for B tanks. Same for some of the medical O2 tanks.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    hot_rod said:
    The last time I exchanged a B tank it came with a thumb wheel instead of the square stem. The stems get worn down to a nub by guys using vice grips or pliers on them. I'm surprised OSHA never came down on a protector cap for B tanks. Same for some of the medical O2 tanks.
    I swapped one at Tractor Supply and the one they gave me had a knob on it.  I checked it and it was totally empty as something had bumped it.  So they gave me another which was a Prestolight tank with an offset valve.   I had a little hesitation with our welding supply swapping it but they took it.

    Seems like every tank I get the Turbo torch claims it's only half full which I have no idea how accurate that thing is 
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
    edited June 2022
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    ChrisJ said:


    hot_rod said:

    The last time I exchanged a B tank it came with a thumb wheel instead of the square stem. The stems get worn down to a nub by guys using vice grips or pliers on them.
    I'm surprised OSHA never came down on a protector cap for B tanks. Same for some of the medical O2 tanks.


    I swapped one at Tractor Supply and the one they gave me had a knob on it.  I checked it and it was totally empty as something had bumped it.  So they gave me another which was a Prestolight tank with an offset valve.   I had a little hesitation with our welding supply swapping it but they took it.

    Seems like every tank I get the Turbo torch claims it's only half full which I have no idea how accurate that thing is 
    It's hard to tell how much is in an acetylene tank, can't shake it like LP or Mapp :) The larger tanks from welding supply outlets are more apt to be filled and tight.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    Some "B" tanks weigh more than others. If I recall the old Prestolite tanks were heavy
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    Some "B" tanks weigh more than others. If I recall the old Prestolite tanks were heavy
    Yes yes it was.
    It was incredibly heavy.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,738
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    Isn't the tare weight of the tank stamped in it somewhere? I guess the acetone is a bit of an unknown.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    mattmia2 said:
    Isn't the tare weight of the tank stamped in it somewhere? I guess the acetone is a bit of an unknown.
    There is a tare weight but I don't remember how that plays into the acetone etc.

    The good news is my bosses dad just gave me another B tank so now I won't have to worry about running out and swapping early anymore.

    I'd like another N2 tank though I don't know if I need a second 60cuft.  Maybe I'll look into a 20.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ch4man
    ch4man Member Posts: 296
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    see ChrisJ s response. he's close but the purpose of the acetone is to essentially keep the tank from exploding. yes exploding. without acetone acetylene above 15 PSI is highly unstable and a shock or drop the tank and it'll turn your service truck inside out. you as well.be safe out there men
    JUGHNE said:

    I use Thermo Block spray. It gives you a little more torching time before you cook things.
    It goes on like thick snot and clings to parts.
    If you overspray and get it on the joint you have to wipe it off.

    Some spray it on and also do the wet rag wrap for redundancy.

    If you get an oxy-act set up IDK if the hose will fit on a B tank.

    And could someone elaborate on why to not lay an acetylene bottle down??

    I have been told of some mesh screen inside?

    The relief plug is on the bottom, if it let go then the bottle lying down could become a torpedo.
    Standing up it would be a "safer" rocket going thru the roof?

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    The acetone in the acetylene cylinder absorbs the acetylene. The cylinders should be kept vertical. If they are turned horizontal some of the acetone is lost when the torch is used & the cylinder will have less capacity. At least that is my understanding.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    Been soldering with this torch since I was a lad, could be 60 years! Notice the brass knurled knob worn with flat spots.
    So I hit the tip on the buffer wheel today to do it proud.

    I gave it up for years when the TurboTorch came out, probably gave up some of my hearing to Turbo also :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ratio
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    @hot_rod

    I use those "Prestolite type" tips all the time. I hate the Turbo screaming. If it takes a few extra seconds to heat a joint so, be it. Better control as far as I am concerned, Maybe I am just slow I have the "snappy" adapter that screws into the regular torch that accepts the Turbo tips if I have to use them
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    @hot_rod I use those "Prestolite type" tips all the time. I hate the Turbo screaming. If it takes a few extra seconds to heat a joint so, be it. Better control as far as I am concerned, Maybe I am just slow I have the "snappy" adapter that screws into the regular torch that accepts the Turbo tips if I have to use them
    Can you share some specifics on that adapter and the tips?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    @hot_rod

    I use those "Prestolite type" tips all the time. I hate the Turbo screaming. If it takes a few extra seconds to heat a joint so, be it. Better control as far as I am concerned, Maybe I am just slow I have the "snappy" adapter that screws into the regular torch that accepts the Turbo tips if I have to use them

    I had a phase where I was over-heating joints with the Turbo air/ acetylene swirl tips. It was when water soluble flux and low lead solder were mandated. The flux burn point the blackening, point of the flux was close to the high melt point on no lead solders. It took some getting use to.

    . Turning down the fuel on swirl tips will cause the tip to get red hot and eventually disintegrate

    I found and went back to this standard acetylene tip and all is well, with my joints and hearing.

    Turbo Torch standard tips are called Sof-Flame. S-1 - S-6. They use the WA-400 handle.

    The swirl tips are A2- 32. They use the G4 handle. I'm not sure if tips interchange?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    @ChrisJ & @hot_rod

    Some love turbo torch for regular soldering. I personally do not tends to heat too fast for me (maybe I just move too slow) it's all about your own technique.

    Since I already used the Prestolite type torch with the screw in tips I bought the "Snappy adapter " from turbotorch so I can use turbo tips in my old regular torch.

    Then I can switch back and forth without changing torches or regulators or anything else


    https://www.zoro.com/turbotorch-turbotorch-snappy-adaptor-0386-0500/i/G504106250/?gclid=33090d4087b51419a7166ffcf7c13cd6&gclsrc=3p.ds&msclkid=33090d4087b51419a7166ffcf7c13cd6&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=ml_all_na_na_ssc_Bing TP Smart Shopping&utm_term=4586337880895795&utm_content=Bing PLA TP products non zombie

    ChrisJ
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    Uniweld is also a good source. They have most everything Turbotorch does and the tips etc are interchangeable
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    I’ve used every variation I’ve ever seen. In ‘81, I got the really old PrestoLite stuff from my father-in-law which he got from his dad
    There are lots of reasons for my hearing loss, but TurboTorch is near the top of that list. 


    Steve Minnich
    ChrisJCLambSolid_Fuel_Man
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 354
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    There is a sweet spot with the turbo torch, just above the point where it will turn the tip cherry red, and just below the point where is gets real loud and screeching.

    It will be a slightly carburizing flame, and is relatively quiet. Thats where you want to be. If its loudly screeching, you have it turned up too much.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    There is a sweet spot with the turbo torch, just above the point where it will turn the tip cherry red, and just below the point where is gets real loud and screeching. It will be a slightly carburizing flame, and is relatively quiet. Thats where you want to be. If its loudly screeching, you have it turned up too much.
    But they tell you to have the regulator all the way up and never throttle anything?

    I've always wondered why it's adjustable.....
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,614
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    You can throttle it a bit but too much and the tip turns red
  • realliveplumber
    realliveplumber Member Posts: 354
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    I always have the reg on the tank all the way up, but carefully adjust the knob on the handle as I described above.