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repeated flashbacks with my heating torch and gasaver, please help!!:)

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Everyone out there @ IFI,

I'm new to the forum.  I really could use some technical advice regarding the Victor 315 FC torch handle, 6-MFA tip I'm using with it, and the Smith gasaver (WDW 101) the torch is connected to.  The longest I've been able to keep it running with out a flashback is about 3 1/2 months.  I've had to send the torch in for service 3 times in 12 mo (clogged flashback arrestors).  It's getting expensive and frustrating.


The gasaver is compatible with acetylene.  A blacksmith I know,  who uses an 8 MFA tip with his gasaver, recommended setting the oxygen at 40psi.  This worked for awhile until another flashback occurred.  I've included a link to a video of the torch stand.  Students use this piece of equipment so it is spring loaded- it cant be left running unattended.  Is using a gasaver in conjunction with a heating torch tempermental?  Should I not let students set up and shut down the station?


I would greatly appreciate any suggestions, recommendations, and shared experiences any of you may have.



Here is the link to the 1 minute video:




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Welcome aboard Everett, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in your header you might be pleasantly surprised to find out how many IFI members live within visiting distance.


I'm not clear what you mean by "flashback". If you're referring to your torch popping with the gas saver when it lights or turns off. What's the deal, that's pretty normal.


Are you actually running a proper school? If so what are you doing listening to some body suggesting you adjust your torch to dangerously improper settings? You have the Victor or whatever  manufacturer's manual that came with the torch. Yes? If not hit your welding supplier and ask for one, they carry them at the counter for this very reason. Follow the recommended settings!


Seriously, oxy acet torches are called equal pressure torches for a reason, equal pressure being according to molar weight, NOT gauge readings psiG. Equal pressure on your gauges will have the oxy around 2x the acet setting. EG. 12psig acet means 24 psig. oxy. Acetylene has a maximum safe 15 psi, there is a RED zone on the regulator gauge for a reason. Above the safe zone and acet becomes unstable and can degrade into C2 and H2 with significant release of energy with a number of initiators like shock, when it blows the hoses the released heat is plenty enough to light the flameable C2 and H2 for more fun in the fire ball.


Set your gauges properly and teach the students proper safe torch practices!


It'll pop when you light it, this is pretty darned normal, it's not like you're manually lighting the torch, the gas saver is delivering an adjusted mix of oxy and acet so it's going to POP when it hits the pilot light. You aught to hear my All States oxy propane torch pop, sounds like a giant pistol shot. But, NO I don't have a Smith or anybody's gas saver, the All States rig has a thumb valve on the torch body instead but it does the same thing, turns an adjusted torch on and off with a flip of my thumb, light it as you desire, a striker or the factory made electric sparker. I like a trickle charger, grounded to the table or work with the hot clip on the torch handle. Same thing but so much cheaper. Just flip on the thrumb valve and brush the tip across the table or work for the ignition spark. POW! and you're working.


There is NOTHING wrong with your torch or gas saver! Do NOT set your oxy to 40psi! That's not going to do anything, best cause, but scale up the work with excess oxy. Just get used to the pop, it's NORMAL.

Frosty The Lucky.
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Student don't always follow instructions or recommended settings.  If I follow your comments correctly, the flashbacks are damaging the flashback arrestor?  This causes you to service the torch and replace the arrestor.  I 'm concerned about the students setting the gauges properly which maybe the cause of the flashbacks.  Also, how close is the material to the torch when heating and is there any maintenance done on the torch tips?  If the torch is used weekly, it seems that 3 1/2 months is a long time for moderate to heavy use which would require maintenance.  Good luck.   

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Oxygen @ 40 psi is not dangerous...... oxygen can be used at practically any pressure setting. Its acetylene that is dangerous at/or above 15 psi because it can become volitile...... According to the video, the "popping" you hear when the torch ignights and extingueshes is normal.


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I do not know what those tips are but if this will help I use 60 psi oxygen and 14 psi acetylene when heating with a large rosebud tip. Learned the hard way after melting the tips off a couple of expensive rosebuds. My gas saver works fine at these pressures and I would not think it is the problem.

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