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Old 02-26-12, 06:55 PM   #1
MDEnvEngr
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How long do the little kevlar hoses last when using gasfluxer?

My little smith a1a, or whatever isn't producing the flame it should. It's been going for a while, it seems, but this weekend decided enough was enough. I took the setup apart and put the kevlar hoses right on the regulators, and no change...making me think that the hoses close in after a while?

True? They're four years old.

Would the torch get "clogged" as well? I didn't have a way of testing just the torch, as it uses the small fittings. If so, any recommendations on how to clean?

I did order some new hoses and a couple of new tips. My favorite 203 has been sloppy for a while now.

I did have a spare torch I picked up when we were closing one of our plants...no idea how old. Perhaps 50 years. It's a nice piece and the smallest torch I found, but still about twice the size of the smith. The big torch (and bigger than I'm used to flame) and the stiff hoses made this weekend's work funky...brass going where I didn't want, etc. Luckily I was building my 4 y/o mountain bike, so no big deal. But it made me realize how nice that little torch and light flexible cables are...B
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Old 02-26-12, 07:29 PM   #2
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I'm trying to talk myself into getting a gasfluxer so I don't have any experience yet. People say the mess is confined to the first three feet of hose, and many people have sacrificial hoses in right after the gasfluxer. I would imagine that you could see any issues with the torch, probably at the valves. Did you take them apart and look inside?
I would call gasflux, they seem to be really helpful from what I've heard
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Old 02-26-12, 08:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr View Post
My little smith a1a, or whatever isn't producing the flame it should. It's been going for a while, it seems, but this weekend decided enough was enough. I took the setup apart and put the kevlar hoses right on the regulators, and no change...making me think that the hoses close in after a while?
At Trek we used to take off our hoses every few weeks and soak them in the hot flux remover tank the frames went through to clean them out.

At home you could probably get by pouring hot water through them until they open up.
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Old 02-26-12, 09:32 PM   #4
Andrew R Stewart 
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Gas Flux will clog up a lot of the fittings in your set up. It starts at the outlet of the holding tank. The first few feet of the hose can embrittle and crack if left too long. This is why I have used about 3' of sacrificial hose attached to the GasFlux tank and would replace them every year or so. Supposedly there is a type of hose that is resistant to this degradation. Still the gaseous fume will clog the other necks in the system. Check valves in the hose. The tank's on/off and concentration mixing control valve. Even escaping form the threaded caps and growing white clumps of deposits. I can't say what the stuff does to the Kevlar hoses but all the connections and associated fittings are still at risk of deposit build up. So what do you do?

First is personal safety. I don't know what the fumes do to one's brain but extreme ventilation is your highest concern when the liquid flux is exposed to open air. Second is to seal and contain when ever possible. That means tightly kept caps and gaskets in good condition. Third is cleaning. GasFlux did an amazing job at steam cleaning and regasketing my tank at a price that was to sneeze at. Over about 15 years the flux deposits built up to a point that nothing moved valve wise on the tank and the flow was a trickle at best. I had soaked valves and such in hot water before but the factory cleaning reestablished all the functions and seals in the tank. I had poked through other fittings with a spoke to open up a passage but in time this was no longer enough. So the send off to the factory. Last is to drain all your lines and shut off the tank's valves every time you're done brazing. this reduces the accumulation over time.

I have used a fluxer since my beginning off and on. Starting with the very basic Allstate version. I bought a GasFlux brand in the late 1980s. While it is a nice addition and I am guilty of claiming the benefits many times i no longer use mine routinely. Ironically as i now have two torch/tank set ups and could leave one clean of the flux's effects. perhaps sometime when i am brazing more often I'll reinstall it. Until then I'll try to e good enough with paste flux and heat control skills. Andy.
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Old 02-28-12, 07:18 AM   #5
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Circling back

So, I took my torch apart and soaked all of the pieces, along with the tips and the hose in *hot* water for a couple of hours. Blew everything dry and reassembled. Good as new!

Sweet! I'll put this on my periodic maintenance list.

Thanks for the input guys.

B
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Old 02-28-12, 11:14 AM   #6
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thanks for the feedback
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