What is the purpose of a pressure reducer and when should it be used?
When using a gas, propane or butane soldering iron, you must take every precaution to work safely. Each accessory that connects your gas cylinder to your iron must be adapted to your equipment and in good working order. The reducer is a key part of this assembly, as it regulates the pressure at the propane cylinder outlet.
What is the purpose of a pressure reducer?
A gas is stored in a gas cylinder at a set pressure and must be returned to operate your appliance at a different pressure. The reducer mechanism provides the transition between the two pressures. It lowers the propane gas pressure at the cylinder outlet, but is not designed to shut off the supply. The reducer must be accurate and also perfectly constant to ensure the proper operation of your equipment.
The regulator is therefore an essential accessory and you must choose a quality brand to work with propane gas in the best conditions. You ensure your safety, as well as the regularity of your soldering iron’s feed.
The reducer can be equipped with a pressure gauge that allows you to get greater accuracy by displaying the pressure at the cylinder outlet. You can adjust it according to your needs.
Express Shrink Wrapping offers you reducers with or without pressure gauge.
When to use a pressure reducer
The pressure reducer is used for domestic propane gas appliances: boiler, stove, barbecue, plancha, etc. It is also essential for diving tanks, to allow the diver to be supplied with air at the right pressure. It is the reducer that allowed the advent of the self-contained diving suit.
The reducer is also used for any soldering iron work. For welding, you can fuel your torch with propane or butane gas. Some torches are compatible with both gases, while others are designed for only one of the two. Your choice of gas depends mainly on the storage and use of your cylinder, indoors or outdoors. Propane is more suitable for outdoor use, butane can be used in both cases, but not below 5°C, which limits its use.
Butane gas is stored at low pressure, but propane gas pressure is higher and requires the use of a pressure reducer for obvious safety reasons.
The service life of a pressure reducing valve
It is difficult to indicate the average life of a reducer because it depends on your use. Depending on whether you are a professional or an amateur, whether you use it in more or less harsh conditions, especially in winter, it fluctuates. The important thing is that you check its condition regularly.
You do not have to wait until your reducer is defective before changing it. The gas cylinder has a safety lock in the event of a malfunction, but there is no need to take risks.
To check the state of wear of your reducer, you should look at its spring and diaphragm. Over time, and especially if you often weld in very cold weather, these two elements tend to become rigid. You can see the result because the gas flow rate becomes less regular. The accuracy of your work may suffer as a result.
If your propane gas cylinder goes into safety mode, the whole mechanism of your reducer – spring, diaphragm, and valve – is tired and jammed. This is a sign to change your reducer as soon as possible.
If you have not used your soldering iron for a long period of time, it is essential that you check it carefully before resuming your soldering work.
At Express Shrink Wrapping you will find a wide range of reducers to suit all your applications.