Torch Questions Types / Lighters etc.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by roback, May 16, 2008.

  1. roback

    roback Member

    I have a Bernzomatic torch with a hose connection to the gas. It seems to be burning a bit hot and scorching the copper! I am thinking about a new torch. I usually use MAPP gas. What are your favorite torches. The plumbing wholesaler that I use pushes Turbo-Torch, specifically the basic STK-9. Is this a good torch. The hose torches seem a bit more flexible to use in tight spaces? Also, do you guys use a igniter or cigarette lighter with yours. I have always used a cigarette lighter. Just make sure my thumb is not next to the flame! It seems convenient, and alot of plumbers seem to do it, but are the igniters safer? The self igniting units seem as thought they are too bulky for tight spaces for me.
  2. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Victoria, BC
    I love using my Lenox turbotorch self-igniting torch unit; I would never buy a torch that didn't self-ignite because they are just too convenient.

    Most guts use a flint striker to ignite a torch unit. I don't like using a cigarette lighter because your hand is just too close to the torch when it does ignite!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2010
  3. Turbo Torch

    The best one you can get for mean mean applications
    is the turbo torch with the acetelyne gas.....

    that will turn water to to steam in seconds and
    you can sweat pipes quickly, or silver solder if you
    so please ....they do cost about 250 for the whole kit...

    the next best is the presto lite.... a little bit more
    tame a torch, and it uses acetelyne...

    you need to use the flynt type striker ... it is the best
    for overall situations...

    of course a bic lighter would work fine, but is considered
    not as safe to have laying around on real jobs...

    all the self lighting torches are junk,

    it dont matter what brand that they are they always fail you when you most need them.... usually they get gummed up with fluxes or other types of dirt...

    got about half a dozen of them laying somewehre
    in the garage...none are worth the troble to try to fix
  4. roback

    roback Member

    Hose Vs. All In One Units?

    Do you guys like the torch units that screw on the canister or the hose type where the fitting screws on, but the torch head is on the other end of the hose. If there are particular models you like, please indicate what you have!
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    I use the canister mounted head exclusively. After a few years its filter will get plugged from using it inverted, but it is still more convenient than having a hose to drag around. The correct self lighter is no more bulky that an standard torch and a 1,000 times more convenient. Releasing the trigger shuts it off and squeezing it lights it, making it ideal for joints in tight places where you may have to adjust the heat as you make the joint. And you don't have to worry about starting a fire when you set it down.
  6. Small Acetlyene tank with hose

    the absolute best route is the small MC tank
    filled with acetlyne with a turbo torch......

    the reason for me is the need for extra hot heat....

    The mapp gas is ok, but it still is not as fast or hot
    as ac....

    the tank we use is about 16 inches high, has the regualtor
    attached to it and about a 15 foot hose.....

    I like to use a larger turbo troch tip

    its very light , its very handy....
    its hot as hell ......
    and its pretty much trouble free....

  7. roback

    roback Member

    Self Igniter Recommendation?

    Seems like I have gotten some responses re self-igniting units being convenient, and not much bigger than a manual unit. Which self igniting unit is roughly the same size as a standard unit? I do like the idea of the the unit only operating when the trigger is pulled. Seems safer. What I have heard is that these units plug up and become costly, or time consuming to clean out! This is why I have always veered to the manual units. But I am open to feedback, recommendations, etc. etc.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The benefits of a self lighting torch so outweigh the disadvantages that an occasional plug up is not a deterrent to using one. I believe the Bernzomatic self lighter is on the tip. My torch has it in the handle so it is the same size as one without the lighter.
  9. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Wet side of Washington State
    I might as well add my nickels worth. :D

    In most cases it boils down to the user's preference. I have used everything from oxy-acetylene to a pen-sized torch that I refilled from a Ronson butane lighter refill container. I have used propane with and without a hose and I have used propane and MAPP sef-lighting torches. All of them have their place and everyone prefers one over the others for specific jobs.

    Myself, I'm still using the Bernz-o-matic torch kit my daddy gave me for Christmas some thirty-five or forty years ago. Very few jobs where it doesn't work just fine for me.
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Years ago I bought a self igniting turbo torch that runs off a screw on MAPP gas cylinder...

    The tank and hose rigs moved further and further back in the van without being pulled out. Finally one day while cleaning and rearrainging the van I pulled them out and moved them into the garage...

    I guess if I ever need them I just have to go get them!

    BTW my self igniting torch is about 10 years old an I've never had a problem with it!
  11. Garydaplummer

    Garydaplummer Union plumber/pipefitter-self employed

    Mechanicsburg, PA
    My preference

    I used either Prestolite or Turbo Torches with B Tank acetylene almost exclusively for 20+ years. Then I tried a cylinder-mounted self-igniting mapp gas torch a couple years ago and use it almost all the time. So far the self ignitor has not failed me (but I know where to find my flint striker if it does). About the only time I pull out the B Tank now is when I'm doing larger diameter copper work, I still use it on anything over 1".
  12. roback

    roback Member

    Torch Somewhat Off Topic :)

    When I went to replace some pipes over the weekend, I noticed that when I heated up the pipes to solder, the solder seemed to ball up? There was no water in the pipes, as far as i know. It isn't leaking, but I am wondering if it might down the road? Did I use too much flux? Did I not heat it long enough, or at the right spot?? Never had this happen before. It is wierd?
  13. BAPlumber

    BAPlumber Plumber

    Vashon, Washington
    I like my Goss hand held torch for small repairs, but for larger projects I use a Turbo Torch with either a MC tank or a B tank. I use a flint striker for both.

    Attached Files:

  14. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

    Hydroflux welders are the only way to go for a professional finish.
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