Oxygen Safety Tip – No Oil and Grease

Some of the scariest practices that occur in the field surround brazing practices and tank and regulator handling. A few obvious tips are:

  1. Store tanks completely secure and upright with nothing nearby that can easily open or damage the tank valve.
  2. NEVER store tanks in a torch kit with it off only at the torch handle. Always turn off the main valves and purge out the gas and oxygen when done.
  3. Remove regulators from tanks when not in use.

And now to the point of this article that you may not be aware of:

Do not use oil or grease anywhere on oxygen regulators unless it is a product specifically designed for that use.

Many techs incorrectly believe that an open flame is required for combustion, which is simply not true. If you have ever seen or heard of a fire starting in a pile or barrel of greasy rags, you know that heat can build when fuel sources oxidize until the temperature increases to the combustion point. Pressurized oxygen can cause “adiabatic” combustion when a fuel source is present and can be a very real risk.

So, keep your regulator threads and adjustment screw nice and clean, and don't put grease or oil on them unless you know 100% the product you are using is for that purpose.

Stay safe out there, and treat all pressurized gas containers like you would a loaded gun—with great caution and attentiveness.

—Bryan

Check out our handy calculators HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Tech Tips

Impacts of Decreasing Evaporator Airflow
Airflow, airflow, airflow… When we set up and commission comfort cooling and heating systems, we need to pay more attention to airflow before worrying about the fancy controls or the refrigerant circuit. So, as a thought exercise, let's consider a typical 2-ton, straight cool, TXV residential system and think through what happens when we alter […]
Read more
Sensors, Measurements, and Physics
As HVAC/R Technicians, we use tools and instruments to take measurements every day. In fact, 90% of our job could not be done efficiently without some kind of measurement.  “How do we measure?” “With what instruments?” “How accurate are these measurements?” These are all questions a thoughtful technician should ask before spending money on a […]
Read more
Underlying Problems That Get Missed
Today, I ran a service call with another tech where the previous tech had diagnosed an intermittent piston restriction. I read the history beforehand. For the past several years, there were many assorted comfort complaints and a lot of minor charge adjustments in both the summer and winter. It is worth noting here that the […]
Read more
loading

To continue you need to agree to our terms.

The HVAC School site, podcast and daily tech tips
Made possible by Generous support from