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.

Related Tech Tips

No, It's NOT a Ground!
I was walking around at the AHR conference today, and I stopped at the booth of a popular hard start kit manufacturer (especially popular with white-shirt sales techs). I listened to the guy behind the booth “training” some municipal maintenance techs on the use of his hard start kit. (To be fair, I actually think […]
Read more
Receiver Basics
The receiver is also often called a “liquid receiver,” and you will see it on everything from small self-contained refrigeration units to very large commercial and industrial systems. Many new techs who are used to residential air conditioning confuse receivers with accumulators. While an accumulator is located in the suction line before the compressor and […]
Read more
Defrost Termination & Fail-Safe
As an A/C tech, I can sometimes get the terms “defrost termination” and “defrost fail-safe” mixed up because they sound pretty similar. Before we cover these terms, let's set the basic defrost groundwork for refrigeration (coolers and freezers). Defrost is accomplished in one of a few ways; these first two only apply to “coolers” where […]
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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

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