Carbon deposits and metal slag prevent your cutting torch from lighting properly and cause erratic flame. The deposits and slag cause an improper mixture of gas and oxygen, resulting in poor performance. Another indication of a clogged tip is the presence of popping sounds. Cleaning your torch tips regularly helps to prevent deposits from building up. Torch tip cleaning kits are available at home improvement centers and contain several size rods to remove buildup from inside the torch tip.
Things You'll Need
Stiff wire brush
Slip joint pliers
Tip cleaning rod
Turn off the acetylene and oxygen valves on the cutting torch. Rotate the valves on each of the tanks clockwise to shut off the supply to the torch.
Open the torch handle oxygen valve slowly to release any excess oxygen in the hose. Once the gauge on the tank reads zero, turn off the torch handle oxygen valve and turn the T-handle on the gauge counterclockwise until it spins freely. Repeat for the acetylene side of the torch.
Brush the top of the torch tip with a stiff wire brush. This removes metal slag and deposits from around the end of the torch tip.
Hold the torch handle in one hand and turn the tip counterclockwise with your free hand. If necessary, grab the side of the tip with a pair of slip joint pliers and turn it counterclockwise to remove the tip from the cutting torch.
Insert the appropriate size tip cleaning rod into each individual hole in the end of the tip. Tip cleaning kits come with a variety of rods to fit most tips. Push the rod through the hole and twist the rod when pulling back through the hole. Repeat the push and pull process several times in each hole.
Brush the threads on the cutting torch handle where the tip attaches with the wire brush. Thread the tip back onto the end of the cutting torch handle until it is hand tight. Turn the tip another half turn with the slip joint pliers.