Regulator "accident"

I was using pure argon with MIG tonight on steel (yes, I know it has poor penatration). I had already welded for about an hour earlier, disconnected the regulator from the cylinder and put the cylinder cap back on. Came back later to finish the project, and screwed the regulator in, tightened with a crescent wrench. The regulator was not adjusted from 10 cuf/hr. Cracked the cylinder valve, and saw the flow rate rise on the gauge. Kept rising and rising. As soon as I realized this, I turned off the cylinder valve as fast as I could. The flow gauge continued rising, until the limit of the gauge. A few seconds later, and BANG. Nearly fell over. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but the flow gauge needle was stuck at about 50 cuf/hr afterwards, even with the low and high sides disconnected, tank gauge read zero. I believe the regulator failed, causing the hose to burst although I cannot see any hose damage. The regulator was Linde brand, the type included with the Lincoln electric flux cored to MIG conversion kit (solenoid, regulator, hose), cost about $100 for the kit. Any idea what caused the regulator to fail? Any idea what I should do next? Send it back to Lincoln? Linde? Thanks.

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Jeremy Samuels
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Jeremy, Take it where you bought it. You got a bad regulator for sure. If you had to put it together and you used Teflon tape to secure the nipple crept in or I'd bet that a ruptured diaphragm took it out. Linde is a good regulator. If it's new the shop or Linde themselves will repair or replace it as long as it's not from user damage. Bummer, sorry to hear about that. At least it was not acetylene.

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I would think you got some crumbs in the regulator when it was off the tank. Why did you take it off the tank? Leave it on the tank, you can't keep crumbs out any better than leaving it on the tank.


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I had a flow gauge fail on my MM135 a few weeks ago. Popped the hose to the solenoid. I cleaned the seat of the reg, put a new ferrule on the hose before the tear and it seemed fine. The next day, the reg/flow was messed-up again. I put a new one on it but couldn't get any good welds. What happened was the internal hose from the solenoid to the gun had popped off before the outside hose blew. I just had to press the clear hose back on to the solenoid and all was well.

Chances are you had crud in the argon tank nozzle that clogged the flow gauge. Just get a 'real' lowcost flow meter and fix the hose ot if brand new take the retro kit back for replacement.

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