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  • Mig Regulator Freezing?

    Hello,

    I was welding this morning and the flowmeter for my MIG froze up. The flowmeter is a Victor V-0158 and I was running at ~20CFH. It was 20 degrees fahrenheit out, could the cold temperature cause the problems? The flowmeter frosted all over and began leaking I believe on the low pressure side. The tank is an 80CF C25 and the seal between the tank and the flowmeter was good. The tank was opened for ~50 minutes.

    Do I just need to have the heat on when I'm welding? Usually it is on but this was only a quick project and it didn't make sense to turn the heat on.

    Any ideas guys?

    Thanks,

    Erik
    Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
    S22A Wirefeed
    HF251D1 High Frequency Box
    Coolmate 3
    Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


    Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
    LN-7 Wirefeed

  • #2
    You guessed it too cold for the liquid to sublimate properly. Wrap a heating pad around the regulator and your problem solved.

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    • #3
      Thanks,

      I'll go out later this afternoon and try again, I don't have a heating pad but I do have some electric IR heaters, should they work?

      Thanks Again,

      Erik
      Miller Shopmaster 300 CC/CV AC/DC
      S22A Wirefeed
      HF251D1 High Frequency Box
      Coolmate 3
      Miller Spectrum 625 Xtreme


      Lincoln Idealarc 250 DC CC/CV
      LN-7 Wirefeed

      Comment


      • #4
        I've seen and used heaters that go between the bottle and the flowmeter . We used them running Co2 with fluxcore wire .
        Dynasty 200DX "Blue Lightning"
        Bernard 3500ss water-cooler
        Rockwell vertical mill
        Beverly Shear B-3
        Beverly Shear JR
        Home-made English wheel
        Milwaukee Porta-band
        " Sawz-all
        Tennsmith 36" stomp shear
        Fixer upper 1968 Redface Lincoln sa200
        Powcon 300st

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        • #5
          Flow meter ??

          Originally posted by Zebu Fellenz View Post
          Hello,

          I was welding this morning and the flowmeter for my MIG froze up. The flowmeter is a Victor V-0158 and I was running at ~20CFH. It was 20 degrees fahrenheit out, could the cold temperature cause the problems? The flowmeter frosted all over and began leaking I believe on the low pressure side. The tank is an 80CF C25 and the seal between the tank and the flowmeter was good. The tank was opened for ~50 minutes.

          Do I just need to have the heat on when I'm welding? Usually it is on but this was only a quick project and it didn't make sense to turn the heat on.

          Any ideas guys?

          Thanks,

          Erik
          Eric, Hi; I've NEVER had a C-25 flow meter freeze , & I'm from Canada ??
          Co2, YES it has that Problem at times, not C-25 & I work in -25C here
          in Canada !!..... Norm :
          Maybe the meter needs checking out ?? Good Luck !
          www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Anyone heard of argon freezing a reg? I know it can happen with CO2 as Norm mentioned, but today, working in about -10*C and running 24 CFH in Argon through the spoolgun and seemed to be experiencing some gas coverage issues on my aluminum pieces like the reg was freezing up. I'm thinking maybe the pieces were too cold and it was acting like a gas coverage issue because I've never heard of Argon freezing a reg, but I'm not sure to be honest what was going on.
            hre

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            • #7
              I have had all my gas flow/regulators freeze at one point or another. Well maybe not freeze but at lease have issues due to cold. Regulation of gas pressure in cold is an issue, same issue as with auto tires needing pressure added or subtracted (to maintain a set relative pressure)

              Comment


              • #8
                Freezing Regulator

                Yes they will freeze up and enough to break them also. Hang a light close by to give off a bit of heat helps. Be sure not to get it so close that it causes melting of the regulator.

                Byron

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks guys, I'll put a light on it.
                  hre

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am not in the regulator business but have had my share of problems. The factors that add up to a frozen heater from what I can tell are; pressure, dew point of the gas, ambient dew point, ambient air temp. and flow rate.

                    As gas expands it gets cooler that is why your air ratchets get cold in your hand.
                    For ambient dew point, you'll see condensation on the regulator and then ice form. Most of the time I haven't had an issue with that unless I suspect the dew point of the gas being to high. What I mean is that the gas inside has to much moisture. Typical dew points in the U.S. are in the -70 degree F range. Meaning that it has to get that low before the moisture will start to separate from the gas.

                    When I was in China setting up welding cells this year I found that ALL of their CO2 regulators were heated in order to keep the gas temperature high enough so that it wouldn't separate and start freezing. Sounds like a good idea until you find out that their gas dew point is -4 degrees F or -20 degrees C. That isn't very low.

                    Something else just hit me as well. If there is any contamination at all in the system it will become a nucleation site where the ice crystals will start to form. Depending on the contamination it could change the situation in the gas line or regulator and change the dew point reaction.


                    Good luck

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                    • #11
                      Good link! I've never had it happen, but on the other hand as a hobby welder, I usually don't do too much when it's cold except with the o/a.
                      sigpic

                      Miller 140 w A/S
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                      • #12
                        That's some interesting points, it's got me wondering about the dew point of the gas up here. I know I live in a very humid area, so it wouldn't surprise me if a bit of moisture makes it in here and there.
                        hre

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                        • #13
                          High pressure going to low pressure creates a cooling effect. It is not the dew point of the gas you use but rather the dew point of the air surrounding the regulator that causes sweat to form on the outside of the regulator due to this cooling effect. Keep going and the sweat turns to ice under the right atmospheric conditions. Thus a frozen regulator. Usually not a problem with the floating ball type that I have noticed, but with rubber diaphragm types, the atmosphere side of the rubber frosts up enough to give ya problems.
                          I accidentally dropped our rubber diaphragm regulator one on the floor and kicked it out the door. No probs since.

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                          • #14
                            Frosty REGS :

                            Steve, Hi; No Problems because it's in the trash can or is working better now ??......... Norm :
                            www.normsmobilewelding.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              In da trash. Will only replace with the ball indicator type.

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