Arizona HydroGen Manufacturing, Inc.

Troubleshooting
Written by Arizona Hydrogen Manufacturing
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Turn the generator off and let it sit a minimum of 2 hours before attempting any trouble shooting or repairs. The generator needs to be purged of all gas before you begin. Hydrogen/Oxygen gas can ignite easily, even from static electricity.

Overfilling Gas Generator:

If the gas generator should accidently be overfilled with distilled water, it is best to remove the filler cap and allow the gas generator to run until the excess water has been consumed. By removing the filler cap, the gas will be able to properly expand and vent directly to the atmosphere. Extraordinary care should be taken to prevent any tipping of the machine, and it should not be left unattended. The gas generator may have to be turned off intermittently during this procedure to cool off.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should excess liquid ever be removed or siphoned from the gas generator tank. This would upset the chemical balance of the electrolyte contained within the tank.

Burning Up Tips:

Torch tips will burn when gas velocity through the torch tip orifice falls below flame velocity of the burning flame, thus permitting the flame to burn backward into the tip to melt it.

If a manifold torch system is in use, removal of the tip from any one torch will cause pressure loss in the entire system - possibly resulting in burned tips because of the gas velocity loss which attends a pressure loss.

If the booster runs low on fuel and straight oxy/hydrogen gas goes through the tips, pressure (and gas velocity) must be nearly double in order to prevent burn back because of the very fast flame velocity of the pure oxy/hydrogen flame.

The torch tips are stainless steel tubes attached to nickel placed adaptor hubs which fit onto torch handpieces. There is no significant difference in quality from tip to tip - the difference in tip life is a function of operator care. When tips are immersed in molten metal or other material, this changes the tip orfice characteristics enough to cause them to burn under otherwise normal operating conditions.

Plugging Up Tips:

Torch tips should be extinguished, removed and cleaned frequently by running a cleaning wire through them. When flame geometry changes, the torch tip should be cleaned - for tips number 23 and smaller, cleaning may be required fairly often. A method sometimes used to keep torch tips running clean longer is as follows:

In the morning before start up, a tightly packed wad of clean surgical cotton the size of a navy bean I pushed 1/2" deep into the torch hose at the end where the torch hose connects to the torch hand piece. The torch hose is then connected to the torch hand piece and the torch is run all day with the cotton in the hose. Each succeeding morning, the cotton from the previous day is removed with tweezers and discarded and a new cotton wad of the same size is inserted into the torch hose in the same manner as on the previous day. The cotton wads act as final gas filters for the torch tip, and in some applications, do a very effective job of minimizing torch tip plugging.

Squirting Booster Fuel:

The booster can be connected in series between the gas generator and the torch in ONLY one way and that is with the bent (angled upwardly) booster tube connected to the gas generator and the straight (horizontal) booster tube connected to the torch. If the connections are reversed, booster fuel can be squirted out through the torch tip in pure liquid form when the gas generator is turned on. This is extremely dangerous because booster fuel is volatile and flammable.

Booster fuel can also squirt from the torch when the booster is overfilled with fuel. It should never be more than 1/2 full which is sufficient for a full 8 hour run. DO NOT overfill the booster.

The booster must always be standing vertically upright on a horizontal surface. If it is severely tilted, this can cause booster fuel to run into the gas outlet hose and squirt out the torch during operation.

Line Voltage:

Where commercial line voltage exceeds that for which the gas generator is rated, the gas generator may severely overheat. Under such circumstances, protection from this condition must be provided by the user.

Electrical:

In a few isolated instances, instruments have sustained burned out transformers or diodes. This can be caused by a power line transient which surges past the circuit breaker (without actuating it) with a very high, short duration voltage spike. To check for a burned out transformer, check its open circuit secondary AC voltage, which should be between 5.0 and 7.5 volts at rated maximum voltage across the primary. The diodes can be checked by removing them from the circuit and checking the forward and reverse resistances with an ohm meter.

Other electrical problems can result from shorts", such as between:

  1. The hold down studs and the generator headplate.

  2. The generator tank headplate and the chassis or chassis cover or back cover.

  3. A transformer secondary lead or choke lead and any surrounding structure.

  4. Crossed hook-up wires.

  5. Fan bracket or fasteners touching the headplate.

Corroded or oxidized electrical connections, particularly in the circuitry to the transformer secondary winding, can restrict current flow to the generator tank and result in overheating of the gas generator and reduced gas production. Connections which should be particularly checked and kept clean are:

  1. Heatsink to tank headplate.

  2. Diodes to transformer.

Loss of Pressure:

WARNING - If the electricity to any gas generator instrument with a proper water level and at an ambient temperature of 50 degrees F. or greater is turned on at maximum output and the instrument fails to produce gas flow at the torch tip within two (2) minutes, there could be:

  1. A plugged gas line which is blocking gas flow; or

  2. A bad gas leak in a tube, seal or connection, which is bleeding off the combustible oxy/hydrogen mixture before it reaches the tip.

EITHER OF THESE CONDITIONS IS SERIOUS AND MUST BE CORRECTED AT ONCE BEFORE TRYING TO OPERATE THE GENERATOR ANY FURTHER.

Orange Flame:

An orange flame develops generally from one or more of five causes:

  1. Insufficient gas pressure at the torch tip permitting flame to burn backwardly into torch tip and burn up tip. Causes are: gas leaks, plugged gas line, dirty filter element, low water level in gas generator tank, deformed torch tip, too large torch tip being used for machine capacity, corroded electrical connections, or electrical failure.

  2. Booster low on fuel or out of fuel.

  3. Dust particles in air which contain sodium are being burned up int he flame.

  4. Torch tip dirty.

  5. Gas generator is overheated and delivering water vapor through torch tip.

Spitting/Overheating:

Spitting of liquid from a torch tip during operation is often, but not always, associated with overheating of the gas generator. Possible causes of such overheating are:

  1. Gas generator tank overfilled with distilled water.

  2. Too high line voltage.

  3. Contaminated electrolyte.

  4. Corroded electrical connections inside gas generator chassis.

  5. High resistance short circuit inside gas generator chassis.

  6. Operating environment too hot.

  7. Fan failure.

  8. Gas generator excessively dirty.

  9. Overfilled booster fluid cannister.

  10. Booster canister hooked up backwards.

 

Problem: Tripping circuit breaker.

Cause: Short between fan and headplate. Short between headplate and top cover or rear cover. Shorted power transformer. Shorted control circuit wiring. Shorted diode.

Problem: Torch hard to light.

Cause: Contaminated booster fluid. Condensate liquid has formed in hose. Torch tip is partially plugged. Excessive pressure at torch tip. Contaminated electrolyte.

Problem: Flame has shrunk in size

Cause: Gas generator low on water. Booster low on booster fuel. Contaminated booster fuel. Gas leak in system. Filler cap gasket and seals leaking. Booster cap gasket worn or not seating properly. Filter cap seal worn or not properly sealed. Loose torch tip. Cracked or broken rubber torch hose. Leaky plumbing inside generator. Damaged pressure gauge. Faulty tank seal. Electrolyte dissipated inside tank. Gas generator too cold.

Problem: Flame size excessively increased.

Cause: Line Voltage too high. Overfill gas generator.

Problem: Feathery flame with insufficient heat.

Cause: Contaminants (oil, alcohol, tap water) have been introduced into gas generator. Contaminants have been introduced into the booster. Booster fluid in the lines.

Problem: Pushbutton switch does not light.

Cause: Circuit breaker has tripped on gas generator. Line circuit breaker has tripped. Indicator light in pushbutton switch has burned out. Electrical short in circuitry.

Problem: Generator seems to be overheating. (Tank temperature over 160 degrees F)

Cause: Fan burned out. Ambient temperature too high. Line voltage too high. Water level in generator is excessive. Contaminants have been introduced into generator tank.

Problem: Burning Torch Tips.

Cause: Too large torch tips being used. Too many torch tips manifolded on same generator. Gas production too love.

Problem: Flame backfires into hose.

Cause: Gas production is too low for demand. Torch handpiece or benchpiece is without a torch tip. Taper lock on torch handpiece is damaged.

Problem: Orange flame.

Cause: Too low gas pressure. Low voltage on power line. Low water level. Contaminated generator tank. Plugged filter assembly. Low booster fluid level. Dirty torch tip. Heavy dust conditions. Booster fluid in the lines.