Many jewelers think that by having a check valve on their torches

they are protected from a torch flashback but this is not true.


Check valves are only designed to prevent high-pressure oxygen

from flowing into the natural gas pipe.


When a torch flashback happens there is a 5,000 degree flame inside

the hose and pipe and it will melt right through a check valve.

This allows the flame to reach all the way to the gas meter,

which explodes.


A flashback arrestor will extinguish this flame, as well as prevent

oxygen from getting into the gas pipe, and protect the gas meter.


This why the Fire Code specifically requires a “combination

flashback arrestor check valve”, a device which performs both functions.

FDNY letter to Diamond District jewelers about new fire code Gas booster can be installed right next to jeweler benches

Click here to learn more about what NYC Jewelers must do to comply with the New York City Fire Code and Fire Department Rules

Diamond district jewelry manufacturer

Click here to learn more about G-TEC Torch Boosters for NYC Jewelers

New regulations in New York City require jewelers to do 2 things -  


          natural gas, and


         and not more than 15 psi



This is what the Fire Code says:

(To read the Fire Code go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/home2.shtml then at the menu on the left

click on Fire Code. The section excerpted below begins on page 337.)


SECTION FC 2609: Piping Manifolds And Hose Systems For Fuel Gases And Oxygen


2609.1 General - The use of piping manifolds, protective equipment and hose systems

in oxygen-fuel gas systems, including natural gas supplied from a utility for use in

an oxygen-fuel gas system, shall be designed in accordance with Section FC 2609,

Chapter 30 and NFPA 51.

2609.8 Piped Natural Gas Precautions - When piped natural gas is used with oxygen in any hot work operation a listed protective device that serves as a combination flashback arrestor and backflow check valve shall be provided at an approved location on both the natural gas and oxygen supply lines to ensure safe operation of all devices, equipment and systems, including the utility gas meter. Where the pressure of the piped natural gas supply is insufficient to ensure such safe operation, approved equipment shall be provided between the gas meter and the fuel consuming appliance that increases pressure to the level required for such safe operation. Not withstanding and section of this code to the contrary, such flashback arrestors and check valves, and pressure increasing equipment, shall be installed as components of both new and existing installations.


Fire Department Rules, which accompany the Fire Code go on to say:

(To read the entire document go to http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/html/home2.shtml then at the menu on the left click on “FDNY Rules”. The section excerpted below begins on page 329.)

Section 2609-01 Piped Natural Gas and Oxygen Consuming Devices and Installations

(a)Scope. This section sets forth standards, requirements and procedures for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of devices and installations utilizing piped natural gas and oxygen, including torches used in the manufacture of jewelry. This section shall apply to both new and existing devices and installations.

(e) Design and Installation Requirements

(3) Pressure booster. When the natural gas supply pressure is less than five (5) psig a pressure booster shall be provided to increase pressure to at least five (5) psig, but not more than 15 psig.

(4) Flashback arrester and check valve. A UL listed combination flashback arrestor and backflow check valve shall be installed:

(A)On the oxygen supply line, between the final oxygen supply pressure regulator and each fuel          consuming device

(B)On the natural gas supply line, between the final natural gas supply pressure regulator and the    fuel consuming devices.

(f) Operational Requirements

(1) Natural gas supply pressure. Natural gas pressure supplied to a device shall not exceed 15 psig, and the oxygen supply pressure to a device shall not exceed the natural gas supply pressure.

Questions? - Call the Fire Department at 718-999-1510

Check valve Combination flashback arrestor check valve

Check valves only prevent

oxygen from flowing into the natural gas pipeline

Flashback arrestor check valves

extinguish the 5,000 degree

flame  from a flashback and

stop oxygen from flowing into the

natural gas pipe.

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Exploded gas meter from a NYC Diamond District jeweler

Torch flashbacks happen when the tip of a jeweler’s torch is blocked. Because oxygen pressure is so much higher than natural gas pressure (natural gas

pressure is ¼ psi and some jewelers set oxygen pressure as high as 70 psi),

when the tip is blocked oxygen will flow into the city gas pipe.


If a spark gets into the tip as it is blocked you have all the elements for fire, fuel, heat and oxygen, inside the torch. A 5,000 degree flame burns through the hose and the pipe all the way to the gas meter, which explodes.


What does a gas meter explosion look like?

Working with a NYC gas utility and independent testing laboratory, several models of gas meters were subjected to torch flashbacks. Click on the YouTube link below to see what happens when a torch flashback reaches the gas meter.

Torch flashback can cause the gas meter to explode

When a torch flashback reaches

the gas meter it can explode violently

and pieces of the casing will fly

across the room, injuring anyone

working nearby

Casting torch with torch mount flashback arrestor check valves

Flashback arrestor check valves come in pairs; the piece with the red stripe goes on the natural gas pipe and the piece with the green stripe goes on the oxygen pipe.


There are two kinds of flashback arrestor check valves, “torch-mount” and “regulator-mount” and the difference is the direction the gas flows through them.


“Torch-mount” flashback arrestor check valves are designed to connect right onto the handle of a large casting or melting torch, as in the photo. If your torch has fittings that allow the flashback arrestor check valve to be screwed right on, then “torch-mount” flashback arrestor check valves are the right choice.

Hoke torch with flashback arrestor check valves installed on gas and oxygen pipes

“Regulator-mount” flashback arrestor check valves

will be the right choice for most bench jewelry

torches used in soldering and brazing.


In spite of being called “regulator-mount” these flashback

arrestor check valves actually connect to the black pipe under

the work bench, then the red and green hoses screw onto the

flashback arrestor check valves.


This allows the jeweler to use the torch with maximum flexibility

for fine, detailed work and keep the flashback arrestor check

valves out of the way.

Torch-mount flashback arrestor check valves screw onto the torch handle itself then the red and green hose screw onto the flashback arrestor check valves.

Regulator-mount flashback arrestor check valves are connected to the black natural gas and oxygen pipes at each bench.

On September 1, 2008 the Fire Department sent notices to NYC jewelers to tell them about the Fire Code.


Click here to see a copy of that notice.

Learn about

G-TEC Torch Boosters

for everyshop

Torch Boosters are

Easy To Install

in your shop

Torch Boosters are

Approved

across the US and Canada

Please

Contact G-TEC

with questions

You can

Buy A Torch Booster

from a Distributor or G-TEC

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If you have a question about the NYC Fire Code click here to send an e-mail to G-TEC Natural Gas Systems.


FDNY Rule 2609 notice

On March 16, 2009 the Fire Department sent a notice to NYC jewelers to explain Rule 2609-01, which requires piped natural gas pressure to at least 5 psi but not more than 15 psi.


Click here to see a copy of that notice.

Click here to download a copy of the complete text of Rule 2609-01.


If you have questions about the new Fire Code or Rule 2609-01 call the Fire Department at

718-999-1510

#Learnmore COA 5120 All Pages.pdf

Some jewelers will find that after the flashback arrestor check valve is

installed their torches will not light at all, or the flame will be very weak.


This happens because utility natural gas pressure in New York City is very low and

the flashback arrestor check valve actually blocks gas flow.


If this happens the Fire Code says:


Where the pressure of the piped natural gas

supply is insufficient to ensure such safe

operation, approved equipment shall be

Provided between the gas meter and the fuel

consuming appliance that increases pressure

to the level required for such safe operation.


G-TEC Natural Gas Torch Boosters are Approved by the Fire Department and will elevate

utility natural gas pressure enough so that the flashback arrestor check valve protects

the gas meter and the jeweler has a hot, robust flame at the torch. Click on the

document at the right to read Certificate of Approval # 5120 for TB-15 and TB-30

Torch Boosters. Other Torch Booster models require a Site-Specific Certificate of Approval.

Click here for information about larger Torch Booster systems.