How often should welding flashback arrestors and regulators be tested?

Flashback Arrestor

What are flashback arrestors?

Flashback arrestors are gas safety devices used in oxy-fuel welding and cutting to stop a flame from re-entering a gas pipe or gas cylinder, either by cooling or extinguishing the flame.

Put simply, Flashback arrestors are essential to protect users and equipment from damage or, in a worst case scenario, explosions.

Are your flashback arrestors compliant?

Australian Standards AS 4603–1999 Flash back arresters — Safety devices for fuel gases and oxygen or compressed air and AS 4839–2001 The safe use of portable and mobile oxy-fuel gas systems for welding, cutting, heating and allied processes state that all flashback arrestors must be tested by a competent person (or replaced) at least every 12 months, or in the case of a flashback occurring.

If a flashback occurs, testing is vital because flashback arrestors can be damaged by repeated flashbacks, thereby losing effectiveness.

After any flashback incident, flashback arrestors, gas hoses and fittings should be removed, inspected by a competent person and if necessary either discarded or repaired according to the manufacturer’s specifications or the applicable Australian Standard.

Do regulators have an expiry date?

Some authorities advise that oxygen, acetylene and argon gas regulators need to be checked annually, and that they only have a shelf life of five years. Seeking advice from BST’s welding experts is advisable.

Staff should also be trained to report any defects with regulators immediately, eg cracks, hissing noises etc. BST Group has experts on hand to help.

Further information is available in AS 1674 Set-2007 Safety in welding and allied processes.

When buying flashback arrestors and regulators, talk to BST Group’s engineering specialists about choices, uses, maintenance and expiry dates, if any.

Check out BST’s range of Flashback Arrestors. Buy online at BST Group and get free shipping for orders $250+

Mike Hepburn

All editorial matter published on this website represents the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent official views or policies of BST Group and subsidiaries.

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