America is the leading supplier of helium gas, which is used in scuba diving, medical facilities, and in welding equipment. Our country also leads in natural gas and LPG production and use. Cylinders that carry all these gases can cause problems such as asphyxiation and fires. This is the reason why all cylinders have gas regulators for safety purposes.
Gas regulators are mechanical devices used to control the release of both flammable and nonflammable gas from the cylinders. The regulator slows down the compressed gas as it rushes out of the cylinder. It releases it in a steady and controlled stream that is usable on different gas appliances. Regulators increase safety and reduce wastefulness in compressed gas usage.
Gas cylinders for flammable and nonflammable gas come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. There are no one-size-fits-all regulator types. Regulators are not always compatible between varying brands, either. But you can buy an adapter from your gas and gear supplier that will allow you to mix and match the regulators to different cylinders.
Read on to get a glimpse of the five common gas regulators used on both flammable and nonflammable gas cylinders.
1. Clip-On Gas Regulator
The clip-on gas regulator is a device that is fitted on the top of your cylinder's valve and locked into place by a downward push. The device is connected to your gas appliance via a hose that is pushed over the barb or spigot. Most of these regulators have a double-locking lever. This lever closes the valve inside the regulator as well as the valve of the cylinder. The double-locking mechanism improves security, especially for flammable gas cylinders.
2. Bull-Nose Gas Regulator
A bull-nose gas regulator is a gas pressure regulating device with a screw-on fitting known as the POL connector. The name originates from the Prest O-Lite Company that designed this fixture. You should turn the connector in a counterclockwise manner to tighten it because it has left-hand threading. The bull-nose regulator is a low-pressure regulator only used on propane cylinders to release propane gas at a preset pressure.
3. Bolt-On Gas Regulators
Bolt-on regulators are screw-in low-pressure devices used on 4.5 kg Calor butane gas tanks with a squat shape. The regulator has a connecting nut with a female connection with left-hand connecting threads. As such, you should connect the regulator to the gas valve through a counterclockwise turn on the nut. You may also need a spanner to make a tight connection that will not leak.
4. Campingaz Regulators
Campingaz regulators and their related cylinders are an invention whose roots can be traced back to France. These low-pressure regulators are often used by campers to power outdoor appliances such as heaters and outdoor grills. You can connect the regulator by screwing it in, and use the control knob to turn the gas supply on. These regulators fit all refillable Campingaz gas cylinders.
5. Changeover gas regulators
Changeover gas regulators are often connected to the sidewall of the gas locker. These regulators are used in circumstances where many cylinders are used together. The regulators attached to the bulkhead can control two to four cylinders in one go. This connection is common in boats, holiday homes and caravans. The changeover regulator can make an automatic switch from one cylinder to the reserve cylinder. The switch-over happens if the cylinder that you're using gets empty.
This device ensures that you have a continuous flow of gas even when one cylinder becomes empty. Changeover regulators are of two types. The automatic changeover regulators can switch between cylinders when one cylinder becomes empty. The manual changeover regulator requires a manual change of the lever, and you have to do the change when one cylinder get empty.
Buy the Right Regulator
Whether you are buying flammable gas for your welding supplies or nonflammable gas, the type of cylinder that you use will be the major determinant of the kind of gas regulator that you'll buy. As such, always consult your gas retailer to learn about the kind of gas regulator that will fit the type of cylinder that you buy to avoid inconveniences when you'll be connecting your cylinder to your appliances.