A few years back I bought a torch that taught me a lesson. For years I scoffed at the thought that a small MAPP Gas handheld torch was a plumber’s tool. After all, real plumbers use Acetylene “B” & “MC” tanks with a regulator and hose. It’s what I learned to sweat copper pipe joints with. Those handheld rigs are just for homeowners and handyman types. The “B” and “MC” Acetylene tanks have a long history in plumbing. Just to give you and idea of how far back this tradition goes “B” stands for Bus and “MC” stands for Motor Car. The tanks were used to fuel Acetylene Headlights which were used from the 1880’s until electric headlamps were introduced in 1898. By the time 1910 rolled around, pretty much every car had electric headlamps. So as you can tell the affiliation of the “B” & “MC” tanks and plumbing, has been around for a few years.
Handheld Self Igniting MAPP Gas Torch
The day I bought a Handheld Self Igniting MAPP Gas Torch my life changed. I was doing plumbing service work and sweating pipe was a big production. Lugging the tank into the house, uncoiling the hose, turning on the tank, setting the regulator, selecting the right sized tip, sparking the igniter to light the torch, sweating a few joints, then shutting off the torch. Set up a few more joints then relight the torch….
When I bought the Handheld Self Igniting MAPP Gas Torch I didn’t expect that the change would be so drastic. I was changing out a water heater the first time I used it. Not a whole lot of sweating, just 10 or, 12 joints. I set up for the first couple of joints squeezed the trigger to light the torch and sweated them up releasing the trigger when I was done. I then set up the next few and pulled the trigger on them too. After doing the job I marveled at how easy it was. Not having to carry in the bulky tank rig, fumble with valve knobs, and the flint igniter. I used it on the next job installing a tub/shower valve, again it was cake. No flare ups when turning the bottle, even upside down. My “B” and “MC” tanks saw less and less use getting buried further into the back corner of the van where things I didn’t often use land. Finally one day while I was cleaning my van, I pulled them out and parked them in the garage. The transition had been made.
Lenox LT-90 to LT-92 Series Torch
The Lenox LT-90 to LT-92 Series is the little Handheld Self Igniting MAPP Gas Torch that can! With the ultra swirl tip torch the LT-90 & 91 using Map-Pro for fuel can soft solder for 1/8” copper tube up to 3” copper and braze from 1/16” up to 1” in the hands of an experienced user. The LT-92 can soft solder from ¾” up to 4” and braze from ¼” to 1 ¾” copper tube.
Lenox LX-300PS & Lenox LX-400PS Torch Kits
If you are hooked on hoses the Lenox LX-300PS & Lenox LX-400PS can help you kick the heavy tank habit. The 300 comes with a 3/8” torch tip while the 400 comes with a ½” torch tip. The tips are self igniting swirl tips and are interchangeable. The 3/8” tip using Map-Pro fuel will soft solder from ¼” to 1 ½” and braze from ¼ to ½” copper tube. The ½” tip will soft solder from ¼” to 2 ½” and braze from ¼” to 1 ¼” copper tube. The unit is a caddy that holds 2 bottles of fuel, flux, and solder, with a reel built onto it to coil the hose on with a protective holder for the torch.
Have I talked you into kicking the “B” & “MC” Tank habit yet?