Why HVAC Technicians are Ditching Oxy-Acetylene

For HVAC technicians, work can be physically demanding. We know you often have to lift heavy equipment, climb ladders and work in cramped spaces, including attics, plant rooms, on roofs, and in crawl spaces under houses. You may also be exposed to hazardous fumes and dust.

Harsh weather conditions can also wreak havoc for plumbers and HVAC technicians. Callouts can occur at any time, requiring you to work evenings, weekends and holidays, and emergencies require you to be ready at a moment’s notice.

HVAC technicians encounter various challenges in their daily work, but fortunately there are now tools and solutions to greatly improve the overall health, productivity and satisfaction at work – particularly when it comes to oxy-acetylene brazing. This process involves using oxygen and acetylene gases to join metals, demanding precision and expertise. Whilst traditional oxy-acetylene kits still remains an essential for the everyday HVAC technician, it presents some issues in various applications.  In this article, we’ll be exploring the Ambro Controls Oxyset Mobile Brazing System, a portable solution to oxy-acetylene brazing.

HVAC technician brazing on a condenser

Why HVAC Technicians are Ditching Oxy-Acetylene

Whilst traditional oxy-acetylene kits remain a popular choice amongst HVAC technicians when it comes to welding and brazing, some technicians are choosing to switch to lightweight alternatives for various applications. This is because traditional oxy-acetylene kits present a few issues – these setups can be difficult to use effectively in hard-to-reach areas and tight spaces. Additionally, the heavy weight of traditional oxy-acetylene kits can make it difficult to transport, especially up ladders and inclined slopes. Technicians are also becoming more aware of physical health and injury that can occur with carrying heavy tools and are thus switching to lightweight alternatives to reduce the risk of back injuries and strain that can come with constant lifting and manual labour.  

In summary, oxy-acetylene setups present a few issues: 

  • Weight and Portability: Oxy-acetylene kits are typically heavier and less portable than lighter alternatives. This can pose challenges with transportation, especially up ladders or elevated spaces.
  • Health & Safety: A heavy set-up can be physically demanding and can increase the risk of back injuries with constant lifting
  • Space Limitations: The bulkiness of traditional oxy-acetylene kits makes them less suitable for confined spaces, restricting technicians’ ability to access certain areas easily.
  • Setup Time: Traditional kits often require more time for setup and dismantling. This extended process can reduce efficiency and productivity, especially during time-sensitive HVAC projects.

Whilst mobile brazing kits can NOT replace all oxy-acetylene applications, many day-to-day brazing jobs can be done just as effectively with their mobile counterpart. 

Lightweight Alternatives to Oxy-Acetylene Brazing

In recent years, lightweight oxy-acetylene alternatives have been introduced in the market – including the Ambro Controls Oxyset Mobile Brazing System. Instead of using oxy-acetylene gas, these kits work with disposable oxygen and Map//Pro cylinders and can be used to weld, braze, solder and heat in various applications.

The Oxyset Mobile Brazing System was also able to address some of the issues traditional brazing setups faced – It could be easily deployed on roofs, up ladders and in tight spaces. It could also be carried from work vehicle to site and back again and, at around a third the size of traditional oxyacetylene setups, provided incredible convenience for solo operators.

Ambro Controls Oxyset: A Portable Solution

The Ambro Controls Oxyset is a lightweight, portable welding & brazing system for use with disposable gas cylinders.  Complete with an easy-carry cylinder stand, the Oxyset is ideal for highly-mobile tradespeople or for working in hard-to-reach areas.
Whilst oxy-acetylene remains a HVAC tech essential, the Oxyset Mobile Brazing System presents a variety of benefits:

  • Compact Size for Travel – At 2/3 the size of a traditional oxy-acetylene kit, the Oxyset will take up less room in your work truck
  • Suitable for Tight and Confined Spaces – The Oxyset’s compact configuration makes it ideal for working in tight or hard-to-reach areas.
  • Safety – Portable brazing units such as the Oxyset include safety features that reduce the risk of accidents, such as flashback arresters and regulators. The Oxyset kit also uses Map//Pro gas for brazing, which as a more stable gas alternative to acetylene.
  • Weight and Portability – At just 13 pounds, the Oxyset is just a third the weight of a traditional oxy-acetylene kit. This makes it easier to transport between sites, especially up ladders and elevated spaces.  
  • Reduced Setup & Transport Time – Carrying and deploying a portable oxy-acetylene brazing solution means not having to go between the work truck and the job site as frequently. There’s no need to set up and break down stationery equipment either.
  • Prevent Physical Strain & Injury – Technicians and tradesmen are at greater risk than their corporate counterparts when it comes to back injuries and strain. The Oxyset provides a lightweight and easy-to-carry solution that reduces the strain of heavy lifting and manual labour.

In summary, the Ambro Controls Oxyset Mobile Brazing System is a great kit to own and can be used for brazing in hard-to-reach areas. Due to it’s high-portability, it’s incredibly convenient and lightweight for on-the-go.
Learn more about the Oxyset Mobile Brazing System here.

The Oxyset Mobile Brazing Kit weights 13.5lbs, approximately a third the weight of its competitor
The Oxyset Mobile Brazing Kit weights 13.5lbs and 17″ tall


Where to Buy the Ambro Controls Oxyset

The Ambro Controls Oxyset Mobile Brazing System is now available at HVAC supply retailers across the United States including United Refrigeration, RE Michel and Johnstone Supply. Not all branch locations have the Oxyset at all times. We recommend searching for your local retailer here and calling ahead to check availability or to ask them to bring products in for you.