One of the most important things to understand when welding is the color codes for each chemical/gas.
To stay safe, you will need to understand the colors of the hoses you will be using. If you wonder what color the oxygen hose will be, the answer is the green hose. However, this is not the case in all countries, and the supply tank may have a different color. This is why it is crucial to understand the standards when welding. To help you differentiate between the welding gases, we have put together these guide lines.
What hose colors mean in welding
The hose’s color is of critical importance in welding, and here’s why. Understanding the color of the hose will ensure that you complete the job and stay safe when welding. There are many welding techniques, all requiring different tools to complete the job. Each of these welding techniques involves the use of special gases.
Two of the most used gases in the U.S. are propane and acetylene. Since you will be using these two gases as your fuel source, you must differentiate them from the oxygen supply hose. Like we previously noted, this is why the oxygen supply hose is usually green. The rest of the hoses are typically red.
Another way of differentiating the hoses is by the thread. In most cases, the red hoses feature a left-handed thread, while the green hose features a right-handed thread.
Another gas that is commonly used is inertia. This is generally used for shielding in different welding techniques. The inertia gases are notable as they have a black hose. But it’s important to note your country’s laws, as the colors will depend on the specific rules. But for this article, we are using the U.S. context.
Determining the welding hoses
Most welding hoses are sold in pairs. One of these is for oxygen, while the other is for fuel gases. At times, these may come already attached. The goal here is to ensure that users can easily keep their welding equipment organized. You can achieve that by identifying the type of gas you will be using.
Summary of welding hose colors
- Red: fuel gas
- Black: inert
- Green: oxygen
By understanding how to identify the hose, you can keep yourself and the piece you are working on safe. By physically separating the hoses, you can ensure that the two substances don’tmix. Therefore, you should ensure that the right gas has been connected to the properhose.
You will also need to be careful when working in other countries outside the United States. The color codes depend on the particular jurisdictions. Also, even with a color code, it’snot always certain that the colors will be shown correctly.
Colors of welding tanks
The welding tanks also have a color code, just like the hoses. Unfortunately, just like the hoses, most of these tanks aren’tproperly labeled. Therefore, you need to check the gas tanks and the hoses before you start working. The majority of gas tanks often have a warning printed on them. This warning tells users to avoid assuming that the color is right and to read the label.
There are also a lot of inconsistencies in the gas tank coloring standards. This is one of the reasons why there is a significant variation in the colors. For example, there are times when the oxygen will be in a green tank, but at other times, it will be in a gray tank. Another gas that is commonly confused is acetylene gas. At times, it’s red, while at other times, it’s blue. Make sure you check the print label of the gas you will be using.
Types of welding techniques
There are different types of welding techniques. However, they all follow similar guidelines in labeling as well as determining the shielding gases and fuel. Some of the most popular styles include:
- Gas metal arc welding (MIG). In this technique, an electrode is fed continuously through the welding gun. The electric arc produces heat between the electrode and the metal. This welding method only requires you to have a shielding gas. It’s commonly used for copper, magnesium, carbon steel, and stainless steel.
- Gas tungsten arc welding (TIG). This is also commonly referred to as heliarc welding. In this technique, an electrodeis used to generate heat toward the working material. You will also need an external gas supply. Some of the most used gases are argon and a mixture of helium and argon. This is commonly used for copper, aluminum, magnesium, and nickel.
- Shielded metal arc. This isalso known as a stick and often used as an electrode. The difference between this and the previous two is that no shielding gas is required. This makes it a correct choice for use in different environments such as wind and rain. Its downside is that it has a lot of waste.
There are also two more methods: atomic hydrogen welding and gas tungsten-arc welding. These are used uniquely, and most rely on heavier gases than the ones we discussed here.
On top of wearing the right protective clothing such as gloves, you need to understand the gases required by your welding applications. By doing so, you can understand what to expect from each assigned color. If the color doesn’t match the standards in place, you will need to check the tank’s printed abel and hose. This will help you improve the weld quality and maintain safety.