Skip to main content

Helium Valves and Balloon Inflators: Use, Care and Safety

The words valve and inflator are often used interchangeably, but they are two separate (though complementary) components of balloon inflation. The valve is permanently attached to the cylinder while the inflator simply attaches to the valve to allow for inflation.

It's important to know how to safely attach and remove the inflator. However, there are other guidelines to abide by when handling helium cylinder valves and inflators - both for general safety and for promoting inflator longevity.

Using the Balloon Inflator

To start, remove the cylinder cap from the cylinder and secure the inflator to the valve. In the past, wrenches were required for this step, but this is now rarely the case. Check the packaging on your specific inflator to be sure, but most inflators will specifically state "hand-tighten only" on the package.

The next step is opening the valve. Turn the handle in a counter-clockwise motion to open the valve. You'll hear and/or feel a click, which lets you know the valve is open. NOTE: The top of the handle indicates which directions open and close the valve.

If you simply tilt or bend the rubber tip of your inflator, helium will be released from the cylinder. If you are using a foil balloon inflator, then helium will be released when you push the foil balloon nozzle down.

Once you are done inflating balloons, close the valve and release the pressure from the inflator by tilting the rubber tip once more. Remove the inflator and secure the cylinder valve with its cap.

To see this all in action, watch our video below. It will outline the same steps to attach and remove an inflator as well as provide tips for proper care in between uses.


Care

Your balloon inflator may or may not look exactly like the one shown in the video, but the same principles apply. Be aware that inflators are typically damaged and deemed unusable as a result of falling. Handle them with care and store them in a safe space such as a drawer.

If your inflator has stopped working, let us know. We may be able to repair it for you.

Let us know if you're unsure about any handling provisions mentioned. And remember to always take great care when dealing with helium valves and balloon inflators.



For additional information on the products featured in our video, visit our accessories page. There, you'll find inflators, cylinder caps and cylinder stands.

Related Reading: Understanding Your Balloon Inflator with Gauge




Written by: Miriam E. Medellin

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The HX Loyalty Program

Are you someone who throws parties often? Do you often have get-togethers and gatherings at your home on weekends? Do you love decorating and find yourself being asked by others to help decorate their events as well? If so, then you'll love this!

Chances are you have a lot of fun, but you might also be spending more than you need to on balloon decorations. Disposable Balloon Time kits are popular at several retail outlets due to their portability. We think they're great for small, infrequent events and you can learn more about them here. However, if you find yourself hosting or decorating for several events throughout the year, it may be beneficial to purchase your own small cylinder.

The HX Loyalty Program How does it work? Well, in a nut shell, you buy a small cylinder from us and we'll continue to refill it at a reduced cost. If you were to bring us an outside-sourced small helium cylinder, we could fill it for $50. However, if you purchase one of our small cylinders, w…

Inflated Balloons

If you've looked at our information chart on helium rentals and come to the realization that you simply don't need to inflate that many balloons, then you may want to purchase them inflated. We do not deliver inflated balloons, but we can sell them to you assuming you have a vehicle that will accommodate your desired amount. Likewise, we can also inflate balloons you have purchased elsewhere. However, if you plan on buying and transporting inflated balloons. please plan accordingly. Think Float Life For starters, keep in mind that balloons have a finite lifespan, or "float life." However, as a general rule, latex balloons should not be inflated any earlier than the event date. There are exceptions such as 36" latex balloons, which will still be up from one day to the next (though smaller in size). Alternatively, foil balloons may be inflated days in advance with little to no change as they float longer. As of now, we are closed on weekends. If your event happen…

Helium Cylinder Refills

At Helium Xpress, we can and do refill helium cylinders. However, there are certain criteria that must be met for us to legally and safely do so.

Please note if you purchased a Balloon Time kit from a store such as Party City or Walmart, these tanks are disposable and cannot be refilled. If you have an industrial cylinder, please continue to determine your refill eligibility.

Who Owns the Cylinder? This may sound like a trick question, but it's not. The answer to this question provides us with valid and important information regarding whether or not we can refill your cylinder. You might believe you are the owner of the cylinder because it's been on your property for as a long as you can remember, it has a self-made tag with your business name on it or because you personally paid for the cylinder. However, in some cases, it's still not your cylinder. This is why it's very important to purchase helium cylinders from a trusted source. Let us explain.

Business owners typi…