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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

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