Originally Posted by GearNut
The flow meters are not machine specific. Any meter will work with any machine. The trick is how the hose connects to the machine. The original meter that came with my machine got ruined after a co-worker did not purge the pressure off the machine after turning the gas off at the tank. This deformed the metal diaphragm inside the meter over the time that the machine sat unused. My new(er) meter uses a much larger rubber hose than the original one. I simply stuck the original hose inside the larger one and clamped it tight with a standard hose clamp.
I heard the same from an instructor the same as GN, so I've done this when done always.
Anyway my area I have no place to have it safely left all assembled, so the flow valve and gauges come off the tank and the fitting from hose to back of welder gas solenoid are remove and stored safely.
The point that you mention to purge for having the inert gas at the tip and bleed off any air sounds like a worthwhile thing to get your first weld of a series to not be messed up possibly by air getting the start of it.