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Old 09-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

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Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
I've had a few issues with my CO2 regulators and solenoids. I haven't been able to figure out why I keep having issues. I have 3 types of regulators, 2 of which were purchased at different places. In a attempt to get things solved I called Orlando at Greenleafaquariums.com. He has GREAT customer service. While he was attempting to help me over the phone I discovered several things I was or was not doing. No one every told me, there were never in any instructions about this. Since I'm not a scuba diver or any other such "pressure tank" user I have had no previous life with this type equipment. I've wondered how many others like me don't know this stuff. I thought I'd post.

1. BEFORE attaching a regulator to a filled CO2 tank, open the tank valve and let some CO2 shoot out. This will clear out any debris that may have lodged and is waiting to clog your regulator.

2. BEFORE attaching or detaching your regulator from your CO2 tank always adjust your working pressure down to zero. Putting on a filled CO2 tank with your working pressure more than zero could blow out your regulator dial. The only exception to this are the preset regulators. (I have one of those.)

3. NEVER run your CO2 tanks empty. Running them empty can cause any settled debris to be blown into your regulator, clogging it.

4. If your bubble counter seems to be clogged turn off your CO2, gently screw off your bubble counter and then turn your working pressure up to 40, turn the CO2 back on blowing any clogged debris out. Turn off and on about 5 times for about 2 secs. to make sure any debris is blown out of the system. Remember to turn your working pressure back down to 10 when you are done and reconnect your bubble counter.

5. If your solenoid seems stuck follow the above directions for the bubble counter in #4.

6. It's best to always use a new washer between your regulator and the CO2 tank unless you have a perma washer. (These perma washers are great!)


If anyone has something else to add please feel free. It sure will cut down on the headaches!

SWEET!!! #4 worked for my solenoid and I thought it was shot.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:36 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

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Originally Posted by Left C View Post
CGA-320 reads are not like NPT tapered threads that need pipe dope or Teflon tape for sealing. A washer fits between the male and female ends that forms a leak free seal when tightened properly.

From: http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00022.html
"Tape is neither necessary nor especially useful. It won't improve the seal and you shouldn't expect it to. The tank should have CGA 320 fitting on it with male threads and the regulator should have CGA 320 female fitting. CGA 320 fittings are *not* like standard pipe threads. With standard pipe threads, the tapered threads provide the seal and using tape or pipe dough helps ensure that the threads don't have any small gaps. But the CGA fittings *do not* seal at the threads! They seal where the flat faces of the two fittings meet and that's why you *must* have a fiber or nylon washer between the two -- to seal the joint where those to seats meet. In fact, applying tape makes it possible to bind the threads before the fittings are fully seated against the washer -- although it would take a lot of tape to do that. ..."

From: http://reefkeeping.com/joomla/index....between-part-1
"The valve used in the cylinder is typically made out of forged brass and in the US has a Compressed Gas Association (CGA) connection type 320 (see diagram) that requires a flat washer to provide the seal. This washer should be replaced every time the regulator is reconnected. Do not use Teflon tape or any other type of sealant but the washer. The company filling the cylinder can provide you with new washers. Note that there are different valve and connection specifications throughout the world, so insure you check your local specifications."
I think this is the best description with pictures as well. On a compression type fitting the tape does nothing to help assure a seal. The seal is the washer or gasket top of the bottle and the flange around the regulator. If the gasket or o ring were to leak the tape still would not help as the leak would be around the top hole in the compression nut rather than at its threads.

Now if you had a pipe threading type connection then taping can be a life savior especially if through usage the threads got nicked.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:47 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

One explanation for the disdain of thread tape I did not see mentioned.

When tightening down a taped connection, the threads can cut the tape into tiny bits. If this debris manages to get inside the system, it can interfere with the regulator, block the needle valve, etc.

With this warning in mind, I have on occasion used thread tape on non-compression fittings, and gotten successful seals. I did make sure to leave the first couple of threads untaped, reducing the possibility any debris would immediately get loose. And when refitting, I was very careful to clean up every bit of previous tape. Which was a royal pain in the arse. It's really better not to use it.
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