Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment! - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 01-07-2010, 03:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

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!



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Old 01-07-2010, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

nice post Drinda!
I have to admit that I'm a habitual violator of #3
and x2 on permaseals. Love them for the convenience and consistency.
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

Sticky Worthy !
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

The permaseals are nice but dont work on Milwaukee regulators as they do not have a standard CGA320 fitting.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newt View Post
The permaseals are nice but dont work on Milwaukee regulators as they do not have a standard CGA320 fitting.
Good to know! Thanks!



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Old 01-07-2010, 06:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

I wish I had known it before buying one for my shrimp tank.

The regulator on my 75 has a brass to brass connection - no seals needed. It came from a welding tank setup. I used the 5# tank for awhile and fitted the connector piece from the CO2 welding regulator to a new Med-Tech high quality regulator from an oxygen set up. I only have to adjust it twice a year when we go from cold to warm and warm to cold seasons.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newt View Post
The permaseals are nice but dont work on Milwaukee regulators as they do not have a standard CGA320 fitting.
I commented on this in another thread - but I'm not sure what the problem is with the ma957.
here is one, quite old and beat up - but permaseals do work fine. Whats wrong with this seal?
Cylinders last as long as they ever did (10# ~1yr on 20G aquarium)
and tank changes are a lot more convenient.

nut extended / nut retracted / regulator to permaseal (click for larger image)

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Old 01-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

never use any on the thread. No tape, no oil, no pipe dope, no nothing. It can clog your regulator.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

I use thread tape on my Milwaukee regulator and wouldnt run it without it. Even calling the techs they said it's a pretty good idea just put it on neatly. I put mine on in the opposite direction the threads screw on so that it only gets tighter when i put the fitting on. Never had a problem.

I follow the milwaukee website directions when i'm changing my tank so i dont blow a guage or a regulator... way to expensive to do something that silly. I havent had to do it in over a year and a half the time is comming soon so we will find out.

To contribute to this thread, if your going to shut your CO2 off, do not leave water in the bubble counter. It becomes stagnant and gross and will clog the needle valve under the BC.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Things they never tell you about CO2 equipment!

This is all great information for the regular hobbyist that balances work, family, and well... you know... life.

Thanks for the great advice because I think my regulator has been blowing some debris into my needle valve area and I was unsure how to proceed.
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