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Hi, I recently bought a used Milwauke (probably 957) setup, with regulator, solenoid and bubble counter and built in needle valve. I have not bought my co2 tank yet. There appears to be some complaints about the Milwaukee setup, and especially its needle valve. I would have liked to buy a Sumo or Rex Grigg setup with fancy needle valves, but they were just too expensive for me at the time. For people's experience with the milwaukee setups, are they more hassle then they are worth or sufficient. Also does anybody know if another, better needle valve can be fitted to them, ie swaglock or ideal, and does it really matter?
thank you in advance
 

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The Milwaukee regulators are fine. I have never had any real trouble with mine. I found that setting the regulator to near 20psi then a combination of fine adjustments with the needle valve and regulator knob to get what i want. Once its set i never have to mess with it. I have to say the key is having the line pressure around 20psi! less and the bubble rate tends to fall off and to much its to hard to control with the needle valve. IMHO
 

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I too have been using the Milwaukee Reg for 2 1/2+ years. Excellent results fir my 125 gal. I did have alot of trouble the first week to two weeks fine tuning it. Very frustrating, and then total peace.
RWM
 

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The Milwaukee regulators are fine. I have never had any real trouble with mine. I found that setting the regulator to near 20psi then a combination of fine adjustments with the needle valve and regulator knob to get what i want. Once its set i never have to mess with it. I have to say the key is having the line pressure around 20psi! less and the bubble rate tends to fall off and to much its to hard to control with the needle valve. IMHO
This has been my experience too, but I have had some leakage problems. The bubble counter on mine leaked and I couldn't stop the leaking, so I had to remove it, which is very easy to do. The needle valve is poor, but by setting it to something close to the bubble rate desired, then adjusting the regulator pressure I can get the bubble rate I want and keep it until the tank runs out of liquid CO2. Also, my solenoid valve eventually failed - about 6 months after I got it. I replaced it with one from Rex Grigg. No further problems.
 

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Ive only had a problem with the solenoid, but that was after 2yrs or so. Got a new one works fine. As for the bubble counter, I dont really need fine adjustment for a 220g so I cant comment on the accuracy of it.

:fish2:
 

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The Milwaukee regulator has been the best selling regulator on the market for the last six or seven years with very little problems over all. And if there is a defect the manufacturer will swap out a new unit with you without any hassle.

The "complaints" about the needle valve are usually that it does not have as fine an ajustment as those that you buy separate. Whether you really "need" that finer ajustment is a matter of opinion. You can always leave the needle valve on the regulator wide open, remove the bubble counter, add an in line needle valve of your choice and an inline bubble counter. If its worth the effort.

I'm looking at a regulator made by Tunze thats under a hundred dollars with a much better needle valve.
 

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They are fine working regulators. Most issues are usually noticed right out of the box. The manufacturer will be more than happy to fix any issues if they were to arise.
If you ever own one, parts can be upgraded very easily when the warranty expires. Overall they work great.
 

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I'm agreeing with everyone else here. I have had one for about a year with only one problem. It was the fact my bubble count would slowly fall off to a point where it'd stop. I called Milwaukee and told them, they indicated it was probably a clogged needle valve and that was caused by leaving water in the bubble counter and not using it for some time, they shipped me a new one, and so far 2 months of steady bubble counts. I would recommend for sure.
 

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They're fine, but not perfect. Mine killed a bunch of fish when the solenoid stuck open. That's partly my fault for not watching the bubble rate more closely, but with a pH controller you get lulled into a false sense of security. I "upgraded" mine with a new needle valve and solenoid. The actual regulator and gauges are fine. It's the add-on hardware that isn't top quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks Bryce. I am getting the impression that the solenoids are weak. Is there anything I can do to watch the solenoid, or would you suggest simply buying another solenoid?
thank you
 

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Oh, they work perfectly well until one day they don't. To be fair, I have one on my 46g tank that has been going strong for three years now. The one on the 180g tank cycled on and off several times per day due to being used with a pH controller.

About the only thing you can do is set your bubble rate to a level that will keep the fish safe, even if it sticks open or closed.
 
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