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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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The permaseals are nice but dont work on Milwaukee regulators as they do not have a standard CGA320 fitting.
 

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

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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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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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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I'm with TAB - I know they do, but cant imagine why they recommend tape on the threads - the threads are not supposed to be part of the seal. I did also use tape in the past, and it did help when I reused used nylon washers. After being mashed up for a long time, they don't seem to make a good seal for me anymore. Also, they can be a real pain to dig out when they compress into the regulator nut threads. The guys at the welding place where I exchange tanks were very unhappy when I left tape on the threads, so I had to clean it off well before I exchanged tanks. They gave me the standard lecture that we see here every so often -- dont tape the threads, make a good seal without it.

best to find a good seal that mates the regulator inlet to the cylinder. The threads are only to tighten the regulator to the cylinder, not to provide a sealing surface.

Using oil in the bubble counter is better than using water. Water fouls, like mentioned before. Also - after a long time running, the water will eventually leave the bubble counter but the oil stays for me.
 

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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. :)
All I can tell you is that the people who sell these say they will not work with the MA957.
Looking at the picture I can tell you that your regulator face is different than on the MA957.
 

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I'm with TAB - I know they do, but cant imagine why they recommend tape on the threads - the threads are not supposed to be part of the seal. I did also use tape in the past, and it did help when I reused used nylon washers. After being mashed up for a long time, they don't seem to make a good seal for me anymore. Also, they can be a real pain to dig out when they compress into the regulator nut threads. The guys at the welding place where I exchange tanks were very unhappy when I left tape on the threads, so I had to clean it off well before I exchanged tanks. They gave me the standard lecture that we see here every so often -- dont tape the threads, make a good seal without it.

best to find a good seal that mates the regulator inlet to the cylinder. The threads are only to tighten the regulator to the cylinder, not to provide a sealing surface.

Using oil in the bubble counter is better than using water. Water fouls, like mentioned before. Also - after a long time running, the water will eventually leave the bubble counter but the oil stays for me.
This is a great thread. I've seen some things that I do not do. Need to change.
When I have my tank filled, I buy 4 or 5 plastic seals. They are not that expensive and I don't want to chance a leak. I use a small tyrap and attach them to the regulator.
Also, a new seal will "crunch" when the connection is tightened adequately.
I'm not sure an old plastic seal will do that. The used seals have a groove cut in them.

I also use glycerin in the bubble counter. The viscosity is enough to count bubbles and if some gets into the water no harm is done.
Charles
 

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All I can tell you is that the people who sell these say they will not work with the MA957. Looking at the picture I can tell you that your regulator face is different than on the MA957.
perhaps on the newer ones?
What I have was sold to me as the MA957, but many years ago.
anybody wanna post pics of a newer MA957 for comparison? :)

If I remember correctly
all of them I have were bought in the 2001-2004 time frame.
every reg I bought after that is non-milwaukee
 

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asshappard,
If what you have in the picture is an MA975 then it is totally different than the one I have. Yours looks much more durable and as I said, the face on the regulator connector to the tank connection does not have the groove in it for the nylon washer. When I take my two regulators apart I will post some pictures.
Thanks for the help.
 

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This thread is great. I wanted to add that white tape doesn't do anything to seal any fittings - they aren't meant to. The tape is to keep the threads from cross-threading or settling over extended periods of time. Metal expands and contracts and if the threads are expanding into other metals, they can difform to fill in what space is available. This leads to problems when you unthread them and rethread them if they aren't put back into the exact same space - you'll have a leak. Thus, tape cushions the metal and doesn't seal it. The metal does the sealing. I learned this from work (I work at a hardware store) and my uncle confimed it - he is one of five master plumbers in West Virginia.
 

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unlike plumbing threads, threads used for high presure gas and hydrolic fits are strait threads, they do not have any taper too them. if you compare them side by side it will become clear. by adding tape to the male thread, what you are actually doing is increasing the thread size. Which will help them seal. thats just fine for tapered threads, but strait threads you can actually deform/crack the fittings with tape.

If a building inspector were to see any type of sealent( yes tape is a sealent) on any high presure gas or hydrolic lines, they would fail your inspection and most likly make you take every thing apart.

If I went into a welding shop and saw tape on any of thier gas tanks, I'd get as far as I could away from that shop. When full they can be 1300 psi. They are litterly a bomb.


now thats a very small tank at low presure( its a paint ball gun tank)

note natueral gas and propane lines are not high presure, they run at no more then about 15 psi. with the average being in the 10-12 range.
 

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question: how about this product?

http://www.homebrewing.org/CO2-regulator-to-Paintball-tank-Adapter_p_52-1122.html

basically, the adapter has a hole off center and pushes on the paintball tank valve and you attach your regulator to it. the nylon washer presses from regulator onto the adapter (w/c is fine) but from the thread of the adapter to the tank, should it be left as is with no tape?

there's no parts pressed together and my first thought was that the thread will be the only place to leak, if ever.
 

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unlike plumbing threads, threads used for high presure gas and hydrolic fits are strait threads, they do not have any taper too them. if you compare them side by side it will become clear. by adding tape to the male thread, what you are actually doing is increasing the thread size. Which will help them seal. thats just fine for tapered threads, but strait threads you can actually deform/crack the fittings with tape.

If a building inspector were to see any type of sealent( yes tape is a sealent) on any high presure gas or hydrolic lines, they would fail your inspection and most likly make you take every thing apart.

If I went into a welding shop and saw tape on any of thier gas tanks, I'd get as far as I could away from that shop. When full they can be 1300 psi. They are litterly a bomb.


now thats a very small tank at low presure( its a paint ball gun tank)

note natueral gas and propane lines are not high presure, they run at no more then about 15 psi. with the average being in the 10-12 range.
I looked into the thread situation for the CO2 bottles and regulators before I spoke even thou I thought I knew the answer from doing piping for years, many years ago. They are what is called NPT = National Pipe Thread. Same as on piping. They do have a taper. Hydraulic lines tend to use ferrels to seal the connection. Pipe dope is used all the time on water, steam and gas.
 
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