The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Can a needle valve upgrade be done on any regulator?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 09:50 PM
Darkblade48's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto/Singapore
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Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
Those green wires you talk about are just support wires to hold the solenoid in place. It is not a hazard! it keeps the hot solenoid from melting the CO2 tubes! You even talked about this solenoid yourself the 1 that gets hot. I read your thread on CO2.
Ah, my mistake. From the LED I think I see, you must have a Clippard solenoid

Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
I am not sure if this solenoid can be screwed into regulators? Are there solenoids that are inline only? I would have to measure the threads on both reg, & solenoid. Either way it is not important that the solenoid even be attached to the regulator, although if higher end needle valves need to be attached to the solenoid that would be a different story. If it could be attached I would prefer to since it has a cleaner look, but all this stuff will some day be inside a cabinet & it will not be seen anyway. The higher end regulators have attached solenoids which look nicer. My next regulator will have it attached , but for now it is not that important as long as the needle valve would screw directly into the solenoid.
If your solenoid is the Clippard, it is able to be mounted to the regulator. You can run solenoids inline, but I don't see why go to the extra trouble when it already has 1/8" NPT ports. Check your solenoid model number to see what ports it has (check the specification sheet); in all likelihood, it has 1/8" female NPT ports, while your regulator has 1/4" NPT ports, so you will need to get an adapter (a few dollars).

In general, needle valves are attached downstream of the solenoid (take a look at my guide for some helpful pictures).

If you are going to replace your current needle valve, you might as well fix up your solenoid as well, so it will look neat and tidy.

Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
So to answer my question, can I screw a needle valve directly into this regulator if I cannot screw the solenoid first into the regulator first? Sounds like you are saying that the T screws out. Any chance the regulator casing could crack since it is a casting? Thanks again
You can connect the solenoid to the regulator first (in fact, you should). The needle valve then goes after the solenoid. Your current needle valve (the "T") should be able to be unscrewed from the regulator.

Regarding the regulator casing (? I am not sure what you are referring to here; the regulator body? Or are you referring to the gauges?): The body itself will not crack. The plastic covering the gauges can crack, but only if you are not careful.

You will (likely) need a bench vise and the appropriate sized wrench to take off the current needle valve.

Some fittings (brass or stainless steel, your choice) will be required to connect the solenoid to the regulator, and then the new (or your current) needle valve to the solenoid.

Hope this helps.


A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
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