co2 regulator solenoid and needle valve problems. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Question co2 regulator solenoid and needle valve problems.

I'm going hi tech and am in need of a co2 regulator. while researching, I found out that people say that you have re adjust the needle valve when the solenoid clicks in the morning or whenever you turn it on. I've read reviews with problems on the aquatek regulators and the milwaukee ones too! have any of you had this problem? if you fixed it, how so? and lastly, do you know of a regulator that doesn't have this problem? here are the regulators that I'm talking about


http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-Inst..._petsupplies_3


http://www.amazon.com/Premium-AQUATE...ntball+aquatek
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 10:49 PM
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There's no reason you should have to adjust the needle valve daily. Once you have it set, the bubble rate should stay put until cylinder pressure begins to decrease. Also, I posted this on a different member's thread about Milwaukee quality, and I think I'll just keep it saved as a stock response whenever there's a question:

The Aquatek, Milwaukee, and Azoo, and their clones, will all be functional. But they're single stage, and low quality, and are far more likely to bust than any of the used industrial regulators many of us use and repurpose for our needs. In addition, there will be an increase working pressure as the cylinder nears the end of its fill, potentially causing problems unless you keep a careful eye on the pressure.

Furthermore, the needle valves on those units are identical, and extremely imprecise. They're functional, but barely so.

As for the solenoids, I've read little to suggest they're any more likely to fail than many of the other solenoids we've tried over the years (reasonably likely), but mine did, in any case (I had a 3M, nearly identical to a Milwaukee).

Generally, responses will vary from "love it" to "will never entertain the possibility of using one again in this lifetime", with nothing in the middle. Basically, you get what you pay for. In this case, the all-in-one rigs are cheaply purchased because they're cheaply manufactured.

I'd recommend getting somebody here to build one. Or reading the build-your-own-regulator sticky in the equipment section and piece it together yourself. Or getting one prebuilt from greenleafaquariums.com ...anybody familiar with any other companies building rigs?

To be fair, you'll definitely spend more, possibly a lot more, if you go any of these routes (building your own can cost even less, but there's a nasty learning curve, and shipping costs for multiple sources can get ugly). However, the quality upgrade is ridiculous.

However, because of the low cost, there's definitely a place for the bottom-rung regulators. If you want a cheap intro rig, that you'll certainly upgrade from at some point, and you're willing to chance a malfunction and put up with their drawbacks (though, to be honest, you won't notice some of them until you upgrade), then a Milwaukee isn't a bad deal.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
There's no reason you should have to adjust the needle valve daily. Once you have it set, the bubble rate should stay put until cylinder pressure begins to decrease. Also, I posted this on a different member's thread about Milwaukee quality, and I think I'll just keep it saved as a stock response whenever there's a question:

The Aquatek, Milwaukee, and Azoo, and their clones, will all be functional. But they're single stage, and low quality, and are far more likely to bust than any of the used industrial regulators many of us use and repurpose for our needs. In addition, there will be an increase working pressure as the cylinder nears the end of its fill, potentially causing problems unless you keep a careful eye on the pressure.

Furthermore, the needle valves on those units are identical, and extremely imprecise. They're functional, but barely so.

As for the solenoids, I've read little to suggest they're any more likely to fail than many of the other solenoids we've tried over the years (reasonably likely), but mine did, in any case (I had a 3M, nearly identical to a Milwaukee).

Generally, responses will vary from "love it" to "will never entertain the possibility of using one again in this lifetime", with nothing in the middle. Basically, you get what you pay for. In this case, the all-in-one rigs are cheaply purchased because they're cheaply manufactured.

I'd recommend getting somebody here to build one. Or reading the build-your-own-regulator sticky in the equipment section and piece it together yourself. Or getting one prebuilt from greenleafaquariums.com ...anybody familiar with any other companies building rigs?

To be fair, you'll definitely spend more, possibly a lot more, if you go any of these routes (building your own can cost even less, but there's a nasty learning curve, and shipping costs for multiple sources can get ugly). However, the quality upgrade is ridiculous.

However, because of the low cost, there's definitely a place for the bottom-rung regulators. If you want a cheap intro rig, that you'll certainly upgrade from at some point, and you're willing to chance a malfunction and put up with their drawbacks (though, to be honest, you won't notice some of them until you upgrade), then a Milwaukee isn't a bad deal.
is bettatail's work worth it?

Last edited by tetra10; 09-06-2012 at 02:08 AM. Reason: pie
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 02:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetra10 View Post
is bettatail's work worth it?
I can only speak for myself, and I've never sampled his work - I build my own rigs. However, I've read a number of rave reviews from fellow members, and I'm impressed by the pics he regularly posts of his works of art.

I've also heard very good things about oldpunk's rigs, though I think I've seen fewer pics.

It all comes down to how much you're willing to spend for quality craftsmanship, versus not-so-quality, or making your own.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 03:04 AM
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The Milwaukee rig isn't half bad once you learn the trick to get it to keep a consistent bubble count. With the output pressure at 0, open the needle valve all the way, then slowly increase the pressure until you get just slightly over the desired bubble rate. Close the needle valve until it just barely drops the rate down to where you want it. Check the rate in about half an hour, then again the next day. I find it's always lower the next morning, but after that second adjustment it's been rock solid. If you run the reg at a higher pressure and use the needle valve to adjust it down, I've found the flow rate can wander over a few days. I had been running it at 30 psi with a standard diffuser and had problems. Now, my output pressure needle is just a hair above 0 when the solenoid is open and it still works fine. It's not the easiest rig to use, but it's pretty decent for the money (especially if you can find it used, like I did).
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