Buying a used co2 system. Need your help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Buying a used co2 system. Need your help

Hi All,
Im buying a used co2 system on craiglist for $150. Could you guys please let me know what should look for when checking out the system?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 07:58 PM
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What kind of regulator are you getting with that? Does it include the bottle? If so, how big is the bottle? Does it include a diffuser, if so, what kind? $150 sounds like a Milwaukee ( bad ) type regulator with a 5# bottle and a eBay diffuser.

If it's not a Milwaukee and the CO2 tank has pressure, put some water in the drop checker ( hopefully it has one ) and check the solenoid operation. Run some gas through it at a couple bubbles/second then cut the power and check to see if the bubbles have completely stopped after a few minutes. If after 5 minutes you still see an occasional bubble, the solenoid is bad. Also, watch for consistent CO2 delivery. If you get one bubble, then no bubbles for a couple of seconds, then a bunch of bubbles -- it's bad.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:13 PM
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such hate for Milwaukee.... why?

Not all the retail Co2 regulator are garbage, my Aquatic Life is going strong for over a year. *knock on wood.



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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCichlid View Post
What kind of regulator are you getting with that? Does it include the bottle? If so, how big is the bottle? Does it include a diffuser, if so, what kind? $150 sounds like a Milwaukee ( bad ) type regulator with a 5# bottle and a eBay diffuser.

If it's not a Milwaukee and the CO2 tank has pressure, put some water in the drop checker ( hopefully it has one ) and check the solenoid operation. Run some gas through it at a couple bubbles/second then cut the power and check to see if the bubbles have completely stopped after a few minutes. If after 5 minutes you still see an occasional bubble, the solenoid is bad. Also, watch for consistent CO2 delivery. If you get one bubble, then no bubbles for a couple of seconds, then a bunch of bubbles -- it's bad.
This is the one. Not sure what brand this is even the seller said he wasnt sure.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/for/3553448570.html
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCichlid View Post
What kind of regulator are you getting with that? Does it include the bottle? If so, how big is the bottle? Does it include a diffuser, if so, what kind? $150 sounds like a Milwaukee ( bad ) type regulator with a 5# bottle and a eBay diffuser.

If it's not a Milwaukee and the CO2 tank has pressure, put some water in the drop checker ( hopefully it has one ) and check the solenoid operation. Run some gas through it at a couple bubbles/second then cut the power and check to see if the bubbles have completely stopped after a few minutes. If after 5 minutes you still see an occasional bubble, the solenoid is bad. Also, watch for consistent CO2 delivery. If you get one bubble, then no bubbles for a couple of seconds, then a bunch of bubbles -- it's bad.
Ya know,

I bought a Cornelius regulator, a no-name Taiwanese regulator, bubble counter, Fabco NV55 needle valve, solenoid that I can't remember the brand name of to save my life right at this second, Cerges reactor, Griggs reactor, 10 lb steel CO2 bottle with about 8 lbs left in it, about 30 assorted pieces of brass tubing and fittings, CO2 tubing and probably some other stuff I can't remember - off some guy on craigslist..


For $50.

It happens.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:47 PM
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Take some soapy water with you and check the pressurized regulator for leaks.

Check that all the knobs move nicely. I have somehow accumulated *4* regulators and am amazed at how nicely made they all are, poor action could indicate an issue.

Check that the working pressure gauge moves when the 'black knob' on the front of most regulators is tightened and loosened. My used Milwaukee is quite cranky on that point and refuses to allow gas through if I try for too high a working pressure.

Look for corrosion. My used Harris that has yet to be put to work came with a post body kit that was in miserable shape and has been tossed out. Had to have been on a salt water tank.

$150 would be a nice price for a double stage regulator and tank but not much of a deal for a Milwaukee or other lower end regulator. A CO2 tank costs how much? Might want to call your nearest Airgas or other provider. See Amazon and that other place to figure how much a new lower end regulator costs.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCichlid View Post
If it's not a Milwaukee and the CO2 tank has pressure, put some water in the drop checker ( hopefully it has one ) and check the solenoid operation.
I assume you meant bubble counter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanLe View Post
This is the one. Not sure what brand this is even the seller said he wasnt sure.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/for/3553448570.html
It is a Milwaukee MA957.

Anthony

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
I assume you meant bubble counter.


It is a Milwaukee MA957.
Should I pass on this one?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:42 PM
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It's not a great deal considering that's not a very expensive regulator to begin with.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 09:48 PM
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Aside from the fact that it's a Milwaukee, and therefore of poor quality (yes, there are plenty of satisfied customers. There are also plenty of current and previous owners who will never in a million years use another one), everything in that ad could be purchased, new, for the same amount they're asking for.

Pass on it.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 10:49 PM
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Hey, that regulator has two outputs? Do they come like that? I thought Milwaukee only had one? What does the other needle valve do when you only use 1 output?


Oh by the way, he is including some measuring spoons! That a great deal,



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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Another question, should i get a low pressure regulator or a high pressure regulator? It's just too many stuff to learn about co2 system.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FlyingHellFish View Post
Hey, that regulator has two outputs? Do they come like that? I thought Milwaukee only had one? What does the other needle valve do when you only use 1 output?
The MA957 normally only comes with one, but I am sure you can purchase a manifold for multiple use.

The needle valve used appears to be a cheap one, most likely not designed for complete shut off.

This means that, to some degree, gas will be wasted from that valve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanLe View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys. Another question, should i get a low pressure regulator or a high pressure regulator? It's just too many stuff to learn about co2 system.
You need a high pressure regulator, as pressurized CO2 is upwards of 800 PSI.

The regulator then reduces the pressure to a manageable working pressure of ~30 PSI. A needle/metering valve then reduces this further.

For more information regarding terminology, take a look at my pressurized CO2 guide (linked in my signature).

Anthony

A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 03:30 PM
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Hi All,
Im buying a used co2 system on craiglist for $150. Could you guys please let me know what should look for when checking out the system?
Check the date on the tank. If it is close to or after 5 years from the date stamped, it is due for hydro testing.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 07:24 PM
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