Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Oak Hills, California
Co2 Bubble Counter: A Cautionary Tale
I recently switched my ceramic diffuser for an atomizer and added a bubble counter. Having read another thread about the risks of getting the mineral oil in the tank, I was careful to fill the counter less than half way.
I don't have a solenoid for my system so I usually turn it on and off manually via a valve after the regulator.
My system tends to "dump" Co2 initially after opening the valve, which I believe is due pressure build-up after closing the valve. This morning I went to turn my system on, and the dump started creating micro-bubbles in the bubble counter. After a minute or so, mineral oil began making it's way up the hose, and around the bend into my tank. I pulled the plug.
It took only five or ten minutes for the bubbles to dissipate inside the counter, but I did have to remove the hose and clean it out manually.
I'm not sure why I'm having this issue exactly, as I haven't seen it discussed too much aside from a horror-story thread that I stumbled across a while back.
My gear is pretty standard: I have a Matheson dual stage regulator and a crappy Clippard needle valve that I bought before I knew any better. My counter is not attached to the valve, but is up closer to the tank (less than 10 inches of hose from the counter to the atomizer).
For the time being, I'm just going to leave my system on at night, but I'm curious to know if anyone's had this problem before and if there's any solution other than maybe moving the counter down lower.