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-   -   DiCi Regulator + Solenoid leak? (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-equipment/196573-dici-regulator-solenoid-leak.html)

Harshal1992 11-08-2012 07:13 AM

DiCi Regulator + Solenoid leak?
 
Hey guys,

I just bought a DiCi regulator w/ a solenoid from AI, and when it shuts off at night with the timer, I can still see some leaking.. if I turn the valve up, more bubbles flow, then it goes back to a very slow pace (still slowly leaking). Is there possibly a leak? What's going on?

Any help appreciated,

Thank you!

Harshal.

Darkblade48 11-08-2012 07:49 AM

How long does the leaking go on for? Some flow is expected after the solenoid closes, as the residual CO2 will still make its way out.

If there is still flow after (say) 1-2 hours after the solenoid is closed, then there might be some debris that is blocking the solenoid plunger from closing all the way.

A quick blast from your cylinder while the solenoid is open should blow out any debris (it might be best to take your needle valve and bubble counter, if they are present off when you do this)

PlantedRich 11-08-2012 03:09 PM

If blowing it out doesn't get it, the solenoids I have seen are normally quite simple to take apart. Not much inside the ones I use. A bit of cleaning and lube on the plunger may be worthwhile. Just a tiny film of Vaseline works for me.

Harshal1992 11-09-2012 10:30 PM

So I just took out the BC and Needle valve and blew out some CO2 for a second, three times. The problem still remains I think. My needle valve is a bit crooked.. will that affect my solenoid in any way?

Darkblade48 11-09-2012 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harshal1992 (Post 2073153)
So I just took out the BC and Needle valve and blew out some CO2 for a second, three times. The problem still remains I think. My needle valve is a bit crooked.. will that affect my solenoid in any way?

The needle valve being crooked is another problem in itself (it will not affect the solenoid being able to close all the way).

As I asked before, how long after the solenoid shuts are you still seeing CO2? Even after my solenoid shuts, the gas flows for about 15-20 minutes afterwards.

Harshal1992 11-10-2012 07:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darkblade48 (Post 2073172)
The needle valve being crooked is another problem in itself (it will not affect the solenoid being able to close all the way).

As I asked before, how long after the solenoid shuts are you still seeing CO2? Even after my solenoid shuts, the gas flows for about 15-20 minutes afterwards.

I guess it really just was some gunk stuck inside, checked after ~2 hours of shutting off, and there's absolutely no flow! Or maybe a bubble per minute. Thanks!

exv152 11-10-2012 06:45 PM

Just a heads up. I also bought a Dici regulator back in January and I noticed another problem. At night when the solenoid went off, the working pressure slowly began going up from 35 psi, all the way to almost 100 psi. Another guy in Toronto who had the same issue but his went as high as 60 psi. I ended up removing the regulator on the advice of several people aquarium and gas people, and the thing's been sitting on a shelf ever since. Something you want to keep an eye out for.

Harshal1992 11-10-2012 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by exv152 (Post 2073965)
Just a heads up. I also bought a Dici regulator back in January and I noticed another problem. At night when the solenoid went off, the working pressure slowly began going up from 35 psi, all the way to almost 100 psi. Another guy in Toronto who had the same issue but his went as high as 60 psi. I ended up removing the regulator on the advice of several people aquarium and gas people, and the thing's been sitting on a shelf ever since. Something you want to keep an eye out for.

Mine is sitting steadily around 60 psi. Is that a bad thing?

Harshal.

Darkblade48 11-11-2012 12:10 AM

If the pressure is 60 PSI when your solenoid is open, then that means your delivery pressure is set too high.

If the pressure is within a reasonable range when your solenoid is open (i.e. say 20-30 PSI), but then increases to 60 PSI when the solenoid is closed, it may become a problem (most solenoids are designed to hold back at least 100 PSI, but it depends on the solenoid).

@exv152: What was the cause of the increase in pressure?

exv152 11-11-2012 02:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harshal1992 (Post 2074229)
Mine is sitting steadily around 60 psi. Is that a bad thing?
Harshal.

Yup. When your working pressure is set at 35 psi, and the solenoid goes off the psi should not go up more than a couple of psi at worst, on a good regulator it will sit steady and not budge. But if yours is going up another 25psi you run the risk of having something go badly wrong.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darkblade48 (Post 2074277)
If the pressure is 60 PSI when your solenoid is open, then that means your delivery pressure is set too high.

If the pressure is within a reasonable range when your solenoid is open (i.e. say 20-30 PSI), but then increases to 60 PSI when the solenoid is closed, it may become a problem (most solenoids are designed to hold back at least 100 PSI, but it depends on the solenoid).

@exv152: What was the cause of the increase in pressure?

These regulators are made in China and they're really cheap. I would not mess around with a gas pressurized cylinder. The working pressure is not supposed to go up that high.

I never bothered to discover what the cause was, all I knew was myself and another fella had the same issues, and he brought his back they would not give him a refund, insisting the unit was safe. Yet when he took it to his gas supplier people they told him not to mess around with it and get rid of it. Mine has been shelved ever since. I now have a micromatic and a cornelius. Both stay steady and don't budge a single psi when the solenoid turns off. Just my two cents.

Harshal1992 11-11-2012 02:50 PM

Thanks a lot you guys, I'll be checking the pressure carefully over the next few days just to see what's going on with it. AI definitely does NOT have a good return policy.. so that complicated things.

Thanks,

Harshal.

Bettatail 11-11-2012 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by exv152 (Post 2073965)
Just a heads up. I also bought a Dici regulator back in January and I noticed another problem. At night when the solenoid went off, the working pressure slowly began going up from 35 psi, all the way to almost 100 psi. Another guy in Toronto who had the same issue but his went as high as 60 psi. I ended up removing the regulator on the advice of several people aquarium and gas people, and the thing's been sitting on a shelf ever since. Something you want to keep an eye out for.

First, Dici regs are preset output pressure, aren't they?

I think the problem is that the poppet valve doesn't seal well, or you can call it a "internal leak".
when you set(or a preset) the working/output pressure, that is the pressure the regulator suppose to hold at the output point, no matter solenoid on or off.
when the solenoid off, the seal at inside poppet valve can't stop the slow leak of co2, so output pressure slowly goes up. The slow rising pressure may stop when the output pressure rise to a point that the diaphragm been pushed hard enough and the poppet valve completely sealed/closed. but if not, it just keep going up until solenoid can't hold.

exv152 11-11-2012 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bettatail (Post 2074914)
First, Dici regs are preset output pressure, aren't they?

I think the problem is that the poppet valve doesn't seal well, or you can call it a "internal leak".
when you set(or a preset) the working/output pressure, that is the pressure the regulator suppose to hold at the output point, no matter solenoid on or off.
when the solenoid off, the seal at inside poppet valve can't stop the slow leak of co2, so output pressure slowly goes up. The slow rising pressure may stop when the output pressure rise to a point that the diaphragm been pushed hard enough and the poppet valve completely sealed/closed. but if not, it just keep going up until solenoid can't hold.

Yes they are preset working pressure regulators. Sounds like a good description of what's most likely happening with these regs. That said, and on the advice of various people; gas experts, aquarists etc, do you feel continuing to use these regs is safe? The one I had rose from 35 to 100 psi, and my friend's rose from 35 to 65 psi after the solenoid went off. I tried examining to see if I could open the regulator, but it seems to be hermetically sealed, and I think the thing would be ruined if I opened it to try and maybe replace the faulty part. Any thoughts?

Drewsplantednutz 11-11-2012 09:32 PM

I was thinking of saving the $40 bucks and getting this Dici regulator from hong kong rather than the milwaukee one. Thanks you just made my mind for me!!! Ill stay with american made. Anyone know of a better regulator with solenoid for under $100 than the milwaukee ma957??

Harshal1992 11-12-2012 04:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drewsplantednutz (Post 2075210)
I was thinking of saving the $40 bucks and getting this Dici regulator from hong kong rather than the milwaukee one. Thanks you just made my mind for me!!! Ill stay with american made. Anyone know of a better regulator with solenoid for under $100 than the milwaukee ma957??

I've heard some bad things about the Milwaukee 957, which is why I didn't go with it. Apparently it's quite the hit or miss with it.


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