Complete Leak Check, CO2 pressurized system
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:05 AM   #1
Bettatail
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Complete Leak Check, CO2 pressurized system


CO2 is toxic in higher concentrations: 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[7] Concentrations of 7% to 10% cause dizziness, headache, visual and hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an hour

---make sure your house ventilation is good, or your system is completely bullet proof.


This leak check is also a function check for Double stage Regulator.
(spray soap water test only for the reachable connection ports, if leaking is inside the regulator, soap water test is useless.
also, someone suggest dipping the whole system in water to test leak, don't even think about it, it is suicide if solenoid is 120V, or you will ruin the solenoid.)

Step 1.
A. Regulator handle completely loose(counter clockwise).
B. Connect the regulator to the co2 tank, make sure the connection is secured.
C. Turn on the CO2 tank release handle slowly, CO2 inject into regulator, the HP gauge reading should be at 800 psi.
D. Shut the CO2 tank release handle, now the reading on the HP gauge should be 800 psi also.
E. Wait 6 hours, if the reading is the same, first stage is good, go to second step.

If the psi lower but the tank--regulator(soap water test), CGA 320 nipple--regulator(soap water test) and HP gauge--regulator(soap water test) connection ports are 100% no leak, your regulator is toasted--the leaking is inside(leaking HP gauge, punched diaphragm, diaphragm seal broken, or the poppet valve between the first stage and second stage chambers is not completely sealed.)

Step 2.
continue from step one if success, now you have 800 psi of co2 isolated in the first stage chamber.
A. needle valve open.
B. Solenoid valve power off(shut).
C. Turn the regulator handle clockwise to charge the second stage chamber, fill to the regulator default outlet maximum.
D. Turn the regulator handle counter clockwise(completely loose).
E. Release the CO2 in the first stage chamber by turning loose the regulator-Tank connection screw(make sure the co2 tank is closed before you do this).
Now you have CO2 isolated in the second stage chamber.
F. Wait for 5-10 minutes(to ease the second stage diaphragm elastic issue, psi may drop right after the regulator handle turn loose, then it will stay), record the LP gauge psi reading.
G. Wait for 6 hours, if the change of new psi reading is within 1/8+ difference of original reading, go to step 3

If the psi lower a lot after 6 hours, redo step 2, soap water test on every reachable connection port(LP gauge--regulator, regulator--fittings, fittings--solenoid)
if leaking found, fix it

redo step 2.
no leak, go to step 3

if still leak.
Take out the solenoid, seal the outlet port of the regulator(make sure the sealed port has no leak)
redo step 2 without the solenoid.
if no leak, solenoid valve has issue.
if leaking still, regulator toasted.(similar problems as mentioned in step one)


Step 3.
A. connect the regulator back to the co2 tank, charge both stage charmbers(turn on the co2 tank release handle then the regulator handle, outlet psi set to your desire psi).
B. Turn on the solenoid valve.
C. Turn off the needle valve, soap water test, between the ports of solenoid and the needle valve.
D. Turn on the needle valve, soap water test for rest of the hose/NPT/hose barb connections.
E. if leaking found, fix it.

leak test and regulator functional check complete.

Last edited by Bettatail; 01-20-2013 at 07:06 PM.. Reason: correction.
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Old 05-16-2011, 02:18 PM   #2
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wow great article about testing for leaks
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:56 PM   #3
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Please add a section for single stage regulators too.
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Complete CO2 Leak Test : How to build a CO2 regulator


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Old 05-26-2011, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
Please add a section for single stage regulators too.
Step 1: get a dual stage

lol jk
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettatail View Post

Step 1.
A. Regulator handle completely loose(counter clockwise).
B. Connect the regulator to the co2 tank, make sure the connection is secured.
C. Turn on the CO2 tank release handle slowly, CO2 inject into regulator, the HP gauge reading should be at 800 psi.
D. Shut the CO2 tank release handle, now the reading on the HP gauge should be 800 psi also.
E. Wait 6 hours, if the reading is the same, first stage is good, go to second step.
I performanced step 1 test and it is normal (800 psi). However, when I got back from a vaction (4 days) it dropped to 0 psi. The Co2 tank was in the off position. Is this normal?
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:36 PM   #6
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If the tank is off, the gauge will very slowly drop to zero after a few days.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
If the tank is off, the gauge will very slowly drop to zero after a few days.
make sure the connection is tight, I have the same PSI reading for 3 days after CO2 tank close.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:37 PM   #8
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What if, my low repressure gauge is drop down to 0 psi also. I'm using the burket solenoid and it is unplugged. I try the soapy water method and appears no leak.

Anybody test out to see if:

-Co2 tank is off for 3+ days shown 800+psi high pressure gauge ad 20 psi low gauge before it is turned off.
- unplugged solenoid
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:51 PM   #9
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I use clippard Mouse solenoid, it is Buna-N internal seal, not the o-ring
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioaficionado View Post
If the tank is off, the gauge will very slowly drop to zero after a few days.
If there is no leaks, it shouldn't.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:42 AM   #11
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I just re-tighten everything and leave it off for 3 days to see if it will drop back to 0 psi. So far the reading is 900 psi and other gauge is 24 psi. So far, so good (already been an hour).
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Old 08-10-2011, 05:39 AM   #12
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updated
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:27 AM   #13
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Default Leak Check

How do you check if a used regulator is good or bad without any fittings attach to it yet? (No solenoid, no metering valve, no brass/ stainless steel fittings, Nothing!).

This is particularly when someone buys a used regulator on e-b-a-y that has not been tested to be working or not. So, it can be returned within time period specified by the seller.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herns View Post
How do you check if a used regulator is good or bad without any fittings attach to it yet? (No solenoid, no metering valve, no brass/ stainless steel fittings, Nothing!).

This is particularly when someone buys a used regulator in e-b-a-y that has not been tested to be working or not. So, it can be returned within time period specified by the seller.

You at least need CO2 coming into the regulator to test it. Attach the regulator to the CO2 tank. Makes sure the working pressure is reading 0 psi. The tank pressure should read 800 psi. Then, close the CO2 tank valve. The tank pressure should still be reading 800 psi. If after couple of days and the pressure is still reading 800 psi, you have no leaks from the regulator to the CO2 tank.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetra73 View Post
You at least need CO2 coming into the regulator to test it. Attach the regulator to the CO2 tank. Makes sure the working pressure is reading 0 psi. The tank pressure should read 800 psi. Then, close the CO2 tank valve. The tank pressure should still be reading 800 psi. If after couple of days and the pressure is still reading 800 psi, you have no leaks from the regulator to the CO2 tank.

After the test is done, how would you discharge the CO2 inside regulator? Just let it air out?
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