EOTD worry warts: Meet your God! LOL @ DIY Regulator
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
proaudio55
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EOTD worry warts: Meet your God! LOL @ DIY Regulator


If you look up the definition of "a solution in search of a problem" it should link to this build!
Forward:
EOTD stands for "end of tank dump" and a cheap regulator like mine is known to have major pressure swings as the cylinder runs out of CO2. By adding an additional 2 regulators in series, any pressure fluctuations will be eliminated. In reality, one additional regulator would be sufficient, but I'm a high-roller with a soft spot for prop comedy.


So here's my DIY 3 stage regulator.
Stage 1 is a cheap harbor freight inert gas regulator:
Stage 2 and 3 are both hardware store inline compressed air regulators

Gauge 2 is: 0-60PSI Mcmaster-carr P/N 3846K14
Gauge 3 and 4 are 0-30PSI Mcmaster-carr P/N 3846K12

The gradient on this regulator train is:
800PSI
40PSI
20PSI
10PSI

This was during the build . . . It looks strangely like something you'd find at a 'crack house'. . . I can quit planted tanks anytime, it's under control, I swear!!

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...111_EOTD1c.jpg


All hail the 20lb aluminum CO2 tank of glory! I've been running this bad-boy for over a year now on a single fill.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...112_EOTD2c.jpg


Here was when I just set it up; Note the corrected pressures. I found out my diffuser needs about 10PSI to work right.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...113_EOTD3c.jpg


Go ahead and laugh, I found this whole build quite amusing!
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:41 AM   #2
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Ha! I love it!

Has the potential of being regarded as a slight overkill...but on another note you can BS all your friends on how complex your aquarium is as a party conversation!
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
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You're worried about EOTD with a 20 pounder that you've been running on for a year? I roll through that much every other month, and the only "dump" that I've experienced is the one I take- when it's time to pay for another refill.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:17 AM   #4
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fyi, teflon tape does not stop CO2 leakage, try locktite instead.....DC
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloCanine View Post
fyi, teflon tape does not stop CO2 leakage, try locktite instead.....DC
Loctite does indeed stop CO2 leakage. As does teflon tape. And pipe dope.


To the OP: My hat is off to you, my friend. It's something I'd probably do myself, just to take a pic and share

In your opinion, is there any advantage to having the working pressures set at the levels you do, other than to account for inaccuracies in the gauges or diaphragms? For example, would you see a problem with settings at 20, 15, and 10? For the record, I believe I understand exactly what you're doing, and why. Just making sure we're on the same page.

And do you have a $ total? Curiosity abounds

*edit* and one final question - what sort of needle-ish-looking valve do you have there at the end?
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:15 AM   #6
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LOL, ok for the record, this whole build is basically "prop comedy!" I think it's hilarious and WAY overkill. I really don't care about EOTD, my old setup with 1 step down regulator was more than fine for my needs.


http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...rain_minic.jpg


As for the step down ratio / pressures . . . those are totally arbitrary. As long as the last regulator is set to 10PSI, I don't think it really makes that much difference. The way I figure, if the first regulator fluctuates by 10%. Then the second fluctuates by 10% of that and the 3rd fluctuates by 10% of that. . . In my head that works out to 10% of 10% of 10% or 0.1% output variation. Regardless of what the math exactly works out to, this setup is going to be extremely stable.

My needle valve on the end is one that we had laying around at work. I "liberated" that valve off a piece of equipment we scrapped out. It is super coarse, but the price was right!

Rough estimate of total costs: Under $100
$30 for the CHEAP-O welding regulator
$10 for the first step down reg
$15 for the second step down reg
$12 for 0-60PSI replacement gauge for cheap-o reg (replace "cubic feet per hour" which was calibrated to an orifice originally on the regulator)
$24 for 0-30PSI gauges on step down regs
$20 bucks for various supplies / fittings
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Old 02-18-2012, 05:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
Loctite does indeed stop CO2 leakage. As does teflon tape. And pipe dope.
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00028.html
http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...p/t-17541.html

Pipe dope can be debated but I really do not see the need; loktite is cleaner and works great.....DC
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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Woah, for $100 you can have a great dual-stage regulator, solenoid and needle valve.

But I like what you did here.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiabloCanine View Post
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00028.html
http://www.hobartwelders.com/weldtal...p/t-17541.html

Pipe dope can be debated but I really do not see the need; loktite is cleaner and works great.....DC
Both of those threads agree that no sealant is necessary ...at the CGA connection between the nipple and cylinder threads. The first link is specifically about that connection. The second link is a number of people weighing in on different types of connections, but consensus seems to be that on tapered fittings like NPT (which is virtually everything we (hobbyists) use in the US, aside from the cylinder fitting, which utilizes a washer instead of sealant), some sort of sealant is necessary. Such as teflon tape.

Again, loctite, teflon, and pipe dope are all sealants that will work for our purposes. They all have pros and cons. Not going to argue this further.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:34 PM   #10
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You need to create an elephant costume for your tank and regulators. Just have the gauges stick up from the trunk section.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Woah, for $100 you can have a great dual-stage regulator, solenoid and needle valve.

But I like what you did here.
Please show me where because for a good dual stage used reg you can pay over $100 on the body and gauges alone, a good solenoid $40 ish, and a needle valve worth using 25-50.

Btw thought it was hilarious when I saw this
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