Are all solenoids designed to screw directly into regulators or are some in line only
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:49 AM   #1
Hardstuff
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Are all solenoids designed to screw directly into regulators or are some in line only


I have a clippard solenoid, old style maybe 7-10 years old still running well, however some advice from people tell me I need to screw my solenoid directly into my regulator. Green leaf says that will fix my problem of (blowing out my water in the bubble counter). I have tried everything , even adding extra check valves between the bubble counter & solenoid with zero success!
I decided to take the system down today & go down to Lowes & get the parts I need. They do NOT have the parts I need. So I am going to call the gas company where I bought my tank from to see if they have the nipples & fittings that I can attach my solenoid directly to the regulator.
My question is this: Since I am running my solenoid inline , are there INLINE ONLY solenoids that can only run inline. It has a nipple fitting / barb fitting for the tube & what looks like a compression fitting at each end. But there is only 3 threads on each side where the little compression fittings are! Is that enough to screw female ends into with more than 30 PSI??? Green leaf says it will fix my problem but to me putting the solenoid before or after the needle valve would create the same pressure once the solenoid opens up!!! Help, need advice, a new regulator & solenoid is not happening for this rig ,but I like running Green Leaf. Thanks
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:19 AM   #2
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What solenoid are you running? I am surprised your hardware store does not have the parts, as I would imagine it is just a standard 1/8" NPT port that would screw into your solenoid, and then you would need a 1/8" NPT to hose barb adapter only.

I do not usually see solenoids run inline, since they generally look neater mounted.

What is your delivery pressure set at? If it is particularly high, there might be nothing around blowing some water out of your inline bubble counter each time the gas flow is turned on.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:32 AM   #3
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Hi Anthony. I am running 30 PSI . or 1.5-1.6 bars. We talked about this already & I took your advice & I went down to Lowes & they did not have the proper fitting for the solenoid. The regulator port has a 3/8 opening if I measured correctly. The solenoid has what appears to be 1/4 inch threads but has a barb at the end on each side to connect the tubing.
Is it possible that since there is only 3 threads on each side that it is designed for INLINE ONLY use???? Maybe the gas company will have those fittings. It looks like I need male to female with those sizes mentioned 3/8 to 1/4.
You could be right, I talked to people & at 30 psi NO check valves are going to hold that water in. I am running Green Leafs atomic check valve & his diffuser. I like the way it runs but I lost my dose because of zero water in the bubble counter!!! Advice please , Thanks
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:12 AM   #4
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I figured out how to make it work, but it is risky. Both nipples will unscrew from the solenoid, but they are teflon taped in & after running for years under high heat I am afraid to unscrew them even if I had a bench vise, They are 10 mm. I am afraid of cracking the plastic or damaging the solenoid. I do believe that this is the way to go though. This way I will only need 1 nipple to attach the solenoid to the regulator & the needle valve will screw right into the other side of the solenoid, but maybe at a price! Without a bench vise it looks bad , but even with a bench vise to hold the solenoid it could still break!
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:37 AM   #5
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Ok , I went ahead & felt brave. I vise gripped the solenoid & cranked off the nipples. It worked ,they are both off. Now all I need is the 3/8 male nipple, & it looks like Home Depot has them. I just hope I did not damage the solenoid when cracking the tapper on the threads. I will find out tomorrow.
Not sure if it matters which direction the solenoid goes if at all. My guess is it does not matter which way the gas goes. Hope this helps some people that are working with later regulators.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:58 AM   #6
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The way you removed the existing connections is the best way to do it. That way, you just have female NPT ports on the solenoid, and can do whatever you want with it.

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Not sure if it matters which direction the solenoid goes if at all. My guess is it does not matter which way the gas goes. Hope this helps some people that are working with later regulators.
Gas directionality matters in solenoids. You should look up the specification sheet for your solenoid in order to determine which side is the inlet and which side is the outlet.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Thanks Anthony. Everything is hooked up & running this morning:. I checked for leaks & found zero. The nipple ended up being 1/4 inch. As far as directional flow on the solenoid goes , since it is so old I do not have original paper work & cannot find anything on this cilippard unit online , I decided to install the way I had it. The LED light is facing the regulator & the inside of the solenoid looks like it has a further indentation than the other side which appears flatter looking, which is the non LED side. My best guess is that it is installed correctly but not 100% sure. I still do not know how much the regulator is going to heat up!
Now I still do not know if this will make ANY difference in the bubble counter holding water or not, but it does have a cleaner look about it.
Regarding original post on FLOAT issues with the current needle valve, I plan on upgrading that as well. I know you mentioned some brands on your primer I will check that out, because I know I am getting some float issues with this cheap needle valve running at 30 psi! Now if it turns out the bubble counter is still blowing out, what is my next plan of attack, if any! I was thinking of trying a second check valve between the bubble counter & diffuser but feel it would do nothing!

Last edited by Hardstuff; 03-07-2013 at 06:48 AM.. Reason: miss spell
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:51 AM   #8
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OK this could be early, but the bubble counter is staying full for now. This is good news! I am still not sure which is the correct side to have the gas flow?? I did see similar posts on this. Anthony's Primer is the next avenue I will be checking to see if there is a mention on the proper direction of gas flow on the solenoids. I will try Clippard as well.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
OK this could be early, but the bubble counter is staying full for now. This is good news! I am still not sure which is the correct side to have the gas flow?? I did see similar posts on this. Anthony's Primer is the next avenue I will be checking to see if there is a mention on the proper direction of gas flow on the solenoids. I will try Clippard as well.
The directionality for solenoids is usually indicated on the solenoid body (or in the specification sheet).

As long as you were careful during disassembly and reassembly, it will be fine.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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Mounting the solenoid directly to the regulator seemed to fix the bubble counter problem, which is great. However now the float issues are worse. I thought I had a clippard solenoid so I called them up to ask about directional issues since I do not have the paper work after 10 years!
The tech said it is not theirs!! The outside has a CS on it. There is a logo with CS & a bow & arrow . Thinking the arrow the only thing I have to go by is the direction. Other than googling the company which is in Germany I am out of luck.
Now it may very well be correct & my needle valve may be going, because I not only get float during the day now I also get massive float issues when it fires back up taking several hours to get even close to the correct dossage. Not good if your not home.
So I am looking for a new needle valve. I noticed Clippard did not make your Primer list Anthony. Any opinions on them? I am running what looks like 1/4 inch on the regulator & needle valve but you were mentioning 1/8 inch?
Im currently looking at the Fabcos.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
So I am looking for a new needle valve. I noticed Clippard did not make your Primer list Anthony. Any opinions on them? I am running what looks like 1/4 inch on the regulator & needle valve but you were mentioning 1/8 inch?
Im currently looking at the Fabcos.
If your solenoid is 1/4", you can find reducers.

I am pretty sure I mentioned my opinions about the Clippard in my primer

As for the Fabcos, they are good, but I would recommend getting the NV-55-18 over the NV-55. The former has 1/8" ports, so you would just need a reducer. The latter has #10/32 ports, and would be best run inline (and not mounted), since the #10/32 to hose barb adapters are quite fragile.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:23 AM   #12
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Ok , I like the Fabco, but the 1/8 inch port in the picture the one that the gas goes to the bubble counter does not look like it has threads? Is it the picture? The mounting port clearly has threads, but what's going on with the barb port. Where do I get the 1/8 inch barbs fittings? Does it come with the barbs. Mine probably does not fit being 1/4 inch barb fittings?
The solenoid hook up was easy but seemed difficult until you do it. Like anything else you learn as you go. Now the needle valve looks tricky but Im sure I will get it. Thanks Anthony.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
Ok , I like the Fabco, but the 1/8 inch port in the picture the one that the gas goes to the bubble counter does not look like it has threads? Is it the picture? The mounting port clearly has threads, but what's going on with the barb port. Where do I get the 1/8 inch barbs fittings? Does it come with the barbs. Mine probably does not fit being 1/4 inch barb fittings?
The solenoid hook up was easy but seemed difficult until you do it. Like anything else you learn as you go. Now the needle valve looks tricky but Im sure I will get it. Thanks Anthony.
The Fabco NV-55-18 has 1/8" female NPT ports. If you wish to mount it, you will require a 1/8" male to male or a 1/8" male to female connector, depending on what parts you currently have. You can also get 1/8" NPT to hose barb fittings, if you wish to run it inline.

If you have 1/4" fittings on the parts you currently have, you can use 1/4" to 1/8" adapters.

All of these should be easily found at your hardware store.
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:08 PM   #14
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I have been reading links on solenoid directional flow. So far I have come across nothing that pertains to me since my solenoid seems to be an odd ball.I was thinking of switching the direction even though some solenoids are uni directional. Very confusing! The fact that I am getting huge swings on the low side after start up that did not happen before putting the solenoid in front of the needle could mean a directional issue?
The arrow in mention looks more like a logo than a guide but could be both! I am stumped on this one. I know I will benefit from a new needle valve but would hate to destroy a new needle valve with an improperly installed solenoid. Could I trash a new needle valve if the direction is off???
Maybe my only option is to go ahead an switch the direction of the solenoid, but I am concerned about damage even in this case!!! Is the worse thing that could happen would be to lose some gas????
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Old 03-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #15
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One last thing. After I reset the flow after start up the needle valve seems to hold dosage fairly well, with only slight float issues. Its only when it starts up in the morning I have to make a large increase to get back where I was the day before.
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