Difference between CO-3 and CO-4 on cga fittings
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:11 AM   #1
Tvadna
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Difference between CO-3 and CO-4 on cga fittings


So i'm wandering down the path of building my own regulator. The ones that I am eyeing up need the CGA320 fitting.
When I look on line there are a few different options, CO-3 and CO-4.

What is the difference? I'm guessing it is the length of the nipple....
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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The co4 has threads that are specific to old Matheson and Harris regulators. (If memory serves) I think the co3 is just 2 1/2 inch standard co2 nipple. Also, I believe that the 2 inch version is western part number CO-2. There also a left hand thread version but I don't remember the part number off the top of my head.
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Old 11-07-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
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When dealing with plumbing, I like to see it fit. Do you have a local welding supply shop handy enough to drop by? I've always found them ready to try the fit.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:50 PM   #4
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They're the part numbers for western enterprises CGA fittings. CO-3 is 2", CO-4 is 2 1/2". The old threads, the 1/2-27 ones, are CO-7. All brass.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
They're the part numbers for western enterprises CGA fittings. CO-3 is 2", CO-4 is 2 1/2". The old threads, the 1/2-27 ones, are CO-7. All brass.
That's what I get for responding after being awake for ten minutes. My bad.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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I'm awfully glad I asked. Thank you to oldpunk and kevmo for not just replying, but I've read quite a few of your posts on regulators and it has helped me considerably. I just won the auction for a couple of regulators.
Here is the fleabay item #: 281199173215

Thankfully I won't have to get a CGA adapter for the Praxair unit but i'm not as familliar with the other regulator.

Has anyone had any experience with the VWR regulator? After a little research it appears to be a single stage helium regulator with a Neoprene seat. Is my best bet bringing it to a local welding supply shop to find a CGA320 adapter that will fit?

Last edited by Tvadna; 11-08-2013 at 12:39 PM.. Reason: item# instead of link to fleabay
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:02 AM   #7
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They're both single stage. The Praxair is Concoa, and the VWR is Harris Group (Harris, Matcheson, Smith, Fisher, etc.) The output pressure for both should be in the 40-50 range, so you're all set there. Assuming they work, they'll both be well suited for our needs. The 202 is chromed brass, and the 55850 is plain brass. It was a decent deal for both of them.

The 55850 is probably standard 1/4" NPT. You can take it to a welding shop if you want, or you can just see if a 1/4" fitting screws into where the inlet used to be after you remove it. Any 1/4 fitting will do, so if you don't have one, you can grab one at Lowes or HD.

Keep us updated!
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Old 11-17-2013, 12:05 AM   #8
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I figured I owe you guys an update. I could only get one Swagelok needle valve for now so I only have the Praxair regulator running the correct way. It has been nothing but smooth sailing. I really like how precise the 1/4" Swagelok SS-31RF4 is. I have an 1/8" angled Swagelok needle valve with the thin metal cylindrical handle and the 31-RF4 is superior.
I teflon taped everything which I'm second guessing at the moment. I'm a plumber by trade and almost never teflon anything that screws into brass because brass is a soft metal and is prone to split. I'm only running 2lbs of pressure post regulator so I may take it all apart, remove the teflon and just use pipe dope.

My plans from here are to buy a few more needle/metering valves so I can put a tee or two on and get all of my tanks up and running on pressurized CO2 with their own branch.

Thanks for the idea on the CGA320 fitting. I unscrewed the old stem from the VWR valve and it was 1/4" male threads. I called up a welding supply shop 3 miles from my house and picked one up for $8 that included the nut, stem and gasket. The only thing that could have been nicer was a chrome or stainless steel finish to match the chrome regulator. If anyone knows where to find one, LMK!


Here is the setup.

I decided to leave the shut off valve that came with the regulator on. I figured it was just another way to give me a bit more control if needed. I don't usually see them on planted tank regulators. Is it an aesthetic thing or just to save space? What is the advantage of removing it?



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Old 11-17-2013, 12:19 AM   #9
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I just bought 2 more regulators. They're both Harris GP402-10-320. I believe they're dual stage.
From my understanding, here is the breakdown of the Model#: GP-General Purpose, 402-Series (from Harris), 10-flow rate (10 is very low), 320-inlet fitting (CGA320).

Any experience you have with this one would be appreciated. I'm also curious if any more info can be derived just from the series or if its just a random number from Harris.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvadna View Post
I teflon taped everything which I'm second guessing at the moment. I'm a plumber by trade and almost never teflon anything that screws into brass because brass is a soft metal and is prone to split. I'm only running 2lbs of pressure post regulator so I may take it all apart, remove the teflon and just use pipe dope.
I used to work for a well known fitting manufacturer. One of our big truck manufacturing customers was having issues with their pneumatic valves and air systems on their trucks. They cut open the air tank on a truck, the big tanks under the chassis, to find the inside completely white and covered in a layer of pipe dope. Needless to say they stopped using pipe dope to assemble their fittings. Granted like tape, if you know how to properly apply pipe dope and allow it sufficient time to cure you shouldn't have many problems but just something to think about.
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Old 11-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornek8 View Post
I used to work for a well known fitting manufacturer. One of our big truck manufacturing customers was having issues with their pneumatic valves and air systems on their trucks. They cut open the air tank on a truck, the big tanks under the chassis, to find the inside completely white and covered in a layer of pipe dope. Needless to say they stopped using pipe dope to assemble their fittings. Granted like tape, if you know how to properly apply pipe dope and allow it sufficient time to cure you shouldn't have many problems but just something to think about.
We have to be talking apples and oranges here. I'm not sure they were using the same stuff in the same way. I think you're trying to be helpful but this just doesn't seem applicable to the three of four small fittings i'm using it for.
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:23 PM   #12
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What I think is being talked about might fall under "knowing what you're doing"!
Pipe dope is great and tape is great as well. But it doesn't take too much to screw up using either of them. We need to seal the threads so gas doesn't creep along the threads and escape. That doesn't mean we should throw on 6 laps of tape or cover the end of the fitting. . Nor does it mean we should slobber on a handful of sealer. Either used correctly will do a fine job. But either one can be screwed up and ruin your day. Screwing pipes together can be real simple but it needs some thought.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:47 PM   #13
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Over at TBR there was some commentary about how pipe dope didn't work very well on high pressure fittings (the CGA stem) because it literally got blown out. I'm a fan of tape - pipe dope is just too messy for my taste - but if you're going to use dope, don't use it on the CGA stem, just in case.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:27 PM   #14
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^ or any other high pressure port or stainless steel.
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:35 PM   #15
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The idea of pipe dope being blown out follows what I was saying in my last post. Are those saying it won't work on high pressure aware of all the places where it is used? It all gets back to the way we do things. We can do it right and it works or we can screw it up and blame the materials! I agree with you on using tape as it is much easier to store and for sure it is less mess.

From the Oatey website:

Great WhiteŽ Pipe Joint Compound with Ptfe
DOCUMENTS

Lubricates and seals all threaded joints.
White, non-hardening, non-separating, non-toxic paste.
Withstands up to 3,000 PSI on gases from -50° to +400°F, and 10,000 PSI on liquids from -50° to +500°F.
For use with water, steam, caustics or dilute acid lines of PVC, CPVC, ABS, cycolac, polypropylene, iron, steel or copper.
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