Can't keep Milwaukee bubble rate consistant
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:42 PM   #1
gsd78
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Can't keep Milwaukee bubble rate consistant


I recently set up a pressurized CO2 system with a Milwaukee regulator and a DIY inline reactor. The problem I am having is that I can't keep the bubble rate consistant at all. I'll set it at 1-2 bps and when I check it later in the day it will be down to 1 bubble every 2 seconds. I've tried setting the needle valve at different values from 5 to 20 psi but still can't keep it consistant. Anyone else have this problem? Any ideas whats going on or what I could do to try to fix it?
Greg
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Old 11-08-2004, 05:28 PM   #2
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I had the exact same problem and fought it for a couple months.. Dunno why it did it. I recently hooked up an external C02 reactor and since then it has been fine.. I have not adjusted it in a couple weeks now.. Weird!!!

Philip
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Old 11-08-2004, 05:34 PM   #3
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I can keep mine consistent as low as 0.25 bubbles/second seemingly until the tank runs out. The needle valve is receiving 20 psi. Does the pressure on the right guage fall when your bubble count slows down? That can be a sign of leaks. Are you using thread seal tape?
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:16 PM   #4
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Yes, I did use thread tape when i installed the regulator. To be sure a leak at the regulator fitting isn't the problem i just unscrewed the regulator, put new thred tape on and tightened it up again. As for the right gauge pressure falling when the bubble rate falls....I'm not sure. I'll watch out for that if the bubble rate drops again. Hopefully it was just a leak and reinstalling the regulator fixed my problem.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:00 PM   #5
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make sure you have the main regulator valve opened enough. If its barely opened, it might close back up, especially if it's new. I had this problem when I was only opening it 10%. Once I opened it to 60%, and used the needle valve to dial it down, I had no problems..set it and forget it.
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:46 PM   #6
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Using Teflon tape on the regulator/cylinder connection is contraindicated in compressed gas situations. Mainly due to the fact that small pieces of Teflon tape can really screw up the operation of a regulator.

The only thing that you should need to use to seal the connection is a washer. On all other metal to metal connections in my CO2 systems I use non-hardening pipe dope.
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:14 PM   #7
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And doesn't Co2 eat through teflon?
I would check your whole Co2 line for leaks. When I used to feed my Co2 into my canister, the Co2 leaked where it penetrated the water. Co2 tubing is not Co2 proof on the outside, just the inside, so the Co2 in the tank ate through the tubing. I was getting really weird results and was lucky to have found the leak.
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Old 11-08-2004, 11:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Using Teflon tape on the regulator/cylinder connection is contraindicated in compressed gas situations. Mainly due to the fact that small pieces of Teflon tape can really screw up the operation of a regulator.

The only thing that you should need to use to seal the connection is a washer. On all other metal to metal connections in my CO2 systems I use non-hardening pipe dope.
PTFE is teflon, I assume? This is what I'm using on my CO2 tank. For the first few days of my pressurize setup there was simply a washer. I suspected there was a leak since the tank pressure was only 650 psi. I removed the regulator, added the tape, and retached with the washer still fixed. The tank pressure went slightly higher then 800 psi. So should I still remove it?
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Old 11-09-2004, 02:25 AM   #9
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Tank pressure is dependent on temperature. If you had a leak big enough to cause a 150 psi drop you would be able to hear it.

I'm pretty sure that PFTE is Teflon. I would remove it. Also check with a welding shop or where you get your tank filled and see if they have one of the permanent washers. It's a brass piece that screws into the outlet of the cylinder and has an O ring on the face of it.

The regulator is supposed to seal to the tank with the flat face of the tank and the regulator pipe. If it's leaking from the threads you either don't have a good seal or have not tightened the nut enough.
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:39 AM   #10
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Check to be sure that the pressure on the second gauge is at 20psi. if the pressure on the second gauge is too low, it seems that maintaining a particular bubble count can be difficult.

I also do not use teflon tape. in fact, the guys at the welding shop also told me not to use any for the same reasons Rex expressed. The washer should form a good enough seal.

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Old 11-09-2004, 03:42 AM   #11
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I removed the tape. Took a toothbrush and some patience, but all came off. This time it went straight back to 800 psi too. Must have been the temperature or the nut wasn't tight enough last time.
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Old 11-09-2004, 08:32 PM   #12
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To confirm what others have supposed, PTFE is the material known as Teflon (as is Goretex, BTW). Various manufacturers' literature state that it is chemically inert, insoluable in all known solvents, has excellent resistance to inorganic and organic acids, is attacked only by molten alkali metals and by fluorine at high temperatures, etc. So, I don't think CO2 is likely to break it down...but then, I'm no chemist.

FWIW, when I set up my CO2 system, I had no thread compound on hand but I did have a role of teflon tape made for gas applications. It's much thicker than standard teflon tape, so I supposed that it's less likely to shred. To hedge that bet, I applied it behind the first thread with the idea of keeping it as far out of the path of gas flow as is practical. If/when I have to break the setup down, I'll check the tape's condition.
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Old 12-05-2004, 12:18 PM   #13
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I'm resurrecting this thread as I'm having this exact same problem. I'll go to bed, the bps is maybe 2.5 if the controller hasn't turned the solenoid off at 6.9, I get up and the bubbles are down to 1 every couple of seconds with the ph at 7.2! Has the manufacturer (Milwaukee) had any explanations for what seems a common issue? Or recommendations on how to troubleshoot it? FWIW, on mine, tank pressure is at 900#, right guage is at 20#. I hate the thought of taking it apart and putting it back together 'cause that means I'll be having to tinker with the valves again trying to get a consistent bubble count.
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Old 12-05-2004, 09:52 PM   #14
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1) Shut off the gas, disconnect the CO2 to your reactor and open the needle valve all the way until the residual pressure runs out, then back off the line pressure dial until it's loose.

2) Turn the gas back on, and with the needle valve still wide open, open up the line pressure till it reads about 30, then back your needle valve off until you get the bubble rate you want, shut the solenoid off and reconnect the CO2 to your reactor, turn the solenoid back on.
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Old 12-05-2004, 10:25 PM   #15
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Thanks! I'll do that in the next day or so (right now I've had a couple of "adult beverages" , and tomorrow I've got to decorate a Xmas tree, or I'd do it sooner.)
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