CO2 flow stops after solenoid turns on???
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:04 PM   #1
cvarcher
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Im running 10psi at the working second gauge of the regulator.The bubble rate is set with the needle valve.Next day the solenoid was timed on with the lights .No flow!!! I had to open the needle valve wide open and then it cranked out.I reset the flow and tried a practice shutoff by unplugging the solenoid and waiting an hour.Then I plug it in and the solenoid light comes on ,flow come back after about a minute with a small slug of water moving ahead of the gas. Do I just need to up my working pressure to 15 or 20 psi or do I need a check valve? If I need a check valve will any cheap plastic type do?
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Old 01-25-2003, 12:52 AM   #2
ridns
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Set that second gauge on 30 and try it, that should work much better. :hehe:
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Old 01-25-2003, 01:24 AM   #3
cvarcher
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I just got off the phone with customaquatics and ended up buying their needle valve and bubblecounter/checkvalve.What the heck --Im in it this far!!!
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Old 01-25-2003, 05:09 PM   #4
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I had a very similar problem. It sounds like you may have your problem fixed but here's a quick story just in case...

In my case the needle valve screwed into the outlet of the solenoid. After the solenoid was on for a while it got very warm. This heat flowed through the metal to the needle valve, heating it up too. As the needle valve got hot, the metal it was made of expanded. This changed the very tiny clearance between the needle and the valve seat and shut off or greatly reduced the CO2 flow.

So I'd open the valve to restore the flow.

The pH would drop and the controller would shut off the solenoid. The solenoid and needle valve would cool off. This again changed the clearance between the needle and the valve seat as the metal cooled and contracted.

Next time the controller turned on the solenoid... WHOOSH! The CO2 flow was way to fast when things were cold.

I fixed my problem by getting an in-line needle valve and putting it in the CO2 tubing several inches away from the solenoid (and the heat). The flow regulation is now consistent no matter how hot or cold the solenoid is.

Just something to think about...

Tim
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Old 01-26-2003, 04:18 AM   #5
cvarcher
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You guessed it,I just bought from customaquatics that needle valve that screws directly to the solenoid which I got from monster marine3.I sure hope I dont have that problem happening.Today I checked on the tank and guess what... the flow turned on and at the right flow.All becuase i uppped the working pressure to about 15 lbs.
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Old 01-26-2003, 05:17 PM   #6
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Yes, I would get inconsistent flows with a low working pressure as well. I think that is the most common problem with getting a consistent rate.

-Tim
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Old 01-26-2003, 05:30 PM   #7
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I should "fess up" that the needle valve I had that went right on the solenoid appeared to me to be an el-cheap-o model. It was also made of brass. I tried second stage pressures all the way from 5 psi to 30 psi and was never able to get the flow rate to behave consistently with THIS needle valve.

Different metals have different expansion coefficients when exposed to heat. A higher quality needle valve or one made of a different metal that screwed right on the solenoid might work just fine. I just went with the in-line one because I felt certain that it would fix my problem... and because I could get it locally, and cheap. (I used a needle valve from a hobby shop designed to meter fuel to a model airplane engine. $12.)

Take care...

Tim
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