As in many ot the things we do, the charts on how the needle vale will work, really are missing the mark for our small use. They charts show what happens at 75-100 PSI when we are more likely to deal with 10PSI! Not too much help?
So that leaves us to look for experience and I know of none who have used the Clippard, even though there are likely to be some users. Clippard is like a lot of folks who make good stuff but it may not be meant for us as we are such a small segment. Perhaps it works but then I also know there were a pretty large group who wanted another option and approached Fabco to remake the NV-55 using the 10-32 fitting, into one which could be used with 1/8 solid piping as the 10-32 is a tiny weak little thing to hang out in space. Fabco did the redesign and came out with the NV-55-18 for our use. What that tells me is that the group from 8-10 years back were not finding a needle valve that fit well enough and prompted them to go to the trouble of asking Fabco for better?
Any of you older users still looking in that could tell us the what and why?
I might be a little dubious of the Clippard but only on the thought that the group was looking for better at that time and it tends to require a longer valve to get the lon taper we like.
The safety factor is not a great big factor to me on needle valves as we are not prone to accidentally ruining the needle by one or two closing too tight. More a factor if we do it repeated times and hard enough to mash a dent into the metal. Something to be aware of and not mess up the anvil type thing?
I see your point on the clippard needle valve. I decided to go with the tried and true and not try to save a buck and end up with something that is not at all suitable for a planted tank.
I bought the post body kit #1 https://www.diyco2regulator.com/co2-...body-kit-1-12v
along with the matching power supply from
diyco2regulator with the Fabco NV-55-18 Needle Valve and Clippard solenoid. I could have tried to find cheaper prices on each part (and I probably could). But, as you pointed out, it would probably not be worth the time and effort involved. My only regret is that I forgot to get the check valve since I was already paying the shipping...
I did get the adjustable pressure relief valve as suggested by @jeffkrol
as I really do not know how hard a life the regulator had. It looks like it was very well taken care of and the seller claims it was lab used, but you never really know when you buy on auction sites. I also like the option of being able to bleed off pressure at the twist of a knob. I wonder if an adjustable relief valve (properly adjusted) would be a good failsafe for someone running a single stage regulator to release the excess pressure on an EOTD?
I thought I would post up some costs in case someone is interested in seeing how much a build like this costs.
All shipping either free or included in quoted price except on items purchased from diyco2regulator.com which is added into total.
Harris Two Stage Lab Regulator $55.00 Used (price may vary) [I feel very lucky to find it at this price]
CGA-320 Nut & Nipple w/ Washer 9.48 [Ebay Link Removed]
Dwyer Rate-master Flowmeter RMA-151 22.55 Used (price may vary)
CO2 Regulator Post Body Kit #1 89.99 Link
12 volt power supply with matching plug 4.99 Link
Shipping on items purchased at diyco2regulator.com 5.99
Check valve TBD
To Be Determined (will edit with price and link when I source and purchase)
Total for Regulator Assembly: $188.00 (No idea how it came out to an exact dollar amount, but it did)
Necessary but never included in pre-built regulator assemblies:
5lb co2 Tank- Aluminum Cylinder with CGA320 Valve 64.55 [Ebay Link Removed]
Brass Pressure Relief Valve, 0-100 psi Adjustable 10.44 Link
Barstock Street Tee 1/4 NPT male-female-female 6.24 [Ebay Link Removed]
Grand total Including Tank and optional items $269.33
For reference, the S.T. International Aquarium 2-Gauge Professional CO2 Regulator currently sells for 200.00 on Amazon Link
. This is a highly rated regulator assembly (according to some of the reviews I have read). I personally think it is kinda meh. I believe it is inferior in every way to what I am putting together. [Single stage regulator (this is not make or break, but I really wanted to go two stage). Lower quality needle valve, and plastic bodied solenoid valve]. It does not include a measuring device of any kind, check valve, tank, or the adjustable pressure relief valve.
Hopefully people will not get scroll wrap on my the totals column. I have a very wide screen monitor so formatting when trying to create total columns may not translate well on narrower monitors.
I am not sure if the links will work properly as I am kind of new to forum posting. I will try and edit if it does not look right or link correctly.
Any advice on check valves will be appreciated since I forgot to add the check valve on my purchase from diyco2regulator.com. I have no trust whatsoever in plastic check valves since they cannot even be trusted (in my experience) for bubblers. I have literally seen water syphoning back through tubing that had a cheap plastic check valve on it. Also I have read here (and elsewhere) that plastic check valves are prone to blowing apart under CO2 pressure (I believe this since I have had one separate from bubbler pressure). I may pony up the shipping cost on the check valve from diyco2regulator.com but I would like to avoid the shipping charge if I can. Diy does not post the actual brand or model number. Probably to avoid outsourcing (a company has to try to make money). Anyone have an actual brand name or model number for a decent check valve so I can search for a free shipping option?
Thank you all for all the valuable information that I am receiving. It amazes me that people take time out of their lives to provide knowledge to people who are trying to learn about the world of planted aquariums.
Bump: It seems that ebay links will not work. Columns did not line up at all since multiple spaces are converted to single space, but the general idea is there.