Can I run my co2 tank completely empty? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Can I run my co2 tank completely empty?

I have a dual stage co2art pro reg with SMC needle valve.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 06:44 PM
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The C02 tank is empty? Technically, yes, but there is not benefits. As quoted from this thread, "...but not all regulators have a pressure release valve and an EOT dump can be disasterous.....". Have a look here as it may be helpful for you: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=77268

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Last edited by Termato; 09-14-2015 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Modified statement to clarify that there are no benefits to running an empty tank. Dangers depend on the equipment.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 07:28 PM
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Depends on how life works for you. If you are around the tank and want to see what it does, this might be a handy thing to know for the future. In theory--- A dual stage reg should maintain the same output even as the tank pressure goes way down. At least until the working/ output pressure is the same as the tank pressure. Output setting at 20PSI, it should maintain that pressure until the tank itself is down to 20. That's what dual stage are designed to do. But since there have been questions about CO2ART and how they work as a dual stage, I'm a bit less certain that I would do it if I were not there.
What might happen could be hard on the fish if it goes too high and puts too much gas in the tank.
In my real world, I find there is so little benefit to running the tank totally out, that I don't often do it. Just more as a way to do the tank switch on my own schedule rather than when it does go totally out and makes me go NOW rather than when convenient and I'm going that way. I'm guessing in my case there is not much more than 50 cents left and making an extra trip will burn that in gas.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Fair enough, my tank has been at 600psi for the last few days. Feels a fair bit lighter too, guess its time to fill.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
Fair enough, my tank has been at 600psi for the last few days. Feels a fair bit lighter too, guess its time to fill.
What pressure did it read when full?

Probably not wise to let it run completely empty even if you have a dual stage regulator. Might not be the worst idea to physically weigh the tank when empty (or close to it) and again when full. Not only will you be able to confirm you got a full 10 lbs (or whatever size tank you have) but it also gives you something to confirm whether or not your close to empty if you wanted to check something other than pressure.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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800 -900 I really didn't pay too much attention on my first fill. I will weight it. How do I know how much an empty 15lb would weight?

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2015, 10:51 PM
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Tare weight stamped in the metal near the top?
But if it is near the 800-900 when filled and down to 600 now, I might let it go for a little while. I kind of set 400 as time for me and my tank but that depends on how much you are using. If you watch it for a few days and it doesn't go down very fast, you will have a better idea. The problem with the weigh idea is that you are likely to be in the area where the liquid is gone and you are now using the remaining gas. The liquid has weight and is what they fill by but the gas is pretty much floating and you may not see any weight other than the tank. Remember how a tiny drop of water will expand and fill a really large space? That is where you are right now with the tank. Only the CO2 turns to gas at a really low temperature. Once it is not squeezed/compressed, it becomes gas.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Depends on how life works for you. If you are around the tank and want to see what it does, this might be a handy thing to know for the future. In theory--- A dual stage reg should maintain the same output even as the tank pressure goes way down. At least until the working/ output pressure is the same as the tank pressure. Output setting at 20PSI, it should maintain that pressure until the tank itself is down to 20. That's what dual stage are designed to do. But since there have been questions about CO2ART and how they work as a dual stage, I'm a bit less certain that I would do it if I were not there.
What might happen could be hard on the fish if it goes too high and puts too much gas in the tank.
In my real world, I find there is so little benefit to running the tank totally out, that I don't often do it. Just more as a way to do the tank switch on my own schedule rather than when it does go totally out and makes me go NOW rather than when convenient and I'm going that way. I'm guessing in my case there is not much more than 50 cents left and making an extra trip will burn that in gas.
Is there still doubt if co2art dual stage regulators are really dual stage? I thought it was proven that it is indeed a dual stage. I am considering buying one from them.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
800 -900 I really didn't pay too much attention on my first fill. I will weight it. How do I know how much an empty 15lb would weight?
I'd guess it'll be in the 20 lb range.

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Tare weight stamped in the metal near the top?
But if it is near the 800-900 when filled and down to 600 now, I might let it go for a little while. I kind of set 400 as time for me and my tank but that depends on how much you are using. If you watch it for a few days and it doesn't go down very fast, you will have a better idea.

I usually find 800 psi or so on my full tanks and tend to agree that now you should wait and watch. However, I find that if it takes say 8 weeks to see the pressure drop from a full 800 psi down to 600, then within a week or so after that its down to 400 psi or lower. I will add that was what I observed when I had a system that was leaking however.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 03:59 PM
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That's where things can get funny and throw us off. When we have leaks it is easy to lose much more than we ever use. But I don't find any way to compare how quickly one tank will use the CO2 vs. another. Just so many things that are different. I get two 75 gallon tanks set side by side and running what looks very much the same and the CO on one lasts different than the other. Obvious that there are things like the size and number of bubbles is different in ways that I can't see.

Another thing to throw us off when we are watching the pressure is the way the CO tank can vary in temperature. A sudden dip in room temperature can make the tank pressure dip and make us think we are getting low. Then the next day we may find the pressure goes UP??? So watch out for being fooled by sudden air temperature changes. Spring and fall are good times for this? One reason for me to wait and actually be sure the tank is about out rather than trying to spot one of these sudden temp changes.
I figure if the pressure goes up instead of down, it's the temperature. Nobody sneaking in to add CO2 for sure.
One place I've run into the confusion is easy to see when I thought about it. A CO tank in a stand with two filters solenoids, etc. alongside and the door closed reads different than it does when the stand door is off and AC is cooling it. Put the door back on and suddenly there's more gas pressure. I'm guessing there was about a twenty degree difference in the temperature.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 05:18 PM
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It shouldn't matter what high-side pressure it read when full. If there's enough gas that there's any liquid CO2 in the tank at all, the high side pressure becomes a thermometer. So, it may change as you move it from the place you get it filled to home, which may be warmer or cooler. Not a very good indicator of how full the tank is, it is more of an indicator that the tank is almost empty.

Quote:
How do I know how much an empty 15lb would weight?
The tank will have a Tare Weight stamped on it (usually starting with TW), as Planted Rich suggested. That's the empty tank weight. How much it will weigh varies a lot depending on what it is made of, so don't go with averages, look on your tank.

A 15lb tank, when properly full, should weigh its stamped tare weight plus 15 pounds.

If you want to know how much gas you have, close the valve, remove the regulator and weigh the tank, then subtract off the tare weight.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

I gotta get a scale, I found the tare weight but dont have a scale.. I am going to get it filled today after work and I will have them weight it to get an idea of how much was left (just out of curiosity).

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-16-2015 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 07:50 PM
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I have the same dual stage regulator, my working pressure stayed the same all the way to empty.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-15-2015, 09:08 PM
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I've heard that once the high side needle moves, you only have gas, its no longer compressed into liquid. If that's the case, there's very little CO2 left, cost wise. Anyway, I've found that once it goes below 500 psi, I have a few days to refill so, that's when I plan for the refill. For me its not worth it to worry about wasting a few cents worth of gas since I have to go for a refill during business hours. I do have a Victor dual stage that the working pressure never varies.
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