Massive leak at the tank connection - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Massive leak at the tank connection

I am trying to get into a pressurized CO2 system and have been struggling with actually get it running for 2 years now which is just insane!


Here is the setup:
  • 20 LB CO2 Tank
  • Victor VTS-253C (Originally tried 453, but way too large and a blown stage)
  • Clippard Mouse Solinoid
  • Fabico NV-55-18
  • Crappy Fluval Bubble Counter


Here is my main problem right now:




I bought this regulator used off the einternet bay and tested it when I got it. It seemed to work well for a little while before a loud sound developed a couple of minuted later. I've attached the regulator on the tank a handful of times and every single time this happens. I think I am not getting a proper connection to the tank because the gas seems to be leaking from behind the nut.



I've used two different perma-seal and two different types of nylon seals and this still happens. The first perma-seal I got from the same place I bought the post-body kit and the second off Amazon. The nylon seals I got from Amazon and GLA. I also use a beefy 12 inch crescent wrench to tighten the regulator, but I am not very strong. I tighten the nut until I can't turn it anymore.



Any advice on what I may be doing wrong? I would prefer to use this regulator than to spend money on a brand new one from a place like GLA. I've done a search on this forum with no luck so far on a solution.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLoach View Post
I am trying to get into a pressurized CO2 system and have been struggling with actually get it running for 2 years now which is just insane!


Here is the setup:
  • 20 LB CO2 Tank
  • Victor VTS-253C (Originally tried 453, but way too large and a blown stage)
  • Clippard Mouse Solinoid
  • Fabico NV-55-18
  • Crappy Fluval Bubble Counter


Here is my main problem right now:




I bought this regulator used off the internet bay and tested it when I got it. It seemed to work well for a little while before a loud sound developed a couple of minuted later. I've attached the regulator on the tank a handful of times and every single time this happens. I think I am not getting a proper connection to the tank because the gas seems to be leaking from behind the nut.



I've used two different perma-seal and two different types of nylon seals and this still happens. The first perma-seal I got from the same place I bought the post-body kit and the second off Amazon. The nylon seals I got from Amazon and GLA. I also use a beefy 12 inch crescent wrench to tighten the regulator, but I am not very strong. I tighten the nut until I can't turn it anymore.



Any advice on what I may be doing wrong? I would prefer to use this regulator than to spend money on a brand new one from a place like GLA. I've done a search on this forum with no luck so far on a solution.

IF it's just a matter of a bad seal at the tank/regulator and a hard time tightening it (It does require a bit of force) you could try a perma seal.
Your tank valve need the outlet threaded inside.
Since you install w/ an allen wrench and it uses o rings generally less force is needed to seal properly
https://www.homebrewing.org/Co2-Leak...RoCAUcQAvD_BwE


You need to explain the loud sound.. only usually loud sound is gas escaping. Now this could be the leak at the tank/reg OR the gas releasing from the safety pressure relief.
Former could be fixed w/ a perma seal.. latter not generally easy to fix depending if it's a bad pressure relief (see part at about 5 o clock in picture in link) or if the seat or diaphram is shot (internal and not really usere fixable).


https://www.airgas.com/product/Gas-E...p/VIC0781-3574
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
IF it's just a matter of a bad seal at the tank/regulator and a hard time tightening it (It does require a bit of force) you could try a perma seal.
Your tank valve need the outlet threaded inside.
Since you install w/ an allen wrench and it uses o rings generally less force is needed to seal properly
https://www.homebrewing.org/Co2-Leak...RoCAUcQAvD_BwE


You need to explain the loud sound.. only usually loud sound is gas escaping. Now this could be the leak at the tank/reg OR the gas releasing from the safety pressure relief.
Former could be fixed w/ a perma seal.. latter not generally easy to fix depending if it's a bad pressure relief (see part at about 5 o clock in picture in link) or if the seat or diaphram is shot (internal and not really usere fixable).


https://www.airgas.com/product/Gas-E...p/VIC0781-3574



I have three perma-seals and have tried to use them originally, but I get the same results. I've only ever hand tightened those, so I'll have to try tightening them with an allen key. The loud sound happens when I turn the valve on the cylinder. When that happens you can feel "wind" on your hand the seconds that noise starts. I don't leave the cylinder open for long because I don't want to waste too much gas. I *REALLY* hope I didn't buy another garbage regulator if it turns out the first stage is trashed.


By the way I've heard nylon seals are supposed to deform when used, but the one I put in didn't seem to change shape.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLoach View Post
I have three perma-seals and have tried to use them originally, but I get the same results. I've only ever hand tightened those, so I'll have to try tightening them with an allen key. The loud sound happens when I turn the valve on the cylinder. When that happens you can feel "wind" on your hand the seconds that noise starts. I don't leave the cylinder open for long because I don't want to waste too much gas. I *REALLY* hope I didn't buy another garbage regulator if it turns out the first stage is trashed.


By the way I've heard nylon seals are supposed to deform when used, but the one I put in didn't seem to change shape.

Sadly sounds like the pressure relief valve which could mean...bad regulator..




If it's the first stage and the pressure relief is going off if you shut the tank valve off your main guage should drop but hold at about 250psi or so.. just below the pressure relief reset point.



hat fialed on mine.. See crack. Sixth part from the left above..






May not be your issue but it was mine on my "like" Victor (big one "d" output.
I really thought I'd fix it.. bought another reg instead..






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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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I'll test it a bit more later and probably try the soapy water test to see where the gas is escaping from.

If the regulator is trash, any tips of finding a working one? Had bad luck on two so far if this one is bad. I would buy a brand new one, but they are incredibly expensive!

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 04:11 PM
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Pm me, there are a few new ones on ebay, good 2 stage, good brands but they need a cga320 nipple added to them...i can link you up
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 04:47 PM
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https://bakersgas.com/products/smith...hoC644QAvD_BwE
Cheapest "retail" 2 stage regulator.
Sadly still need the CO2 cga and removing one takes a good deal of force..
Takes a leap of faith to take a $200 thing and dis-assemble it.. no matter how small.
Once in awhile one can find the CO2 2 stage one

Smith 35-125-320
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 06:54 PM
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Sounds to me like it is time to step back and look a bit closer at the problem and I might throw in that there a few bits of info that might be corrected.
Step one of fixing a problem is making sure we know what the problem is! So knowing where the leak is going to be critical and doing a soap test after any work on the Co2 system is really vital if you don't want a tank of gas blowing out into the air.
Soap testing is simple but needs some attention and thought to get it right.
Most of us have the right stuff on hand to mix a good solution any time we need it but we need to know what is "right" as too thick doesn't get where it's needed and too thin runs off before small leaks blow bubbles big enough to spot.
A small cup of water like a bathroom cup is my choice, add a few squirts of dish or hand soap and "whip" it with something like a small half inch or so hobby brush, to get a lather something like whipped cream or shaving cream so that it clings to things.
When you get it mixed go over every joint and seam where there could be a leak, even the rim of the gauge glass and the screws on the back as leaks inside may come out at odd places which we could miss. Take time to actually look at the bubbles around any joint to try to spot if they are getting larger or moving. A tiny leak can blow off a whole tank in week, so it pays to be slow and careful.
Especially important is the CGA 320 connection at the tank.
But you have been given the wrong idea on how to tighten that connection to make it last as that seal is a sturdy seal and only a rookie thinks it needs to be crushed to seal good! Using a good wrench like what you describe is vital but all it takes is finger tight and then a 1/4 turn, followed by a test for leaks. A good seal only needs to be compressed a bit, not crushed to ruin it. I assume you are getting a CGA 320 fitting on the nipple and nut for the regs? Will never get a good seal if the wrong type.
In case you are blowing a meter to make it leak, are you aware there is a specific order in which the valves and adjustments need to be opened for best use of the reg?
It varies with different regs but doing it right is always safe on all regs, so far better to practice it right all the time.
Step one of making all regs last is to always turn the output pressure counterclockwise until you feel the knob get "loose" feeling. That closes flow to the output where the low pressure gauge sets so that when you put it on the tank and open the tank valve, there is no chance of a sudden burst of high presure going through the reg to blow the bourdon tube inside the low pressure meter!
Close output, put on tank, open tank valve and THEN adjust the output. Doing it this way avoids breaking a low pressure meter that may read to a max 100PSI when it gets a burst of 1200PSI while the reg gets it's act together and starts regulating.
That's when you need to soap test the meter glass and screws because the meter is broken inside!!!
It does all take a bit of getting things down but CO2 is not rocket science, it just takes a bit of getting used to what to watch. Best of luck on the trek!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Sadly sounds like the pressure relief valve which could mean...bad regulator..




If it's the first stage and the pressure relief is going off if you shut the tank valve off your main guage should drop but hold at about 250psi or so.. just below the pressure relief reset point.



hat fialed on mine.. See crack. Sixth part from the left above..






May not be your issue but it was mine on my "like" Victor (big one "d" output.
I really thought I'd fix it.. bought another reg instead..






jeff, you know that there is replacement valve seat for this model, right?

Bump: @ChainLoach
This regulator is easy fix if you are familiar with the regulator design, and all the replacement parts are cheap and available, but recommend to get another good condition regulator because need tools to open this victor regulator, takes time to learn the internal parts/function and locate the broken piece, then to find the replacement parts, ...

contact @bigtrout, or let me know if you want me show you some good ones from evil bay.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to response to my questions so far, I appreciate the help!

So I have taken a bit more time to look at the regulator and my worst fear about it have come true. The pressure release valve is right next to the tank connection and silly me thought that was were the gas was escaping. Turns out the loud noise is caused by the pressure relief valve and it seems the regulator is no good. It makes me sad, but I should of returned it when it failed shortly after arrival. Too late for that now!

If anyone has some advice on purchasing a regulator I would appreciate it. I will be on the lookout for sellers that offer returns and make sure to actually test the regulator this time. Instead of dealing with it later because I got scared. smh lol

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bettatail View Post
jeff, you know that there is replacement valve seat for this model, right?
That may be, but picked up a NOS reg w/ out gauges (which were still good) for the same cost as the seat part..
also had the CGA of course.

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