Regulator troubles - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-03-2020, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Regulator troubles

I thought I'd spend this afternoon replacing the CO2 tubing in my system since there seemed to be a slow leak and my old tank was nearly empty. I turned off the solenoid and pH controller, took the tank off, replaced each section of tubing, taped up the new tank threads, hooked everything back up, and powered back on. Now it seems the solenoid won't turn on at all. There's pressure to the regulator, but I can't get any to the output side, for lack of knowing proper terminology. I've tried a second power supply, as well as tested the one on the controller. That's not the issue. But I can't determine what IS. Anybody have ideas? It's a relatively new unit (bought in 2020) and has given me no problems thus far. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.


Edited to add: solenoid is hot, as usual

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Last edited by Blue Ridge Reef; 10-03-2020 at 08:56 PM. Reason: info
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 01:38 AM
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I would take apart your solenoid and look at the manual and reassemble based on that. There is a magnet in it that controls on/off and what happened to me was I had it in backwards and it didn't work.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 06:28 AM
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Regulator troubles

Is that picture right? As in , taken when you are experiencing the issue? The working pressure (left) gauge shows nothing. If there’s nothing wrong with your regulator or gauge, then your regulator is “off”. Give the main knob a few turns CLOCKwise. Yea, I said that. This is not a water faucet. Otherwise, perhaps you knocked the knob inadvertently and shut off the flow?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
Is that picture right? As in , taken when you are experiencing the issue? The working pressure (left) gauge shows nothing. If there’s nothing wrong with your regulator or gauge, then your regulator is “off”. Give the main knob a few turns CLOCKwise. Yea, I said that. This is not a water faucet. Otherwise, perhaps you knocked the knob inadvertently and shut off the flow?
Good catch!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-04-2020, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Photo was indeed taken while experiencing the issue. Believe it or not, I did try turning up the pressure! Builder is of the opinion that the gauge is blown if disassembly doesn't fix it, and it doesn't seem to have. So I'll be mailing it back to him. Was able to get an old regulator working (mostly) to get me by while in transit. Just wish I knew what I did so I could avoid repeating this.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 12:28 AM
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hopefully there is no permanent damage to the regulator, I think this IR6400 regulator alone is about $1500 a piece, and a liquidated or used are hard to come by nowaday, lucky enough to get one still cost about $100-$150...


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 12:47 AM
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Something(debris) inside the solenoid is likely causing it to get stuck. Either that or it failed. Was it still getting hot?

I just reread it again. You put Teflon tape on the threads of the co2 tank? That’s a big no-no. It’s likely a tiny little piece of tape stuck inside the solenoid. Or some other place where it could clog things up. Just use a new nylon seal every time you reconnect your cylinder. Use a big wrench. Taping the threads will do nothing for creating a seal in the cga-320 connection.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 01:01 AM
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The problem is probably as oldpunk predict, but I think it is the regulator gets stuck instead of the solenoid, anyway, wait until flowerfishs to take care of it, and if flowerfishs can not get the regulator fixed or remove the debris inside the regulator, he will send it to me, ...


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 09:23 PM
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The problem is probably as oldpunk predict, but I think it is the regulator gets stuck instead of the solenoid, anyway, wait until flowerfishs to take care of it, and if flowerfishs can not get the regulator fixed or remove the debris inside the regulator, he will send it to me, ...

that should not be a big problem. I should able to fix it.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2020, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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You put Teflon tape on the threads of the co2 tank? That’s a big no-no. It’s likely a tiny little piece of tape stuck inside the solenoid. Or some other place where it could clog things up. Just use a new nylon seal every time you reconnect your cylinder. Use a big wrench. Taping the threads will do nothing for creating a seal in the cga-320 connection.
I had no idea you weren't supposed to use Teflon tape on the tank! I first used a CO2 tank back in the 90's for a calcium reactor, and the guy who showed me how to set it up did it that way and I have been ever since. And I've used the same nylon seal over and over as well, so I'm 0-2 and I'd never been told either of these things. Make it 0-3 looking at my 12" Channel Locks. I half feel like an idiot for mistreating the most expensive part of my aquarium, and half am frustrated that issues never came up during the 20 dang years I was using cheap equipment to learn on. Murphy's Law, I suppose. A "How to Properly Use and Care for Your Regulator" write-up would be a handy sticky. I can't be the only one to not know these things.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2020, 01:24 AM
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I had no idea you weren't supposed to use Teflon tape on the tank! I first used a CO2 tank back in the 90's for a calcium reactor, and the guy who showed me how to set it up did it that way and I have been ever since. And I've used the same nylon seal over and over as well, so I'm 0-2 and I'd never been told either of these things. Make it 0-3 looking at my 12" Channel Locks. I half feel like an idiot for mistreating the most expensive part of my aquarium, and half am frustrated that issues never came up during the 20 dang years I was using cheap equipment to learn on. Murphy's Law, I suppose. A "How to Properly Use and Care for Your Regulator" write-up would be a handy sticky. I can't be the only one to not know these things.
You have no idea. Lol

Get yourself a 10” crescent wrench and ask for the nylon seals where you get your co2 filled. You can order them on that auction site or the place. Even a harbor freight crescent would be fine.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Received my regulator back and am hooking it up. Not using thread tape for the first time in 20 years! @flowerfishs sent new seals along with it, and I had him upgrade it to two needle valves and bubble counters rather than split them off at the tanks, like I had been doing. So just to be certain I don't make another veteran/rookie error, I'd like to toss a couple of questions out to you guys...

1) Is there any benefit at all to using my current needle valves and bubble counters at the aquariums in addition to the new ones at the output? I'm guessing not, and plan to bypass and remove them, but figured it was worth asking.

2) Any reason to use an oil or anything besides RO water for the bubble counters?

3) I've replaced all of my clear CO2 tubing with black and it seems loose comparatively. I had to heat the clear stuff just to get it over the hose nipples and this new tubing slides right on. I have nuts to tighten it down, but is there any concern this could leak gas?

4) Anything else that's common knowledge that might not be so common?

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 11:50 PM
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1) Is there any benefit at all to using my current needle valves and bubble counters at the aquariums in addition to the new ones at the output? I'm guessing not, and plan to bypass and remove them, but figured it was worth asking.
Well generally just more possible leak points but a)most current bubble counters contain a check valve so there is that.
Of course if it's sticky just another failure point
b) Ganging needle valve can add some precision if my experience of using 2 SMC AS1000 in series is typical.

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2) Any reason to use an oil or anything besides RO water for the bubble counters?
No

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3) I've replaced all of my clear CO2 tubing with black and it seems loose comparatively. I had to heat the clear stuff just to get it over the hose nipples and this new tubing slides right on. I have nuts to tighten it down, but is there any concern this could leak gas?
Yea not good but if using the lock nuts and or clamps not much of an issue. Would bother me though..



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4) Anything else that's common knowledge that might not be so common?
Not at the moment.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jeff! I'm 70% through with this project and can now toss the extra needle valve/bubble counter combos. I was all but certain my new hookup would work fine but if there was any benefit to doing things differently and I have the parts already (and no less, already hooked up), then thought I might as well ask. It will sure clean up the sides of the tank to no longer have the bubble counters hanging there, even if I did look at them almost as much as the aquariums.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-31-2020, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Update, this new black CO2 tubing is trash. Leaks at multiple connection points, especially the check valves. Shame too, because it hides better than clear and is softer and more pliable than the old tubing I threw away. So back to the drawing board. Anyone have a favorite CO2 tubing brand?

Bump to add, I've read more on this forum and others over the last hour and change I don't know what to think. I own a pet shop and have rolls of standard vinyl airline tubing. I can't seem to find a consensus however as to whether or not it's really comparable to CO2 resistant stuff, in terms of lost gas nor expected lifespan. I always stayed away from it for those reasons but have seen some pretty compelling evidence to the contrary. Have we reached a conclusion in the last decade?

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Last edited by Blue Ridge Reef; 10-31-2020 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Reason
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