Will either of these CO2 regulators work? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-17-2007, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Will either of these CO2 regulators work?

I was at Lowes tonight looking at their $60 paintball CO2 setup, which is designed for powering air tools. It has a regulator and a tank, but no needle valve or solenoid, and I guess the price looks pretty good, but...

I also saw that they had a couple of regulators available separately. There's a big one and a small one. Both come with gauges even though it's only pictured with the small one. These regulators say they're for 150 PSI max, but that's the output side. I'm not clear on whether these would work with high pressure CO2 or whether they're strictly for low-pressure air compressor stuff. It looks like both regulators have an additional port to mount a gauge or something, could this port possibly host a gauge for the upstream (tank) pressure?

What adapters would I need for paintball and/or standard CO2 cylinders?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 01:01 PM
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The two other regulators you linked to are COMPRESSED AIR REGULATORS. They are designed for use on 125-150 PSI compressed air systems. And in this case you really should substitute "flow regulator" for regulator. They will not even fit on a CO2 cylinder. For good reason. Attaching one of these to a CO2 cylinder and opening the cylinder would result in small and large pieces of plastic and metal moving around the area at high speed. That 150 PSI max is the INPUT side also. Wishing otherwise doesn't make it so.

The other item you linked to might possibly work. Hard to say. But as you know it doesn't have a needle valve or solenoid.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg View Post
The two other regulators you linked to are COMPRESSED AIR REGULATORS. They are designed for use on 125-150 PSI compressed air systems. And in this case you really should substitute "flow regulator" for regulator. They will not even fit on a CO2 cylinder. For good reason. Attaching one of these to a CO2 cylinder and opening the cylinder would result in small and large pieces of plastic and metal moving around the area at high speed. That 150 PSI max is the INPUT side also. Wishing otherwise doesn't make it so.

The other item you linked to might possibly work. Hard to say. But as you know it doesn't have a needle valve or solenoid.
Thanks Rex. I appreciate your advice. I wouldn't even consider using those parts unless I knew there was someone out there who would tell me no. I want someone to shoot me down. Too bad though. Those flow regulators woulda been priced nicely. Guess there's a reason they're cheap.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2007, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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I actually bought one of the paintball regulators I mentioned in the first post 'cause for $60 I got a regulator and a full bottle, albeit a 9 ounce bottle. It'll be backup for the 20 ounce tank I'm actually running. I have a small tank, so 20 ounces should last me a while.

Incidentally, those other two regulators I was asking about aren't just simple valves, they're genuine low pressure regulators. I doubt they're high quality, but they work. I bought one because I could play with it and return it if I didn't like it. I'm using it as a second stage in my system. My primary regulator is set at a medium pressure and the secondary is set at a low pressure. The nice thing about this low pressure regulator is that it vents the downstream side if it's over the pressure it's set to. I think this should diminish the risk of EOTD.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 10:52 AM
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Swylie,

How is the PB regulator working for you? Are you using a needle valve?
Anyone else use one of these successfully?


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Originally Posted by swylie View Post
I actually bought one of the paintball regulators I mentioned in the first post 'cause for $60 I got a regulator and a full bottle, albeit a 9 ounce bottle. It'll be backup for the 20 ounce tank I'm actually running. I have a small tank, so 20 ounces should last me a while.

Incidentally, those other two regulators I was asking about aren't just simple valves, they're genuine low pressure regulators. I doubt they're high quality, but they work. I bought one because I could play with it and return it if I didn't like it. I'm using it as a second stage in my system. My primary regulator is set at a medium pressure and the secondary is set at a low pressure. The nice thing about this low pressure regulator is that it vents the downstream side if it's over the pressure it's set to. I think this should diminish the risk of EOTD.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-24-2007, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nana View Post
Swylie,

How is the PB regulator working for you? Are you using a needle valve?
Anyone else use one of these successfully?
It's working great, actually. I'm using the regulator I linked to, the low-pressure regulator I linked to, and a crappy-ass needle valve from the plumbing section. I have a stable bubble rate of about 1 bps, and I'm very happy. I have the primary regulator set at ~100 PSI and the low-pressure regulator set at 5-10 PSI.

The one thing that I really don't like about this setup is that there's no high-side pressure gauge, so I'll have basically zero warning when the tank is empty. I shouldn't have EOTD problems though because the low-pressure regulator seems to work alright down to very low input pressures.

If you want to get this setup at Lowes, make sure you get one of the packages that comes with a free 9 oz CO2 cylinder. It's a promotion - the oldest stock on the shelf has a little card in it advertising the free CO2, the replacements don't. They have the same bar codes and ring up identically at the register, so it's confusing.
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