Plastic Washer Stuck in Regulator - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-08-2008, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Plastic Washer Stuck in Regulator

Iíve got one of those little plastic washers that they give you when you swap out your tank stuck in my regulator. I talked to somebody about it where I get my CO2 and he said itís because Iím cranking down too hard on the crescent wrench when I tighten my regulator onto the tank; the plastic is being pressed so hard it squeezes into the threads Ė then you canít get it out. This is confusing to me because I have a 10 lb cylinder that only lasts about 1.5 months so I was doing like Iíve been told and cranking down on the wrench to try to stop it from leaking. It leaks anyway. I have gone over and over the thing with soap and water. I used to go about 10 months to a year on CO2 so I figured a leak this big had to be coming from the seal of the regulator to the cylinder.

Has anyone else had the plastic washer get stuck in their regulator? How did you get it out? How do you keep that from happening? Rex used to sell MK II perma-seals for tanks that are swapped out, but I donít see them on his website anymore; do you know where I can get some?

Kathy

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 12:24 AM
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If I remember correctly, Rex said those seals have been discontinued. If that is true, it is a real shame, they are a great product.

If you have tested the system with soapy water, why are you assuming it is leaking from the main threads. It is either leaking or it isn't! Any decent sized leak could go through a tank that fast, and it could be anywhere. If you haven't already, check your check valves and the threads of the gauges, CO2 leaks can spring up in weird places. You can try sticking your ear right up to the components as well as the soapy water trick.

Another option is that the tank isn't being refilled properly. If you have a bathroom scale, use it. The tank should be 10 pounds heavier when full than when empty. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who only fill the tank until it hits 800 psi.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 12:41 AM
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are we talking about permaseals here?

-Chris

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 01:23 AM
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well if its in the threads, you basically take your time and unscrew the nylon and it will come out. Or tap the end with a hammer to get it to pop the washer out
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 01:52 AM
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Just keep unscrewing the nut on the regulator while maintaining the regulator in place. That's how I get mine out.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashappar View Post
probably not. the brass permaseals (that GLA sells) are great in my experience so far. For me, the nylon washers do tend to get embeded in the nut that attaches the regulator to the cylinder after a few tank changes. I quit using them, and they are a pain to dig out.
The MK I brass perma-seals are still available, the MK II aren't. The MK II were a flat brass washer for use if you swap out your cylinder. Hmm. I think I should be able to use the MK I, I just have to remember to remove it when I exchange my tank.

Kathy

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-09-2008, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedEuphoria View Post
well if its in the threads, you basically take your time and unscrew the nylon and it will come out. Or tap the end with a hammer to get it to pop the washer out
Quote:
Originally Posted by macclellan View Post
Just keep unscrewing the nut on the regulator while maintaining the regulator in place. That's how I get mine out.
I guess I just need to spend some time with it. Thanks!

Kathy

"We are living on this planet as if we have another one to go to". T. Swearingen
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, it's time to exchange my cylinders. I took the regulator off the old cylinder but I am unable to understand how you guys are getting the nylon washer out by turning the nut. The nut doesn't go anywhere, it stays in place until I put it over the end of the coupling on the cylinder, then threads on. I attached a picture if this helps. Maybe my regulator is different; it's one of Rex Griggs'.

Kathy

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 06:04 AM
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The nut should be able to move up and down on the stem. Mine does until I have it screwed into the tank. SO if you push toward the stem while turning the nut it should screw the plastic washer out.

I also understand that you need to change your washer regularly as the plastic takes on the edge shape of the tank. If you're not doing this, that may be why your getting leaking.

Do you own your own tank or rent one? There are washers that you can screw into your tank that you don't have to replace. Orlando at Green Leaf sells them. Here is his web site and the washer I'm talking about. Give him a call and I bet he can help you solve your problem.
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...tor-seals.html

Just keeping on keeping on....


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 06:45 AM Thread Starter
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I don't believe the nut does move up and down on the stem. I don't remember that it did anyhow. Pushing toward the stem while turning does nothing.

I do change the plastic washer every time. I think the problem is, I crank down so hard on the crescent wrench when I put the regulator on the cylinder that the plastic bleeds into the threads and becomes stuck. That's what the guy at the welding place told me. He said you're not supposed to crank down on the wrench like I've been doing. That's counter to what I've heard on the forum; I'd heard you're supposed to "get manly with it".

The Perma-seals are a good thing. I just bought one from Green Leaf. I own one of my 10 lb cylinders and I switch out the other one. The Perma-seals can be used either way - I just need to remember to remove the seal from the one I switch out when I'm exchanging it.

I'm going to take the regulator to the welding shop tomorrow. The guy told me if I brought it in, he could get it out.

Thanks for your help Tex Gal!

Kathy

"We are living on this planet as if we have another one to go to". T. Swearingen
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 01:50 PM
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I just changed one of my 10LB tanks last week and the same thing happed to me. It was stuck in there good. Usually I can push the connector down the stem or unscrew it enough to release the seal but not this time. I ended up having to use an anvil to secure my regulator and tapped (rather harshly) the connector to get the nylon washer out. I didn't like hitting my regulator that hard but it didn't seem to do any damage. I did end up getting it out and vowed to never use one of those nylon washers again! I will be using the fiber kind that the refiller gives me when I get my tanks filled.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 02:19 PM
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Usually when this happens a good whack with a hammer or rubber mallet on the nut will get the job done.
The nut will slide down, pushing your seal out. One good whack with the hammer is all it takes

Regards, Orlando
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 02:30 PM
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keep unscrewing the nut. use a wrench obviously.
The plastic probably is in the thread of the nut so it's stuck. The nut will unloosen and slide down the stem...

Remember metal is stronger than plastic... it'll come out... I'm not sure about the smacking it with a hammer or mallet.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 02:34 PM
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Basically, the washers OD is a bit larger after its been smashed from tightening the regulator to the cylinder. So...the washer gets stuck on the outside thread not letting it pass through the nut.
I have done this 1,001 times and then some and it works every time guaranteed.
Find you a hammer/rubber mallet. Hammer works best.

Orlando
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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The plastic washer is out. I will never use another one of those again; I will only use the Perma-seals!

The nut does not move down the stem on my regulator. I remember it did on my last regulator but it doesn't on this one. Kinda strange.

Kathy

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