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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so ever since I got into CO2, I realized this is a pretty widespread misconception. So I want to educate people.

First off, when I first learned about CO2, I also made this mistake. Believe it or not, no one is born with this knowledge... ;)

ALL regulators take an incoming pressure and reduce it to a lower pressure. That is what the 2 gauges show you - the incoming and outgoing pressure. Some regulators that are also single stage have only one gauge. Those regulators are junk...

gauge 1 = incoming pressure
gauge 2 = outgoing pressure
EVERY regulator has in incoming and out going pressure.

A TWO STAGE regulator has an incoming pressure, a MIDDLE pressure, and of course, an outgoing pressure. These regulators also have TWO gauges. Why? Because no one wants to read the middle pressure (it should never change). But that middle pressure is till extremely important. It lets the pressure step down in TWO steps.

So how can you tell if it is dual stage? A dual stage has two seats, two diaphragms, and most importantly, two springs. These springs are large, and they have their own "compartment." Therefore, you will see a cylindrical shape jutting the front AND back. A single stage will have a flat back, or the inlet will be on the back.

Dual stage:


Single stage:
 

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So, I have a single stage Aquatek regulator that is preset to 30psi outbound pressure and has a needle valve for adjustment. I'm using it with a 20 oz. paintball tank with CGA320 -> paintball adapter.

What is the risk here? Is it end of tank dump? And, how can I minimize that risk? Right now I have a tank that was filled only a few days ago and it's showing 1200 psi on the input pressure. Can I just assume that I should refill it if the pressure drops to a few hundred psi?

Thanks for your help/input.
 

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in CONCLUSION.... dual stage regulators will NEVER have flat back?
Well, in theory there's no reason a dual stage regulator couldn't have a flat back. It would just make for an incredibly massive, heavy regulator.

But I don't know of any duals that do. If you do a regulator search on Evilbay, any regulator that has a flat back, or is lying flat on a surface, is single stage.

Generally speaking, if the gauges are at the very back of the regulator, it's a single, and if they're in the middle-ish, it's a dual. You can always do a search for the model numbers, or ask somebody here.
 

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I'd still like to know if my single stage Dupla reg is junk.
I don't know if the reg is junk or not. But one gauge means you're missing important information. I assume it shows working pressure? If so, how do you know when it's time to refill the cylinder? Short of finding out there's no CO2 left at a point where you won't be able to make it to the refill shop for the next five days or so, I mean.

I've heard of Dupla, but have never seen a Dupla reg. That's an interesting design.
 

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Kev, I just keep an eye on it when I know that roughly it will be starting to get empty. Then when the working pressure starts to drop, I change over cylinders.

But maybe I've just been lucky the last 5 years and caught it when the cylinders were getting low on pressure? Reading all these end of cylinder disaster stories I'm thinking I should update my reg to a dual stage???
 

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Kev, I just keep an eye on it when I know that roughly it will be starting to get empty. Then when the working pressure starts to drop, I change over cylinders.

But maybe I've just been lucky the last 5 years and caught it when the cylinders were getting low on pressure? Reading all these end of cylinder disaster stories I'm thinking I should update my reg to a dual stage???
to answer your question about if your dupla is junk, I dont think it is. Most of us dual stage users have gotten so used to our regulators that we view anything that is not up to the same quality as junk. If you want to compare your dupla to my ss dual stage with a ss ideal valve, then its junk. But if your dupla works, then thats awesome, keep using it. My used rimmed aquarium is junk compared to a nice rimless ada tank. I dont think btimmer meant anything bad.

The dual stage regulators we use are industrial equipment made to last a lifetime. Thats no joke either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I just think a quality regulator will at least have two gauges. But basically what kevmo said, that is important information you are missing if you only have one gauge.
 

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I'd still like to know if my single stage Dupla reg is junk.
Over priced, but not junk, not IME. After using them for 12 years........Victor and USA made Duals are cheaper and offer more, easier options for various components/much easier to source. Tank pressure and out put pressure are both not bad things to have a reg do.

Dupla and many with a single gauge only have the output pressure, not the tank pressure. Some of the paint balls do not even have any pressure dial gauge.

I'm not sure they are mandatory.....but not a bad thing to have a check, adjust etc.

Still, the OP was saying 2 gauges not = to dual stages.

Duplas are single stages, so are my Victors. They work well.
 

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Kev, I just keep an eye on it when I know that roughly it will be starting to get empty. Then when the working pressure starts to drop, I change over cylinders.

But maybe I've just been lucky the last 5 years and caught it when the cylinders were getting low on pressure? Reading all these end of cylinder disaster stories I'm thinking I should update my reg to a dual stage???
Same deal with the Victors, but I have 2 gauges to check, they run 65$ for me new. I have to pull some fittings out and add others, but 10 min and 3$ later.........then add a nice Ideal Valve, and a good check valve inline FPT........a good burket solenoid........

I'll never buy another CO2 reg set up again.
Some use the used dual stagers also........but a good quality single should do the job, the cheap junk are those Milwaukee's and a few other cheapos from China and Taiwan. Avoid those. Some get lucky and have no issues, but I've fixed too many IME and with helping others to even suggest anyone pay more than a shovel full of dirt for them. Even then...........
 

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so this Leland regulator is junk?
\


How about if we put an ADA logo on it, instead?


I think it would do much better to actually explain why "junk" regulators are junk. Not make vast generalizations. LOTS of people have used Single gauge, and single stage regulators for longer than you've been alive. People have used the Rex regulator for 2 decades with minimal problems. Obviously, someone above used this dupla for 5 years and no problems....
 

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Over priced, but not junk, not IME. After using them for 12 years........Victor and USA made Duals are cheaper and offer more, easier options for various components/much easier to source. Tank pressure and out put pressure are both not bad things to have a reg do.

Dupla and many with a single gauge only have the output pressure, not the tank pressure. Some of the paint balls do not even have any pressure dial gauge.

I'm not sure they are mandatory.....but not a bad thing to have a check, adjust etc.

Still, the OP was saying 2 gauges not = to dual stages.

Duplas are single stages, so are my Victors. They work well.
Victors are only cheaper USED. A new victor reg is comparable to a mortgage payment.

Tom brings up another interesting point though... There are a lot of Victor and smith single stage regs out there being used. No problems there either.
 

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The issue is most use the term junk as an over exaggeration. I've been using Milwaukee's for over five years with the stock needle valves. I know they are not the best (quality wise, when comparing builds), but to say they are junk when there are probably more people using the brand then most other brands combined is just a gross exaggeration. I have five year old fish and pearling plants for quite too long for this to be true. For the price and plug n play setup it's gotten more people into co2 over the years and from there they might have stepped up to a different reg, but for me and countless others they work fine.
 
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