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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

There's a problem somewhere in the downstream parts of my Milwaukee CO2 rig. The regulator itself works fine, but the solenoid and/or bubble counter are occluding flow. Is this a common problem for this rig? Any suggestions on how I can fix it? And if I can't fix it, will Milwaukee just sell me the latter half of the rig? Or can I build one myself?

Thanks.
 

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1. please make sure there is no leak.
2. clean the solenoid and needle valve.
3. make sure the co2 diffuser back pressure is less than the regulator output.
4. if problem still exist, build yourself a post body.
5. Oldpunk78 and Kevmo911 have what you need for a post body kit, so and I.

add: bitimmer92 offer the complete post body kit as well
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've determined the problem is in the needle valve/bubble counter piece. I'm attempting to clean it (granted, I'm not totally sure of the best way to clean it), and will go from there.

Worst-case scenario, if I have to replace the needle valve, can you CO2 gurus recommend a needle valve (I figure I can build the bubble counter) that fits the solenoid included in with the Milwaukee set-up? I've got no clue what size the threading is, but hopefully one of you might.

Thanks.
 

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Plant Clown
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Any needle valve will work, and the Milwaukee uses all 1/8" NPT fittings. I assume you'll want an economy-class needle valve that works better than the Milwaukee. There are a couple decent picks from Clippard and Pneumadyne, both under $10.

But first make sure it's not the solenoid. If the solenoid is unplugged and there's air escaping somewhere, it's the solenoid. If not, then often tightening or re-taping fittings will fix things. And there is a simple method for clearing out debris (rust, tape, cylinder gunk) from the solenoid and needle valve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's definitely the needle valve. The solenoid works as it should -- no leaks when there shouldn't be.

What's the method for cleaning the needle valve? I've looked, but haven't found any clear descriptions.

And in terms of choosing a decent needle valve, could you perhaps provide a link for me? My valve knowledge is severely limited, at best.
 

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Plant Clown
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Turn the working pressure up to 40-50psi, open the needle valve all the way, remove the bubble counter. plug and unplug the solenoid, quickly, several times. Ideally this will blow out any gunk. If this doesn't work, let me know. I have a few extra Pneumadynes and SMC AS1200s.

You could go with something a bit more expensive, as jaidexl suggests, and yes, it will be a better needle valve. But, honestly, if you're going to stick with the Milwaukee, I wouldn't invest in a higher quality valve. The Milwaukee is functional, but has its limitations, and no needle or metering valve will fix those.

Here's Bettatail's thread on metering valves: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/135669-metering-needle-valves-selection-our-co2.html
 

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From what I have read, the weakest link on the Milwaukee regulator is it's needle valve. In my opinion, the needle valve is the most important part of the system. You can try to blow it out, as mentioned, or even use a "pipe cleaner" for an airbrush. I wouldn't use a cheapo pipe cleaner as you don't want anything to come off, air brush ones are cheap and durable as it is a precise tool.

If you want to replace just the needle valve, you have many options and some are pretty cheap. I choose a Fabco NV-55-18 for a quality needle valve that is on the cheaper side.

Remember, any part of your CO2 rig can be changed out and most use 1/8 NPT fittings. I would recommend you stick with 1/8 NPT for ease of replacement parts as well as you go on. Most of the elbows and other fittings that are not specific to CO2 are available at larger hardware stores as well in 1/8 NPT, making life easy.
 
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