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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning all planted tankers!

Recently I have noticed an issue with my Milwaukee CO2 regulator. I have it on a timer to kick on at 330pm (lights on) and shut off at 930PM (lights off 1000).

I refilled the 5lb CO2 tank about 3 weeks ago and it is still very much full of air. My issue is as follows:

I have noticed that when the timer kicks to "on" and the solenoid turns on, I get a very slow bubble rate. I am forced to manually readjust the regulator to increase the bubble rate via the needle valve and all is well. When the timer goes off at night and comes back on the next day, the same process repeats itself where there is a low bubble count and I am forced to manually increase the bubble rate with the needle valve.

Does anyone have a thought on why this could be happening? Is my needle valve going bad? I have owned the regulator for about 18 months.
 

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I would give your timer an extra hour (start at 2:30) that will give the setup a 'head start' so it's going by 3:30 like you want . . . The system should purge the line of water without any help. It will just do so very slowly.

My understanding is that the CO2 in the line is getting absorbed into the water column. It's not a leak in the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My bubble counter is connected to the regulator. It is not one that is in the tank. I will try your suggestion but honestly feel like there is some other underlying issue with the regulator.

This issue only started happening recently. Prior to this issue, the bubbles in the counter would start purring away immediately after the solenoid turned on.
 

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... my Milwaukee CO2 regulator ...

... I have noticed that when the timer kicks to "on" and the solenoid turns on, I get a very slow bubble rate. I am forced to manually readjust the regulator to increase the bubble rate via the needle valve and all is well. When the timer goes off at night and comes back on the next day, the same process repeats itself where there is a low bubble count and I am forced to manually increase the bubble rate with the needle valve. ...
If the bubble count is very slow when the regulator is supposed to be off, it may not pose a problem. The added concentration of CO2 could be low enough so that it doesn't gas the fish or cause any problems.

As you well know, the most important part is when the regulator is on and the CO2 gas is flowing. The bubble count rate should be set so that it doesn't gas anything. My suggestion is to tune your regulator's "on" needle valve setting and forget about its slow gas release when it is supposed to be completely off for the time being. This will save you from the daily tuning ritual. Do time its bubble release when the solenoid is supposed to be off and jot it down somewhere. Then check it periodically. This will help you to keep track of any changes.


Another suggestion ... Something that you could try is trying to dislodge whatever is keeping the solenoid from closing. You can try to blast it out. Here's how:

  • unplug the solenoid
  • remove the bubble counter's cap
  • remove the bubble counter liquid and leave the bubble counter's cap off
  • turn the needle valve wide open and increase the regulator's working pressure
  • energize to solenoid and leave it open
  • now, try to blast the trash out while adjusting the working pressure as needed

If this fixes your regulator, you could get a filter for the intake of your regulator. Some are like a small filter screen. There is trash in steel cylinders as well as aluminum ones. This filter is a good preventative. Here is the 2" nipple with a filter that requires removal of your regulator's nipple: http://catalog.superiorprod.com/ite...gulator-nipples-for-carbon-dioxide/item-22605
 
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