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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm running a concoa DS reg with a Burkett solenoid, nv55-18 needle valve, and fabco 18cv check valve. No bubble counter, I go by the bubble rate in my ceramic diffuser. I've been having some algae issues and I think I've narrowed it down to an inconsistent bubble rate. Intraday the bubble rate is consistent, but it varies day to day. I was able to recreate the problem by unplugging the solenoid, waiting for the flow of co2 in the diffuser to stop, and then plugging the solenoid back in. This was with a working pressure of approx 15 psi. Interestingly the problem seems to have disappeared after cranking the pressure to 25. I tried 20 psi, but that wasn't enough.

Has anyone else ran into something like this? The check valve is advertised as having a cracking pressure of .3 psi. Is it possible that the needle valve is reducing the flow so much that the check valve doesn't always fully crack and therefore causes the fluctuation I'm seeing?
 

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I'm having the exact same issue. Same solenoid and needle valve, but I use a plastic check valve. I set my bubble rate before it shuts off at night. Come home from work the next day, and the bubble rate is half of what it was the day before. Frustrating as hell. Other related posts mention moisture getting to the needle valve or a low quality valve. I have had a check valve inline since the beginning, and I know the Fabco needle valve is a quality valve.

Two observations:

One, I know for a fact my co2 tank is starting to get low because my tank pressure is starting to drop slowly. These inconsistencies only started after I noticed this. Before that, I never had any problems. I was running my working pressure at 5psi.

Two, I tried what you suggested. I turned my working pressure up to 12psi, and this seemed to have fixed the issue for now.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting that you have a different check valve, but are having the same issue. The bubble rate has been consistent since raising the pressure. Hopefully that continues. If not my next step is to move the co2 cylinder above the height of the diffuser and pull the check valve completely to see if that solves the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I tested the system, using your steps, when I initially put everything together. No leaks. During the build I noticed that under very low flow (needle valve barely open) I could hear the check valve ball fluttering. I never liked that, but didn't think too much of it. This was also with no back pressure from the diffuser.

If raising the pressure doesn't solve my problem I'll do a full leak test again.
 
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