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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I'm new to the forum, and new to planted tanks in general. I just set up my co2 system a few days ago. I got the milwaukee regulator with no controller...The bubble rate is perfect (when the system stays on all the time), however, when I turn the system off at night and turn it back on in the morning no bubbles come out. I have to adjust the needle valve a little and the system runs like normal again.

I've read some people have problems like this and they get the controller to fix it. I do plan on getting a controller but not anytime soon. What can I do in the mean time to make the bps rate constant after turning the system on and off?

In the long run, does getting the controller really fix the problem? All the controller does is turn the system on and off, so I don't see how that will fix my problem...

I have tested for leakings and have not found any. I believe that it's the needle valve acting up.

For the first day, the needle valve was working fine...now evertime I turn the needle valve down a little (to get more bubbles) nothing happens. I have to turn it down a lot and after doing so a lot of bubbles shoots out; however, when I turn the needle value up (to get less) everything works like normal.

Is there damage to the needle valve? I have tired seting the adjestment knob at 5/10/15/20/30 psi and the problem has not been fixed...

thanks for any comments in advance.
 

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Welcome to TPT! Milwaukee regulators do not come with fine control needle valves. I use 5 and all the needle valves act differently. If you are going to get a controller I would not worry about it. A PH controller will turn the solenoid off when the set PH is reached and you do not need a fine adjustment on the needle valve. If you are not getting a controller and/or want a fine control needle valve, I would recommend a clippard.

I do not know what you mean by "Is there damage to the needle valve? I have tired seting the adjestment knob at 5/10/15/20/30 psi and the problem has not been fixed..." Do you mean the black knob? You do not set bubble rate with that, it is the low pressure side of the regulator, put it at 20-30 and leave it alone. Are you sure you are operating your regulator properly?......DC
 

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I'm running nearly 100 lbs out and mine is predictable before/after the solenoid fires. Try running a higher output pressure...
Ditto, I had mine up to 40-45 lbs to get a solid bubble count.

Wow, nearly 100?
 

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Here is some things you could check:

1. Shut down the solenoid and remove the needle completely and inspect it for burrs and/or smoothness of surface. If it is not smooth, buy some 800 grit sand paper and LIGHTLY roll the needle in a sandpaper sandwhich to smooth it out. Do not use any pressure or you will destroy the needle.

2. The regulator needle needs to "settle in". If you contsantly tweek and turn it, you will never get it to work right. This is not a precision needle valve. Set it, and let it sit. What you will find is that when the solenoid first opens ,when you turn it on, after a night of being off, pressure build up will force a stream of CO2 bubbles. This will taper off over some time to a more stable bubble rate.

3. Keep the pressure up, as others have said. Mine is slightly over 35 psi.

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DiabloCanine,
Yes i do mean the black knob. I use the black knob to adjust the psi, and I use the needle valve to bring the pressure down (to get it at 2 bps). I use the black knob to set psi at different levels (5, 10, 15, 20, and 30). I tired these levels to see if the bubble rate will hold constant after turning the system on and off.

original kuhli,
Wow, it's at 100 psi? I will try to set it at a higher rates. I'll try to increase the psi slowly at 30/40/50/60...etc till i get a constant bubble rate. Should I go higher then 100 psi if need be?

tazcrash69,
I'm also shocked to hear 100 psi, but i will do it if i need to.

Jackfrost,
The sand paper idea is going to be last on the list off things to do....but again i'll do it if I have to. "The regulator needle needs to "settle in"." I agree with this statement the most. I just got home and the bubble rate was 1 bps, but before I left this morning I set the bubble rate at 2 bps. How long do you think the "settle in" time is? Should i not trun it off at night so the needle valve can settle in?

Right now the bubble court is at 2 bps, and the psi is at 10-12. I'm set it at 30 psi and let it sit for a day or two to see what happens. I have been adjesting it a lot since I set the system up. I have tried different psi levels and have not let the needle valve "settle in"....

Another issue: I know that milwaukee said not to use the gauge with the higher psi reading. I have read on this forum and others that people get a bottle pressure reading from this gauge. Mine does not do anything. It just sits at zero. I have never seen it go up. Do you guys think its broken? Do I really need it? Are you guys getting any readings on your bottle pressure gauges?

Thanks for the help everyone....:icon_excl :icon_excl :icon_excl
 

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My rhinox 5000 works beautifully at that pressure. I'd ran at lower pressures like you're talking the first time I ran this regulator and was forever frustrated. No longer.

Also, are you using check valves? Having water in the loops of the airline can cause things to be a bit unpredictable as well...
 

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i had the same problem with my milwaukee regulator and got sick of it. i bought a regulator and needle valve from rex and its worked flawlessly.i can set the pressure to 10 psi and get any bubble rate i want. no fluctuations.i highly suggest you look into a needle vavle from rex at least.very consistant.
 

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I have brought up the idea of upgrading the needle valve with a low press manifold and new needle valve, it's a great upgrade and the fine tuning is amazing but then again after all that the cost would be about equal to what rex is offering on his site without the headache!

Also the check valve thing is a really important thing to have IMO but I'm sure the bit of press left in the lines would leak out that fast between on/off cycles which would keep the water out.
 

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johnson,

I'm almost certain its not the needle valve, it's the solenoid. Something about adjusting the needle valve with pressure and then removing and the adding pressure via solenoid can leave to inconsistent BPS. Possible solution, leave it on 24/7 and/or remove the solenoid.

Milwaukee says to not use the LOWER psi gauge when adjusting the BPS. They also say to not use the needle valve to adjust the BPS; which we all know the importance of a needle valve.
 

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Milwaukee directions make no sense to me. The primary purpose of the needle valve is to adjust the bubble rate. At least on my regulators that's the purpose they serve.
 

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yeah what has been said about adjusting the milwaukee regulator made no sense to me either but myjohnson brought it over to my house yesterday and I think we got it figured out.
 

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The needle valve on the milwaukee is nothing like clippards and nowhere as precise. It just needed a little fiddling with and it finally settled down.
 
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