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Help with Aquatek regulator problem...

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I have a relatively new Aquatek Premium. What's happening is, when I screw the main mounting nut onto the CO2 tank as tight as it will go, the regulator itself is still loose. I have to then turn the regulator clockwise about 1/4 turn to get it to tighten up.

So then it's sitting sideways, like this -





It does seal off when I turn it like that, but if I dont, it leaks badly behind the main nut, where the arrow is pointing.




Can anyone tell me what the problem might be and how to fix it? This cant be normal, right?

TIA
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The o-ring at the tank is brand new. I replace that one with every refill. On the opposite side of that piece going back into the reg, there is another o-ring. I had it apart just yesterday, it doesnt look worn or flattened but maybe it is. The regulator itself is only a few months old.
 

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I have a relatively new Aquatek Premium. What's happening is, when I screw the main mounting nut onto the CO2 tank as tight as it will go, the regulator itself is still loose. I have to then turn the regulator clockwise about 1/4 turn to get it to tighten up.
If you can do that it is not tight..You have a flat, o ring then another flat, which is the primary, and should be the ONLY seal needed.
AFAICT. IF sealed the reg should not move at all, at least at all easily..

The o-ring at the tank is brand new. I replace that one with every refill. On the opposite side of that piece going back into the reg, there is another o-ring. I had it apart just yesterday, it doesn't look worn or flattened but maybe it is. The regulator itself is only a few months old.
That o ring seems to be only a secondary seal..and to be honest, shouldn't have even been designed into the system.. Oh well.
Hi Brooksie321,

Thank you very much for your purchase.
You can find the replacement o-rings for Premium AQUATEK CO2 Regulator on no ebay links allowed

[Ebay Link Removed]

You can reach us via email at
[email protected]
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10:30am – 5:00pm Pacific Time

Sincerely,
Aquatek of California
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?p=7287378
Common issue apparently..
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=565962


get one of these for the CGA to tank Or apparently 2 see thread. ;)).. ignore other o ring.. ;)

Now that I think about it a bit, that second o ring probably shouldn't be there.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If you can do that it is not tight..You have a flat, o ring then another flat, which is the primary, and should be the ONLY seal needed.
AFAICT. IF sealed the reg should not move at all, at least at all easily..


That o ring seems to be only a secondary seal..and to be honest, shouldn't have even been designed into the system.. Oh well.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?p=7287378
Common issue apparently..
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=565962
Thanks for the links. Pretty sure the inner o-ring is not a secondary seal. Im not sure we're talking about the same thing. You have to unscrew the big nipple (or whatever it's called) with an allen wrench to see this one, and it definitely has to be there.

I may try doubling the washers up at the tank connection. If nothing else, shortening that distance seems like it might help.

Maybe I will email Aquatek and see what they have to say, because this cant be normal, regardless.
 

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Thanks for the links. Pretty sure the inner o-ring is not a secondary seal. Im not sure we're talking about the same thing. You have to unscrew the big nipple (or whatever it's called) with an allen wrench to see this one, and it definitely has to be there.

I may try doubling the washers up at the tank connection. If nothing else, shortening that distance seems like it might help.

Maybe I will email Aquatek and see what they have to say, because this cant be normal, regardless.
OK IF I got you right now, you removed the whole nipple assembly..
And you say there is a smaller o ring at the base?
OK
This image shows that the allen wrench is what they use to assemble it , correct?
Your leak wasn't coming from there but behind the nut (as I said, you shouldn't be able to "turn the req 1/4 turn IF sealed properly AFAICT)



Bump:
You should only use the one on the reg. It's there so you don't need anything else.
Yea that got me to.. see my above post. Apparently he removed the CGA nipple from the reg body itself. Instead of using pipe dope or teape to seal, they use an o ring at the base. Anyways this is how I understand it as of now.. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK IF I got you right now, you removed the whole nipple assembly..
And you say there is a smaller o ring at the base?
OK
This image shows that the allen wrench is what they use to assemble it , correct?
Your leak wasn't coming from there but behind the nut (as I said, you shouldn't be able to "turn the req 1/4 turn IF sealed properly AFAICT)
Correct. And that is the problem, after tightening the nut onto the CO2 tank - as tight as a grown man can tighten it with a crescent wrench - the regulator is still loose. It has to be rotated clockwise before it will tighten up and seal off.

Yea that got me to.. see my above post. Apparently he removed the CGA nipple from the reg body itself. Instead of using pipe dope or tape to seal, they use an o ring at the base. Anyways this is how I understand it as of now.. ;)
Yes, that's how it is.

Any chance you can take a photo of face of the CGA-320 stem? Would be helpful to see what we are working with to determine what is going on.
I think what we are getting at is that your regulator may already have a perma-seal which negates the need to use the nylon crush washers.
It looks just like the pic jeffkroll posted. There has to be a washer right there.
 

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OK now that that is clear "we" have a few more issues.
1)is the leak now at the reg/nipple joint or
2)At the CGA to tank valve joint?
Secondly what are the threads to the nipple to regulator?
IF, and I am assuming from the o ring they are straight threads.. then you need a new o ring for there AND I'd recommend some pipe sealing compound on the nipple threads to reg body.. NO not tape.. ;)
DON't overtighten it and collapse or nick the o-ring btw.......
Rectorseal will help seal that fitting, though it "really" shouldn't be needed..(this is beyond normal spec btw)

As to the CGA to tank.. Use the nylon gaskets.. One poster even doubled them up..seems to work fine.
Brass/nylon/nylon/brass compressed together should seal it..

BUT it is relatively new.. soooo.

found an image of the "oddball" nipple for the regulator.. One on the left:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=442873
looks to be straight threads... :(

you may just have a scratched seat somewhere........

Getting a set of gaskets and new nipple "may" be the easiest thing to do.. esp. if under warranty. "worst case" would be a nick in the seat inside the regulator..which is not fixable w/ replacement parts..

sorry more questions than answers..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK now that that is clear "we" have a few more issues.
1)is the leak now at the reg/nipple joint or
2)At the CGA to tank valve joint?
It doesnt leak when I hand tighten the regulator as described above. A leak is not really the problem. The problem is the reg is still loose after tightening the tank nut. But if I dont tighten the regulator by turning it, there is a leak where I drew the red arrow in the OP pic.
Secondly what are the threads to the nipple to regulator?
IF, and I am assuming from the o ring they are straight threads.. then you need a new o ring for there AND I'd recommend some pipe sealing compound on the nipple threads to reg body.. NO not tape.. ;)
I can take it back apart later tonight and post a pic, but it doesnt look exactly like the one you posted. It's longer I believe, and a little different.

Honestly Im not sure that o-ring could even be the problem. There just too much slack in the entire thing after tightening the tank nut. It's still loose and floppy, way more than a worn out washer could possibly account for. And like I said, it does seal off after turning the reg tight.


I just cant wrap my brain around how it could still be so loose, and another thing...what exactly tightens when I turn the regulator?
 

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Have you try tightening the nipple with an allen wrench?

The inner white rubber - non removable o-ring is there for us North American Co2 user. In Europe, they use cylinder with a little "lip" where it goes in. Instead of making two nipples (US and Euro) they just added the white rubber o-ring to even the nipple out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Have you try tightening the nipple with an allen wrench?

The inner white rubber - non removable o-ring is there for us North American Co2 user. In Europe, they use cylinder with a little "lip" where it goes in. Instead of making two nipples (US and Euro) they just added the white rubber o-ring to even the nipple out.
Yeah I set out to tighten the allen screw up last night, thinking it could be the problem. That's when I took it out to have a look. But it's definitely tight now.
 

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But if I don't tighten the regulator by turning it, there is a leak where I drew the red arrow in the OP pic.
Point was you can't be exactly sure if the gas is coming from the reg/tank joint or the nipple/reg joint at that point. Either is possible..
and there is no way to check which piece is "moving to seal" since you have practically zero gap..

Seems just like the nipple to reg. is just loosened up..
IF that is the case slow dry loctite would work on the threads from nipple to regulator..
 

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Oh I see. But there is no leak after hand tightening the regulator. Im just trying to figure out why the need to hand tighten it in the first place. After tightening the nut to the co2 tank, why is the regulator still loose and floppy?
Because the joint between reg and nipple is floppy.. Turn it in the opposite direction and I bet you end up w/ the reg body in your hand...and the nipple still attached to the tank..

At least that is my current guess
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I thought so to, but wouldnt that indicate that the nipple with the allen fitting is loose? Trust me, that part is not loose at all.

That's what I cant figure out, what exactly is loose, and what exactly tightens when it's turned by hand? The nipple is not loose. The nut to the tank is not loose. And if it was just a matter of having slack, then turning the reg shouldnt make any difference. But something tightens when the regulator is turned......what?
 

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I've subscribed to this thread because I've recently encountered the exact same problem with the same regulator. Very curious to see if you're able to resolve the issue.

I must have tried 3 dozen times to get a good seal in the same spot (nut + nipple area) with no luck. Curiously enough, since my last tank swap-out I was successfully using a standard CGA320 washer (crush washer) instead of their proprietary seal ring in the nut.

A major design flaw (amongst others...<clear my throat>...needle valve) is the length of the nipple. If it were longer or reverse threaded, you'd have much less chance of the rotation issue and the possibility of loosening the joint where the nipple goes into the reg body.

Anyhow, my tank has been on life-support (4hr photoperiod) while I wait for parts to build my own rig. I wouldn't have given up so quick if I hadn't had my mind set on building a new one for a while anyhow. If I was in your shoes, having only purchased a few months ago, I'd ride Aquatek's you-know-what until they get that resolved for you.

Best of luck!
 

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Exact same thing happened to me in my last tank change. Had always been loose but never leaked. Now I can't tighten and it's gushing C02. While messing with it I actually popped out the white rubber o-ring described above. I'm beyond warranty and saving up to get another regulator. Not sure where I could take it to get worked on but if anyone figures it out, that would be great! Thanks.
 
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