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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So my DIY CO2 makes me want to throw large objects around the apartment. It is inconsistent and prone to leaks. In short, I am ready to make the step to pressurized CO2. I want to build my own system so that I can save money, but I am intimidated by the process. I have come up with this shopping list based on some of the guides on this forum. Could you guys look over my list and let me know your thoughts? I don't want to spend too much more, so price was considered when shopping for these products. However, please let me know if I'm missing something or a particular part is crappy. (cheap is good, crappy is bad).

Regulator - Smith 30-100-320 $83

Needle Valve - Fabco NV-55-18 $35
Solenoid: Burkert 6011 $18-20 on ebay
Bubble Counter - Mr Aqua $20

Diffuser - Glass and Ceramic $10

Other:
*Check valve (does it matter which one I get? Clippard is a brand name I saw. Available at Home Depot?)
*Airline tubing (I have a bunch)
*Washers/connectors- what do I need to put all this together? I assume I can get at Home Depot?
*Teflon tape - Home Depot

This whole thing looks ~$160. The random other parts and teflon tape will likely bring me up to $190. I figure I'll get a 10lb tank from a brew store for ~$50, bringing the entire cost up to $240. Did I do a good job?
 

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You can get an aquatek regulator with solenoid( which is key unless you want to turn it on and off everyday by hand) on e bay for 84$ plus shipping. Sounds like you already have the co2 tank planned out. Your way sounds like more money. If you want private message me and I'll tell you who to buy from. I'm sure there is even other cheaper options.
 

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I think your plan is much better than an Aquatek. However, I think it would be better if you went with a dual-stage that you can find on evilbay and build yourself. I would suggest checking out some of the threads about regulator builds.
 

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For a single stage regulator, it is a bit expensive, I think. You should be able to find a cheaper single stage regulator, or maybe for a little more, get a good dual stage regulator.

For the connectors/fittings, you should be able to get them at the hardware store, but you will be paying retail price (can be quite a bit more).

For reference's sake, I built a dual stage regulator setup with 10 pound CO2 cylinder for just under $200, so your setup for $240 is not really a great deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't look on ebay for regulators, so I will do that. Is that basically the only part of my plan that I'm paying too much for? Also, when you guys are saying I can get something cheaper, is that for new regulators still?

The other expensive piece seems to be the CO2 canister itself. I'm not sure what the retail prices are at the brew stores, but should it be around $50? That was a bit of a guesstimate.

By the way, darkblade, thanks for your great guide on how to do this. It's been my only hope for even knowing where to start.
 

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I didn't look on ebay for regulators, so I will do that. Is that basically the only part of my plan that I'm paying too much for?
I feel that you could get a better deal on the needle valve too, if you are patient. The Fabco NV-55-18 that you chose, while a good valve, is being sold at retail price. This means you will be paying a higher price.

For comparison, I managed to get a Swagelok metering valve for $8 before. I've also picked up some Parker metering valves for $20.

Also, when you guys are saying I can get something cheaper, is that for new regulators still?
Depends. Most of them are used, but some are "new old stock" (stock that has not been used, but has been sitting on the shelf for some time).

The other expensive piece seems to be the CO2 canister itself. I'm not sure what the retail prices are at the brew stores, but should it be around $50? That was a bit of a guesstimate.
$50 for a filled 10 pound cylinder is a good deal. I paid $75 filled for mine.

By the way, darkblade, thanks for your great guide on how to do this. It's been my only hope for even knowing where to start.
Glad it was of some help to you.
 

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I feel that you could get a better deal on the needle valve too, if you are patient. The Fabco NV-55-18 that you chose, while a good valve, is being sold at retail price. This means you will be paying a higher price.

For comparison, I managed to get a Swagelok metering valve for $8 before. I've also picked up some Parker metering valves for $20.


Depends. Most of them are used, but some are "new old stock" (stock that has not been used, but has been sitting on the shelf for some time).


$50 for a filled 10 pound cylinder is a good deal. I paid $75 filled for mine.


Glad it was of some help to you.

If you are talking about 3-4 years ago then yes you can get a swagelok needle valve for $8. In these days you'd be looking at $40 for a needle valve, $30 to $40 for a solenoid, $15 for fittings, $15-$20 for a cga320 nipple and nut, $50-$70 for a double stage reg.
 

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Since you are talking price and cost cutting, you sound like my type guy!
My spin on regs is a bit different than the prevailing view here. I may have been involved with using some of the regs that might wind up on E-bay and that gives me a different feel about them. Before I retired, I did a lot of work with telephone cables and dry nitrogen. We abused, misused and just generally treated regs like tools. Then when they got funky we threw them in the storeroom and evenually some guy came by and picked them up for cleanup and sale. You can get a really good used reg-- or you can get one that works for thirty days and quits!
I go for the new single stage with warrenty to avoid the trauma of bad regs.
This link will get you what I find fits me. I like the Taprite T742.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/regulators/co2-premium.shtml
For tanks?
If I could not find used locally, I might look here.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2.shtml

You may find a beer place near you where you can avoid paying the bite of shipping. CO2 is CO2 whether you want to weld with it, drink it or let your fish swim in it!!!
 

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If you are talking about 3-4 years ago then yes you can get a swagelok needle valve for $8. In these days you'd be looking at $40 for a needle valve, $30 to $40 for a solenoid, $15 for fittings, $15-$20 for a cga320 nipple and nut, $50-$70 for a double stage reg.
3-4 years ago, a member picked up a Swagelok for $1.99! :icon_eek:

Nowadays, it is definitely harder, but I did manage to find some good metering valves for $20 recently.

Solenoid sounds about right. Fittings, depends on where you get them from and whether they are brass, chrome plated brass or stainless steel. Same for the CGA320 nipple and nut.

For example, my CGA320 nipple and nut is less than $10 (Canadian) and fittings are generally under $1 each (all brass). Of course, the price will be higher if you like chrome or stainless steel.
 

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Since you are talking price and cost cutting, you sound like my type guy!
My spin on regs is a bit different than the prevailing view here. I may have been involved with using some of the regs that might wind up on E-bay and that gives me a different feel about them. Before I retired, I did a lot of work with telephone cables and dry nitrogen. We abused, misused and just generally treated regs like tools. Then when they got funky we threw them in the storeroom and evenually some guy came by and picked them up for cleanup and sale. You can get a really good used reg-- or you can get one that works for thirty days and quits!
I go for the new single stage with warrenty to avoid the trauma of bad regs.
This link will get you what I find fits me. I like the Taprite T742.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/regulators/co2-premium.shtml
For tanks?
If I could not find used locally, I might look here.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2.shtml

You may find a beer place near you where you can avoid paying the bite of shipping. CO2 is CO2 whether you want to weld with it, drink it or let your fish swim in it!!!
This makes a lot of sense ! What other parts do you get to make these functional ? I would LOVE to see a parts list, it would be very much appreciated ....I think a lot of people hear would agree.....especially those like myself who are new to pressurized CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since you are talking price and cost cutting, you sound like my type guy!
My spin on regs is a bit different than the prevailing view here. I may have been involved with using some of the regs that might wind up on E-bay and that gives me a different feel about them. Before I retired, I did a lot of work with telephone cables and dry nitrogen. We abused, misused and just generally treated regs like tools. Then when they got funky we threw them in the storeroom and evenually some guy came by and picked them up for cleanup and sale. You can get a really good used reg-- or you can get one that works for thirty days and quits!
I go for the new single stage with warrenty to avoid the trauma of bad regs.
This link will get you what I find fits me. I like the Taprite T742.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/regulators/co2-premium.shtml
For tanks?
If I could not find used locally, I might look here.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2.shtml

You may find a beer place near you where you can avoid paying the bite of shipping. CO2 is CO2 whether you want to weld with it, drink it or let your fish swim in it!!!
I find this logic really compelling and it's the reason I was looking at new regulators in the first place. On the one hand, I want to go as cheap as possible. But on the other hand, I don't know if I'm willing to take the risk in cost cutting to end up with something that will crap out. I also don't feel competent in troubleshooting or fixing a broken regulator. Honestly, don't know if I have patience either. I'm like Alaska, and this is my first go at it, so the thought of a used regulator that I may have to clean and replace parts etc. is concerning. I will also look more into the "new old stock" concept.


I think I may go get the tank next weekend. There's more than one brew store locally and I can base my budget partially off of what I'm able to get there in terms of a price for a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It looks like you've found a 6011 on the bay. If I were you I post the item # and have someone look at it before you buy it. There are some models that aren't suitable for us.
Good to know. I thought 6011 was the model number and that it would be fine if I got anything listed as Burkert 6011. This is the full item description:

Burkert 6011 A 1.6 FKM VA FLNSCH PN0-6bar 24V DC 4W Solenoid Valve
 

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Good to know. I thought 6011 was the model number and that it would be fine if I got anything listed as Burkert 6011. This is the full item description:

Burkert 6011 A 1.6 FKM VA FLNSCH PN0-6bar 24V DC 4W Solenoid Valve
These sound like the Burkert 6011s that have been on eBay for the longest time. They can be used, but you need the proper manifold.
 

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Since you are talking price and cost cutting, you sound like my type guy!
My spin on regs is a bit different than the prevailing view here. I may have been involved with using some of the regs that might wind up on E-bay and that gives me a different feel about them. Before I retired, I did a lot of work with telephone cables and dry nitrogen. We abused, misused and just generally treated regs like tools. Then when they got funky we threw them in the storeroom and evenually some guy came by and picked them up for cleanup and sale. You can get a really good used reg-- or you can get one that works for thirty days and quits!
I go for the new single stage with warrenty to avoid the trauma of bad regs.
This link will get you what I find fits me. I like the Taprite T742.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/regulators/co2-premium.shtml
For tanks?
If I could not find used locally, I might look here.
http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2.shtml

You may find a beer place near you where you can avoid paying the bite of shipping. CO2 is CO2 whether you want to weld with it, drink it or let your fish swim in it!!!
This is how I started with co2, by purchasing single stage regulators like micromatic, cornelius and smith, and I've had mostly good experiences with them. I find that if you go the cheaper regulator route, make sure you buy a good needle valve/metering valve. And just keep an eye on your tank pressure to avoid EOTD.

BTW, as dardblade said, those 6011s have been on evilbay for ever. They don't have the right manifold so I wouldn't bother.
 
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