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How many PSI should a full 5# CO2 bottle read?

15496 Views 24 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  m00se
Not sure what's up...I have a loaner 5# CO2 bottle and I just had it filled a couple weeks ago. When I attach the reg. it shows around 1000psi. The tank lasts less then a month. I checked for leaking but didn't see anything.
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· Plant Clown
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Or the gauge is off. I've had regulators read between 700psi and close to 1000psi. Next time you refill, see if it reads the same. If so, it's a little off. Which is fine, because all you need to know is if the pressure starts dropping, which will happen when it's almost empty. With that in mind, the gauge could be completely blank as long as the little dial functioned.
 

· Plant Clown
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4,737 Posts
You have a leak. A big one. spray every single connection with soapy water. Since you said you've checked for leaks before, you must have missed checking a connection.

If there are any animals living in the tank (anything at all including snails) you didn't have the CO2 turned up a tiny fraction of the way it would take to gas out your cylinder that fast, so that's not an issue.

It's possible the refill place severely shorted you on CO2. Far more likely, though is a huge leak. In fact, something as big as it would take should be audible. Get on the floor and listen very closely to every part of the rig and line, starting with the connection from the cylinder to regulator. And then soap test.
 

· Plant Clown
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Teflon tape won't cut it. All you need is a nylon washer.

The reason teflon won't cut it is that the CGA320 connections are parallel threads, instead of tapered threads like NPT connections. They need some sort of malleable material between whatever they're pulling together in order to create a seal.

If you have a nylon or paper "crush" washer (or a permaseal) between the regulator and cylinder, all you need to do is torque the heck out of it with a large wrench. If you don't have one, you need to go get one. Wherever you fill up or swap your tank has them, so just ask for a couple. You should put in a new washer every time you fill your cylinder.
 

· Plant Clown
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4,737 Posts
I actually don't like permaseals, as the only one I've ever used broke. Nylon washers, however, have never let me down.

Just take the tape off the threads of the 5# before you return it to them. They might be really annoyed at you.

I've never had a leak at the CGA connection, by the way. I just torque the heck out of the nut and walk and turn on the cylinder.
 

· Plant Clown
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4,737 Posts
Can you explain how you'd use two wrenches? I just crank down on the CGA nut and the cylinder is heavy enough that it won't spin if I'm pushing downward.

As for nylon washers, item # 360386799207 on Evilbay is 10 washers shipped for $4. Or do a search for nylon washer CO2. They come in that normal yellowish color, btw, not the red that you see in the pic.

If you mess with your reg a lot (like me), you may want to switch to a new washer before it's time to refill the tank. So even if you get one free with every refill, it's good to have extras.
 

· Plant Clown
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4,737 Posts
Am I just lucky that I live in areas where Airgas and Haun have outlets? I've welded for 30+ years and bought probably 1000 lbs of CO2 in my life, in both Charlotte NC and here in Syracuse, and never had an issue. They take used 10 lb bottles and just swap them out for new ones for $18. They sell washers for pennies. I would never go to the trouble of buying an aluminum bottle because I wouldn't trust the local homebrew store to do me right. And I don't think Airgas or Haun will touch them. This is a curiosity to me.
Not sure what point you're trying to make. I think we're pretty much making sure the OP takes all the prescribed steps, and I think we agree that while it's possible the CO2 shop screwed up, it's not terribly likely. The purpose of investing in an aluminum cylinder has to do with aesthetics, which isn't a consideration for many, but is for some, and often has to do with not having enough room in a convenient hidey-hole for a cylinder. Do *I* mind having a 20# cylinder hanging out next to a tank? Nope. Do some people? Sure, and that's okay.

If anyone has specific advice related to this issue, please make it clear :)
 
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