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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a Aquatek premium regulator that seems to work fine at lower PSI, but I also have a UP Aqua super diffuser that requires around 50+ psi to work and it appears the solenoid can't deal with that much pressure. It will work fine at lower pressure but it won't turn off past 20 psi. I know some of the more expensive brands come with better solenoids and if I can replace just that I will be happy. The rest of the regulator including the needle valve works fine so no need to buy another brand.

TL/DR I need a new solenoid, any suggestions?
 

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I have a favorite solenoid that I like and can find pretty cheap and easy. But then it also comes with some decisions to make before using it for your setup as I don't run high pressure diffusers but use reactors. The difference is in the tubing you use. I assume you have something that holds 50PSI well enough to trust fully?
For replacement solenoids I go to the auction and find a Clippard Mouse series both for price and value but mostly for design. They use a totally different method to close off flow. Rather than a sliding metal part that moves when opened/closed, the Mouse series uses a "spider" more like the reed valves used in small engines. That requires super low current to move (.67 watt) so that there is no overheating. One of the common failures in solenoids is that we run them so long that they overheat and the metal binds up and sticks.
ET-2-12 is my first choice. Coding of the models is critical to get the right one!!!!
ET gives terminals for push-on connectors. EV will give wires already brought out but they are smaller wires than I like.
-2 means an in and an out port which is what we really need but an ETO with a -3 can be used also. The third port is an exhaust which we can seal with a common 10-32 screw. 10-32 is a common screw from any hardware. In this case the "O" is critical because it brings the exhaust out so we can add the screw.
The last number (-12) is the voltage it uses. I like the -12 (12 Volt DC) because I can find so many junk wall wart power supplies at that voltage. Almost any 12VDC power supply will run it.
Link to Clippard catalog?
http://www.clippard.com/products/electronic-valve-ev-e

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I trust the tubing, it held up to me not reading the gauge right and cranking the PSI up to about 80 for about an hour. So with one of these would I just pull the sliding metal part out of my old solenoid, mount it up to cover the port on the side of the regulator, then run this other solenoid in line with the tubing after the needle valve? I will be building a in sump reactor eventually so I won't be needing to push so much pressure for long but if solenoid is acting up now I would much rather find something new, these look like a great place to start.
 

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The biggest problem with the CO2 setup is choosing and getting the parts on hand. Too many options and things vary when we start shopping, so please bare with me as this can sound really complicated until you get the parts in hand.

I would start at the reg you have, find what output size and type it has like 1/4" NPT? Then you need to find a right size fitting to go in that hole with the other end matching what tubing you want to use. I like compression fitting for 50 PSI as barb might tend to blow off. But I use low pressure and barbs work for me. Then at the other end of that tube, you will need to match a fitting to the solenoid you buy. Two choices there also. The solenoid itself will have in/out ports using 10-32 fittings which are too small for some. I like them for the small size and the way I hang my stuff. But IF you want to use solid pipe fittings which are easier to find and buy at the hardware store, get a solenoid that has an "M" in the model number.
ET-2M-12? rather than ET-2-12!
The "M" has a rubber ring and seals down on the manifold.


One or the other of this, depends on what you like and find to buy?

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I found the ET-2-12 so I think I will end up running it like that solenoid alone diagram. It comes with two 1/16 swagelok fittings, not sure what those are. My CO2 setup right now has compression fittings from reg to diffuser so I should not have to worry about anything popping off, but I have to figure out how to use the swagelok fittings or just order some clippard #10-32 to 1/8” Tube Connectors(11923-ENP-PKG) since it matches my tubing. Thanks for the help, this has been a great help.
 

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Know the story about learning to ride a bike? It's easy to set here and tell somebody about it but not so easy when you are doing it the first time. Hope we can keep you from crashing, right?
I just got back from Long Beach and while there did some small parts plumbing that was not the normal for me and it really did get down to taking pictures and going to the supply guy to find what I wanted. There's always another brand /type or size out there to mess with my mind. The guys have a big roll around cart with extras but when that doesn't fit, I get the legwork since I'm the least productive of the whole group!
I just don't get any RESPECT!
 

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Radial or axial will make little difference to us. It means the wires come out the top or out the side ---I think! I've not seen any but what I would call radial on the Clippards.

It may be a personal pet peeve with me but I have done lots of fixes on broken wires on all kinds of things and the wires are just a lot smaller than I like for good sturdy operation over the long haul. But they are a lot smaller than extention cord wire and just look really easy to pull out of the top if we happened to catch a foot in the wiring. Something like the wire size on small wall type power supplies. The kind that tend to break right where they come out of the plug, etc.
 

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For push on connectors, I was speaking of connectors for the wire terminals if one uses the ET variety of solenoid. Rahter than solder to the terminals, the little wire connectors can be crimped on a wire with pliers or mashed with a hammer and then the end pushes on the terminal.
Like these only the 1/4 inch tends to be a little large so I go to a computer type electronic store to pick up smaller ones that fit the terminals better.
1/4" QUICK CONNECT FEMALE, RED | All Electronics Corp.

For tubing connectors to fit 1/8 inch, try looking at hobby shops that stock parts for remote control airplanes and cars for these?
TowerHobbies.com | Dubro 10-32 Pressure Fitting (1)
 

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Okay but , yes. Each wire has one connector and it just pushes on the terminal. It is better to get one that is tight so that it takes some effort to pull it off.
Thanks a bunch. You can tell I am on a learning curve. Thus I feel like I am walking through some woods. That is how I felt when I took electronic classes. Something so simple does not appear simple at first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I will take a picture tonight when I get home. Basically what is happening is it is going from the aquatek regulators output barb to a short piece of hose, to the solenoid then to a hose up to the diffuser. My solenoid came from ebay and it had the fittings already on it so you plug the IN side into your regulator, and the OUT side should go to your diffuser. You are also correct about the female spades, just make sure they can't touch if you knock something around.
 
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