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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just changed my co2 tank and For some reason the pressure is funky. My right guage says the tank pressure is fine but the left guage is saying the operating pressure is very low and I can't get the bubble over like 1bpm. Not that I need more than that but it bothers me its not working properly.
I already tested for leaks a couple times and it's sealed good.
Thanks
 

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I hate to jump too far without knowing but there can be a nasty learning curve at times. Hope it is not but I need to ask. If this is new game for you, there can be a mistake made when opening the valves and it can create a real problem. Do you back the working pressure off all the way before opening the tank valve?
What can/might sometimes happen is the high pressure hits the low pressure side before the reg is really regulating the pressure. This high pressure can do a couple bad things. One is that it can peg the meter so hard that it bends the internal parts and no longer reads the low pressure right.
Second question might involve how well you tested the meters for leaks.
The high pressure can also hit the small tube inside the meter hard enough to split a seam and leave gas coming out inside the meter. What this can do is make us think we are feeding gas but it is not getting to the bubble counter because it is sneaking out the back of the meter or around the glass in some spot we don't test.
I would like to think it doesn't happen but I do know that it does. Check a few points for this? We can wind up thinking we are okay because the tank doesn't show we are using gas. But this can be misleading because the high pressure stays nearly the same until all the liquid CO2 is used and THEN it begins to move down. Unfortunately by then we have blown most of a tank of gas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I hate to jump too far without knowing but there can be a nasty learning curve at times. Hope it is not but I need to ask. If this is new game for you, there can be a mistake made when opening the valves and it can create a real problem. Do you back the working pressure off all the way before opening the tank valve?
What can/might sometimes happen is the high pressure hits the low pressure side before the reg is really regulating the pressure. This high pressure can do a couple bad things. One is that it can peg the meter so hard that it bends the internal parts and no longer reads the low pressure right.
Second question might involve how well you tested the meters for leaks.
The high pressure can also hit the small tube inside the meter hard enough to split a seam and leave gas coming out inside the meter. What this can do is make us think we are feeding gas but it is not getting to the bubble counter because it is sneaking out the back of the meter or around the glass in some spot we don't test.
I would like to think it doesn't happen but I do know that it does. Check a few points for this? We can wind up thinking we are okay because the tank doesn't show we are using gas. But this can be misleading because the high pressure stays nearly the same until all the liquid CO2 is used and THEN it begins to move down. Unfortunately by then we have blown most of a tank of gas.
I am pretty good at testing leaks. I used to do plumbing and heating and test for gas leaks constantly. I did not test the glass so I will try that later. I did test all the other threaded areas.
I am pretty new to this yes. This is only my second tank of gas on this regulator. The first was fine.
unfortunately Im not sure what this means

" Do you back the working pressure off all the way before opening the tank valve?"

I really only have the regulator valve itself from what I see and nothing else to control flow until the needle valve.

I do always make sure to open any gas valve VERY slowly so things like you describe usually dont happen. But again Im new to co2 regs.


edit
Just found this

http://blog.greenleafaquariums.com/...ulator-as-it-relates-to-the-planted-aquarium/

clears up a lot on the actual hardware for me. Myabe something happened with the screw on the front.... even though I never touched it. Maybe Ill give that a fiddle, though I also never knew it should only read about 3, max 7 psi on the low side. I did go from an aluminum to steel tank in my swap so Im not sure if that can cause any differences with the gas. Cant see why it would honestly. Still any other tips are appreciated.
 

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Sorry, I did not make myself clear. Sometimes we forget that you can't read minds through the internet!
What I meant was to back the low pressure adjustment off all the way. Some regs don't have an adjustment for this.
But the theory is that the reg uses a kind of what might be called a balancing act between the high pressure and a spring. The spring pushes one way and the gas pushes another with the adjustment to press the spring more or less. So what can happen is the reg takes having the high pressure for a half second to really get it's act together to "balance" and really regulate the low pressure. The danger is that during this short time, the meter gets hit with 800+PSI on a meter to read maybe 100PSI. Being a mechanical guy, you know that's not good!
Quick look here to see what I'm talking about:
https://www.google.com/#q=bourdon+tube

This little brass tube is made to uncoil just a bit as the low pressure goes to it. Think aluminum foli? If it gets hit with 500PSI, this little brass tube can just split a seam and we have a leak but the leak is inside the meter and can come out in places we don't check as we don't think of gas being in those places.

My personal feeling is there should be a required warning stamped on all regs or maybe on the back of our hand to keep us from killing the meter.

The other thought is that it is possible to get a tank of gas that has a bit of dirt or debris in the valve. I like to do a quick open/close of the valve to blow anything out before attaching the reg. What I've seen happen is the reg gets added and then the debris gets forced into the reg where it goes along until it find some really tiny little passage to stop it up.

But then I am way out in guessing, so maybe not worth much to solve your problem, just be aware? As soon as we find the problem we know but when looking for the cause, it's still a mystery!
 

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" Do you back the working pressure off all the way before opening the tank valve?"

I really only have the regulator valve itself from what I see and nothing else to control flow until the needle valve.

I do always make sure to open any gas valve VERY slowly so things like you describe usually dont happen. But again Im new to co2 regs.


edit
Just found this

A Closer Look at the CO2 Regulator, as it relates to the Planted Aquarium ? Planted Tank Blog

clears up a lot on the actual hardware for me. Myabe something happened with the screw on the front.... even though I never touched it. Maybe Ill give that a fiddle, though I also never knew it should only read about 3, max 7 psi on the low side. I did go from an aluminum to steel tank in my swap so Im not sure if that can cause any differences with the gas. Cant see why it would honestly. Still any other tips are appreciated.

The "screw" on the front is how you adjust the working pressure....which would be considered the regulator valve. When you mentioned having only the regulator valve are you referencing the tank valve?

Sounds like you could have blown the regulator if you did not know about this. Besides closing the tank valve what you want to do is back the regulator valve down to "off" or 0 or however you want to term it. That way the tank is closed, and now the regulator is also closed. Then you can remove the regulator and swap it to your new tank. Now you open the tank valve and should see the pressure gauge rise to 800 psi or so; but the regulator valve is still closed so the working pressure should be zero. Then you adjust the regulator valve to the desired working pressure (probably somewhere between 20-35 psi or so). If you dont have the regulator valve closed when you first open the tank valve, you get a sudden "burst" of gas (800 psi) through the open regulator which can essentially blow out a diaphragm and ruin a regulator.
 

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Myabe something happened with the screw on the front.... even though I never touched it.
The first question here is: do you actually have that "screw on the front"? Some regulators are adjustable, some are not. If your regulator is of non-adjustable variety, then what you have "on the front" is just a cup, not a screw. Trying to unscrew that cap when the system is under pressure will result in aggressive venting of CO2. (Don't do that.)

What CO2 regulator are you using? A picture maybe?
 

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Did you buy this reg from me? Your name sounds familiar. If you do, let me know and I'll take care of you.

-Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
AlanLe, no my friend, I got it off craigslist.

I got it guys.
I found some kegerator tips online. I closed the tank and reg valve and released the pressure in the reg by unscrewing the relief. I then adjusted the screw in the front and put the pressure back in. I had to do this around 3 times to get it to where I felt it was working properly. The article said it should be between 2 and 3 on the low end which seems right compared to what it was last time.

Learn something new every day.
Thanks for the help.

I also re checked again for leaks in the gauges and some other places and its air tight.

Bump:
The "screw" on the front is how you adjust the working pressure....which would be considered the regulator valve. When you mentioned having only the regulator valve are you referencing the tank valve?

Sounds like you could have blown the regulator if you did not know about this. Besides closing the tank valve what you want to do is back the regulator valve down to "off" or 0 or however you want to term it. That way the tank is closed, and now the regulator is also closed. Then you can remove the regulator and swap it to your new tank. Now you open the tank valve and should see the pressure gauge rise to 800 psi or so; but the regulator valve is still closed so the working pressure should be zero. Then you adjust the regulator valve to the desired working pressure (probably somewhere between 20-35 psi or so). If you dont have the regulator valve closed when you first open the tank valve, you get a sudden "burst" of gas (800 psi) through the open regulator which can essentially blow out a diaphragm and ruin a regulator.

thanks Ill be sure to do this every time from now on. Ill have to tell my buddy as well for when he changes his tank.
 
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