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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently went through 2 refills on my 5 pound cylinder within about 2 - 3 months at about 3 bps on my bubble counter. It has been emptying way to fast for a 20 gallon tank. It is an aluminum cylinder and a milwaukee regulator that I got from someone else used. Well, i couldn't find any leaks with the soapy water test so i figured the local liquor store didnt know how to fill it right. So, i went to a praxair (welding supply chain) and did a swap so i knew it was coming filled from a good source and i swapped for another aluminum cylinder. Well, i went home and connected everything. I tightened the main bolt on reall tight to the tank like usual with a new washer and after everything was on i opened the main valve. Well.....It started hissing really loud which obviously means there is a leak. Do you think the regulator is just shot and a piece of junk? If so, are there any good cheap regulators or any parts i can keep from the milwaukee and make one??? I don't really have the money for another $100 plus regulator!!! Pressurized has been nothing but a nightmare for me since i got it. Please help me because I don't know where to go from here.
 

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Fill up your bathtub and stick the tank in the tub. Find the leaks easy. If anyone ever tells you that water will destroy your regulator they are wrong. I used to do plumbing and leak repairs and ive taken tanks under water with me in chillers and swimming pools down to 25 feet under water and the only thing that perpetually broke was my threads on the pressure adjustment because it was dropped or hit so often. Anyway if the regulator is leaking just either call milwaukee and see about a fix or exchange or just take the regulator to a dive shop or perhaps a ferguson/airgas and see about getting it fixed. I used to fix my high pressure regulators for about 50 bucks.
 

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PRS,

There are a couple of things here. Does the regulator have a solenoid on it that you plug in for CO2 control? Most of the Milwaukee regulators do. The solenoid is electrical so you want to be careful to not put that in the water, that will mess it up.

As far as the hissing, what may have happened is that you did not completely shut the second stage valve in the regulator. The way this is done is by completely loosening the large black knob on the reg. Again, the knob needs to be completely loosened (turned to the left) before you open the main valve on the tank. If this is not done then the high pressure from the tank can blow the diaphragm in the regulator thus causing the hissing sound. If that's what happened then the diaphragm will need to be replaced and it will not work until that is done.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, before i saw the responses I put a layer of thread tape on the threads and made sure the washer was definitely in place. I tightened everything and reconnected the system, opened the valve and viola!!! No more hiss and the gauge reads at about 1000 psi compared to my last two liquor store fills of barely 750 psi from initial connection only to decrease. I should still check for leaks but i used soapy water and didn't see any bubbles. Maybe i did it wrong but i should try again i guess to make sure its good. But yes, there is no more hissing.

and yes i always loosen the adjustment knob completely when i hook it up.

Thanks you guys for the responses, I just need to make sure there is no leaks
 

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usually the sealing surface is on the end of your threaded fitting, and the threads are only meant to provide preload. unless there is a decent sized nick or imperfection in the end, a good torquing against the crush washer or gasket will usually seal the connection. if you are having to resort to using thread tape to seal the connection, there could be something wrong with either the gasket or sealing surfaces.

just to keep the refillers honest, it's usually a good idea to weigh the bottle before you get it filled (i.e., when it's empty). it should be roughly 5 lbs heavier when it's filled.
 

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You need to be careful using tape on the threads. If any breaks off it can get in the regulator and cause problems. I agree with snafu, you shouldn't have to tape the threads to get a seal, there is something else going on.

The PSI on the gauge doesn't mean much, they fill the tank by weight, the ambient temperatures effect on the temperature of the tank itself will change the PSI reading. Same amount of gas in a different environment can give a different PSI reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes I know they fill by weight but my environment has been the same. I have my room climate controlled to a constant 72 degrees. So if I now have a higher reading in an unchanged environment and ambient temperature, then the liquor store that does refills obviously is not filling the cylinders all the way. Plus this time, the cylinder which is aluminum like my one i swapped out feels much heavier than anytime I refilled my cylinder before. This definitely leads me to believe I was being robbed of a full tank. For now on I will leave it to the welding shops fro refills and swaps. They are cheaper and better in my experience. And I know I shouldn't need the tape but I can't afford a new regulator so some cheap thread tape will have to work until I can afford a new one or the regulator doesn't work anymore. The regulator was bought used so I really don't care if it eventually has a problem, I expect it. I new it was not in mint condition and not new so I was not expecting the most perfect performance. Well, eventually I will upgrade to a better new regulator so I don't have any more problems but for now this will have to suffice.
 

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And I know I shouldn't need the tape but I can't afford a new regulator so some cheap thread tape will have to work until I can afford a new one or the regulator doesn't work anymore.
Why would you need to buy a new regulator?

Simply unscrew your regulator, take off the teflon tape, and apply some pipe compound to the threads. Then reattach the regulator. The only real cost is the time spent unscrewing and rescrewing on the regulator and the cost of the pipe compound (maybe 2 USD).
 

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But I swap out the cylinder so wouldn't I have to keep applying the compound everytime? Sorry never seen or used pipe compound so I dont know.
You may need to apply more compound, but a big tube costs about 2 USD and will last a lifetime. You do not need a lot of pipe compound (just enough to go around all the threading).

Unless you are swapping your cylinder on a daily basis (read: if this is the case, you should not be worried about the cost of the pipe compound), you will not incur any significant cost for the pipe compound.
 

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Why would you need to buy a new regulator?

Simply unscrew your regulator, take off the teflon tape, and apply some pipe compound to the threads. Then reattach the regulator. The only real cost is the time spent unscrewing and rescrewing on the regulator and the cost of the pipe compound (maybe 2 USD).
But I swap out the cylinder so wouldn't I have to keep applying the compound everytime? Sorry never seen or used pipe compound so I dont know.
You may need to apply more compound, but a big tube costs about 2 USD and will last a lifetime. You do not need a lot of pipe compound (just enough to go around all the threading).

Unless you are swapping your cylinder on a daily basis (read: if this is the case, you should not be worried about the cost of the pipe compound), you will not incur any significant cost for the pipe compound.
The entire above conversation is completely moot. You guys need to go read this post again:

usually the sealing surface is on the end of your threaded fitting, and the threads are only meant to provide preload. unless there is a decent sized nick or imperfection in the end, a good torquing against the crush washer or gasket will usually seal the connection. if you are having to resort to using thread tape to seal the connection, there could be something wrong with either the gasket or sealing surfaces.
You shouldn't need to use ANYTHING on threads on the tank. They provide ZERO sealing. All they do is pull the regulator tight against the tank and crush the washer/gasket in between the two. The washer/gasket is what seals the connection. If the only way you can get it to seal is with tape then you have another problem.
 
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