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Pressurized C02 system components
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boingyboingy
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Joined: 06 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.09.11(Sun)21:05    Post subject: Pressurized C02 system components Reply with quote

I was looking into upgrading from DIY C02 to a pressurized cannister, but I really don't have much of an idea of what I need and what to look for in good quality components.

So far,

-I know that I need a tank (how big of a tank and how long does the tank last? are there any special tanks that I need?)

-I need a regulator (Any special types of regulators? How much PSI should I look for?)

-I need a needle vavle (I found something on Ebay for a whitey valve, is that the same or better?)

-And I don't know what else...I sort of have a home made way of diffusing the bubbles pretty good so I probably don't need a diffuser.

This is one that I was thinking on getting off ebay...what do you think?
http://cgi.ebay.com/CO2-Pressure-Regulator-Valve-w-2-5-lb-CO2-Tank_W0QQitemZ7545342045QQcategoryZ26237QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


I would appreciate any help from anyone with experience with pressurized C02 systems.

Thanks
Ryan
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Rex Grigg
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Location: Portland Oregon

PostPosted: 2005.09.12(Mon)6:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

The item you are looking at on EBay is about the worst choice you could make. That regulator has non-standard fittings.

The tank has an expired hydro test date and would need to be tested before it can be used.

So now it's time to do some homework.

Starting looking locally for a place to get the tank filled. Find out if they fill while you wait or just swap out. If they swap out find out what size cylinders they normally carry in stock. If they swap there is no reason to buy a nice new cylinder only to lose it the first time you need a refill. See the link in my sig on where to check for CO2 refills and cylinders.

All you really need is a plain old beer regulator. They run under $50 new from several vendors on the Internet. Then you need a needle valve with adapter. That will run you ~$20. You can build your own bubble counter from a water bottle in about 5 minutes. You need some decent tubing, you should be able to get that from the same place as the needle valve. Then you need a way to get the CO2 into the water column. Depending on tank size the Hagen bubble counter/diffuser works just fine.

It's very easy to set up a manual CO2 system for under $150 complete and ready to run.

As far as cylinder size. You want the largest cylinder you can fit in the location you are going to place it. The reason for this is that it's normally just a couple of dollars more to fill a 10 lb tank as it is a 2.5 lb or a 5 lb tank.
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boingyboingy
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Joined: 06 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.09.12(Mon)14:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for you help and information...I found a place that will sell a cylinder for $135 10lb. But that is kind of expensive. They said I can drop it off and pick up the tank for refills. So I think I might try to find something online.

how about this tank?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7544946347&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1

thanks
ryan
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Rex Grigg
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Location: Portland Oregon

PostPosted: 2005.09.12(Mon)16:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it doesn't get really expensive that's a good buy. I get reconditioned 5 lb cylinders with CO2 included for $50 at the local fire extinguisher service center. A 10 pound with fill is as I recall about $70.
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boingyboingy
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Joined: 06 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.09.12(Mon)22:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I checked my local store and I can get a 5lb for $120. I was looking at the regulators...but I don't fully understand how the airline tubing connects to the regulator?

I talked to some people at the lfs and they told me I have to get the needle vavle connector to connect to the regulator, but before I can connect it, I need to get a 3/4in to 1/4in converter so that the needle valve can be screwed in since the regulator has 3/4in threads and the needle valve has 1/4in threads. Is what they told me correct? Ebay is almost just as expensive as my local gas companies stuff, with shipping to Hawaii, it's hard to get a good deal from ebay.

I think what I'm looking at I would probably spend:

5lb tank = $80-130
regulator = $50-130
3/4 to 1/4 converter = $3-6
needle valve = $30?

Do you think, I'm looking in the wrong places for stuff?

Ryan
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Rex Grigg
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Location: Portland Oregon

PostPosted: 2005.09.13(Tue)6:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, hold on a second.

First thing is don't believe the LFS. There are very few regulators that have 3/4" output. Most of them are 1/4" MIP threaded.

If there are any home brew beer stores near you check them for a regulator. Or check on-line for home brew beer supplies. A regulator will run you $50 no more.

Once you have the regulator you need to remove the fitting that's there for the larger sized beer tubing. Then take the regulator to the local hardware store and then go to www.aquabotanic.com and get the Precision needle valve he sells. It comes with a 1/8" adapter. So at the hardware store you most likely will need to pick up an adapter to go from 1/4" to 1/8".

And yeah I think you are looking in the wrong places for stuff. Not sure where you go the quote on the cylinder but that seems VERY expensive to me. Read my Guide on ideas where to look for a CO2 cylinder. www.rexgrigg.com
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boingyboingy
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Joined: 06 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.09.13(Tue)15:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

well...I am looking at a local store called Airgas Gaspro which I guess is apart of a national company http://www.airgas.com/home.aspx (this is not a local website). It would cost me $115 for a 5lb and $135 for a 10lb. I looked on ebay and with shipping for the most part, it really isn't worth it...I might save like $5-10 through ebay, but I would have to wait for it to be shipped to me which could take up to a few weeks to get to me.

I guess I need more help understanding what I need for a regulator and after that. I think the gaspro store specializes in wielding, so the regulators they sell might have 3/8in fittings?

So the tank comes with CGA 320 fitting right? Then I need to get a home brew regulator? What parts come with it that I don't need? What parts do I need? 1/4in to 1/8in converter for the 1/8in needle valve?
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Rex Grigg
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Location: Portland Oregon

PostPosted: 2005.09.13(Tue)17:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

All CO2 tanks come with a CGA 320 fitting. Get the regulator. Then remove the fitting for the beer line. Figure out what size that is, most commonly 1/4", sometimes 3/8". The needle valve I recommended comes with a 10-32 to 1/8" adapter. So you would need an adapter that will fit that into your regulator.

And I recommend that you actually get a piece of brass pipe about an inch long or so and screw that into the regulator and then the rest of your fittings to that. And use pipe dope on the threads. Make sure it is non-hardening pipe dope though.


After the regulator all you really need is a check valve and a Hagen diffuser.
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boingyboingy
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Joined: 06 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.09.13(Tue)18:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The needle valve I recommended comes with a 10-32 to 1/8" adapter. So you would need an adapter that will fit that into your regulator. "

can you explain this 10-32 to 1/8" adapter...I am planning on getting the aquabotanic precision needle valve you recommend...is does it come with an adapter? I checked and bought a co2 regulator from gaspro for $53, it has a 3/8" female thread and I asked for a 1/8" converter for it, but as I later found out while comparing to my lfs, we found out that it was actually a 3/8" to 1/4" converter, so I'm not sure if gaspro has a 3/8" to 1/8" adaptor.

I just bought the stuff from gaspro...5lb tank with co2, regulator, teflon tape, 3/8" to 1/4" converter...costly about $180. Now I all I need is a needle valve and the right adaptor. At the lfs they sell a needle valve for a 1/4" at $25, so I don't know if I should try to see if things work out with the 1/8" needle valve from aquabotanic or if I should just buy the one at the lfs and be done with it...as of right now I don't really know which valve is of better quality but we'll see what happens I guess.
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Rex Grigg
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Location: Portland Oregon

PostPosted: 2005.09.13(Tue)19:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

The needle valve that Aquabotanic sells is a Clippard. They are great needle valves. The Clippard needle valve has a 10-32 micro thread. It comes with an adapter to 1/8".

Go to a HARDWARE store and get the adapters you need. You are out of the realm of what you can find at a fish store. You are in a HARDWARE mode. Lowe's and Home Depot both carry the parts you need.

And DON'T use the Teflon tape. For any reason for any part of the assembly.
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