B-4MA - Swagelok metering valve adjustment questions

S&KGray

Guru Class Expert
Nov 18, 2009
236
0
16
Garden Island
Hi all, have a question about adjusting the CO2 flow (bubble rate) with a B-4MA. It seems that the CO2 is flowing out like crazy except for the last 1/2 turn of the valve closing when you can get slow enough of a flow to be able to count the bubble rate. This doesn't seem right.
 

S&KGray

Guru Class Expert
Nov 18, 2009
236
0
16
Garden Island
hbosman;51653 said:
What is your working pressure set at on the regulator? Have you tried reducing it to 10 or 15 psi?

Yes, I had it running at 10 psi. I thought we would get use out of the entire range of the valve from open to close for very gradual adjustments, not going from high to low within the last closing turn.

Also, this is testing the setup with no check valve, bc, or diffuser, just sticking the end of the tubing into some water to check flow rate.

Btw, my used SS-2MG is doing the same thing as the new B-4MA. They are on different setups but same type of reg (Concoa 412) and solenoid (Skinner B series).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Left C

Lifetime Members
Sep 26, 2005
2,500
1
36
69
Burlington, NC
Did you get it going? I've never used one without the check valves, bubble counter, diffuser, etc.

I had a SS-2MA4-MH (low pressure, medium flow) on a VTS253A-1993 with a Clippard solenoid that I ran for over 6 months. The flow rate was variable over a wide range. I had no trouble with it and it was on a 15g tank. I no longer have this regulator. I sold it to a member.
BUfbYIwBmkKGrHgoH-DYEjlLl3iGJBKNw4u.jpg


The parts assembled after the metering valve can contribute to about a 20+ psi loss. Here's a breakdown:
  • I ran a Clippard MCV-1BB check valve before and after the AM bubble counter. Each of these check valves cracks at around 1/2 PSIG or 7.35psi. So you have about a total of around 14.7+ psi loss here.
  • There is some psi loss by the type of diffuser/reactor/needle wheel, etc.
  • There is more psi loss from the friction involved from the CO2 traveling through the tubing, check valves, bubble counter, etc.
  • This adds up to a 20+ psi loss. I don't know exactly what it is. I have no way to measure the psi loss and this is my best guess.
We can compare the low pressure, medium flow M series Swagelok/Nupro metering valves to an Ideal 52-1-12. The M series have a 0.030 Cv when wide open and the Ideal 52-1-12 has a 0.019 Cv when wide open. At 100 psi, the M series have a max flow of 1.5 std ft3/min while the Ideal has a 77 std ft3/min max flow. At 10 psi, the M series has a 0.33 std ft3/min max flow and Ideal's isn't listed.

This is just some info that I've rounded up. It really doesn't exactly answer your question though.
 

S&KGray

Guru Class Expert
Nov 18, 2009
236
0
16
Garden Island
Thanks for the info Left C.

What I am mainly asking is are you able to utilize the entire range of turns on the metering valve, from fully open (very high bubble count) to almost closed (very low bubble count). Right now it seems I am only able to utilize the last closing turn or so, because anything above that the CO2 is just gushing out. This was leading me to think I might need a low-flow valve instead of a medium-flow.

I guess you sort of answered my question here:
Left C;51668 said:
I had a SS-2MA4-MH (low pressure, medium flow) on a VTS253A-1993 with a Clippard solenoid that I ran for over 6 months. The flow rate was variable over a wide range. I had no trouble with it and it was on a 15g tank. I no longer have this regulator. I sold it to a member.

Any other experiences from anyone would be welcomed! :)
 
C

csmith

Guest
S&KGray;51671 said:
What I am mainly asking is are you able to utilize the entire range of turns on the metering valve, from fully open (very high bubble count) to almost closed (very low bubble count). Right now it seems I am only able to utilize the last closing turn or so, because anything above that the CO2 is just gushing out. This was leading me to think I might need a low-flow valve instead of a medium-flow.

No. VTS253A only set to 9 PSI and my SS-2MG-MH-SC11 metering valve is only open to the first 5 mark. After that my CO2 hits ludicrous speed and almost goes to plaid.
 
Last edited:

Left C

Lifetime Members
Sep 26, 2005
2,500
1
36
69
Burlington, NC
Check out page 4 of the Flow Data Chart from the link below. The "S" series have a Flow Coefficient from 0 to 0.0040 at 10 turns out and the "M" series have a Flow Coefficient from 0 to 0.030 again at 10 turns out.

At the 5 mark on the Vernier handle, which is around 1/4 turn out; according to the chart, a "M" series indicates approximately a 0.001 Flow Coefficient. To duplicate this value with a "S" series requires around 4 turns out.
http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/webcatalogs/EN/MS-01-142.pdf

These three regulators with the "M" series valves indicate that "S" series valves would be a better choice.
 

S&KGray

Guru Class Expert
Nov 18, 2009
236
0
16
Garden Island
Left C;51679 said:
Check out page 4 of the Flow Data Chart from the link below. The "S" series have a Flow Coefficient from 0 to 0.0040 at 10 turns out and the "M" series have a Flow Coefficient from 0 to 0.030 again at 10 turns out.

At the 5 mark on the Vernier handle, which is around 1/4 turn out; according to the chart, a "M" series indicates approximately a 0.001 Flow Coefficient. To duplicate this value with a "S" series requires around 4 turns out.
http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/webcatalogs/EN/MS-01-142.pdf

These three regulators with the "M" series valves indicate that "S" series valves would be a better choice.

Yes, very interesting. Thanks for researching that Left C.
 

Koen_v_V

Prolific Poster
Feb 27, 2008
98
0
6
Holland / The Netherlands
Got the same situation here. I have a M series of swagelok (non vernier), and take about 1/4 turn to have enough flow to supply CO2 for my 120g tank. After that point, CO2 flow is way to much. Working pressure is around 20 PSI/1.5 BAR.

Using 1/4 of 10 turns with the M series, then you have too less resolution (to my opinion) around that 1/4 turn. That's why I'm using working pressure for fine adjustment / tuning! Bit the other way around than it's supposed, but it's working nicely.

Next time, I would buy a S series: as it take (0.030/0.0040) 7.5 times more turns for the same output. That would bring you to about 4 turns out of 10 as LeftC already stated. And it would give you 7.5 more resolution at 4 turns!

I can imagine that it you have a non return valve with a lot of backpressure, it would require more pressure and more turns so to say, but then I would cranck up the working pressure. My reg goes to 150 PSI more than I'll ever need.
 

Oreo

Guru Class Expert
May 6, 2010
251
0
16
My B-2MA2 acts the same way. My full range of usable adjustment is about 1/4 turn or so. After that it's way too much CO2 for my 80gal. I'm using 20psi, 1/8" I.D. tubing and only one check valve with 1/3psi-c. I've been able to use this metering valve to adjust the CO2 delivery rate just fine but the vernier handle has been essential to making the small adjustments necessary.
 

gillt

Junior Poster
May 1, 2010
29
0
1
I have a B-2MA2 for a 25 gal. Haven't used it yet, but it looks like I'll need to purchase a vernier handle.