CO2 Reator TROUBLE!!

deucebiggss

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2009
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I built my own CO2 reactor and the problem that I am having is the CO2 is not going into the reactor. The water is going out into my CO2 tubing reaching the check valve. It is obvious that the water pressure is stronger coming out of the reactor than the CO2 pressure trying to go into the reactor.
 

nipat

Guru Class Expert
May 23, 2009
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This should not happen. Something must be wrong.
Even if your CO2 source doesn't has enough pushing pressure.
This has never occurred when I still used CO2 from yeast.

Normally, water won't reach the check valve if the check valve
is working properly. Because the air in between will not pass
the check valve.

And even if the check valve is defective. The water still won't
advance long into the CO2 line, if there is no leak in the system
because of the same reason: there is no where for the trapped air
in the line can go.

So I think your CO2 may have a leak somewhere.

By the way, there is a thing called water creep. This happens
slowly after you shut off CO2 at night. CO2 in the line gets
dissolved into the moving water inside reactor which creates
vacuum in the CO2 line.

I use regular silicone tube for CO2. The part between the solenoid
and the check valve becomes flat every night. Because the remaining
CO2 in the area is sucked into the part between the reactor and
the check valve. There is some water advancing in that part but
never reach the check valve.
 

deucebiggss

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2009
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I'm not sure what the F is going on. I have a brass clippard valve and there is no CO2 coming out of the tube when I put the tube in a bowl of water. Bubble counter-----tubing(with CO2)-----checkvalve-----tubing(no CO2 in bowl of water. My PSI is at 20 and the make of the regulator is a Micro Maticm Ideal needle valve and solenoid is Burkert. For some reason the CO2 is not pushing through the check valve and is not going into my reactor. Very confused. As of now I hooked up my CO2 line to the Eheim Powerhead http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4586+9021&pcatid=9021 seems to be doing the trick for now until i can get this figured out. Thanks for your advice Nipat.
 

Gbark

Guru Class Expert
Jun 15, 2009
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I can't picture the setup, but are you sure the non return valve is in the right direction?
 

deucebiggss

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2009
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I don't have a valve designed for that but I did pull the tube off from the bottom of the reactor and a bunch of air came out. The thing that I don't understand is that the clippard check valve is not letting any CO2 out. And yes I do have it going in the right direction. Is it possible that the valve is defected??
 

deucebiggss

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2009
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Some pics

The Eheim powerhead did the trick as far as getting CO2 into the tank. I have 2 drop checkers and they changed to green. If I can't get this reactor to work I may just stick to the powerhead.

0130001842.jpg


0130001911.jpg


0130001842a.jpg


031a.jpg


029a.jpg
 

Left C

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Sep 26, 2005
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deucebiggss;45998 said:
I don't have a valve designed for that but I did pull the tube off from the bottom of the reactor and a bunch of air came out. The thing that I don't understand is that the clippard check valve is not letting any CO2 out. And yes I do have it going in the right direction. Is it possible that the valve is defected??
I'm glad the air came out. This is probably your problem. Hook it up and see if it works.

Don't worry about a 'burping' valve.' Turning it upside down to get the air out is fine in this case.

If you can't blow through the correct end of a check valve is a problem. They are about 1psi, I think. Also, if you can blow through both ends, it is broken.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

deucebiggss

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Aug 31, 2009
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As of now if I try to blow through the check valve I'll pass out. But it is holding the water from coming out. Do you see any problem with my set up? I have a check valve before my bubble counter and the bubbles are coming out into the counter so that works. When my solenoid turns off I am getting some bubbles still coming out is it faulty?
 

Left C

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Have you got it going? I've been watching the Kansas/Kansas State game. Sorry.

deucebiggss;46001 said:
As of now if I try to blow through the check valve I'll pass out. But it is holding the water from coming out.
OK. It's holding the water back, but is it open going the other way? You might have to test it unless you know that it works right. Isn't this the same complaint as below?

deucebiggss;46001 said:
I'm not sure what the F is going on. I have a brass clippard valve and there is no CO2 coming out of the tube when I put the tube in a bowl of water. Bubble counter-----tubing(with CO2)-----checkvalve-----tubing(no CO2 in bowl of water. My PSI is at 20 .... For some reason the CO2 is not pushing through the check valve and is not going into my reactor.
What happens when you crank the pressure up?

deucebiggss;46001 said:
Do you see any problem with my set up? I have a check valve before my bubble counter and the bubbles are coming out into the counter so that works.
You have first class equipment. It's got to be something simple. Have you tried it after the air 'burped out'?

deucebiggss;46001 said:
When my solenoid turns off I am getting some bubbles still coming out is it faulty?
The bubbles should stop after a few minutes. Quite a few folks are asking this same question right now, but yours is the first for a Burkert solenoid. The others are Clippard.
 

deucebiggss

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2009
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When I crank the pressure it does nothing. And I did test the check valve. I unhooked the tubing from my reactor and put it into a bowl of water and there were no bubbles coming out of the tubing. Once I took the check valve off I had bubbles coming out of the tubing. And it probably is something simple and that is the worst part of it all :)
 

deucebiggss

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2009
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Nipat the check valve is currently holding back the water on the reactor setup. I did not say the check valve was leaking gas it not letting the gas go through are you raising that question of a leaky check valve? The powehead is working great believe it or not. I have a cheapo check valve on the powehead and my drop checkers are changing color.
 

deucebiggss

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Aug 31, 2009
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Thanks for the link Nipat. I have to tool around with it all, but as of now I have been so frustrated I needed a break. I forgot to shut off my filters yesterday and pulled the check valve off and needless to say water was pissing out of the tubing all over the place. It has been an experience that's for sure. You can read and read and read, but until you get your hands dirty you don't know anything. :)
 

nipat

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May 23, 2009
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The leaking I meant was it leaked gas out of the system (into your room).
Just a thought.
 

Left C

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deucebiggss;46009 said:
When I crank the pressure it does nothing. And I did test the check valve. I unhooked the tubing from my reactor and put it into a bowl of water and there were no bubbles coming out of the tubing. Once I took the check valve off I had bubbles coming out of the tubing. And it probably is something simple and that is the worst part of it all :)
Doesn't this sound like you either have the check valve attached in the wrong direction or it is stuck shut? Have you got it mounted right? The arrow points in the out direction and not towards the regulator.

You just hooked it up in one direction, didn't you? Have you tried connecting each end of the check valve individually to see which way that the check valve works or not?

- regulator ... tubing > check valve > (there should be flow out of the check valve when mounted in this direction)
- regulator ... tubing < check valve < (the check valve shouldn't have any flow coming out when mounted in this direction)
 

deucebiggss

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Aug 31, 2009
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- regulator ... tubing > check valve > (there should be flow out of the check valve when mounted in this direction)
This is how I tested it and nothing comes out of the valve thats why I think it a bad valve
 

deucebiggss

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2009
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Yes, I just did as a matter of fact. I am getting nothing coming out of the clippard brass check valve. I put a Lee check valve and that worked, so I hooked the tubing up to my reactor and the water flowing through the reactor ended up flowing back to the check valve. It seems that the water pressure in the reactor is stronger than the CO2 pressure. I waited some time to see if the CO2 would push through into the reactor, but I got nothing. I checked all my CO2 seals with a water and soap solution and I do not see any leaks. I had my dad check it for another pair of eyes and it seemed fine to him. So, I sit here watching my Eheim powerhead with the CO2 tubing attached and it seems to be working. It has been 2 days now and my 2 drop checkers are changing from blue to green and my PH goes from 7.2 before lights and CO2 kick on at 8am to currently 6.8 at 2pm. If this works I am sticking with this system.