CO2 regulator washer

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
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Brisbane, Australia
Hi Guys,

What are most people using for their CO2 regulator washers (or gaskets or whatever you want to call it)?

3/4" OD x 1/4" ID (19mm OD x 6mm ID) - that part's pretty standard - but what about the composition of the washer?

Nylon?
Rubber?
Fibre?
Metal?

I'm currently using rubber washers; they seem to work ok.

Would nylon be a better choice for a leak free seal?

You can pick up zillions of these things on eBay dirt cheap - but what would be the best choice?

On a related note - is it possible for a very fine leak to occur at the regulator washer that you can't "hear"?

Scott.
 

Wwh2694

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Dec 21, 2010
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I always used the nylon seal at green leaf aquariums. I would like to see what other people use to save money.
 

mike

Guru Class Expert
Jan 13, 2012
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Quebec, Canada
I use nylon as well. Another thing I would like to hear from people is how often do you change your washer? I change mine about every 3rd refill.

Mike
 

Darkblade48

Guru Class Expert
Dec 16, 2009
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I also use nylon, as they are relatively cheap. I can also torque them down tightly without risking them cracking (as is the case with Permaseals).

It is generally recommended to change nylon washers every time you remove the regulator, but I have found that reusing them 2-3 times is fine as well. However, if there is a suspected leak (and no other piece of equipment has changed), the regulator/CO2 cylinder connection is the first thing I will suspect, especially if a nylon washer has been reused.

scottward;105203 said:
On a related note - is it possible for a very fine leak to occur at the regulator washer that you can't "hear"?
Absolutely. Soapy water always does wonders to test for fine leaks.
 

BriDroid

Prolific Poster
Dec 28, 2012
34
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Nylon here too. The guy at the welding supply place told me to only change it every other time. That's what I've been doing and no leaks so far.
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
10
18
Brisbane, Australia
So far everyone is using Nylon....

Hmmmm, I wonder if the rubber Red Sea brand ones I've been using have always leaked a bit (but very slowly such that I can't actually hear anything hissing out)....

Makes me wonder though *why* Red Sea would issue rubber ones instead of nylon in the first place....?

Is there *any* advantage of rubber over nylon? The only thing I can think of is perhaps rubber is more forgiving in that you don't have to tighten up the regulator nut as tight (and possibly people starting out with CO2 tend to under - torque)?

If using a nylon washer, do you have to re-tighten the regulator nut periodically or can you crack it up nice and tight and then just leave it?

....and I read *elsewhere* that some people are using fibre washers....

Scott.
 

gsjmia

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Jan 10, 2010
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Boca Raton, FL
I have a fibre washer on my 20lb tank for my beverage system that is about 10 years old, still using it with no problems.

I had a perma seal on my first planted tank regulator and it leaked after about 2 years-I now have a fibre washer there also that is about 3 years old.

The only thing I do is try to put the tank side of the washer back to the tank side, as the imprint is slightly different.
 

Matt F.

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I use nylon/plastic washers, too. Perma-Seals seem to fall apart on me all the time. rubber might not be good b/c they can dry out and crack over time. I think you might have a different size washer, too, since the USA's CGA 320 is not universal.

Change plastic/nylon washers at every tank refill to prevent leaks.
 

Matt F.

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Cardboard doesn't seem reliable enough to me. Just go to a local welding shop and get a CO2 washer. The plastic/nylon ones are cheap and effective. This is assuming the Australian CO2 tanks require a washer.
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
10
18
Brisbane, Australia
They do, but with a 1/4" diameter hole in the middle, this hole is too small for my regulator.

I need a 10mm hole in the middle, so 1/2" is close enough, outer diameter still the same at 3/4".

Problem is all the ones with 1/2" holes in the middle are all only 1mm thick, whereas the proper CO2 ones are 2-3mm thick.
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
10
18
Brisbane, Australia
gsjmia;105584 said:
I have a fibre washer on my 20lb tank for my beverage system that is about 10 years old, still using it with no problems.

I had a perma seal on my first planted tank regulator and it leaked after about 2 years-I now have a fibre washer there also that is about 3 years old.

The only thing I do is try to put the tank side of the washer back to the tank side, as the imprint is slightly different.

I'm not having any luck finding a 3/4" x 1/2" nylon washer that is thicker than 1mm, which I think would probably crack.

I have been able to find a regular tap fibre washer of these diameters that is 1.5mm thick and fits.

So no problems using a fibre washer? Ok to crank the nut up nice and tight, no leaks?

I know these are ok for fluids, but as a CO2 gasket?

gsjmia, you're using a regular tap fibre washer, those red ones that you can get anywhere?

Scott.
 

gsjmia

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[QUOTEgsjmia, you're using a regular tap fibre washer, those red ones that you can get anywhere?][/QUOTE]

The fibre washers I use are an odd brownish almost light green color. They offer them free with a Co2 refill. Here are some fibre washers for 25 cents, they are not hard to find: http://www.mainbrew.com/Fiber-Co2-Washer-Prodview.html

Nylon works just as well and I thought they were soft enough so they wouldn't crack.

Here are nylon washers for 30 cents (at Walmart of all places): http://www.walmart.com/ip/Radnor-CO...1=g&wl2=&wl3=21486607510&wl4=&wl5=pla&veh=sem

The only ones I don't like are the perma seal because the rubber O-rings go bad.
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
10
18
Brisbane, Australia
Thanks gsjmia.

They look to be different to the regular tap ones.

I may have had some luck today and found some nylon washers of the right diameters that are 1/16" thick, so about 1.5mm thick.

Looks like these washers are normally sold 3mm thick for our purposes.

Hate to be paranoid, I just want to get it right, will 1.5mm be thick enough or donI really need 3mm so as not to crack them?
 

gsjmia

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Jan 10, 2010
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Maybe its me, but in 15 years of using Co2 in carbonated beverage equipment I have never seen a washer crack.

They might get deformed from over use but they are so cheap its not an issue.

The Wallmart washers look just like these: http://www.regulatortorchrepair.com/store.php/products/cga-320-washer

Just try one and then soapy water test (which you should do each time you refill tank) to see if it works.

The worst that will happen is it will leak.

Let us know what happens.
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
10
18
Brisbane, Australia
I've noticed a few of those nylon washers having ridges on the face.

Is this necessary for a seal? Will a perfectly flat nylon washer work?

Impossible to find these things here, I have contacted several companies. Again it looks like I will be ordering from the US, because of the postage I have to be absolutely certain I get the correct ones. ;)

Scott.