Dual Stage Regulators

Tom Barr

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LeftC is going to detail out a lot more info here about the various parts, and where to get them etc, but this is well worth the read.

It'll save you a lot of $, help understand the issues with the COI2 equipment, you will be a master and be able to help most anyone in the future that wants CO2, concerned about cost or other issues, and the parts should last a lifetime, the solenoid is about the part that might not make it 10-30 years.

I suggest using these or the lock down screw caps:

SS-2-HC-1-2 1/8 in. Male NPT, 1/8 in. Hose ID Price: $5.64

The single bard ends are poor IME as well.
A very good tight fit is required or a lock down seal, the item above mentioned by jonny_ftm has both.

Each piece of the system needs good careful examination. Do not take short cuts.
Once you have each and every part, then you do not have worry about again.

The Nupro with the dials already on them are the best IME. The dial gives you a nice reference so you can adjust the flow slowly and recall where you where at prior. This is a very nice feature that is lacking on the ideal valves.

LeftC, you might see if those dials are available for the Nuporos/Swagelok's and the ideals.

They are pretty helpful in adjusting up or down.
This can save some aquarist fish and reduce stress.

Either that, or start selling the 1/8" MPT Nupros with them on there:)
I'll pay 20$ + what you paid for those you just bought:)


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

eiginh

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Sep 17, 2009
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All parts mentioned is for a VTS253A-1993 regulator with clippard solenoid and Fabco NV55 needle valve? I see your's is on a Ideal valve (I think)
 

Tom Barr

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Left C;43329 said:
A few weeks back, the same 1/8" valve was listed except these had the Vernier caliper handles. I picked up two of them. B-2MG2-MH

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400079747902&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT


B_2MG2_MH.jpg





Swagelok metering valve PDF: http://www.swagelok.com/downloads/webcatalogs/EN/MS-01-142.pdf

I found the part number for the vernier attachment for the handle.
21.10$ each, but worth it.

NY-5K-S

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

bradac56

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All of the fittings are interchangable for the most part. The Swagelok and Clippard parts are the most common but you can get nearly everything from your local hardware stores to. The fittings on my first rig are almost all from local stores tho I'll probably get the Swag stuff from now on.

- Brad
 

S&KGray

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Nov 18, 2009
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Tom Barr;43444 said:
I found the part number for the vernier attachment for the handle.
21.10$ each, but worth it.

NY-5K-S

Regards,
Tom Barr

Which valves does that vernier handle fit on?

The vernier handle that I bought for my B-2MG2 is part number NY-2M-K6. I forgot to list it earlier.

Here is where I got my Vernier handle (NY-2M-K6), I offered $15 and was accepted. Maybe I should have started lower...:D
 

S&KGray

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I found the answer to my own question :)

NY-5K-S = part number for vernier handle for S series valves (low flow)

NY-2M-K6 = part number for vernier handle for M/L series valves (medium/high flow)
 

eiginh

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Sep 17, 2009
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I would of helped you but I'm a total noobie. What kind of reg do you have? I'm still waiting for mine....
 

Biollante

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Transparency

Hi Left C, All,

Please do not think me rude (I am, but prefer you not think so). :eek:

Is this independent research, personal experience or your career?

I love the information, but I also like to know if anyone is selling anything. The truth is it is not negative I tend to do business with folks I know. ;)

I have been admonished more than once for citing information from commercial sources, though since they were labeled such and I had/have no affiliation (except as a customer as noted) people were free to consider the source.

Biollante
 

jeff5614

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Aug 11, 2006
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I just wanted to give some thanks to LeftC for helping a lot of us, including myself, put together a solid CO2 regulator and also thank Tom for allowing this discussion to continue over here on The Barr Report where we can breathe the free air.
 

Tom Barr

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LeftC is not making pay on the side.
He's spent a lot of time looking for this stuff and looking into CO2 regulators and DIY approaches to putting a high grade piece of equipment that is critical for CO2 dosing for hobbyists.

While others can do this, it's nice to have them all in one thread and folks can search and hunt for these items and save a bundle. I think it's important to view this as a lifetime purchase, since these often are the last regs you'll ever need to buy and should be 110% happy with.

I like the vernier handles for progressive adjustments.
I have the Nupro(Heck going back to 1995 there) and wanted a nice little metered handle to reference the flow through rates.

I've always used Victor reg's anyway.
It's as cheap as the vendors that sell regs on line.
And much higher quality, much like DIY ferts vs liquids.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Gerryd

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Excellent info here!!!

Thanks leftc and all for sharing/researching!!!

I will see if I can put together a basic high end configuration from the multiple posts, parts, etc and see if it makes sense to you all.

I am aiming for quality not necessarily cost.

Thanks,
 

SMOQ

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Dec 7, 2008
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I have been asked by LeftC, who helped me a lot with understanding pressurized co2 adiition to a planted tank , to post my guide here on Tom Barr's site and so I am doing with great pleasure:) I'm new on this forum, but few of you may recognize me from plantedtank.net, so if you have any questions and/or suggestions, feel free to post here or PM me, I will be more than happy to help.

REGULATOR ASSEMBLY



This DYI write-up is based on my own observations and experience as well as advices from other members on this forum. I could be wrong on some things so feel free to correct me or suggest better method of assembling a CO2 regulator. And one more thing, watch and correct my English please:), I appreciate that.

You need the following things to assemble a regulator for your plant needs:):
- CO2 regulator, dual stage will be your best bet as this type lets you avoid the “end of tank dump” effect
- Needle valve to control the flow of bubbles:)
- Optional bubble counter, inline or JBJ style
- CO2 resistant tubing like polyurethane one
- Solenoid valve and timer (you don’t need a constant CO2 flow, plants don’t use CO2 when lights are off)
- Check valve to prevent water back siphoning from the tank (brass check valves are the best ones(
- NPT fittings needed to connect everything together
- Teflon tape or non-toxic plumbing paste to seal connections
- A pair of good-quality pliers to put everything together:)

So here is what I used for my regulator (your choices may be different and may require different fittings, so please post on this thread with any questions, either I or more experienced people will be happy to help you:))

DSC_0003.jpg

Mine setup consist of:
-Matheson Dual stage regulator I bought on S&S
-Swagelok metering valve
-Clippard solenoid valve
-clippard brass check valves with co2 tubing barb fittings

First thing you need to do is to connect a power cord to the solenoid. You can buy one on clippard site but I think they are too expensive and don’t tell me you don’t have one computer power cord just lying around somewhere:). It’s quite easy to do, you just remove the plastic cover from your solenoid and connect wires from your cord to the solenoid (typically white, black and green for ground).
Clippard solenoid valve comes with red LED that turns on when the valve is open.

Next, take your regulator and take a good look at it:) There’s a low pressure knob that basically regulates the flow thru the regulator, but it’s very imprecise as for aquarium purposes, that’s why you need metering valve in your setup. Next there is a CGA 320 fitting that goes to the co2 cylinder. The last one is a female ¼ NPT fitting, that’s where the solenoid valve should be connected.
DSC_0005.jpg
 

SMOQ

Junior Poster
Dec 7, 2008
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Now, it all depends if you want to use JBJ style bubble counter or not.
-if you do, you have to use an elbow fitting, because the bubble counter needs to be in upright position. The simplest way is to buy a male 1/4 NPT to male 1/8 NPT reduction elbow , or at least a male ¼ NPT to female 1/8 NPT reduction bushing and male 1/8 NPT elbow fitting.
It was PITA to find those in my area, so I needed to use three parts- male ¼ NPT to female 1/8 NPT reduction bushing, male 1/8 NPT to female 1/8 NPT 90 elbow fitting and 1/8 NPT nipple “close”. Anyway, see the picture below, I hope that will clear your mind a little bit.
I think most of you will use male ¼ NPT to female 1/8 NPT reduction bushing and male 1/8 NPT elbow fitting. First screw in the reduction to the regulator head using pliers or, better, a combination wrench from your mechanic’s tool set. I was too lazy to get one from my car so I used pliers (those scratches on the fitting heads are from the pliers:)). Put a generous amount of plumbing paste on the thread or use Teflon tape instead. Next, screw the reduction and elbow together and then screw in solenoid valve. Use paste or Teflon tape on all threads to prevent leaks. If you’ll find assembling those parts in another order easier for you, go for it. It doesn’t really matter how you screw things:)
-if you are not planning to use any bubble counter or prefer an inline one, you don’t really need the 90 elbow, you can use straight male 1/4 NPT to male 1/8 NPT reduction instead.
plumbingexplenation.jpg

Next thing to do is assemble metering valve parts and connect it to the solenoid valve, right where it belongs:) Swagelok metering valves, like one in my setup, are known for outstanding performance and being very precise. I tend to agree with that, however, there are other needle valves on the market recommended by fellow aquarists, that you can use. I cannot comment on other brands as I haven’t used any other, but I recommend asking other people on this forum, they help you for sure.
Swagelok metering valves come with special fittings and to connect it to the rest of your regulator, you need a kind of reduction from their thread to male 1/8 NPT (see picture). Anyway, to screw metering valve with solenoid, you need male 1/8 NPT fitting that comes to the solenoid body. The other side of the metering valve is where you connect bubble counter or co2 line. If you’re using JBJ style bubble counter, again you need male 1/8 NPT fitting. If not, you can attach co2 tubing right into the metering valve (again, that’s how it works with Swagelok, IDK about other brands).
DSC_0015.jpg


http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=38587&catid=864


The other side of the bubble counter is where you attach co2 tubing that will go to the diffuser/reactor. Don’t forget to use check valve and to connect it close to your regulator. Here’s a picture explaining how to correctly connect tubing to the bubble counter.

First, slide the nut from the bubble counter on the tubing, force the tubing into the bubble counter, fill the bubble counter to about 2/3 with water or mineral oil and tighten the nut with the bubble counter body.

Well, that’s about it. Screw your complete regulator setup into co2 cylinder, open the valve on the cylinder and open the low pressure valve in your regulator. Check for any leaks before plugging the solenoid by using a soapy water or windex. Then plug in solenoid, open the metering valve and look for bubbles in the bubble counter. Again, check for leaks, connect your solenoid to a timer and enjoy your pressurized co2 system. And don’t forget to throw out all those 2L soda bottles you tried to hide desperately behind your tank, you’re never going to need them again:) OK, leave maybe one, just for the future nano-tanks:)
 
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SMOQ

Junior Poster
Dec 7, 2008
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eiginh;43505 said:
Hi Smoq,

Will the same fittings work for a victor dual stage 253A?

Yes, I believe so, they all standardized to fit national pipe threads
 

Left C

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Biollante;43471 said:
Hi Left C, All,

Please do not think me rude (I am, but prefer you not think so). :eek:

Is this independent research, personal experience or your career?

I love the information, but I also like to know if anyone is selling anything. The truth is it is not negative I tend to do business with folks I know. ;)

I have been admonished more than once for citing information from commercial sources, though since they were labeled such and I had/have no affiliation (except as a customer as noted) people were free to consider the source.

Biollante
Hi Biollante

You aren't being rude. Those are great questions. As Tom mentioned, this thread is about building very high quality regulators at minimal cost.

Tom is letting us post links to items for sale on various sites including ebay, AquaBid, etc. in this thread. Passing on this information to each other will help all of us to save money. There is a Trades, swaps, sales section where we can post information about what items that we are looking for as well as items that we have for sale or trade.

Researching this information has been a lot of fun for me. It has been a huge learning experience for me. I'm not in the welding or regulator trade. I didn't know squat when I started. I have a very good Victor dealer in town that has been very helpful to me. There is a plumbing supply store that has been very helpful to me as well. I would like to thank all the various people that have posted information about regulators for our use here and TPT. The TPT thread got to be huge and many people know about it on other forums.

I'm not in it to make any money like Tom mentioned. I was able to retire at 51 six years ago. It all started when I saw a few posts about VTS253A-1993 regulators at TPT. These posts will be listed below. I saw the price of these and I asked my local dealer about them. He explained how dual stage regulators work in relation to single stage regulators. He told me about these chrome plated medical grade regulators as well. He told me the selling price too. My eyes popped out when he told me that. I burned up the road getting back home to bid on one. I won. Then the next step was to figure out how to build it. I saw how easy it was to build a great CO2 regulator for our use cheaply. Then the thread started. Here are three posts that got it all started. I would like to extend the greatest thanks to jazzlvr123 and Victor (mrmotorcycles on ebay). Without them, these DIY regulator threads may of never started.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/59256-will-co2-regulator-work-planted-aquarium.html
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/59650-solenoid-question.html
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/swap-n-shop/69661-victor-dual-stage-co2-regulators.html

Left C
 

Left C

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Parker 120 Volt STAINLESS Solenoid Valves on ebay


Parkersolenoid.jpg



A few people have purchased these solenoids. Would anyone care to post a DIY article about setting it up, mounting it and wiring it for our use?


EDIT: IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT THESE SOLENOIDS OVERHEAT AND FAIL WHEN USED WITH A TIMER WHERE THEY ARE ENERGIZED FOR HOURS ON END. 5/27/11
 
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