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Fitting a regulator

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by scottward, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    Are all CO2 regulators, with respect to the part of them that fits onto the CO2 bottle, essentially the same?

    My Red Sea regulator has a central stem with a hole in the end, around which is a washer. Around the outside of this is a large nut that attaches to the bottle.

    When I'm fitting the regulator the the bottle, once it starts to get tight, the whole regulator wants to start turning. I have to hold very firmly to stop the regulator from turning as I assume that if I let this turn it will damage the washer.

    I just had a thought tonight that I've never actually had anybody show me any 'proper' way of fitting a regulator to the bottle, I just kinda grabbed a spanner and went for it. Is there any specific procedure or do's/don'ts when fitting a regulator?

    Scott.
     
  2. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Supposing I get your question right, no. There are mainly 3 standards for CO2 connections:
    CGA320 (USA and some other countries such as Thailand); DIN 477 No.6 (Europe); JIS B 8246
    (Japan, Taiwan)

    Don't know too. But I let it turn.
     
  3. Oreo

    Oreo Guru Class Expert

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    As long as there aren't any burs or scratches on the two brass surfaces the washer fits between you should be fine. I've found the washer to be very forgiving. I try not to let the regulator turn but a little bit of back & forth to get the thing positioned right is fine and has never caused me a problem. The washers are cheap anyway and if you find it's leaking just undo / redo the connection with a fresh washer. You probably want to do a quick leak check with soapy water every time you redo that connection anyway.
     
  4. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks guys.

    Yeah, I was aware that there were different threads etc for different countries.

    I was mainly concerned about the actual washer, nut connection.

    Is it possible to strip the threads on these things? Should I really just do it up until it feels snug and stop there, or should I give it all I've got (i.e. tighten it till I'm blue in the face)?

    I do move the regulator around a little bit as it turns, but it worried me that it would chew up the washer. The washers I have are made of a fairly soft rubber.

    I usually just take the bottle somewhere quiet and listen carefully to it to check for any hissing noises that indicate a link.

    Scott.
     
  5. Oreo

    Oreo Guru Class Expert

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    You want snug, and then a little bit more. Definitely NOT till you're blue in the face. The washer is designed to compress when the nut is tightened down. So you want just a little bit extra torque to compress the washer good. When you disassemble the connection, inspect the washer. If the washer has taken the shape of the stem surface with the indented ring then you know you've applied enough torque.
     
  6. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Cool, thanks for that. It does seem to me that as long as the washer is compressed correctly the seal can't get any better even with further tightening.

    I recall reading somewhere on here regarding troubleshooting for leaks, that it's a good idea to give the regulator another bit of a tighten the following day after fitting it. This doesn't seem necessary to me?
     
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