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How to build a Victor VTS253b-320

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Matt F., Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    VTS253B-320 Build Part I

    This is the first of a few installments on how to build a regulator. I have been learning as I go along with the help of many knowledgable individuals.

    I'll try to make this process as detailed as possible.

    Important Edit: I have since started to use teflon tape on all regulator body connection points. Non-hardening thread sealer is okay for the post body, but you may want to consider teflon tape for high pressure connections and to protect the female threads in the regulator body. Once these female regulator body threads are shot, they cannot be repaired. Your regulator becomes a piece of junk.

    Part I:

    I have not received all my parts, so like any mechanical job, I like to do all the prep work prior to all the parts getting here.

    One thing you'll need is some type of thread sealer. It looks like Victor uses red Locktite on their connections. I found this out the hard way while trying to muscle the 1/4 x 1/4 nipple off the regulator body. It wouldn't budge, and I am fairly strong when it comes to turning wrenches (I can use arm strength to do most car suspension jobs, not that I like to).

    Getting back to thread sealer, LeftC (at TPT and Tom's site) suggests the use of a teflon based liquid thread sealer, the non drying kind, so that when it comes time to disassemble you can do so with little headache.

    Aqauriumplants.com recommends Locktite or teflon tape.

    The other reason for using this liquid type of sealer is because teflon tape has a tendancy to shred and sometime end up inside your regulator, solenoid, or metering valve...

    This obviously can cause problems.

    I chose to use ARP's thread sealer, which is from my car days:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To get the 1/4" mptx 1/4" fpt nipple off the regulator, I used a 19 mm deep impact socket and my 1/2" impact wrench, which did the job with little effort. For God's sake, make sure your impact wrench is set to reverse, not tighten!!! :lol:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Caution: The use of a vice is recommended. If not, make sure you hang on to the regulator body and not the gauges!

    Pics of before and after removal:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Matt F., Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2010
  2. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    See the red Locktite?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is where we will seal and install the 1/4" mpt (regulator body) x 1/8" mpt fitting.

    You can see the original 1/4" mpt x 1/4" fpt fitting on the left. To the right of it is the new 1/4" mpt x 1/8" mpt that will go in its place:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Part II: this will be a multi-post update with about 25 pictures.

    Today my Ideal Valve came via UPS:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Now, to continue where we left off yesterday!

    All pipe threads are coated with the ARp/teflon thread sealer.

    Here is the 1/4" mpt to 1/8" mpt nipple connected to the regulator:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next came the 1/8" fpt x 1/8" mpt 90* elbow. I tried tightening this fitting to the already installed nipple, but then I quickly noticed that when it came time to tighten the solenoid, there wouldn't be enough clearance between the solenoid and the body of the regulator, so this is how I fixed that:


    *** SEE POST #11 FOR IMPORTANT INFO REGARDING SOLENOID GAS FLOW DIRECTION***
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I tightened the 90* elbow to the solenoid prior to screwing it onto the 1/4" x 1/8" regulator nipple.

    then I attached both pieces:

    [​IMG]
     
    #4 Matt F., Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2010
  5. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Now it's time to connect the ideal valve to the solenoid. To do that, you need a 1/8" mpt x 1/8" mpt nipple. One side screws into the solenoid and the other screws into the needle valve.

    You can see that I installed the 1/8" x 1/8" mpt nipple into the solenoid:

    [​IMG]

    and attached the ideal valve to it:

    [​IMG]

    Now it's time in install the Clippard checkvalve, which sits below the JBJ bubble counter/check valve. It's no secret that the JBJ check valves in the bubble counters fail often, so why not add an extra level of security?

    Here is the Clippard Check valve installed on top of the ideal valve:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Regarding the JBJ bubble counter: the JBJ bubble counter comes with a small black o-ring. They place it on the CO2 tube nipple. See pictures for correct placement:

    [​IMG]

    This is where the o-ring is placed at the factory for shipment:

    [​IMG]

    This is where it needs to go:
    [​IMG]

    Now, the last step before connecting everything to the CO2 tank to check for leaks: connect the bubble counter to the Clippard check valve:

    [​IMG]

    The finished but not yet tested product:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 Matt F., Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010
  7. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here are some shots of the testing and finally the regulator in service:

    I only use Butcher's Block Oil in the bubble counter, which is not toxic and regulated by the FDA. The upside to this is that the mineral oil does not evaporate at all. You never have to refill it and risk braking the JBJ's plastic bubble counter threads.

    Another interesting tid-bit is that there is plenty of thread in all the NPT fittings to 1) secure them to the regulator and 2) to adjust the components as you want them. Since all regulators are different, you can do a dry-run of assembly to check for fitment. Just don't torque the fittings down till you're ready to assemble.

    Take your time and enjoy the process.

    Here are the pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Finally in service: BTW, don't forget a perma seal or washer between the CO2 tank and the regulator CGA 320 connection.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Since this build, I have removed the clippard jumbo check valve, which was causing some problems.

    The 14.7 psi (Left C correct me if I am wrong) crack pressure in the clippard unit (which sits underneath the jbj bubble counter) didn't do well with the backpressure of a ceramic disc diffuser.

    I noticed an audible clicking noise that increased with the bubble count...as I'd increase the flow, the clicking would become faster...same thing happened when I increased the working pressure to 30+ psi.

    The suggested replacement part is slightly more expensive, but it is an in-stock item from swagelok...part number B-2C2-1/3. This works really well with regulator for our application. No noise, etc.
    Here are the specs:
    Part No.: B-2C2-1/3
    Description: Brass Poppet Check Valve, Fixed Pressure, 1/8 in. MNPT, 1/3 psig (0.03 bar)
    Unit Price: USD 21.32
    Availability: Usually ships within 3 business days

    This brass part is about 1/3 the price of the stainless counterpart, which I have used in my builds.


    Here is the problem part:
    [​IMG]


    So I removed it and replaced it with a trusty 1/8" hex nipple:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #8 Matt F., Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2010
  9. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here are some other links to DIY threads I posted here:

    How to build a Victor VTS 253A-1993:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7787-How-to-build-a-Victor-VTS253a-1993

    How to wire your own Burkert type 6011 solenoid:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7783-How-to-wire-a-Burkert-type-6011-solenoid

    How to install a CGA 320 on a used Victor HPT 500:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7786-How-to-change-a-CGA-on-a-used-regulator

    How to prep a used Victor HPT270 for a post body kit:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7788-How-to-prep-an-Victor-HPT-270-for-a-post-body

    Why gas flow direction is important when installing a Burkert solenoid:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7864-Burkert-Solenoids-gas-flow-direction-is-important-in-preventing-leaks

    How to build a Victor SGT 500: (90* output regulator)
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7879-How-to-build-a-Victor-SGT-500-Regulator
    Happy reading.

    How to adjust your Ideal Valve:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7971-How-to-adjust-your-Ideal-Valve

    How to use Swagelok Tube Fittings:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8226-How-to-use-Swagelok-tube-fittings

    DSR: Total Conversion From JBJ BUbble Counter to Swagelok Tube Adapter:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8227-DSR-Total-Conversion-from-JBJ-bubble-counter-to-Swagelok-Tube-Fitting

    Gerryd's DSR Build:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8190-Gerryd-s-regulator-build-thread

    Swagelok part numbers for two regulator configurations (regulator to tube adaper):
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8332-Basic-Swagelok-Parts-needed-for-90*-and-VTS-Builds?p=62668#post62668

    How to build an SGT 500 (2):
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8516-How-to-Build-an-SGT-500-(2)?p=64375#post64375

    Rainydazs' regulator build (GPT270):
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8538-rainydazs-s-Regulator-Build

    Samuel's VTS252D-350 build:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8595-Samuel-s-VTS252D-350-Build?p=65021#post65021

    My two SGT500s:
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8632-My-two-SGT500s-(thanks-to-Left-C)

    Regulator Body Thickness?
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8671-Regulator-Body-Thickness?p=65564#post65564

    Conversion from Swagelok tube adapter SS-6M0-1-2 (male) to SS-6M0-7-2 (female):
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/9103-Conversion-from-Swagelok-SS-6M0-1-2-(male-NPT)-to-SS-6M0-7-2-(female-NPT)?p=72227#post72227

    New Matheson Model 8 owners check post # 34 on page 4 of this thread.
     
    #9 Matt F., Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2011
  10. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I made a slight correction in the DIY. Apparently there has been some confusion with how to install the o-ring that comes on the JBJ bubble counters. I have tried both ways (either on top of the hose--nipple side, or underneath the bubble counter in the female threads). What makes sense to me is to install this o-ring underneath the bubble counter between the 1/8"mpt fitting and the bubble counter's female threads. If you look, there is a flat mating surface where the o-ring can seat perfectly.

    The correct way:
    [​IMG]

    I have also tried to install this o-ring on top of the co2 hose. The nut and the o-ring place pressure on the hose...The application of the o-ring for a pressure seal is a bit redundant in that the nut fastens the hose on the nipple with enough pressure as to not neet the o-ring.

    The incorrect way:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    *** Important edit***
    Important note to those of you using Burkert solenoids:

    Another important issue with Burkert type 6011 solenoids in general is that they are designed to have gas flow in the "P" side of the solenoid and out the "A" side. If you reverse the flow, the solenoid will not seal properly and you can/will hear a hissing sound of gas escaping...This is what happened to my new Burkert solenoid.

    I sent it back to burkert to have the enginners play with it.

    So, when you are isntalling you solenoids, make sure that the "P" side, which stands for pressure is on the in-flow of gas side and the "A" is on the outflo side.

    Worst case, you can remove the nut on the back, slide the black part of the solenoid off and flip the solenoid over to that the NPT part is on top. This is what I did (at the direction of Burkert engineers) and it works fine.


    So gas flow should be:


    ----------------gas flow----------->"P"------------"A"-------------------->

    or (if you've switched the solenoid over so that the "npt" side is up):

    ----------------gas flow----------->"TPN" (inflow is on the T side and outflow is on the N side).

    Here is a DIY thread I did w/ pics: http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7864-Burkert-Solenoids-gas-flow-direction-is-important-in-preventing-leaks
     
    #11 Matt F., Oct 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2010
  12. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here is the list I have used/use for parts. I have also posted this in Left C's Dual Stage Regulator Thread:
    Since there is some confusion on where to buy parts, I have compiled a list of sources from this thread and others. I originally posted this list in my Victor DIY thread at my home forum with the help of Left C:

    Parts Sources:

    Brand new regulators:
    VTS253B-320
    http://www.alexgs.com/product/victor-0781-3573.html
    VTS253A-320
    http://www.alexgs.com/product/victor-0781-3569.html
    HPT 270
    http://www.alexgs.com/product/victor-0784-0144.html

    Stainless and Brass NPT Fittings (npt check valves): Swagelok http://www.swagelok.com/default.aspx

    Brass NPT fittings: Your local Ace hardware (bigway.com = bad quality and high shipping cost)

    Buy a brand new Victor VTS253A-1993:
    http://www.scientificvisions.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=52&osCsid=3lbrqre0j7338oe8a7u48fqu35


    These following parts replace the JBJ bubble counter, so if you do not want a bubble counter attached to your regulator, this is the best option:
    4mm ID/ 6mm OD:

    For 4mm (ID)/ 6mm OD tubing (these parts work together to lock the hose on the barb):
    B-6MO-1-2
    http://www.swagelok.com/search/find_products_home.aspx?part=B-6M0-1-2&item=
    and
    B-6M5-4m
    http://www.swagelok.com/search/find_products_home.aspx?part=B-6M5-4M&item=

    *** 3/16" ID/ 1/4" OD tubing adapters are available with different part numbers. Please PM me for part numbers. ***

    The stainless version can be ordered by substituting the "B" in the part number with an "SS."

    1/8" ID / 1/4" OD:
    Brass Hose barb adapter with locking nut mechagnism(these two parts work together)
    B-400-1-2: http://www.swagelok.com/search/product_detail.aspx?part=B-400-1-2
    B-405-2: http://www.swagelok.com/search/product_detail.aspx?part=B-405-2

    Stainless Hose barb adapter with locking nut mechagnism(these two parts work together)
    SS-400-1-2: http://www.swagelok.com/search/product_detail.aspx?part=SS-400-1-2
    SS-405-2: http://www.swagelok.com/search/product_detail.aspx?part=SS-405-2

    Ideal Valve: http://idealvalve.com/

    CGA 320 Fitting (Brass): http://www.regulatortorchrepair.com/store.php/products/cga-320-nut-and-nipple

    CGA 320 Fitting (Chrome Plated Brass and Stainless Steel): http://www.jandrweldingsupply.com/store/Smith/SpecMenu.html

    Chrome plate your JBJ bubble counter: http://www.chromemasters.com/

    JBJ bubble counter: http://cgi.ebay.com/JBJ-Bubble-Counter-Aquarium-planted-tank-Co2-solenoid-/250032959212?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a37202eec

    Burkert Solenoids (Type 6011): http://www.iprocessmart.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=4024T6011

    Left C's new source for Burkert Buna-N Type 6011 Solenoids: (see post# 74) http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7429-Bürkert-6011-solenoids-with-Buna-seals-...-available-very-soon/page8

    Clippard Jumbo Check Valve (part number: MJCV 1AA) and in-line brass check valves: http://clippard.com/

    Burkert Type 6011 brass solenoid w/ Viton seals and regulator-to-tank Permaseals: http://www.aquariumplants.com/CO2_Accessories_s/50.htm

    Parker Solenoid: http://www.sourceesb.com/ProdSearch.asp?part=20CC02LV4B4F&mfrfilter=36005

    Here is a thread created by our own John Feuerhelm on STC solenoids and parts. (order numbers and contact info provided in thread):
    http://forum.sfbaaps.org/viewtopic.php?t=5365
     
    #12 Matt F., Nov 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2012
  13. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    #13 Matt F., Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2010
  14. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Matt,

    Maybe I am wrong but, my nipple (first one from the left or the 7 o'clock one) looks different on my Victor. Do I need to replace it ? Here is a pic:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes, you will need to replace it with a 1/4" mpt x 1/8" mpt hex nipple, which is the same part I installed on my vts253b-320.
     
  16. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Matt,

    I saw the one you used on your 253B. I'll check at Home Depot this wknd to see if they have it.
    Thank you.
     
  17. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Look at part 42-1

    http://www.bigway.com/CARTgallery26.htm

    I got all my parts from bigway.com
     
  18. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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  19. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    That wrench info link that you asked about also has bigway's part numbers on it.
     
  20. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm learning from the best, Left C. His thread is my bible....LoL Sounds a bit weird, but true.

    FYI, Victor/Thermadyne has excellent customer service via email. You can ask them any technical question and a tech will answer it promptly. I asked for some gauge part numbers and they sent it to me the same day.

    J&R Welding is also awesome. With the part numbers Victor/Thermandyne provided, I'll be ordering some Victor/USG gauges through J&R. I'm glad he can get the correct OEM replacement gauges.
     
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