Milwaukee needle valve / bubble counter problem


Junior Poster
May 14, 2005
I have the standard Milwaukee regulator. While it has always had a problem keeping the flow constant, I've lived with it, adjusting it every other day or so. But today after several days with the water out of the bubble counter (yeah, I'm lazy, it evaporated and I had "other priorities" as the VP says), I refilled it and tried to adjust the flow, and I discovered that no matter what I did to the needle valve the bubble rate stayed the same. It has to be a problem the needle valve since turning the tank's knob changes the pressure shown in the high pressure guage and turning the high pressure knob on the regulator changes the pressure shown in the low pressure guage.

So: 1) Is there anything I can do with this set up to solve the problem short-term? (i.e., am I missing something?)

2) Is there a needle valve (such as a Nupro, which I've always lusted after), that will fit the Milwaukee regulator? If so, is there an online vendor. (The closest industrial vendor appears to be about 50 miles from me.) And does a bubble counter fit on a Nupro or do I get one that attaches to the CO2 tubing on both sides?

3) Or should I just get a whole new setup, and if so, what regulator should I get and what needle valve?

I've tried the Oregon-based vendor with these questions, but although he is active on other forums, he is not quick to return customer inquiries. And Milwaukee itself is not quite as friendly as it was a couple of years ago.



Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
I've seen clients run through several of these instead of taking my advice and getting a nice Victor regulator and nice needle valve.

You can get a solenoid and add that.
I think I spent about 30-40$ for the reg, one of the best there are(slightly used), 25$ for the nice valve(Aquacave sells a nice valve as does the 1/8" metering valve from several ebay vendors), 25$ for solenoid.

This is a top notch system.

Tom Barr


Guru Class Expert
Feb 23, 2006
Tom, I am using a milwaukee set up (when It breaks I'll take your advice) and I was wondering about the plastic washer. I just tripped over a rex grigg post that insists the washers are one use nad must be pried out and changed every time a tank is refilled.. have you found this to be true?

my second tank did not last very long -- I assumed I didnt' tighten enough. The third tank is going okay, but its just been a couple of weeks. Have I made a mistake by NOT changing the plastic washer. ?


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
Sacramento, CA
If the washer goes back exactly as it was before, and the nut is tightened very hard, it will not leak. But, it likely will otherwise. So a new washer is always a good idea. I use the Milwaukee regulator assembly too, and it works adequately well for me, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone not willing to fix the various leaks, replace the solenoid, possibly not use the bubble counter due to leaks, etc. Tom is correct - spend a bit more and you can get a lot better quality.


Guru Class Expert
Feb 23, 2006
the washer seems to be stuck in there... if I upgrade, how much will it cost me to get a headache free system
And what should I get? I'd rather not risk another mistake. :)