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New needle valve - recommendations?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by scottward, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Guys,

    I know Tom is not a big fan of Red Sea CO2 products.

    The needle valve that I have is very touchy and I've noticed that the bubble count can alter a little bit day by day without me touching it.

    What I really need is a needle valve that is much more 'fine tunable' and holds it's setting well.

    Any recommendations?

    Could I thread one directly into the output of Red Sea solenoid?

    Scott.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Nupro and Ideal are the two best, Ideal have some real nice ones.

    I think you could likely htread any reg to them with an adapter for 1-3$.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Tom. Where's the best place to get them? Only available in the US?
     
  4. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Not Tom (of course), but yes it seems you have to buy it from the US somehow.
    I had been trying to buy it but the shipping cost was very unfriendly for just a little
    thing and my needle valve was (and is) working not so bad.
     
  5. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I found websites for Ideal and Nupro, but there were zillions of products on there, I have no idea which particular needle valves are best.

    I know I could read through old posts but I'm feeling lazy. :)

    Any model numbers, prices, stores to buy from??

    Also, should I swap the Red Sea bubble counter out for something better? It seems to work ok though, but maybe it leaks?

    Scott.
     
  6. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    A good summary.
    http://www.rexgrigg.com/co2.htm

    Nupro/Swagelok B-SS2-A (brass, angled) or SS-SS2-A (stainless steel, angled) can be often found
    on eBay at low price. But it uses non-standard fitting. Finding other needed parts is headache inducing.
    Once I saw a good deal but could not find the appropriate fitting. I just couldn't risk buying it without
    knowing I would get the fitting at reasonable price later. :mad:

    Between the two I'd go for Ideal Valve 52-1-11, a bit pricier but no other strange fittings needed since
    it uses standard 1/8 NPT ports.
    http://www.idealvalve.com/52-series-forged-brass-needle-valves.html
     
    #6 nipat, Jan 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2011
  7. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    I would like to get the Ideal in the near future. For now I am happy with the Fabco NV 55.
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Until You Need a Little Precision

    Hi,

    Nipat is of course right, in the hobbyist price range the Ideal Valve 52-1-11 is as good as it gets. :gw

    Fabco NV 55 is fine till you get an Ideal Valve 52-1-11. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    they come with the micrometer scale on the handles, the vernier

    V 52-4-11 1/8 in. (0.125) Straight

    Vernier Micrometer

    I think they do steel plated brass also.

    Call as ask.

    http://www.idealvalve.com/index.html
     
  10. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    you have an option:

    90* angle V52-1-12
    or straight through design V52-1-11

    make sure you buy the right one. Most of us use the V52-1-12, not the V52-1-11.

    They have brass, chrome plated brass, and stainless steel valves. Stainless is by far the most expensive. Chrome plated brass is a bit more than brass.
     
  11. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    The valve that nipat linked is not represented by the photo on the webpage.
    this unit is a 90* ideal valve w/o the vernier handle.

    http://www.idealvalve.com/52-series-forged-brass-needle-valves.html

    you want the vernier handle and I would assume a 90*, which is a V52-1-12, not the straight through designed V52-1-11. Both will work, but the post body configuration for these are different.
     
  12. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Oh, I will make sure to buy the right ones. Heck, I need 3 at $90.00 each:)
     
  13. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks guys. I have sent Ideal an email for pricing and postage to Australia.

    I want to buy "the best"".

    I won't be able to attach to my regulator though. The Red Sea regulator cannot have anything directly connected to it (Red Sea stuffed up and recessed the nut on regulator so that it's impossible to access it for removal). My only option would be to connect the needle valve in line (i.e. CO2 tubing inlet/outlet). Is it possible to simply do this with the ideal valve?

    Scott.
     
  14. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    The ports on the ideal valve are threaded 1/8" npt. you'd need a hose barb on either side of the ideal valve to run it in-line. I'd just buy a nice industrial strength regulator and install it to the post body. Those Red Sea regulators aren't worth installing an ideal valve on, imo. You can use a much cheaper, but still good Fabco NV-55, which is all set.
     
  15. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi guys,

    Just picking up on this thread again....(I have been busy with other things)....

    So it seems that the 'Fabco NV 55' is the tried-and-tested? This is a decent needle valve?

    Is there anything specifically 'wrong' with the Fabco NV 55 that would make me want, for example, the Ideal valve?

    What is it about the Ideal and NuPro valves that make them better?

    And, while I'm at it, are there any genuine Aquarium manufacturer that actually makes a decent CO2 needle valve, or is 3rd party the only way to go???

    Scott.
     
    #15 scottward, May 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2011
  16. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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  17. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Those ADA speed controllers are anything but precise, ime.

    Fabco NV-55-18

    or Ideal V52-1-12 (if you have the extra dough).

    The Ideal Valve is hand made by Bill Sand. Ideal is a family owned company. They produce high quality handmade units that are hard to beat as far as quality.
     
  18. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Overpriced rubbish? I had a feeling they might not be too good.

    I have been in touch with Fabco Air here in Australia and they are looking into it for me. Also, I have been in direct contact with Bill via email and he has given me prices, including shipping.

    I have also been in touch with Swagelok, but I'm a bit wary of the non-standard fittings etc, plus the price was so high that I might as well buy an Ideal.

    So I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel here.

    Regarding the Fabco vs Ideal; what specifically is it that makes the Fabco not as good as the Ideal? I'm guessing that:
    - The Fabco requires occassional tweaking, whereas the Ideal is rock solid.
    - The Fabco doesn't offer quite the same level of resolution as the Ideal?

    And just to completely rule it out - are there absolutely no aquarium manufacturers, Aqua Medic, Tunze etc etc, that make a decent needle valve?

    Scott.
     
  19. bettatail

    bettatail Guru Class Expert

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    check here
    if you want a good valve, call Parker Hannifin.
    Or Hoke company.

    get the one with the lowest Cv, I don't know how much they cost but it is not the price we can normally go for.
    Or go for a used stainless steel swagelok S series metering valve, just make sure the connection ports is NPT or 1/4" tube compression fittings(with the adapters widely available.)
     
    #19 bettatail, May 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2011
  20. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Fabco is a larger beast and you don't get as many turns from wide open to closed (less control), but it is better than a majority of the units out there for our purpose. It's also cheaper than the Ideal, which is hand made and a piece of art.

    The ideal also comes with a vernier/micrometer handle, which helps provide a reference. IMO, there is really nothing better for our use.

    Not sure about the units bettatail has suggested. I haven't personally used/tested them. I find, and have concurred with Left C, that other models/makes are hit and miss. You def want something hard plumbed (meaning you can screw it on to your regulator rather than attach it inbetween two tubes. Also you don't want to play with having to find adapters and such. You also want to make sure they are sensitive enough to provide minute adjustments.

    Both the Fabco NV-55-18 and the Ideal valves come with 1/8" npt (female threads). So you can easily connect them w/o the BS. These are tried and true.
     
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