Author Topic: CO2 regulator issue  (Read 5488 times)

Offline epb

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CO2 regulator issue
« on: February 08, 2011, 09:28:33 AM »
I seem to have a leak in my CO2 regulator and am looking for advice.  After noticing that my high pressure gauge was at 0 psi the other day, I weighed the CO2 tank to make sure it was empty and then swapped it out.  I hooked up the new tank and found the psi was still at 0.  The other interesting thing I noticed was that I could now turn my low pressure gauge higher than I previously could.  For some reason, I could never get the needle past 25 psi, but now could go as high as the gauge would go.  I don't know if that means there was always an issue with the regulator (it's a Chudnow FWIW), but wanted to throw that out there.  So, because of all this strangeness, I decided to check for a leak in the regulator.  I turned on the CO2 tank, turned off pressure to the kegs, turned up the pressure to about 10 psi and then turned off pressure at the tank.  Sure enough, the low pressure gauge was back down to 0 psi after a few hours.  I followed the advice here and checked out the diaphragm, but everything looks OK as far as I can tell.  I've also sprayed all the connections and gauges and turned on the gas, but didn't see any bubbles.  I'm just about ready to toss this regulator and get a new one unless anyone has any other ideas.  Is there anything else I can try?

Offline riverrat

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2011, 11:07:37 AM »
If you turn the pressure up higher, the leaks will be easier to spot.  Spray something on that will form bubbles easily (star san, soapy water, etc...).  Spray anywhere there is a connection.  It could even be the valves that you are turning off.

A likely cause is the connection between tank and regulator.  Make sure you have the right type of gasket/seal/o-ring for your setup, and use a new one if you can.  I don't like the O-rings that are captured in a brass ring that screw in to the tank, but that may just be me.

Start at 30 psi and work your way up to about 50 or so.  If it will hold at 50, it darn well better hold at 10.
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Offline epb

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 12:01:50 PM »
If you turn the pressure up higher, the leaks will be easier to spot.  Spray something on that will form bubbles easily (star san, soapy water, etc...).  Spray anywhere there is a connection.  It could even be the valves that you are turning off.

A likely cause is the connection between tank and regulator.  Make sure you have the right type of gasket/seal/o-ring for your setup, and use a new one if you can.  I don't like the O-rings that are captured in a brass ring that screw in to the tank, but that may just be me.

Start at 30 psi and work your way up to about 50 or so.  If it will hold at 50, it darn well better hold at 10.

It's funny that you mention the washer since I was a bit suspect of the ones I'm using.  I got a pack of them from Airgas when I went to swap out my CO2 tank and wasn't sure if they were right.  There were actually two different sized ones in the pack and I wasn't really sure which one to use or both.  I may try and get some from a homebrew store and see if that makes a difference.

Offline riverrat

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 12:05:36 PM »
If you have a newer regulator, it may already have an O-ring built in to the tank connection.  If so, it may even say something along the lines of "use no tank washer".
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Offline epb

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 12:14:02 PM »
Nah, mine definitely needs one.  I accidentally hooked up a tank to it without one once and couldn't figure out why there was gas shooting out of it.  ;)  I just can't win when it comes to kegging.

Offline epb

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2011, 07:13:07 PM »
My brother had a spare regulator so I hooked the tank up to it, but have the same issue.  It's definitely still leaking and the high pressure gauge is still at 0.  Is there something wrong with the tank?  Doesn't make much sense to me.  The fact that there's a leak in this regulator isn't a total surprise since my brother thought there might be one, but I don't understand why the high pressure gauge would still be at 0.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 12:48:25 AM »
I was helping a guy I know pressure test a bunch of kegs and we were blowing through a lot of CO2 - the regulator body got so cold it froze.  He let it thaw and then tried it again and it was hosed.  You could definitely hear a lot of gas leaking from the body.

Turned out he'd blown a seal ;D

He got a rebuild kit, rebuilt it, and it was fine.  I don't know if that's the problem you're describing or not.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dbeechum

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 01:23:04 PM »
Turned out he'd blown a seal ;D

Should leave the guy's personal life out of it.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 01:29:59 PM »
Turned out he'd blown a seal ;D

Should leave the guy's personal life out of it.
While he was fixing it I walked over to a place called The Oyster Bar, a real dive.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 06:30:04 PM »
Dork!

Oh wait, I'm the one who made the joke first.

Damn.
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2011, 06:36:57 PM »
i didn't want to go there, but you guys kept this going & debil made me do it....

A vacationing penguin is driving her car through Arizona when she notices that the oil pressure light is on.
She gets out to look and sees oil dripping out of the motor. She drives to the nearest town and stops at the first gas station.

After dropping the car off, the penguin goes for a walk around town. She sees an ice-cream shop and, being a penguin in Arizona, decides that something cold would really hit the spot. She gets a big dish of ice cream and sits down to eat. Having no hands she makes a real mess trying to eat with her flippers. After finishing the ice cream, she goes back to the gas station and asks the mechanic if he's found the problem. The mechanic looks up and says "It looks like you blew a seal."

"No no," the penguin replies, blushing, "it's just ice cream."
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2011, 12:31:09 AM »
Nice Mark :)

What can I say Drew . . . me, a dork?  Absolutely ;D
Tom Schmidlin

Offline punatic

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2011, 02:50:37 AM »
In the early 70s I was the guy in the Goofy costume at Disney World.  This was my favorite joke:

Mickey and Minnie are in divorce court.  Mickey is giving testimony on the stand.  The judge asks, "Mickey, the reason you are filing for divorce from Minnie is that you claim she is insane?"

"No Your Honor, I want a divorce because Minnie is f***ing Goofy!"



All I can say about that is - the woman in the Minnie costume back then was WAY hot!   ;)



Oh yeah - we used CO2 to cool our costumes down when we were out on set on those hot Central Florida summer days... (so as not to stray too far off topic)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 02:57:19 AM by punatic »
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Offline epb

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2011, 08:20:33 AM »
I ended up ordering a regulator rebuild kit, but no luck.  I'm going to be trying to a brand new CO2 regulator next (should be in today).  All this got me thinking whether or not there could be an issue with the CO2 tank itself.  Maybe it can't get a tight enough seal?  just throwing that out there.  Really hoping the new regulator just puts the issue to rest.

Edit: Also worth noting that I purchased some new gaskets as well so if there is an issue with the seal, I don't think that's it.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 08:24:29 AM by epb »

Offline punatic

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Re: CO2 regulator issue
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2011, 12:19:29 PM »
I ended up ordering a regulator rebuild kit, but no luck.  I'm going to be trying to a brand new CO2 regulator next (should be in today).  All this got me thinking whether or not there could be an issue with the CO2 tank itself.  Maybe it can't get a tight enough seal?  just throwing that out there.  Really hoping the new regulator just puts the issue to rest.

Edit: Also worth noting that I purchased some new gaskets as well so if there is an issue with the seal, I don't think that's it.

I think there might be a Tupperware joke in there...  ;)
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