New Leaky D-D regulator

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by itstricky11, 3 Jul 2008.

  1. itstricky11

    itstricky11 Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Norwich, Norfolk
    Evening all,
    I just got my brand new D-D CO2 set home, eager to replace the lacking TetraTec Optimat on my Rio 125.

    I have followed the included instructions, and when I got to the point of testing its gas-tightness, I found that it leaks quite a lot where the regulator meets the solenoid. The instructions say to open the master regulator until the manometer shows a pressure of 5 bar, but I noticed it hissing before I reached 2 bar. Bubble-checking revealed that it is on the regulator side of the solenoid spanner-bit (the right word escapes me) so I'm guessing the solenoid and nut are one unit. The manual states that anything which leaks needs to be loosened, re-PTFE taped and refitted and tested again, however as the regulator and solenoid came as one unit, should I do this? I have all the right spanners to do so, I just thought I better check first. I have taken the reg back off the cylinder until I'm happy its tight.

    Or would it be better to give AquaEssentials (the venerable vendor) a call in the morning for their advice?

    TIA,

    Rich
     
  2. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    D&D suck.. I went through a number of different replacements before going for a decent rig..

    send it back and get a refund.
     
  3. itstricky11

    itstricky11 Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Norwich, Norfolk
    Thanks Matt, I'll give them a call in the morning and arrange for it to go back.

    Any chance of enlightening me as to what you have, so I can get it right next time?

    TIA,

    Rich
     
  4. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    I really struggled with the D&D stuff.. found it very poor build quality... eventually, after alot of messing about, I went for a seperate reg and a fire extinguiser, then bought a solenoid after a month or 2. On reflection, I probably would have been better off with the JBL kit to start with.. but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
     
  5. itstricky11

    itstricky11 Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Norwich, Norfolk
    JBL it is then. I *almost* bought one when I was in Swallow Aquatics (East Harling) on Saturday but resisted. I don't know what persuaded me to buy the D&D.

    I'll be on the phone to AE tomorrow so I can get it back. Thanks for your advice Matt!

    Rich
     
  6. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK

    No probs.. just my opinion though.. I did regret it even trying the D&D stuff though. Once I knew what I was doing the choice was easy.. it annoys me that they put out this sub-standard stuff and confuse the good people in the hobby. Its not even that cheap either.
     
  7. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Member

    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    opening to 5 bar sounds quite high to me!!!.

    We tend to open to 1.5-2bar and then adjust the needle valve for the precision 'tuning in'.

    The risk of leakage is a problem with solenoids being attached directly to the regulator which is why many of us scrwe the needle valve into the regulator and then connect the solenoid in-line!!. Still works the same way and can be removed or added back without having to take the reg apart if you want to use 24/7 or use the solenoid.

    Andy
     
  8. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    5 bar.. blimey I missed taht in the first post.

    most intermediary pressures are around the 1.25-1.75 bar level... 5 bar is huge! sounds like it might have blown its internal safety mechanisms.
     
  9. itstricky11

    itstricky11 Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Norwich, Norfolk
    Looking at the instructions again, the increase to 5 bar is under the "testing for leaks" section. Essentially I guess they want to make sure that whatever pressure you throw at it, its not leaky.

    I had a bit of a change of heart last night when I picked up my PFK and found that the D&D kit reviewed quite well, so I got my 14mm spanner out and gave the solenoid joint an extra 1/8 turn from where it was when it shipped. Opened the reg back up (it'll only hit 4 Bar on a new cylinder!) and not a sign of a hiss, and when brushed with soapy water, no explosion of bubbles, so its tight! I proceeded to test all joints, and none are leaking :D

    This leaky D&D led me to make a change of plans last night, and put the second CO2 kit I bought from Germany (Aquaristic.net own-brand set) on my existing Rio 125, and keep the D&D aside for my new 48" which I am planning to plant this weekend. I must say that I am very impressed with the kit from Aquaristic. For £120 delivered I got a proper dual manometer-reg, a 2KG refillable cylinder, solenoid, ceramic diffuser and 2M of CO2 hosing. The instructions (it being a "home grown" set) are in what I would call Germish, but my German is pretty good so I read the other side. For the first time ever I am seeing a regular stream of what I am guessing to be O2 bubbles off of the leaves of my Cryptocoryne beckettii.

    The D&D is still going to go on my 48" when I plant it this weekend - I will drop an update of how things go! Also, I will try and do a full review of the Aquaristic kit when its been running a bit longer :)
     
  10. itstricky11

    itstricky11 Member

    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Norwich, Norfolk
    I'd just like to add that the operating instructions (post-setup) for the D&D say to operate it at 1 Bar, not 5 as the testing instructions do!
     
  11. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    My D&D reg has been iffy ever since I got it. Is it normal for the amounts you set it to - to change sometimes?
     

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