Regulator Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by bugs, 4 Jun 2018.

  1. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    There does not seem to be a "go to" regulator... The one that everyone swears by. Are they all much of a muchness? Even the retailers don't seem to explain why one may spend an extra £x on one regulator vs another in their range. Confused...
     
  2. Sakura83

    Sakura83 Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    scotland
    [​IMG]
    I am using that one, do the job
     
  3. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    That's a needle valve!

    There isn't really one go-to reg, some people make their own to save costs and get a higher quality reg than brand name ones.

    Most of the price differences are due to the two stage design which supposedly prevents the infamous EOTD. A dual stage also gives you control of the working pressure.

    Other expenses could include manifold blocks which allow you to run multiple needle valves and bubble counters on one reg.
     
  4. Sakura83

    Sakura83 Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    scotland
    ohh, sorry :p
     
  5. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Good to know I'm just not finding the "No.1 best seller"! I'm not planning to use a solenoid, simply running the CO2 on a the low-side 24hrs. So many have solenoids built in. I think I'll just choose one and go for it.

    Has anyone used CO2 Supermarket? I've also got my eye on this one too. I need something that will fit a disposable welding gas bottle from Machine Mart.
     
  6. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,958
    Location:
    Eastleigh
    I have had a CO2 supermarket regulator since 2012 (gulp that long). Works fine, no end of tank dump that many people suffer from, bubble rate just starts dropping when tank pressure falls.

    Once I got all the leaks in my CO2 tubing sorted, bubble rate is easily and repeatable set between bogger all and "gas those fish"...
     
  7. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I use a CO2 supermarket single stage reg, and didn't have EOTD either. It works well but I'm sure that I could build something better for the same price. Their customer service is great as well so I'm sure you'll have no problem.
     
  8. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    The CO2 Supermarket regs all seem to have the output pressure fixed at 3 bar. This does not strike me as a problem, simply not what I'm used to and so I'm wondering whether there are any down sides to this? My overwhelming sense is that it is one less thing to go wrong!
     
  9. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    3 bar works fine for all in tank diffusers and most inline diffusers. It is higher than other single stage regs but I think that is a good thing. If you want adjustable pressure, you need a dual stage reg but 3 bar is fine for most people unless they are using a reactor or something.
     
  10. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Hmmm... I'm finding it quite challenging to find a reg without solenoid suitable for vertical connection. The CO2 Supermarket one is horizontal connection and requires a right-angle adapter. It's a solution of sorts but I'd prefer the reg to be above the cylinder.
     
  11. oscarlloydjohn

    oscarlloydjohn Member

    Messages:
    205
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    It might be worth buying a reg with solenoid just in case. As regulators are a costly investment for most, it makes sense to future proof it for other projects you might want to do in future. A solenoid is an extra £20 on top of the basic reg and you won't ever have to buy a new one if you want to experiment.

    Otherwise, CO2art do good regs too so you could look there.
     
  12. MattW

    MattW Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    Hi there,

    agree with the advice above, I've also got a CO2 supermarket pre-set regulator but the horizontal mount model and haven't had an issue with it so far, quality isn't as good as say Co2Art but much cheaper.

    Just a quick note just encase you weren't aware, regarding the use of the disposable CO2 welding bottles make sure you check the threads on those bottles, you may find given they're disposable they don't hold the standard thread size you find on dedicated CO2 tanks & fire extinguishers which will be the thread on most regulators. In this case you'll need an adaptor to fit between the regulator and bottle - something like this sold by CO2Supermarket.
     
  13. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    I had thought about simply buying one with a solenoid fitted; however, from memory, it has to be powered up to keep the gas flowing? If I could simply leave it unplugged then I may consider it. I had solenoids in the past but found them to often be a weak link and debatable benefit vs. my earliest tanks without solenoids. I know they save the gas but my theory is to run low CO2; creating a peak in the morning when the lights first go on which then decreases through the day, before building slowly again over night.
     
  14. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    I'm now considering using a fire extinguisher rather than welding gas. It saves me £20 on an adapter to convert the thread sizes in addition to the other benefits/savings. However... The shortest one I can find is 580mm tall which may prove just a little bit too tall. I'd be happier if I could find something shorter. Has anyone come across anything shorter?
     
  15. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Scratch that! I can't read!!! Height was 480, which should fit.
     
  16. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,958
    Location:
    Eastleigh
    Here is my CO2Supermarket regulator & 2Kg FE, next to a measure. So just over 50cm tall.
    upload_2018-6-5_11-43-11.png
     
  17. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Right! Ordered all the kit...
     
  18. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Thank you! Reassuring to see a complete set up.
     
  19. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,958
    Location:
    Eastleigh
    My regulator is only angled like that so I can easily see the gauges from a distance. Notice also the re-usable cable tie to hold the extinguisher handle shut.
     
    Andy Taylor likes this.
  20. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    365
    Good idea re the tie. I'll do something similar. Thanks.
     

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