What to fill CO2 bubble counter with

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by ceg4048, 12 Jul 2007.

  1. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Apologies for suc a bone head question but the only other bubble counter I have ever owned was sealed and contained a clear glycerine liquid. I just recently purchased a gage/solenoid/bubble counter combination from Aquaticmagic and of course this cylibnder is empty. I guess I always assumed that the liquid in the counter should not be water since the CO2 may disolve and somehow disrupt the count. Is this a false assumption? Can I simply fill the counter with water and get on with it?
    the gaget can be viewed at:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/CO2-Regulator-Elect ... dZViewItem

    Cheers,
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Yeah you can just put water in it. Yes some CO2 will dissolve into the water at first, but soon it will be saturated and then no more can dissolve and all will go into the tank.

    Personally I use Pure RO water in the bubble counter as I'm hoping it will reduce the chance of anything growing in there and it seems to be working so far... The really high CO2 level obviously helps with this too I assume!

    BTW I looked at these and was debating upgrading to one. What cylinder have you matched it with?
     
  3. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    I use distilled water which works fine. Yes the water will absorb the CO2 but the small amount of water used will mean it will reach saturation point very quickly. Where I worked quite a while ago we used glycerine in bubble counters, but that was for nitrogen being added to a reaction flask in a lab.

    James
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Guys,
    Hey thanks for the quick response. DI/RO water it will be. Eds I just received this unit today and it seems to be a kind of JBL knock off which is fine with me. I'm just getting my act together so I don't have a bottle yet. I contacted a local welding supply outfit. I was told I have to sign up with some national compressed gas company and rent the bottles (monthly subscription.) Does that sound right? I will start off with a 20 Kg bottle since I'll be treating 600 liters. Tomorrow I will take the regulator down to their shop to make sure it fits the bottle connector. The only disappointment with this unit is the solenoid cable has an American plug. I'll have to look into what kind of timers are available. I don't see very many advertised. Maybe I'll check an electronics shop.

    Cheers,
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Try this place for plug adaptors. http://www.powerconnections.co.uk/

    I've ordered from them when I got a JBL CO2 unit from Europe and they have great service.

    I went with the JBL unit for the same reason as I wasn't sure about sourcing a refillable bottle, but now I'm tired of the little disposable bottles and am looking at alternatives. Let us know how you get on.
     
  6. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Daventry, Northants
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Hi BigDanne,
    From the time they posted it to the time it arrived at my door was about 4 days, but I had problems with my PayPal which took some time to sort out prior to shipment. Looks like it was actually shipped from Singapore.

    Cheers,
     
  8. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Thanks mate look forward to it.
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi guys,
    I just retuned from a visit to the welding supply shop to check if the connector on the gauge fits the bottles. It fits perfectly and I did have to sign up via direct debit with BOC before they would rent me a bottle. The smallest bottle size I saw at this place was 18Kg. I'll probably get the next size up which is the 40Kg which ought to last me the year.

    While in the shop filling in the paperwork the attendant asked me why I had mail ordered a gauge from halfway around the world when they sell similar gauges in the shop. I thought this was an interesting point, and I have used these industrial gauges before, so we looked at a few models and I found one which had its low pressure gage in the 0 to 10 bar range. There was no fancy "needle vale" but with careful operation of the large valve knob one could easily modulate to get the desired bubble rate. This particular model cost 45 pounds, is roughly twice the size of our JBL/knockoff and has a silky smooth valve action. Of course there was no bubble counter or check valve or solenoid, but it certainly didn't cost 120 pounds either. I mention this only because perhaps there are folks out there on a tighter budget so this would seem to be an alternative. In any case our JBL knockoff cost about 45 pounds with shipping so this point is moot. I'm ranting only because I feel vendors are overcharging for these devices, which have been around since the Victorian era. It's a shame that we should have to buy products from Malaysia to avoid breaking the bank.

    Cheers,
     
  10. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    good point well made, thanks for the info.
     
  11. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Cheers for that Danne. Can you use the JBL Easy regulator with larger bottle like fire extinguishers then? I thought it wasn't suitable for that!
     
  12. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,266
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Hi, i'm affraid i've never used it so i don't know mate.
    Sorry i couldn't be more help.
     
  13. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    I would really recommend you get a needle valve. Trying to maintain the correct bubble rate just using the regulator quite often ends in disaster and you also greatly increase the risk of 'tank dumping'

    There are plenty of very good standard regulators you can buy in the UK. I know people who use this one - http://www.welduk.com/Details.asp?ProductID=82 with great success. You'll have to buy a needle valve to go with it though.

    The main problem in this country is that no one sells complete kits by which I mean regulator, needle valve and solenoid except for the likes of JBL, etc which are pretty expensive. We have to go abroad to buy these kits.

    James
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi James,
    Yes I totally agree that the needle valve is the best way to go. I have used the industrial regulators many years ago without the needle on very large tanks where the bubble rate was high enough to mitigate the tank dumping risks. There was much less focus on bubble rates as opposed to keeping an eye on the drop checker which now seems back in vogue. It wasn't called drop checker back in 1990, something more mundane I think.

    Regarding your second point, this was what raised my ire. I guess I'm not so much concerned about where the product is made (although I think D&D is English), but the incredible mark up imposed once it get here is a concern. The same JBL components retail for Dollars in the US at half the price as can be found here. The wholesalers purchase the products in dollars, at wholesale prices no less, so that would mean a mark-up of over 100%.

    I guess this is more of a geopolitical rant than a scientific one. Apologies therefore to the moderator and to the readers. However this was the same economic issue that led to the development of Poor Mans Dupla Drops, and that turned out pretty good remember?javascript:emoticon(';)')
    Wink

    Cheers,
     

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