• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Fire extinguisher CO2

Themuleous

Member
Joined
6 Jul 2007
Messages
4,124
Location
Aston, Oxfordshire
DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. I accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or injury suffered if you follow this 'manual' and something goes wrong, that's YOUR fault not mine.

Hi all :)

Before I start a BIG word re safely, these cylinders (read the other posts) are potential killers, but if you are sensible and treat it with respect you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

There have been several threads recently about pressurised CO2, so I thought as I was setting up a new system I would show everyone how to do it cheaply using a fire extinguisher. So first you need a cylinder, these do vary in size but this 2kg cylinder is 23" tall (that is a DVD case next to it) and I got it on eBay for £22 including delivery from here

http://search.ebay.co.uk/_W0QQsassZ123safer4u

FE.jpg


Then you need a reg, again I got mine on eBay, you can spend as much as you like on a reg but these are cheap and I've found them to be excellent, with a very easy needle value built in.

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Aquarianerversand_W0QQssPageNameZstrkQ3amefsQ3amesstQQtZkm

Reg.jpg


You'll need to remove the horn, which was easier to do than I had expected, just use a variable wrench. On a safety note it's a good idea to keep the safety pin in to prevent the lever from accidentally being squeezed whilst the horn is removed. Once the regulator is safely attached then remove the pin. If the extinguisher were to accidentally go off without the horn attached it can do a fair bit of harm as liquid CO2 comes out very fast. (Thanks James)

Wrench.jpg


FEwrench.jpg


FEhorn.jpg


The reg didn't actually fit quite as snug as I had expected however its working find so no problems :) and this might be the same with all regs and cylinders to ensure a secure fit.

RegFE.jpg


Tighten it well with the wrench, as if you don't it could cause you problems when you 'fire' the FE and we don't want people getting hurt now do we!

RegonFE.jpg


FEclose.jpg


Now take it outside in order to 'fire' the FE to release the CO2. I was expecting an explosion or something when I did this, but I had tightened the reg nut well and a short hiss was all I got, good actually I don't want to lose my arms! The needle on the reg should go to around 50 bar and the other gauge is set using the larger black dial on the front of the reg. I don't think it really matters what you set this to, I just went for 1.5 bar for no reason at all!

Dials.jpg


You'll need to keep the handles closed to keep the CO2 flowing, I used gaffa tape.

Tape.jpg


Next check for leaks using soapy water

Leaks.jpg


Now link it up to a bubble counter with check value to protect the reg from back flow.

Counter.jpg


The attach a diffuser. I'm a hugh fan of ceramic glass diffusers as they look the business and work a treat and really aren't that expensive. I love eBay and got mine from here

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Rhinox-1000-J....co.uk/Rhinox-1000-Japanese...4QQcmdZViewItem

Diffuser.jpg


And some CO2 tubing

http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/ind...essentials.co.uk/index.php?...roducts_id=1606

Then set the bubble rate and add to the tank :)

Finished2.jpg


Finished.jpg


Once install, be sure to secure the cylinder carefully, either by chaining it to the wall or similar, anything to stop it being knocked over. In the words of James, if the reg gets knocked off the cylinder could take off, through the roof by the sounds on things! Better to be safe :)

This whole kit cost we around £70-75 quid and should last at least a year before I need a refill.

Hope that's of help to people

Sam
 

Dan Crawford

Founder
Staff member
Joined
21 Jun 2007
Messages
3,265
Location
Daventry, Northants
Crackin tutorial Sam. I could have done with this when i set up mine for the first time. I know lots of people are gonna find this very useful.
May i also advise that you use some PTF tape on the thread of the fire extinguisher where the regulator would be seated, it just ensures a really good seal :)
 

bugs

Member
Joined
7 Sep 2007
Messages
365
2kg lasts you a year? I get through about 600g per month. Also... I think there are different types of PTFE tape with a specific one for use with gasses.
 

Ed Seeley

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
3,261
Location
Nottingham
Great write up! I've been toying with using an extinguisher with reg from Aquatic magic and this tells answers every single question I've thought of about them, thanks very much, invaluable!

I've heard on APC that PTFE tape shouldn't be used as it can occassionally prevent the rubber washer being compressed enough and forming a gas tight seal. That and bits could go in between the FE thread and the regulator and prevent a gas tight seal. I know one guy on there is pretty adamant about it, and he sells regulators! Admittedly this isn't Fire extinguishers they are talking about!
 

JamesC

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,276
Location
Bexley, Kent
Have to agree with you on this Ed. There is no need to use PTFE tape on the thread between regulator and extinguisher as the O-ring forms the seal and not the thread. Indeed as suggested it could cause problems. Where PTFE tape is used is on the other connections such as solenoid and needle valve.

James
 
Joined
10 Jun 2007
Messages
963
Location
Dorset, UK
we dont use PTFE on diving cylinders either for the same reasons, the o-ring should take care of it, if it doesnt, replace the oring! In fact, I replace the oring on every extinguisher change.

bear in mind, there are 3 different versions of the same co2 'standard' connector, some fit snuggly, some are a complete !$#*! and need to be done up with a wrench, in addition, there are 3 different sized orings to go with each type of connector. if your not sure, see your gas filler, he'll know instantly which you have and will point you in the right direction.

if your like me though and swap tanks every time, its hit and miss! if your not sure if you have a seal, take off the solenoid, and dump the whole top of the extinguisher, regs and all, into a bucket of water and watch for bubbles.
 

George Farmer

Founder
Staff member
Joined
30 Jun 2007
Messages
7,080
Location
Cambridgeshire
Themuleous said:
Sorry due to comments about the safety of FEs over on TFF I am regretably removing this thread, I dont want to get sued by anyone. I will keep the post to let people know if they ask, but in this litigious world I cant afford to risk it and thats crap I know but I can't. Sorry everyone :(
Sam

Why not simply write a disclaimer at the start of the thread?

Sure, pressurized CO2 is dangerous if not handled with respect. So is mixing electricity and water...

FYI I'm writing a step-by-step on this for PFK. They wouldn't print it if was so risky.
 

Dan Crawford

Founder
Staff member
Joined
21 Jun 2007
Messages
3,265
Location
Daventry, Northants
Well I stand corrected! Sorry for giving duff advice, i was relaying advice given to me, i took that advice and it seems to have worked fine although there is no point in adding things if they are not needed. I'll not use it next time. ;) ;)
 

James Flexton

Member
Joined
21 Aug 2007
Messages
358
Location
Stotfold, Herts/Beds
great thread mate, exactly how i have done it. i cant see any reason why not to use FE's works perfectly for me.
 

Ivan

Member
Joined
15 Oct 2007
Messages
32
Location
Meltham
Hi all a few Q's if I may.
I'm a bit of a risk taker but this sentence made me wince.
Before I start a BIG word re safely, these cylinders (read the other posts) are potential killers, but if you are sensible and treat it with respect you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
Where are these other posts and what the hell happened?

Last thing I want to see is a red Co2 powered missile flying through me house!

What would you adise as the best sized bottle for a lightly planted 400l tank?

I used to run Co2 in a smaller tank, but I forget the bottle size, it was a Bio plast system, wil that reg fit an FE?

I'm not completely green, I'm just not sure if I had ever done this co2 thing properly in the past.
Ivan.
 

Themuleous

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Jul 2007
Messages
4,124
Location
Aston, Oxfordshire
Sorry I should have explained. The comments were posted when I did this thread on TFF

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=212550

Re the other questions, they only do 2kg cylinders, but that should easily last you a few months if not 6 or 7. You used to be able to get 5kg cylinders but not seem any of those for a while. 2kg will be fine, but get to then you have a spare for when the other one runs out ;)

I cant seem to find anything re bioplast systems, but it if ran off a refillable cylinder then the reg should fit any cylinder, they are generally made to a set size.

Hope that helps

Sam
 
Joined
10 Jun 2007
Messages
963
Location
Dorset, UK
I burn a 2kg cylinder in 2 months on the tank in my sig. moderate but not high surface agitation. So Id suggest at least a 5kg for a 400lt, mainly because high change frequencies can produce too much variation in co2.. when they run out, you charge it, replace it.. the settings are all out and you have to 'dial in' all over again.. this can produce problems with BBA which LOVES uneaven co2.
 

lawrencezarb

Member
Joined
5 Oct 2007
Messages
49
Is it necessary for the bottle to sit upright?

My cupboard is not tall enough to accomodate the bottle so is it ok to tilt it about 30 degrees?
 
S

sks

Guest
lawrencezarb said:
Is it necessary for the bottle to sit upright?

My cupboard is not tall enough to accomodate the bottle so is it ok to tilt it about 30 degrees?


yes it is, otherwise you can freeze your regulator :wideyed: . Also FE should have their internal hose taken out, that's what the person who refills my canisters tell me if I want one to use. they have a hose inside that takes the gas from the bottom, it's best if this hose is removed for obvious reasons.
 

stevet

Member
Joined
25 Oct 2007
Messages
80
Location
London
Care to expand a little on the last comment? How does one remove the 'internal' hose? I have not come across mention of this before in FEs?

Does anyone else remove this item before connecting up the regulator?
 

Themuleous

Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Jul 2007
Messages
4,124
Location
Aston, Oxfordshire
Cant say I have, but I think it would be possible if/when you get an FE refilled. I think it is suggested in order to reduce the possibility of liquid CO2 being released from the cylinder. I.e. when used normally such as to put out a fire (!) the tube to the bottom of the cylinder ensures that liquid co2 is released and thus a lot of CO2 can be expend in a short space of time in order to put the fire out. This is why the horn gets so cold when the FE is fired.

Now I will add that I've used two FE's now and touch wood Ive not had or heard of any problems of liquid co2. But I can see the dangers were the reg to be faulty, which would likely kill all the fish. However if the reg is doing its job the tiny amount of co2 released means that it had sufficient time to turn to a vapour and warm up a bit before getting added to the tank, so its not an issue.

Removing the internal tubing would reduce the risk :) And whilst I suspect its a tricky thing to do it would be worth an ask were you ever to get one refilled rather than just replacing the empty one with a new, full one :)

That said I could be wrong!

Sam
 

ulster exile

Member
Joined
6 Jul 2007
Messages
351
Location
Birmingham, UK
When I had my old FE refilled in August, the bloke mentioned something about this internal tube and said the tube was the reason why us Aquarists favoured the newer cylinders.

Knowing next to nothing on the subject, I did what any self-respecting woman would do in response - I nodded, smiled and 'hmmmed' knowingly :lol:

Incidentally, anyone on the lookout for a new FE - I can recommend this bloke. I recently got a brand new 2kg FE boxed, filled, with sign and stand for £17.99 plus £8.99 delivery. That's a brand new cylinder for a total of £27!!! linky - there's 2 left
 
Top