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Re: Clippard needle valves

I have Clippard needle valves on all three of my CO2 tanks and regulators. 
These are the same units as sold by M3. They have worked VERY well for 
several years now. I have never had a problem with them, and they can be 
throttled down to 3-4 bubbles/minute if you want. The problems being referred 
to with not being able to regulate them sounds like regulator issues, not 
needle valve issues. 

Whenever I hook up a replacement 20# CO2 tank to my single stage, dual gauge 
regulators, there is always a small period of adjustment to the output 
pressure required. I set it at 6 psi, and it falls to 3, reset it to 6, it 
falls to 4, reset it to 6, it falls to 5, reset it to 6, it stays at 6. No 
further adjustment needed for months until the tank pressure falls as the 
cylinder empties out.

The output pressure of the regulator will have a direct impact on the 
bubbles/minute output of the needle valve. If your output pressure is 6 psi 
and the needle valve allows 3 bubbles/second and the output pressure drops to 
5 psi then you will have a corresponding drop in the bubble rate if you don't 
compensate by opening the needle valve a bit or upping the output pressure 
back to 6 psi.

Another reason some folks may have problems with Clippard needle valves is 
that some may be bottoming out the needle valve in an attempt to completely 
stop the gas flow. This can damage the needle valve. Never torque down the 
needle valve in the completely closed position with anything more than light 
finger pressure. The needle in the needle valve is what, maybe 1/32 of an 
inch thick, if even that? Delicate but works like a charm if used correctly. 
I think (but am not sure) that Clippard warns about this in their catalog and 
on their website. 

I would never think of using a neeedle valve to turn the gas flow on or off, 
only to regulate the bubble count. I use solenoids to turn the gas flow on or 


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