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Re: CO2 Regulators

Thanks to George, James, and Dave for their informative posts.

Thought someone might find the following information useful:

From the Victor industrial regulators and flowmeters catalog, page 4.
"Cylinder Pressure Rise
Single Stage regulators have a rise (increase) in delivery pressure as the cylinder pressure decreases.  Listed below is the amount of pressure rise (increase) per 100 PSIG decrease in cylinder (inlet) pressure.  (followed by a table showing the various regulator models and the corresponding pressure rise, which ranges from .5 to 4.8).  The change in delivery pressure of a Two Stage regulator from full to empty cylinder (inlet) pressure is negligible."

I also asked an authorized Victor regulator repair person about the differences between the cheap and expensive Victor regulators and he said that the cheaper ones use rubber and fabric diaphragms, while the expensive ones use metal diaphragms, to regulate pressure.  The cheaper diaphragms aren't as durable, so they require more frequent replacement.  He even went so far to say that the cheapest ones aren't even worth servicing.  I suspect the homebrew regulators are similar, although I notice that they sell part kits (which I assume are designed for maintenance by the person making the beer rather than a trained regulator repair person.)

FWIW, our two stage regulator has never "dumped" CO2, even though we let the tank pressure drop until no gas flows.

How we got a cheap, but good two stage regulator (other than the one we got for free.)  Got a Victor catalog explaining the various models (including the type of gas it's configured for, and the operating output pressure range.)  I got it by filling out their online request form.  Went to ebay.  Found some two stage regulators and emailed sellers for model numbers.  If they weren't configured for CO2 or the lower pressure ranges, I asked the Victor repair guy whether or not they could be reconfigured, and for how much.  Bid accordingly.

Don't be shy about calling the regulator repair guy in your area.  Although the guy I dealt with does most of his business with welders, he was so fascinated (amused?) by what I was going to use the regulator for, that after dropping off my regulator (it was a non-Victor medical lab regulator with a medical prescription CO2 fitting that he changed to an industrial fitting) and looking at our aquariums and ponds, he decided not to charge me anything.  (Don't ask me what medical CO2 is though.  All I know is that the elaborate printed lable on the bottle said Carbon Dioxide, and that you needed a prescription to fill it.)

Hope this helps.

Wade Shimoda
Honolulu, HI

Small soapbox:  Was there a reason why this thread changed names so many times?
Some of the names:
Re: Compressed Gas Regulators (was: Carbo-Plus vs. compressed gas)
CO2 miscellany
CO2 Regulators
CO2 Dumping
Anti Dump CO2 Rewgulator
CO2 Regulator
CO2 regulation

All of these are, of course, much better than "Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #nnn"