CO2 dangers and incorrect setup

Discussion in 'Aquascaping and Member's Setups' started by Joachim Bates, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Joachim Bates
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    Joachim Bates Green fingers

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    First off I don’t play a big part in this forum but what I have to say next should be acknowledged and pinned.

    I recently purchased a lovely UP Aqua CO2 regulator from a forum member. I won’t name he/she as they stated the below adaption was carried out by someone else. Sadly I don’t have a picture of the full setup as received because I was too angered by the sheer danger of what I received to bother myself with that while stripping it.

    For any novice looking at getting into Pressurized CO2 on a planted tank, you will know that it opens up a whole new world. However, this world comes with laws and safe installation procedure that in no way should ever be bypassed.

    The below regulator has a maximum working pressure of 3500 psi but mostly likely useable up to 2500psi safely. This regulator was adapted to be used to on a pressurized paintball CO2 tank. These tanks come in options up to 1800 working psi. Adapting the regulator to these bottles is totally doable, however at these ratings should only be done with solid, threaded and tapped parts designed to seal against the regulators intended seals.

    What I received was a bottle retrofitted with a paintball gun fitting not rated for the working pressure long term of the bottle attached. Threads that did actually fit where not sealed with the only acceptable option, PTFE (which by the way is like R5 a roll). Certain threads on the setup are not even designed to be sealed with anything. Instead every single thread including the gauges, needle valve, paintball tank adapter, steel braided hose (which is rated for refilling and in the field play, not maintaining high pressures for extended periods) and bottle nut were filled and sealed with Steel Pratleys Epoxy. The bottle nut on the regulator wasn’t even seating against the adaptor used, meaning they filled the entire thing with glue to allow it to seal voiding the seal of any purpose and rendering the bottle nut totally loose once the glue was removed. The regulator itself was stripped bare put back together with glue and why someone would do this over the stock build it was sold with tells me the person who carried out the retrofitting has no clue of basic knowledge needed to carry this out.

    People looking at getting into CO2 need to understand that working pressures this high are incredibly dangerous. It is in no way ever acceptable to seal threads with anything other than PTFE. O rings that aren’t rated for CO2 are not an option. If you wish to adapt a CO2 bottle to a regulator it’s not intended to be used with be very sure you know what you’re doing. DIY basics are not going to cut it so either make sure you’re not cutting a single corner or take it to a specialist or engineer to turn the right parts for you. You will need to know how to thread and tap steel to ensure any connections before the regulator are suitable for such high long term pressure.

    If your reasons for not taking the setup to a professional are solely based on the cost you would incur then I suggest you keep saving or look for an existing setup. CO2 costs big bucks for a reason, the parts cannot fail because should they fail you’re in for big wake up call. If you’re looking to bypass safety to save a couple hundred rands because “I’m sure that’s good enough” then you don’t deserve to partake in the pure pleasure pressurized CO2 brings.

    Also bottles need to be hydro tested every couple years (each bottle is different) and it’s down right irresponsible to not adhere to the laws of South Africa regarding this. That’s right, every single aspect of a CO2 setup actually needs to coincide with laws our country has in place.

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  2. Joachim Bates
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    Joachim Bates Green fingers

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    The above mentioned was stripped cleaned, rethreaded to take the brass fitting I had lying around that would attach the bottle to the to the regulator. Made use of most the parts that came with the regulator with the exception that they are all tapped and threaded and sealed with PTFE. If anyone ever wants advice on retrofitting a bottle correctly pop me a DM. Apologies for the rant earlier but sometimes my blood boils

    [​IMG]


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  3. koganm
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    koganm Green fingers

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    After reading your initial request, I kinda know who he/she is.

    Dude, that was crap sale. Thing deserves to be in the bin, in my opinion anyway. Not all of us have the expertise that you do, so I would have chucked it. In a way thou, Im glad it was you that bought it and not another unsuspecting member who would have trusted the seller and used it.

    Some very informative info there bud, thx.

    P.S, hope you didnt pay the asking price.
     
  4. Joachim Bates
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    Joachim Bates Green fingers

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    Yeah, that’s what I was concerned about, I have a it rigged up now and all sealed, bottle is reading 1100psi which is to risky for the way it was.

    I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty luckily, a piece of me enjoys it but agreed most people would hit a basic retail outlet for parts and make do with what they can find, which let’s face it is limited in this country sadly.

    Luckily I didn’t pay asking price, for other reasons though. I was not aware of the full extent of shoddiness till it was in my hands. Picked this up for R450. And it’s flawless now.


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  5. koganm
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    koganm Green fingers

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    Glad you came right Bud.
     
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  6. R.C.
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    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

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    Good grief.... I mean I've seen worse, but it's still worrying to think that in someones mind that is acceptable and to then pass it on to someone else. Looking back at the for sale thread, I notice the PB cylinder is also outside of Hydrotest date. Pretty much a paperweight.
     
  7. Joachim Bates
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    Joachim Bates Green fingers

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    Agreed it could be worse, but it’s been passed from two owners like this! I was in the paintball shop the other day not knowing my own canister had expired and oaks rip the sales guys to shreds for not filling their tank because it’s just expired


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