Leaking CO2 Regulator

Lighting, filters, CO2, substrate and DIY

Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby Josho » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:01 pm

Today I just got my CO2 tank refilled at my LFS and at the end the guy told me 'not to loose this' and handed me an o-ring and says it was on my tank when I gave it to him.

I got home and placed the O-ring around the nipple on the regulator and screwed on the tank. Immediately I could hear a loud hiss and could feel the gas leaking around the connection. I tried to tighten the connection but no go. I then tried to pull get the o-ring out (I thinking that it may had been installed upside down or the wrong location) but it won't come out of it's recess.

From the gauge it shows that it can only hold just under 500psi.

Having not really noticed this o-ring before and cannot find any manuals online, is the o-ring the problem and how do I get a replacement (or even get it out)?

Note: Regulator is an Ista Twin Mini Gauge Vertical CO2 Controller (with Solenoid) http://www.istaproducts.com/product/co2 ... -vertical/
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Re: Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby vladguan » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:40 pm

Hi Josh, I have the exact same regulator. It should have come with two O-rings and does go into the recess. They do get damaged after unscrewing/screwing a few times and as it is a rubber O-ring you should only hand tighten. It is just that the O-ring needs replacing and to get it out, use a pair of tweezers or a needle to pick it out. Just go to Bunnings an buy a pack of similar sized O-rings to use. Note that the original ones were harder type so lasts a few cylinder changes as opposed to the Bunnings one but they are inexpensive. Once a new O-ring is in place, turn the cylinder on slowly (with the needle valve closed) and then use a soap spray bottle to spray around the cylinder neck to check for leaks.

BTW, my regulator shows 900PSI for a full cylinder. I suggest you take your cylinder to a fire extinguisher servicing centre if there is on and get the to do a proper fill. CO2 is filled by weight and max allowable fill in Australia is 66% of cylinders volume. So for a 1L/1000cc cylinder, max fill is 660gms. These places would also require them to be tested and stamped if they don't show appropriate stamping to begin with, as is the case with most imported cylinders like the ISTA and Up ones.
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Re: Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby vladguan » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:44 pm

I suggest give some of these a call:

Action Fire Extinguishers
fireextinguishersbrisbane.net.au
Salisbury, 1 Enterprise St
Brisbane QLD
(07) 3277 6159

Brisbane Fire Safety Management PTY LTD
brisbanefire.com.au
19 Giles Chase
Narangba QLD
0417 004 364

Olympic Fire Services
olympicfire.com.au
18-22 Alexandra Place
Murarrie QLD
(07) 3390 8337

London Fire and Safe
londonfireandsafe.com.au
165 Wellington Rd
East Brisbane QLD
(07) 3391 4141

Eversafe Extinguisher Australia
eversafe.net.au
465 Lytton Rd
Morningside QLD
(07) 3399 8988

Northside Fire Service
northsidefireservice.com.au
18/18 Hinkler Ct
Brendale QLD
(07) 3205 6365

Ipswich & District Fire Equipment Services Pty Ltd
plus.google.com
3/106 Keogh St
West Ipswich QLD
0418 872 979


I get mine filled at ceasefire in Adelaide and they charge $10 for up to 1kg fill.
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Re: Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby vladguan » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:48 pm

Forgot to mention, 500PSI means that there is no CO2 in liquid form in the cylinder. You should also check the mounting face of the cylinder to make sure it is nice and smooth and does not have any nicks etc that will damage the O-rings. A light sanding with a very fine sand paper should remove any surface imperfections.
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Re: Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby Josho » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:34 pm

Thanks Vladguan.

Found out today it was a bit of a false alarm.

I was a bit lazy when I screwed it back on. Turns out when you put the o-ring back on when the solenoid is engaged it goes further into the recess so it doesn't seal. When it switched off the o-ring came back out and sealed. It now seals fine and gauge shows 900psi.

Thanks for the advice. I'll give the other places a go. I was told a home brew place in Woolongabba is another good place and cheap. I've also measured the size of the o-ring so I'll grab some spares at the hardware store next time.
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Re: Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby Josho » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:34 pm

It's almost been a year but it hasn't been smooth sailing.

The following CO2 refill wouldn't seal and I tried to find similar sized o-rings from Bunnings. At the start they didn't seal so I ordered nylon washers from eBay (18mm x 11mm) which were advertised for CO2 regulators. They didn't seal either. They were worst. I assume they don't work with Ista because you can only hand tighten and the fact that the Ista bottle the top isn't flat (has a groove which looks like it's for an O-ring). I popped in an O-ring from Bunnings again and it actually sealed. Not sure why but it worked for about 3 refills.

Just got another refill and attempted to pressure test the connection (solenoid off, opened the tank's valve to pressure up against the solenoid, then close the tank valve and monitor the pressure). It would go to 0psi within 3-5hrs. I changed out the o-ring and tried again but didn't work.

So I ordered o-rings which were described as "CO2PRO and DICI replacement oring for seal between regulator and cylinder valve. This style of oring will suit most types of regulators on the market". It was slightly larger than the other O-rings I had but no issues fitting into the recess in the regulator. However on the pressure test it would drop to 500psi within a few hours and to 0psi over night.

I'm not sure what to do now. I'm thinking about trying to find a rubber gasket of 18x11mm that way it covers the top surface of the sealing face of the tank. But having installed the nylon washer/gasket of the same size it was a pain to remove.

I'm almost at a point where I should just buy a new regulator. One that uses either the nylon washer or the other o-rings I found.

I've been searching the web for o-ring recommendations for this regulator but it's been difficult. This week I'm going to try and get some #111 O-rings (some mentioned on another forum), also something that fit in the groove of the tank sealing face, and maybe the rubber gasket/washer I talked about.

Does anyone have any recommendations (O-ring or regulators)?
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Re: Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby Josho » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:33 pm

Last week I got some time to go around town to find O-rings. First two places (which I won't name) were useless. I went to Allied Bearings and Seals in Rocklea, Brisbane. The guy there was really helpful. I did end up getting #111 O-rings. They turned out to have the same ID as the Bunnings O-ring and the same OD as the white O-ring. Essentially they were fatter. Got 6 O-rings for $4.

I pressured tested the connection the first time overnight and it was solid. Then over the week I continued to pressure test the connection overnight (turning off the tap on the cylinder at night and opening it back up in the morning). It was perfectly fine. It's being going well for the week now. I just leave the tap open and let it seal up against the solenoid.

I'm very happy with this result.

For anyone else who's looking for O-rings for their Ista regulator, use a #111.
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Re: Leaking CO2 Regulator

Postby vladguan » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:50 pm

Good news
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