No idea why my CO2 isn't working. And I'm terrified to mess with it.

Discussion in 'Plant CO2' started by sophi, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    So... I upgraded to pressurized CO2, and I bought a somewhat brand new regulator from a guy through craigslist. I had my CO2 going strong for 6 days before it somehow managed to empty itself. Turns out I had either a serious leak issue, or the tank wasn't filled properly.

    Got a new , full 5lb tank today and I just about had a heart attack when trying to turn this on. I'm literally so confused/scared as to how to fix this problem. Basically, I installed everything, made sure I had no leaks, and was ready to set the bubble rate more (by the way, this is pretty much the regulator I have minus the fancy drop checker  ). I turned on the tank (from the top, you know the screw part) and ALL this air comes gushing out of this hole from the regulator. It was so loud, I literally was so scared... so I knew "ok I'm clearly doing something wrong". So I opened the needle valve a bit, then just barely opened the top and yay, no air gushing out and a nice stream of bubbles. I turned the black knob (in the picture, I don't know what it's really called) a bit I guess to allow more air in? :S But anyways, this worked for about 5 hours. After though, the bubbles had stopped completely... so I thought I had to maybe turn the tank's screw valve thing a little more to allow more air through. When I did that, the air once again gushed like crazy and is popped off the diffuser, causing a watery mess everywhere. T_T I'm now way too shaken to get near it, but I think I messed up the gauges. The left gauge says it's at 0psi, and the right one is all the way to the right. Before the bubbles stopped, the left gauge was just above 50 psi and the right one was I think at 0 psi. I'm not 100% sure though.

    So... what exactly am I doing wrong? I have this horrible fear that's it just gonna blow so I'm honestly way too afraid to mess with it. I've tried reading online as to how to properly install it but I'm not understanding some of the terms most are referring to. Really though I'm just completely confused as to why there's so much air gushing out of what I think is the emergency, over pressure hole thing? It's on the left of the actual regulator itself, so it's not a leak or anything.

    Eeeek, I really need some help. Like that noise and the whole popping the diffuser off just freaked me out to where I have 0 confidence atm. What am I doing wrong? :S

  2. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    The black knob, is for the operating pressure. When it is too high, it purges. All the loud gas releasing. Most systems will work with an operating pressure of around 20psi. How are you diffusing the CO2? The way you are diffusing will determine how much operating pressure you need.

    The right gauge being all the way to the right means you have the black knob all the way open. Turn it down until the needle drops to 20psi.

    I would turn the handle on the tank so it is off. Then take the regulator off the tank. Shut the black knob on the regulator off once it is off the tank.

    How are you diffusing the CO2 into your tank?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  3. cichlidmanWell Known MemberMember

    i have popped the defuser 100's of times . just need to increase the pressure slowly as for that regulator i have no clue. I have always used cheapies.The onetime i bought a name brand it had a leak from behind the gauge so i gave them up
  4. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    I have a glass diffuser. I had to set it up fairly higher and stronger just to get it to go through, but it worked at least. I think the gauge is completely blown because the system is off completely but everything is still 0 psi on the left and right one is still all the way to the right. I think the black knob may not be working though because it never moved the gauge when I was playing around with it.

    So when you mean too high, I opened it too much? Do I need to turn it clockwise to close it more? I feel like an idiot for not being able to figure this out but I'm super anxious of it. Don't know why I thought "Hey, let's put something in my room that I could potentially blow up!" haha.
  5. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    Yes it was opened too much.Close it all the way, and start over. Is your diffuser clean? They don't always start to release the CO2 immediately.Sometimes you need to wait a bit for them to get going. Do you have a check valve between the diffuser and the regulator?
  6. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, the diffuser was soaked in bleach before use so I'd be surprised if it's already clogged. The weird thing was, after I blew the diffuser, I immediately closed the tank but I received no bubbles at all still, even through the regular airline tubing. And yep! I've got the check valve between regulator and diffuser.

    So as far as trying again goes, what are the steps to properly opening this and not have everything go all crazy on me? I'll need to be able to tell my dad this since he's the braver one and I'll most likely be standing in the background with full body armor. :p Does the needle valve need to be opened first before opening the actual tank? Then start messing with the black knob?
  7. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Oh, I just read your edit and I'm a moron. I turned the knob all the way right thinking that was how to close it.

    I just watched a proper video (finally found one) and the dude had the needle valve and knob completely off. He then open the tank, then started adjusting with the knob, fine tuning w/ the needle valve in the end. I'm assuming that's the correct steps, and hopefully I won't get that horrible gushing by doing it this way. x.x

    edit- I turned the knob to the left but it's just getting looser. Like, the black part is coming farther out and I'm afraid if I do it anymore, it may fall off. The gauge didn't move at all so it's still stuck to the right.
  8. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    Take the regulator off the tank and start over. That is about all I can think of at this point. When you put the regulator back onto the tank, make sure the the knob for the operating pressure is off, and that the needle valve is off too.
  9. sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Did that and it worked! I'm still having to fiddle around with the knob a little since after a while, the bubble rate will slow, but I think I've got it to a nice constant stream. I made the mistake of turning the knob the wrong direction completely, hence the terrifying gushing noise of death. Appreciate your help!
  10. Marie1Well Known MemberMember


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice