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Old 05-27-2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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Default First Time Kegger Doesn't understand his CO2 regulator!

Hi

I have a CO2 tank I got a couple years ago for a keggerator I made for commercial kegs. The keggerator has sat for a couple years now and now that I'm home brewing I've decided to fire it back up!!

I want to see how much CO2 I still have left. When I turn on the gas and shut off the check valve my dial at the 9 O'clock position doesn't move, it stays firmly at the bottom where it says Order Gas. But the other dial at the 12 O'Clock position goes up to 11 PSI.

Do I need to fiddle with the screw on the front to make the other dial move? How could I have 11PSI but have ZERO CO2 in the tank?

Sorry for the stupid question, Thanks in advance for your answers!!

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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CO2 is not measured by PSI in the tank, its measured by pounds in the tank. CO2 pressure is dependent on its temperature... the lower the temp, the lower the total PSI. I have seen those gauges that say "Order Gas", and although I have never used one, I don't think that they are always accurate. You didn't state what size the tank is, but if you can weigh it you can get a good idea of what is left since most tanks have a stamp on the side that has the tare weight of the vessel. If it were me, I would just get it refilled (or swap the tank) and not worry about it, Co2 is cheap.

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Old 05-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #3
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I'm guessing the CO2 tank is simply almost empty. Check the tare weight on the bottle (should be stamped in the metal with TW: x.y lbs). You can then weigh the bottle and see how much CO2 is in it. This may require a somewhat accurate scale (also, take off the regulator when you weight it).

Also you could open the relief valve and let a bunch of gas out and see if the low pressure gauge eventually goes to zero...although this would waste CO2 if it is indeed a problem with the high pressure gauge.

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Old 05-27-2010, 04:15 PM   #4
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You don't have zero CO2, you have 11 psi. That isn't going to register well on the high-pressure gauge.

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Old 05-27-2010, 05:03 PM   #5
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If there is any liquid CO2 left in the tank, the pressure should be somewhere between 500-1000 psi depending on temperature. The colder it is, the lower the pressure (Look up Ideal Gas Law). As long as there is liquid CO2 in your tank, the pressure should stay almost the same. The only way CO2 can stay liquid in your tank is due to the equilibrium pressure in the tank. Physics lessons aside, the very second the last drop of liquid CO2 in your tank converts to gaseous state, the pressure will drop dramatically very quickly and it will be time to replace the tank.

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Old 05-28-2010, 12:27 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone!

So basically I guess I need a refill.

Thanks for the tips!

Happy Brewing.

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Old 05-31-2010, 01:49 AM   #7
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I am going to semi - hijack since my question is similar and I didn't want to start a new thread. I am having the same issue as the OP with my new-used regulator and gauge set. By weighing the tank and deducting tare weight, i have ~ 2.5 lbs co2 in my 5lb tank. When I connect to the regulator the low pressure gauge worked, I can use the set screw to adjust up and down, 10,20, 30 ps ibut the high pressure gauge does not work. If i tap on it it will sometimes move but not consistently,if it does move up it may or may not go back to 0 when I disconnect. I am guessing the gauge is bad, does this sound correct? Is there any reason that I should worry about this gauge or just weigh the tank when in doubt?

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Old 05-31-2010, 02:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonClayton View Post
I am going to semi - hijack since my question is similar and I didn't want to start a new thread. I am having the same issue as the OP with my new-used regulator and gauge set. By weighing the tank and deducting tare weight, i have ~ 2.5 lbs co2 in my 5lb tank. When I connect to the regulator the low pressure gauge worked, I can use the set screw to adjust up and down, 10,20, 30 ps ibut the high pressure gauge does not work. If i tap on it it will sometimes move but not consistently,if it does move up it may or may not go back to 0 when I disconnect. I am guessing the gauge is bad, does this sound correct? Is there any reason that I should worry about this gauge or just weigh the tank when in doubt?
I wouldn't worry about the gauge too much. It's more of a has CO2/doesn't have CO2 gauge, not a how full is the tank gauge. If it's not going back to 0 when you disconnect, the needle may be bent or rubbing against the dialplate or faceplate. Try unscrewing the clear plastic faceplate and seeing if the needle moves freely. If that doesn't fix it and it bothers you, a new high pressure gauge is less than $10.
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