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Old 12-13-2013, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default Wrong regulator for CO2?

I have a CO2 regulator that measures psi from the tank, but "flow" to the out line in Liters/minute and cubic feet per hour. I think it is really for welding. But I have it now and don't want to spend more for one that shows psi. I looked online and there is no direct way to convert between pressure and flow; they are different things. Still once the tank, regulator and corny are hooked up gas flows into the keg until it reaches an equalizing pressure and then stops and holds that pressure. I'm guessing about the pressure on my beer. Anyone have one of these "flow" regulators? Is it usable? Any way to gauge the psi?

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Old 12-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #2
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I had one but sold it to a pot head for gardening or something. Post a pic and maybe I could help; I have an idea but I'd like to see it first...

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Old 12-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
I had one but sold it to a pot head for gardening or something. Post a pic and maybe I could help; I have an idea but I'd like to see it first...
That is too funny lol
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:37 PM   #4
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You have a dual gauge regulator and one of the gauges shows flow rate rather than output pressure?

If it is a standard reg with a nonstandard gauge, replace the gauge. Otherwise, guess you need another regulator (though a regulator that measures flow rate would be useful for a lot of things)

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Old 12-13-2013, 10:58 PM   #5
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You say that it reads the "flow", yes?

As in the little plexiglas column with the ball that floats up in it, when there is flow?

Post up a pic........Me THINKS, that if it has a welding gas flowmeter on it, it could be swapped for a gauge that reads in PSI.

I have one at home, but I ain't at home right now, or I would go and get a visual on it.

PSI
PSIA
PSIG
PEPSI

So confusing............

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Old 12-14-2013, 06:47 AM   #6
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Duh. It's a welding regulator, probably from a MIG setup.
And flow meters come in both column and dial styles (I use the former on my MIG rig and don't trust the latter).

Anyway, you could simply replace the flow meter/gauge with a low pressure gauge...

Cheers!

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Old 12-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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Thx! I found an earlier thread here that discusses this regulator from Harbor Freight. It is for welding, but has a dial gauge showing the "flow." Evidently, the gauge can be replaced with a 0-60 psi one. Now if only I can find a cheap one locally.

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Old 12-14-2013, 04:50 PM   #8
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I started the other thread that you identified and yes it works. Still using the regulator as a back-up for force carbing the kegs that don't fit in the keg-o-rator. A word of caution. The flow gauge is a bear to remove. There is some type of thread sealant that makes it tough to unscrew. A vise and a good wrench is in order.

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:25 AM   #9
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I was able to find a gauge locally and replace the existing one w/o problem. BUT, the original gauge has a nipple on the end and the replacement I found did not. Even though I used teflon tape and screwed it in firmly, it did not seal correctly. I checked for leaks, but evidently not well enough. The CO2 tank emptied overnight! I replaced the original gauge and decided to live with it.

I have a simple in-line tire psi gauge, so I capped one end and attached it to the regulator. From this I get rough psi measurements. Thus (from the inner scale) 10 cu'/hr = 8psi, 15 cu'/hr = 12psi, 20cu'/hr = 15psi and so on. Each additional 5 cu'/hr = prox 3.65psi

The bottom line is that the original Harbor Freight regulator will work OK, but the numbers on the inner scale are NOT psi. As long as one is willing to adjust these to what works the gauge is usable. If I had a do-over, I would just get a more expensive gauge that actually reads psi.

Some brewing supply shops sell a fairly inexpensive regulator with a lower gauge that reads psi in the 0-30 range. If one is only going to do beer that's fine, but if higher carbonation is needed then a 0-60 gauge is better.

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Old 12-24-2013, 12:46 AM   #10
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Agreed. Single primary regs can be had cheap.

Chi Company's New Old Stock is about as cheap as they get:

http://www.chicompany.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=327

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