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Old 07-08-2012, 06:47 AM   #1
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Default In-line compressed air regulator as secondary co2 regulator?

So while i was at the Home Depot today getting my bottle of oxygen, I turned around and noticed that in-line regulators with 1/4 NPT fittings can be had for about $20.

My general guess is that these are in no way intended to withstand the kind of pressure that direct connection to a co2 tank delivers, but the idea that sparked in my mind was whether i could insert one after the 1st barb on my expandable co2 manifold.

I could then set the tank regulator to 25psi or so for force carbonation, and the in-line regulator to 10psi or so for serving, and have both pressures inside the kegerator.

The only problem I've thought of so far is that the in-line regulators have gauges that make it very hard to find 10psi. I would have to install a lower range gauge somewhere - either replacing the original gauge (potentially impossible) or inserting one into the manifold with some additional plumbing.

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Old 07-08-2012, 06:56 AM   #2
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Just "T" a 0-20 or 0-30psi gauge downstream of the in-line to monitor the pressure. You could do it with a barbed T and hose clamps...even a plastic T will be fine...could build it for about $15 including the gauge.

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
Just "T" a 0-20 or 0-30psi gauge downstream of the in-line to monitor the pressure. You could do it with a barbed T and hose clamps...even a plastic T will be fine...could build it for about $15 including the gauge.
The manifold i have is really a series of T fittings and nipples equipped with shutoff valves, check valves, and barbs.

I could take the plug off the end and thread in an 0-30psi gauge.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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fwiw it appears that *some of these inline regulators are little more than a ball valve, and would not work for beer service for obvious reasons. Likely don't work well for air tools either.

i am investigating further.

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Old 07-10-2012, 04:06 AM   #5
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Well, I decided to Find Out, and ordered this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280655881053

and this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/190591135760

If i read the description right, the regulator has no high-pressure pass-through. Maybe i read it wrong and it has two high and two low ports like a normal regulator.

For our fans viewing at home, this air compressor regulator has a max pressure of 130psi and would be destroyed by a direct tank connection. If this works at all for serving beer, it's as a secondary regulator.

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Old 07-10-2012, 04:24 AM   #6
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Interesting. I will be surprised if it can go down to 10psi without creeping, but if it does, I can see having a conventional beer regulator set to 50PSI and an array of these for each keg.

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Old 07-10-2012, 04:49 AM   #7
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Yeah i do have a little concern about stability. we'll see. if i can't waste my money on a hobby what can i waste it on?

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Old 07-10-2012, 05:13 AM   #8
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The other idea is a fixed LP type regulator. Little known - LP regulators are often also rated for use with inert gasses and compressed air. If one had no interest in serving pressures different from 10psi, a non-adjustable 10psi LP regulator with 1/4" NPT fittings would work a treat to give you a two stage manifold. The trouble is that LP regulators are marked according to BTU or BTU/hr when they are for sale to the public, generally, and in my experience outfitting my propane rig for back yard boils i don't think different vendors use the same psi vs. btu math. So identifying the regulator body you want and then finding someone to sell it to you could get very frustrating.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:49 AM   #9
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Well the regulator got here. It has two high and two low ports, but unlike a co2 regulator the low side ports are top and left, while the high side ports are right and bottom - this means that it'll go inline in my manifold just fine, but I'll need to buy a 1/8 valve or 1/8 to 1/4 union for a high side output port. Not hard to find, just not, I think, carried at the big box hardware stores.

If one assumes that the inlet and outlet ports are the 1/4" ports, the regulator and high-side through port are 1/8" ports. Inconvenient but not terrible.

Sticker on the back says "SET PRESS. 7~140 PSI" so 10psi will be way on the low side for this. still might work just fine.

All-metal body. Feels solid and heavy.

I hope to have the gauge by saturday. May hold off on buying the high side outlet valve/barb until i am sure this will work properly.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:03 PM   #10
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I have used one of these and it worked very well. different model than what you posted. and I only ran it for a short time.

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