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Old 01-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
cyan123
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Default Question from Noob About Using a Dual Gauge Regulator

Hello, everyone. I am new to the hobby and started making soda using a 20# CO2 tank and a dual gauge regulator like this set up: http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=245.

I have a couple of questions for the advanced users here.

1. Should I turn off the CO2 at the tank when not in use and bleed out remaining CO2 in the tubing? It seems this would make sense and reduce pressure on the components. Of course, I also thought turning on an off about once a day might be more wear and tear. Any advice?

2. How do set the pressure between 40-50psi? I know the top gauge shows the psi coming out of the tank. And I know I can change that using the small screw just below it. But when do I actually check? Do I turn everything on, attach a bottle and THEN adjust? Or do I turn off the flow to the carb tap, open the tank and then set it at that time?

3. When I actually attach a bottle and start adding CO2, the gauge fluctuates. Should I be tweaking the psi using the adjustment screw to stay in the 40-50 range? I realize this question is very much like #2 so I guess I'm asking if once I set the psi in question #2, do I need to keep tweaking while I'm carbonating the water?

So far I have made several liters of carbonated water. And it's GREAT! Because of this forum I've also ordered some concentrated syrups from Prairie Moon and can't wait to try them. But I want to make sure I'm getting the basics right and getting the most out of my set up.

Thanks for any help you can offer a noob.

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Old 01-25-2011, 03:13 PM   #2
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1. You don't need to shut anything off. All of the components are designed to have the pressure on them 24-7.

2. The top gauge shows the pressure reduction from the tank. The tank is higher pressure than you want. You set the regulator to adjust what pressure comes out of the tank. All you need to do is turn the screw in the middle of the black center of the regulator. This will make the needle on the top gauge go up if you turn it clock-wise. If you turn it counter-clock-wise it will stay the same, so you will need to pull the small pressure relief valve to allow the top gauge to read correctly. Hook everything up and then adjust the pressure to say 10 psi and check for leaks. Use dish soap and smear it around every connection. If there is a leak you will see tiny bubbles. Tighten any connections and recheck. Even a small leak can empty a tank overnight.

3. Set the pressure to your desired level. When you are adding co2 to another bottle or keg the pressure will take a few seconds to adjust. Just let the regulator go, it will come to the proper level.

Best of luck. Let us know if you have any other problems.

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Schoolmaster

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Old 01-25-2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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Wow, extremely helpful, thank you!

So if I understand correctly, I hook everything up, turn everything on and then flip the pressure release valve to get to what the actual psi is coming from the tank. Then, I adjust using the screw to the desired psi.

Am I understanding you correctly?

Thanks again for the quick and thorough info!

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Old 01-25-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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Almost...

1. Hook everything up
2. Turn the gas on
3. Turn the regulator adjuster clockwise to increase pressure
4. Turn the regulator counter clockwise to lower pressure (when you lower the pressure the gauge will not "update" automatically, since the higher pressure is in the system, so you need to momentarilly flip the pressure relief valve. This will bring the pressure gauge to read the lower pressure.

DON'T just flip the pressure relief valve and start adjusting the regulator, you'll just be pour gas out. It's only when you lower pressure that you need to give it a quick release.

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Old 01-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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5. Check for leaks with dish soap. It will make tiny bubbles. You can bleed a tank dry over night with even a small leak. Make sure to test for leaks any time you get the tank filled.

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Old 01-25-2011, 08:56 PM   #6
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Thanks again for all the help.

Okay, I've checked for leaks and I've set the gauge to read 45psi. The experiment continues.

Now my only problem is that the dial on the tank fill (left) gauge is warped and I think the red indicator arm will get stuck as the tank empties. I am in touch with kegconnections where I bought it to see what they can do.

Thanks again for all the help. Looking forward to some bubbly cola in the next few days!

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Old 01-25-2011, 08:57 PM   #7
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Don't forget the teflon tape.
Honestly, I found it easier to do the relief valve and turn down the pressure and open the valve to check what it's set to, before ever connecting to whatever it is, then you can adjust upwards. If you have to lower down, shut off the co2, open the relief and turn the screw a bit counterclock wise.

If you're only carbonating a 2 liter bottle at a time, I prefer to shut the gas off at the main at the end of the day. That way, just in case I spring a leak(pretty doubtful), I'm not going to lose anything. I just do it as a precaution, but it's not necessary and I've noticed I've left it on for weeks at a time with no problem. (Just so long as I don't leave it hooked up to a soda bottle.) Originally, not having a wrench and not having a correct washer, I had some leakage, so I would then only turn it on to carbonate and shut it off after.
After getting that part corrected, no problems.
For some reason I've noticed leaks at the air intake on the carbonator cap, so I used a single wrapping of teflon tape, or would replace the rubber ring.

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:05 PM   #8
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Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate all the advice.

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Old 01-28-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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Just an update, I got a call from someone at kegconnections.com and they are sending out a replacement gauge. They didn't even ask me to send the other one back. I just wanted to comment on their great customer service.

Making soda and loving it!

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