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Old 10-06-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
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Milwalke PH controler/solenoid

I'm having trouble with mine. It rarely turns off/on when it's supposed to. If I reach the desired PH, it will keep releasing gas until my drop checker starts getting yellowish. If it is off, the gas will stay off until the CO2 levels get really low. The PH controller seems to work, because when the PH rises, the alarm will kick on and power will be supplied, but the gas doesn't come on. And when power is shut off, CO2 keeps running. So I think its the solenoid's fault.
Anyone have this trouble? If I keep turning the controller's knob back and forth, eventually the gas will start or stop, but it takes a good 15 tries. All the wires and connections seem tight to me, but perhaps I'm missing one? I want to try and eliminate all human error before I call the supplier and complain about a faulty solenoid. Anyone ever have this problem?

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Old 10-06-2009, 08:40 PM   #2
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I don't have any experience with that so my only comment will be to call the supplier sometime before your warranty runs out.

Happy Reefing,
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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Yeah, I suppose that is the most sensible thing to do.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:56 PM   #4
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Lemme see if I have this right. The pH lowers and sets off the controller to shutdown, but you're saying gas keeps flowing (and vice versa when the pH gets too high, it kicks on but the gas doesn't start?)

if I have that right.... how long is the lag? When your CO2 system is running it builds up pressure in the lines towards the tank. When the solenoid shuts off the flow of gas (you'll hear a very audible CLICK so you'll know if it's working) the residual pressure in the lines can continue to force gas into your tank for several minutes. On the flip side, when the solenoid reopens, it takes a few minutes to build the pressure back up (remember it's working against the line length, head height, and water pressure) enough to actually force the gas to get into the tank.

If we're talking about juts a minute or three (YMMV) of lag between events, I think the system is working as it's supposed to.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:02 PM   #5
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Sorry for the slow response, been away.
To answer your question, it's not a lag, the gas NEVER shuts on or off until I toggle the PH regulator dial back and forth many times. Each time the dial passes my set PH point, there is an audible click on the monitoring device followed by a red light to tell me the solenoid was switched on or off. Regardless of the situation, gas keeps flowing. If I switch it back and fourth enough times, not only will I get a audible click noise from the monitor, but I'll also get one from the solenoid device and THEN the gas will turn on or off.
It seems as if the PH monitor is working, but that the solenoid is sticking somehow.
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Old 10-08-2009, 12:49 PM   #6
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Quick update: I just got off the phone with the Green Leaf folks I bought the system from. Very polite/useful over there!
He said it sounded as if I may have some debris in the regulator/tank itself. He suggests I take off the bubble counter, open up the needle valve, and jack up the working pressure to around 50 psi. This should hopefully blow out anything that could be preventing the valve from opening or closing when the solenoid wants it to.
I'll give it a try tonight and post another update.

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