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Old 05-11-2007, 11:44 PM   #1
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CO2 Bubble Counter Problem with One-way value

I have recently set up a 110 gallon complete with the pressurized CO2 system from Dr. Foster and Smith. The system is of good quality except for the bubble counter. When the pH drops to the prescribed level on the low side reading of the pH controller it shuts off the system as it should. However, once the solenoid shuts off flow from the Co2 tank, pressure builds up in the Co2 airtube line from the reacor to the bubble counter. This appears to be due to the water that continues to circulate through the reactor (as the water pump continues to run all the time). I have just blown the second one-way value in my bubble counter, water then fills the bubble counter leaks around the value inlet and runs down the CO2 line towards the solenoid and the tank. Is this just a cheap quality bubble counter (complete with plastic one-way valve)? Are brass valves available with bubble counters or, more likely, am I just doing something wrong?
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:48 PM   #2
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I'd recommend getting a brass check valve and splicing it into your tubing between the bubble counter and the reactor. This will prevent any backpressure from ever being able to get back to the bubble counter. This can be a bad thing and damage your regulator, I've read. The brass check valves are good quality and tolerant to the CO2 gas, meaning you won't have to replace them every year or whatever. They're a bit pricier, 10-12 bucks, however, but it's a good safety to have on your system. If you're a member at APC, member John N. sells them for $10 shipped.
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Old 05-12-2007, 01:16 AM   #3
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I think the fact that water from your reactor fills your bubble counter and then leaks out means that you have a leak in the bubble counter. The water can not fill the bubble counter unless what ever is in the bubble counter can get out somehow. In this case the air space in the bubble counter is being forced out to someplace. You may also be losing co2 on a regular basis.

I would check all of your connections and also look at where the water is leaking out. Chances are that if water is leaking out when the unit is shut down, gas is leaking out when the unit is running.
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