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PVC Needle Valve
Picture from December 2000

When I hooked the calcium reactor to my secondary return pump, something I did not plan for happen. I was over-pressurizing the calcium reactor. This effected several aspects of how the reactor was run.

First in greatly increases the risk of a leak or even blowing out the top seal. It is not designed to operate under such pressure.

Secondly, the increase in pressure added resistance to the CO2 injection system. I had to crank the CO2 pressure higher in order to get the same bubble count. The draw back to this happened when I turned off the secondary return pump for cleaning. The drop in the reactor pressure reduced the resistance on the CO2 injection. CO2 started to stream into the reactor. This was obviously a bad design flaw on my part.

The ball valve I had in-place was designed more as an on/off valve to feed the reactor, it was not designed to fine tune the water allowed to enter the reactor. The picture above shows the needle valve ready to be plumbed into the system. A ¼ inch barb by ¼ inch NPT adapter is installed on the left and a ¼ inch NPT by ¼ NPT nipple is installed on the right.

PVC Needle Valve Installed
Picture from December 2000

This picture shows the needle valve installed and hooked upto the calcium reactor. This double valve system is ideal. The ball valve in the back handles the on/off control without having to touch the needle valve. I would suggest you use this method also.

PVC Needle Valves are not exactly cheap. Expect to pay at least $30 for one. I ordered mine from McMaster-Carr it is part# 4981K11.