Choosing the right nitrogen regulator for your appliances is critical and often difficult. Product application, gas service, and required delivery pressure all influence nitrogen regulator selection.
The components of a nitrogen regulator
There are three basic operating components in most regulators: a loading mechanism, a sensing element, and a control element. These three components work together to accomplish pressure reduction.
The Loading Mechanism which determines the setting of the regulator delivery pressure. Most regulators use a spring as the loading mechanism. When the regulator hand knob is turned, the spring is compressed. The force that is placed on the spring is communicated to the sensing element and the control element to achieve the outlet pressure.
The Sensing Element which senses the force placed on the spring to set the delivery pressure. Most regulators use a diaphragm as the sensing element. The diaphragms may be constructed of elastomers or metal. The sensing element communicates this change in force to the control element.
The Control Element which is a valve that actually accomplishes the reduction of inlet pressure to outlet pressure. When the regulator hand knob is turned, the spring (loading mechanism) is compressed. The spring displaces the diaphragm
(sensing element). The diaphragm then pushes on the control element, causing it to move away from the regulator seat. The orifice becomes larger in order to provide the flow and pressure required.
What makes a high purity regulator high purity?
High purity applications require equipment that will help maintain the purity of the system. High purity applications are sensitive to contamination from elements such as moisture, oxygen, and other gaseous vapors that may be present in ambient air. These contaminants enter the system when the regulator is removed from the cylinder during cylinder change out, or they may enter through leaks or faulty seals.
The features of a regulator determine the type of service for which it can be used. A regulator intended for a high purity application has different features than a unit designed for general purpose use. Three main features determine the suitability of a regulator for high purity applications.
How does a nitrogen regulator actually works?
The operation of the regulator is based on achieving equilibrium between the force generated by the pressure adjusted on the surface of the membrane and by the spring tension adjustment introduced. As a result of this comparison, it follows a change in position of the seat valve while maintaining constant output pressure within the control group. The regulator is provided with a pressure safety valve that will remove the excess pressure to the atmosphere.
The regulator is used to reduce gas pressure regulation in the tubes by ensuring a constant pressure to maintain the output within the control group of inlet pressure variation and flow rate.
The regulator is designed to equip transmission, distribution and natural gas and other gas installations operating at the operational parameters of the regulator.
The control pressure is taken from the input side of the controller and the module passes through the filter where filtering takes place of the control gas and pressure reduction to a value of 0.3 ÷ 1 bar higher than the output pressure. Reduced control pressure passes into the controller where the valve system finds open and here it can reach the membrane regulator. This pressure is referred to the actual control pressure. The controller opens and the output pressure falls below the membrane controller. By making the balance between the outlet pressure force exerted by the membrane on the controller and the resulting spring force introduced by the effective value of the control pressure valve rod moves in the direction commanded.
The nitrogen regulator HVAC
HVAC is an important part of residential structures such as single family homes, apartment buildings, hotels and senior living facilities, medium to large industrial and office buildings such as skyscrapers and hospitals, onboard vessels, and in marine environments, where safe and healthy building conditions are regulated with respect to temperature and humidity, using fresh air from outdoors.
Ventilating or ventilation is the process of exchanging or replacing air in any space to provide high indoor air quality which involves temperature control, oxygen replenishment, and removal of moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, carbon dioxide, and other gasses. Ventilation removes unpleasant smells and excessive moisture, introduces outside air, keeps interior building air circulating, and prevents stagnation of the interior air. Ventilation includes both the exchange of air to the outside as well as circulation of air within the building. It is one of the most important factors for maintaining acceptable indoor air quality in buildings.
The purpose of the nitrogen is to displace any oxygen in the lines and minimize the formation of oxides. As the AC
unit is put into service, these oxide flakes dislodge and can become trapped in the TXV or metering orifice, leading to premature compressor failure. Manufacturers may not honor a warranty if the compressor failure is a result of improper brazing procedure.
A nitrogen regulator/cylinder system, utilizing a lightweight aluminum cylinder is a state of the art regulator with an integrated cylinder valve. It is designed specifically for the HVAC industry, for nitrogen purging AC line sets prior to brazing and leak checking AC line sets after brazing. It offers safety, savings, convenience, and consistency over the current nitrogen purging set-up. The HVAC OEMs, as well as the recognized industry training
authorities, specify the use of nitrogen to purge refrigeration and AC line sets prior to and during brazing. This important step is often omitted during the installation process of an HVAC system.
The purpose of the nitrogen is to displace any oxygen in the lines and minimize the formation of oxides. As the AC unit is put into service, these oxide flakes dislodge and can become trapped in the TXV or metering orifice, leading to premature compressor failure.
The nitrogen gas regulator
The pressure reducing valve reduces the pressure of the gas in the cylinder which has the value desired by the user. Depending on the gas and applications for utilization, the gearbox can be built in various forms and with various features that meet criteria that must be fulfilled. Generally, gearbox has a pressure gauge that indicates the pressure in the cylinder or installation and a gauge indicating the pressure adjusted (used) output, but constructively to meet many other types of gearboxes.
Reducer must function correctly indicating the actual pressure value.
The pressure reducing valve may be used only for the type of gas for which it was designed. During use, the gear must not have glitches pressure or set pressure variations. For applications such as laboratories or gas installations, where the conditions imposed are strict about a number of pressure reducers are built special pressure can be adjusted to very strict. The following table presents the main types of the pressure reducing valves and their types of threaded connection.
What your choice should be based on when you want to purchase a nitrogen regulator:
1. Perfectly safe with a central micro-filter
As a major contributor to the increase in operating safety, the filter was centrally placed before the regulator mechanism. This means that all moving parts have maximum protection against particles such as rust and dust from the abrasion thread (patented innovation).
2. Complete control
Excellent visibility of the gauges. The figures are arranged in a vertical network – horizontal. For values greater than the maximum working pressure, gauges are colored.
3. Simple operation. No cross threads. No other fuss
By using a one-way wear-resistant shaft, which moves with rotation (only in the necessary direction), threads and cross-flections are completely eliminated. In addition, shut-off valve does not need the stuffing box, which simplifies maintenance.
4. Limiting pressure output dual insurance
First, by using a pressure relief valve and, secondly, by using a mechanical locking device. The maximum pressure is limited by a mechanical locking mechanism. The outlet pressure can be adjusted precisely. This mechanism prevents the output pressure adjusted to be greater than the pressure of the pressure release valve.
5. Modern handling
The special shape of the handles is the result of the latest findings of ergonomics.
Choose the best nitrogen regulator for optimal results:
1. 30 Series Gas Regulator 450 psi, 2″, Nitrogen
I think this Miller Electric nitrogen regulator will last for a few years because it still works well as new. It’s rated at plus/minus 2% accuracy of gauge reading but is just a simple single-stage design so not as consistently accurate as an actual complex flow meter outfit would be relative to changes in tank pressure. Even so, I find that it is excellent for things like purging coils and line sets, leak check/pressure tests and for trickling nitrogen during brazing. It’s compact, so I just leave it connected to the nitrogen tank. It also came with a 1/4″ flare fitting already installed, so was basically ready for me to connect a hose and start using right out of the box.
If you shop around, you’ll find that some other brands of similar regulators can get extremely pricey, so I think this Miller Electric was an excellent value considering its price. It has worked out very well for me so I would have no issue recommending it to someone looking for a simple and reasonably priced nitrogen regulator setup. I looked at many nitrogen regulators and this one had the best features. For purging an AC system you can throttle it down to a 1-2 psi setting and will hold that value. It also works pretty great for high-pressure testing.
2. Smith 825-0009 Nitrogen Ultra High Pressure Purging Regulator 2,000 P
This is the best nitrogen pressure regulator, in my opinion. This type of nitrogen regulator from Smith is designed to control high pressures from a wide variety of non-corrosive inert gasses. Typical applications for this regulator include calibration kits, purging and charging, high-pressure testing, R&D laboratories, chemical plants and manufacturing processes. The piston sensor design provides structural reliability for high-pressure use. Low torque control adjusting screw permits easy adjustment of pressures in closed or dead end systems.
3. Uniweld 40040 Nitrogen Sludge Sucker and Blaster Kit with Metal Carrying Stand for 40 Cubic Feet Nitrogen Tank Regulator
Uniweld 40040 Nitrogen Sludge Sucker & Blaster Kit (Max. Delivery Pressure 400 PSI) Nitrogen Tank Nitrogen is a dry inert gas with multiple uses in the HVAC/R industry. The Nitrogen Sludge Sucker & Blaster Kit was specifically designed for the following applications: purging copper lines with low pressure nitrogen which displaces the oxygen, preventing oxidation and the resulting scale. Scale left inside the tubing can cause blockage within the TXV Valve and other A/C system components. Pressure testing a system for leaks prior to pulling a vacuum and charging the system with refrigerant will save time and money. Cleaning a condensate drain line is easy with the use of a Sludge Sucker or Sludge Blaster The Sludge Sucker is a tool that was developed to clean out a condensate drain line without having to access the drain pan located in the A/C System’s Air Handler. The Sludge Sucker’s clear vinyl hose is attached to the 3/4-Inch PVC condensate drain line on the outside of the building. With the use of Nitrogen, CO2 or water suction is created that pulls all the sludge and algae from the drain pan and drain line; then blows it onto the ground outside. The Sludge Blaster is inserted into the drain line, having the pipe capacity of 3/4-Inch to 1-Inch and expands inside the pipe with the use of nitrogen pressure blasts the sludge and algae free.
4. Thermadyne Firepower 0781-9726 FSH4-1500-580 High-Pressure Regulator
Great nitrogen regulator for servicing aircraft struts. I also bought this to have another regulator at a second business location and it is identical to the other one I have had for about 20 years. They will give trouble free operation for many years. The pressure adjustment is smooth and they are well constructed. It has an amazing price, the shipping is quite quick and it is, generally, a good unit. I use to for general aviation struts and stuff. The price is perfect, because normally these units go for $800 in Canada. This was a nice purchase, in my opinion. I am gladly recommending this due to its good quality and the fact that it maintains pressure settings very well.
5. Victor Technologies 0781-3873 HSR-2570 Medium Duty Flow Meter Cylinder Argon/Carbon Dioxide Mix/Helium Regulator with 3 Gas Calibration, 5-50 SCFH Flow Range
Victor offers a range of products for the delivery of shielding gas in the arc welding process or any application where gas flow rates, versus delivery pressure, are the primary consideration. Single stage, medium duty regulator/flow meter combination series is a compact unit for the accurate regulation and measurement of gas flow. For use with MIG/TIG applications. Designed to monitor two separate processes or gas flows, to offer convenience for the maintenance and fabrication industries.
As a conclusion, your choice should be made according to the criteria I have researched and concluded in this article. I really think it is a big decision to be made because it involves the safety of your home. Do not rush and take a moment to analyze everything so you can be satisfied with the results. If there is something I omitted or you have other suggestions regarding another brand for a nitrogen regulator, I really would like to know about them. So, let me a comment in the section down below, so we can all learn everything together. Thank you for reading and let me know what you think!