# Co2 regulator pressure vs flow

I'm researching on buying a pressure regulator to put on a co2 bottle. Now I'm finding "flow regulators" (I guess for aquarium) that give the output in litre/min. I am now wondering if it is technically the same to one that states the output in bar or psi. And if yes, can I just replace the manometer or is there a conversion formular from litre/min to bar?

Edit: Because there might be different types, here an example of what I mean: Amazon Link

## 1 Answer

A flow regulator and a pressure regulator are entirely different things.

In general, a flow regulator consists of an adjustable constriction that limits the flow of a gas (or liquid, as the case may be) through an adjustable constriction. Usually a flow regulator requires a constant input pressure (unless it is preceded with a pressure regulator).

A pressure regulator essentially consists of a spring-loaded membrane that regulates the inflow on the high pressure end in order to maintain a constant pressure at the low pressure end, even if the input pressure varies (which it will).

CO2 in a cylinder is compressed, not liquid (as opposed to butane or propane). That means that the pressure at which the cylinder is filled will gradually diminish and eventually reaches ambient pressure as the gas is consumed.

The filling pressure of a CO2 cylinder can easily be 55 bar (about 800 psi) or more, while the pressure you need to dispense beer from a keg is typically around 2 bar (30 psi). Such pressure is not something to be taken lightly.

Don't try to economize or roll you own here. Simply get a CO2 pressure regulator for beer dispensing. Any other option is unsafe and must be advised against in the strongest possible terms.

• Thanks! What's still unclear to me: The linked item looks like a pressure regulator but has a gauge with the unit "l/min". So, is it actually a pressure regulator, pretending to be a flow regulator? Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 11:29
• L/min is flow, not pressure. So this gauge presumably indicates flow. Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 15:05