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needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it matter?

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  • Bob Bourne
    The inline reflux column I m working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle valve. Can I use a 1/8 or 1/4 instead? Bob.
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 28, 2003
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      The inline reflux column I'm working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle
      valve. Can I use a 1/8 or 1/4 instead?

      Bob.
    • Mike Nixon
      Yup Mike N ... From: Bob Bourne To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 3:15 PM Subject: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 28, 2003
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        Yup
         
        Mike N
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 3:15 PM
        Subject: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it matter?

        The inline reflux column I'm working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle
        valve. Can I use a 1/8 or 1/4 instead?

        Bob.



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      • Bob Bourne
        Thanks Mike. B. ... From: Mike Nixon To: Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 1:47 PM Subject: Re:
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 28, 2003
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          Thanks Mike.

          B.
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Mike Nixon" <mike@...>
          To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 1:47 PM
          Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it
          matter?


          Yup

          Mike N
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Bob Bourne
          To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 3:15 PM
          Subject: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it
          matter?


          The inline reflux column I'm working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle
          valve. Can I use a 1/8 or 1/4 instead?

          Bob.


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        • Mike Nixon
          Give it a bit of head to work on Bob. Those small needle valve can be erratic when surface tension or a small bubble gets in the way. Mike N ... From: Bob
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 28, 2003
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            Give it a bit of head to work on Bob.  Those small needle valve can be erratic when surface tension or a small bubble gets in the way. 
             
            Mike N
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 3:51 PM
            Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it matter?

            Thanks Mike.

            B.
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Mike Nixon" <mike@...>
            To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 1:47 PM
            Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it
            matter?


            Yup

            Mike N
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Bob Bourne
              To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 3:15 PM
              Subject: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it
            matter?


              The inline reflux column I'm working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle
              valve. Can I use a 1/8 or 1/4 instead?

              Bob.


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          • Bob Bourne
            Give it a bit of head to work on Bob. Those small needle valve can be erratic when surface tension or a small bubble gets in the way. Sorry Mike, not quite
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 28, 2003
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              Give it a bit of head to work on Bob. Those small needle valve can be
              erratic when surface tension or a small bubble gets in the way.

              Sorry Mike, not quite clear on what you mean here?

              Are you saying 3/8 OK, 1/4 OK maybe, 1/8 dodgy bubble prob?!

              BB.
            • Mike Nixon
              A bit of head of liquid. Mount the needle valve so that there are a few inches of liquid above it, eg in a feed tube. This increases the pressure
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 28, 2003
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                A bit of head of liquid.  Mount the needle valve so that there are a few inches of liquid above it, eg in a feed tube.  This increases the pressure differential across the valve and that overcomes any tendency of the valve to "stick" due to surface tension or a stray bubble.  All sizes need this as when the valve is almost closed, they all offer a very small area through which liquid can pass.  The diameter of the feed tube doesn't make any difference ... it's just the distance above the valve that does.
                 
                Mike N
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 4:15 PM
                Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it matter?

                Give it a bit of head to work on Bob.  Those small needle valve can be
                erratic when surface tension or a small bubble gets in the way.

                Sorry Mike, not quite clear on what you mean here?

                Are you saying 3/8 OK, 1/4 OK maybe, 1/8 dodgy bubble prob?!

                BB.



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              • Bob Bourne
                Gotcha. Thanks Mike! BB. ... From: Mike Nixon To: Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 2:33 PM Subject: Re:
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 28, 2003
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                  Gotcha. Thanks Mike!

                  BB.
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Mike Nixon" <mike@...>
                  To: <new_distillers@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 2:33 PM
                  Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it
                  matter?


                  A bit of head of liquid. Mount the needle valve so that there are a few
                  inches of liquid above it, eg in a feed tube. This increases the pressure
                  differential across the valve and that overcomes any tendency of the valve
                  to "stick" due to surface tension or a stray bubble. All sizes need this as
                  when the valve is almost closed, they all offer a very small area through
                  which liquid can pass. The diameter of the feed tube doesn't make any
                  difference ... it's just the distance above the valve that does.

                  Mike N
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Bob Bourne
                  To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 4:15 PM
                  Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does
                  it matter?


                  Give it a bit of head to work on Bob. Those small needle valve can be
                  erratic when surface tension or a small bubble gets in the way.

                  Sorry Mike, not quite clear on what you mean here?

                  Are you saying 3/8 OK, 1/4 OK maybe, 1/8 dodgy bubble prob?!

                  BB.


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                • mwmccaw <mwmccaw@yahoo.com>
                  The size of the needle valve CAN matter - depending on how much power you are putting into the boiler. snd whether or not you wish to strip as well as rectify
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 1, 2003
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                    The size of the needle valve CAN matter - depending on how much
                    power you are putting into the boiler. snd whether or not you wish
                    to strip as well as rectify with your setup.
                    For example - a kw of power will produce somewhere between 35 and 80
                    ml/min of condensate (depending upon ABV). Check the capacity of
                    your needle valve wide open (with the same liquid head you will have
                    when installed). If the valve cannot pass as much liquid as the
                    still will produce, then it is too small!
                    There is quite a bit of variation between different needle valves of
                    the same nominal size.
                    The other difference you will see between the sizes is that the
                    bigger the valve, the touchier it is at the extreme low end of its
                    flow capability. You need to find the best compromise between
                    maximum capacity and low-end controllability.
                    Cheers,
                    Mike McCaw
                  • BOKAKOB
                    1/4 - yes 1/8 - too small if it exists Bob Bourne wrote:The inline reflux column I m working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 1, 2003
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                      1/4 - yes

                      1/8 - too small if it exists

                       Bob Bourne <bourne@...> wrote:

                      The inline reflux column I'm working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle valve. Can I use a 1/8 or 1/4 instead? Bob.


                      I can be wrong I must say.
                      Cheers, Alex...



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                    • Mike Nixon
                      BOKAKOB wrote: Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it matter? 1/4 - yes 1/8 - too small if it exists Bob Bourne
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 1, 2003
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                        BOKAKOB wrote:
                        Subject: Re: [new_distillers] needle valve size - 3/8 or 1/4 or 1/8 does it matter?

                        1/4 - yes
                        1/8 - too small if it exists
                         Bob Bourne <bourne@...> wrote:
                        The inline reflux column I'm working to (Nixon) calls for a 3/8 needle valve. Can I use a 1/8 or 1/4 instead? Bob.
                        ==================================
                        Alex is right, for the size of still most of us use, for reasons given earlier by Mike McCaw ... the size needed to be able to cope with whatever your still is capable of producing.  I had assumed that factor to be self-evident when I said that any size would serve. 
                        I personally use a 1/4" with my LM rig (the 1/4" needle valve is a common item for gas fittings here) and find it works very well.  However, I do not use that rig for stripping, so the valve only has to be able to cope, at the most, with 20% of the total that the boiler/column/condenser produces.  A 1/8" needle valve is getting pretty small, but would work fine for a small, low power rig. 
                         
                        Mike M's rule of thumb should help you decide on the maximum flow rate you can expect: "a kw of power will produce somewhere between 35 and 80 ml/min of condensate (depending upon ABV)"  Use those figures if using the rig for stripping as well as purification, but divide by 5 (7 and 16 ml/min/kw) if the rig is used for purification only. 
                         
                        His advice about control of small flows should then help you decide on the best size for your purposes: "the bigger the valve, the touchier it is at the extreme low end of its flow capability", so use the smallest valve you can get that can cope with the maximum flow rate you expect.
                         
                        Fot the best of both worlds, use a T-junction and mount a large needle valve in the bottom line and a small one in the side line.  The procedure to use with this arrangement should be obvious.
                         
                        Mike N
                         
                         
                        Mike N
                         
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