Setting up my closed loop extractor for first time?

Hi, I am new to closed loop systems, and I have just purchased a 90g cle from ebay. I bought a pressure gauge, yellow tape, jic hoses, a solvent recovery tank, r600 isobutane, and a vac pump with a manifold. I am currently having a problem getting my system to seal. I tightened all of the high pressure clamps down until the bolts squeeked like others have said and I cant keep a vacuum in my system for any longer than a couple of minutes. I do not have an air compressor, or dry ice to perform a pressure test and submerge it underwater. Should i just go buy an air compressor? Are there any tips that anyone can give me on sealing these things up? Im scared to overtighten the clamps, I dont want to bend the metal.

Another question i have been wondering is, How important is it to have a molecular sieve connected to my recovery? Will my butane be ruined after one run without using one? My goal for this week is to get this thing sealed up and to distill some butane. Thanks for any replies ahead of time! :smiley:

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Did you hand tighten the bolts? Use a cordless impact as long as there’s no butane loose in your environment. If the metal the extractor is made of is decent you’ll snap the heads off the bolts before you bend anything. If you snap a bolt replace them with grade 5 bolts and nuts.

How dry the material you’re running is will determine how long you can run without a molecular sieve. The drier the better.


Where did you sources this? I previously looked into it, and unless you get isobutane specifically meant for extraction, it may have a odorant added to it.

Edit: Isobutane vs Nbutane - #25 by cyclopath

There’s a thread where @cyclopath pointed this out.


You have a vice grip and a second wrench for tightening those threaded fittings?


I bought it from bvv. It was expensive but I now have more than I will ever need. It has no odor added

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Yeah I do, but I feel like I already have it tightened too much. Should the gasket be coming out of the sides? It looks like there is already significant force on the gaskets and I don’t want to destroy them

Yeah I did with two long wrenches. Are you sure it won’t bend the clamps? And will too much pressure damage these gaskets? looking at how much the gasket is sticking out it makes me think I already have it too tight, but then again I have never done this before so I have no idea lol. Thanks for the reply!

No thats not good. The gasket may be warped and doesn’t fit. This happens over time with large gaskets especially. Poor storage (bent) will cause weird shaped gaskets.

I use a brass brush to clean the ferrules (where the gasket sits) .
I use isopropyl and a towel to clean all gaskets of leaf and hash.

Tighten down the nuts evenly. A few turns on one side then the other. Then back to the original, then the other, until tight.


Awesome reply! I’ll try this as soon as I get home then get back to you on if it works.

the leak may not be your clamped gaskets on a cheap extraction rig. use a bit of pressure and check the welds and any threaded bits.


Got a pic of system? Could better point out what might need to be done if we see it

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No I do not unfortunately. Not sure how to upload one either

When you are commenting, the little icon in the bottom right is the upload button:

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Check all of your NPT fittings and make sure you have enough tape on them. Don’t use it on your jic fittings. If you have a way to add pressure to your system, make a soapy water mixture and spray it on all of the clamps, guages, valves and any connection points. If you see bubbles coming out, that’s your leak.



Don’t listen to that I would not use vise grips and do not register those down do not use vise grips do not wrench down on your system take it all apart start from the base clean all your seals check all your rings make sure there’s nothing in between where the seal sits in the ring the tri-clamp piece were talkin about reset your system from the bottom up take your time how do you say socket wrench you don’t want the gasket to squeeze out but snug


Definitely could be shity welds if you’re going to buy anything I suggest bestvaluevac open source Steel theres a gentleman on here I forget his name very informative


How many times did you wrap the threads with the thread tape?

I recommend a simple tool like this for your setup. The CLS I run is much bigger and I’m sure runs through more pressure than your system and I only use 30lbs of tourque. Try that and you should be fine. Won’t damage your gaskets and will prevent wear and tear as to you just thightening the shit out of it. I like to evenly hand tighten then finish up with the tool.


Make sure to check the specs for your particular setup you might need more or less tourque.