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-   -   More Keg questions. Can This Be Cleaned?? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/more-keg-questions-can-cleaned-214185/)

Yambor44 12-28-2010 11:36 PM

More Keg questions. Can This Be Cleaned??
I was recently cleaning my kegs using my sump pump method. I fill 2 kegs with hot Oxi-Clean, add enough water in the bottom of a plastic bin that holds both kegs then pump into the liquid post of each keg, to the bottom and out the gas post and pressure relief valve.

A GREAT way to clean two kegs at once in about 20 minutes. Until...

This final time, I was sitting in the garage minding my business and about 15 minutes in, the pump stops. Hmmmm, thats odd. I turn around to check on it and I find this yellowish, oily residue has completely contaminated my water in the bin and both kegs, dip tubes, posts and pressure relief valves.

I remove everything and rinse well and sit aside. I can still after a few weeks smell this oily (machine oil I would guess) residue inside the kegs.

I just removed the lid, pressure relief valve, posts and poppets and have it soaking in hot PBW.

Not sure if I should try and salvage or not.

Does anyone have any cleaning methods or thoughts on if the hot PBW will take care of it?

Here's a couple of shots of the yellow mess. Also, what would be inside a submersible pump that would cause this? I have been using this pump for about 2 years.




Catt22 12-29-2010 12:18 AM

The oil is most likely some type of mineral oil. It's dialectric (non-conductive) and often used in transfomers. It serves to conduct heat away from the motor for cooling and it also works to keep water from infiltrating the housing through the seals. It's nothing hazardous and the kegs can be cleaned without too much trouble. Use oxyclean or powdered automatic dishwasher detergent. I would clean and rinse repeatedly until no trace of the oil can be detected. It's likely the hot cleaning solution was the cause of the problem. The case probably expanded some which compromised the seals causing the oil to leak out. Odds are the pump is trashed and not worth repairing. I clean my kegs the easy way. I simply disassemble them removing the posts, dip tubes and O-rings, then fill the kegs with hot oxyclean solution and let soak for a few hours before rinsing well with COLD water. Never had any problems doing it this way and no pump is required.

Yambor44 12-29-2010 12:21 AM

Thanks Catt. So glad to hear that. I too have taken to cleaning my kegs the same way you mentioned. It really doesn't take much effort at all. Especially since I am only allowed to clean one keg at a time now! ;) :mug:

ultravista 12-29-2010 01:00 AM

Do you know what happened? What caused the pump to discharge oil through the line?

Catt22 12-29-2010 01:06 AM


Originally Posted by ultravista (Post 2507352)
Do you know what happened? What caused the pump to discharge oil through the line?

The seals on the pump housing leaked (probably due to the heat from the hot cleaning solution). The oil leaked out and mixed with the cleaning solution. The pump probably continued to operate for awhile sucking up the oil and water mixture and distributing it very efficiently EVERYWHERE.:D It was a submersible pump, so it was sitting in the container of cleaning solution. Now the pump is but a doorstop.

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