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Old 04-17-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
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Default Solder versus weldless bulk head

I just aquired a sanke keg, and want to install a valve on the bottom. Does anyone have any opinion on solder versus weldless? I have used the weldless kit from bargain fittings in the past, and it works well. I was just wondering if there were any pros/cons anyone is aware of.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 04-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #2
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If all applications are applied ideally (key word there):

Weld
Solder
Weldless

The problem is, there is a very good chance that both welding and soldering are done in a sub par manner and in that case, a well executed weldless install may likely be the best route.

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Old 04-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #3
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Thanks Bobby! I have never tried soldered stainless, but I have installed weldless with no problems. I have sweated copper, and sterling silver, but not stainless.

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Old 04-17-2013, 03:57 PM   #4
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I would agree with Bobby. I've seen so many butchered weld jobs it's not even funny. About 2 years ago we tried silver soldering our couplers on. About half ended up leaking and had to be shipped back (lost A LOT of money). My opinion of soldering is it's junk. A weldless kit from Bobby will work well. Drilling through a keg can be a PITA though.

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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Soldering a coupling to the thin edge of a vessel sidewall would absolutely be junk (not sure if you tried dimpling the hole or not) but I would easily stand by weld spud or other broad faced connections. You can't hammer or pry such things apart.

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Old 04-17-2013, 08:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Soldering a coupling to the thin edge of a vessel sidewall would absolutely be junk (not sure if you tried dimpling the hole or not) but I would easily stand by weld spud or other broad faced connections. You can't hammer or pry such things apart.
We dimpled and still wouldn't hold. My brother used to work for a large company that makes brazing and soldering supplies and we still couldn't get a solid product. Haven't tried the spud but I could see that working MUCH better
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:49 PM   #7
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I put a 1/2" NPT spud into the side of of a 1/4 barrel keg with solder and was able to stand on a 6" nipple threaded into it. My hefty ass did bend the wall of the keg, but no effect on the spud.

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Old 04-17-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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I initially went with weldless fittings. They worked well but I didn't like the way they were easy to twist and move.

I then had three welded fittings installed. They were expensive and tough to find someone local that could do it.

After reading some DIY threads I replaced the remaining weldless fittings with dimpled/soldered couplings. All of the fittings are solidly attached and it was pretty easy after reading some DIY theads.

Here are the threads I used.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/sold...-steel-155782/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/4-87-keg-tool-402677/

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Old 04-19-2013, 04:49 PM   #10
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The challenge with weldless fittings is that there is a huge variance in each vendor's design. Many are horrible designs. Sorry, that's not competitive slander but just the truth. The other issue is that every well designed bulkhead will also still have different ideal install techniques and unfortunately the end user doesn't always have the best mechanical ability or the right set of tools to really crank on the fittings. Long story short, if a weldless bulkhead is well designed and installed, there should be no shimmy or flex at all.

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