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-   -   Help Me Seal A Weldless Hole Too Big (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/help-me-seal-weldless-hole-too-big-254884/)

TheBrewBros 07-04-2011 12:46 AM

Help Me Seal A Weldless Hole Too Big
I'm building my electric brewery according to Kal's specs. Well, like an idiot, I drilled my hole (only one so far) to 7/8" instead of 13/16". Now, I don't get a lot of leakage, but I do get some. I have my coupler on the inside, a washer, the kettle, the silicon o-ring with a washer around it, and the locknut followed by the ball valve. I get a drip every 20+ seconds or so, so it's not a big deal...but it pisses me off.

I really want to avoid adding silicon sealant to the setup, since that eliminates my ability to clean everything. My taping of the threads is sufficient, so that's not the issue. Any other suggestions would be helpful. I tried a smaller o-ring with now luck.

Thanks folks!

badmajon 07-04-2011 12:59 AM

I know this isn't the answer you want to hear but I would buy a welded fitting and take it to someone (or a business) with a TIG welder to fix the problem. They could fill in any excess space so its not a big deal.

Barring that, I'd just pile on the silicon rings. Try a small one combined with a big one, then with a big ass stainless washer behind it and the bulkhead to give it some even compression.

The moral of the story is to learn from your mistakes. :(

Bobby_M 07-04-2011 03:24 AM

Your problem is most likely due to the washer on the outside between the gasket and the nut. Make it so that the gasket is sandwiched between the locknut and kettle wall.

TheBrewBros 07-04-2011 06:09 AM

Two questions.

1) Bobby, are you saying just try and remove the outer washer altogether? I know my method is the Blichmann style, which may be why it doesn't work for sanke kegs. I was scared of overtightening on the o-ring.

2) if all else fails, can I have the hole welded shut and redrill the new steel a tiny bit smaller?

I really didn't think 1/16" would make that big of a difference…

TheBrewBros 07-04-2011 06:10 AM

btw Bobby, your sight glasses all installed flawlessly and leak free in under 25 minutes. Thanks!

Lechien 07-04-2011 01:17 PM


Originally Posted by TheBrewBros (Post 3058470)
Two questions.

2) if all else fails, can I have the hole welded shut and redrill the new steel a tiny bit smaller?

If you wind up need welding done get a coupling welded in the hole like mentioned in a above post.

Bobby_M 07-04-2011 03:06 PM

Ok, so your outside washer actually fits over the oring? I suppose it's possible that the curvature of the keg requires that the gasket get a bit more crushed than the washer is allowing. I'd give it a try without the washer to test the theory.

TheBrewBros 07-06-2011 09:06 PM

Ok, upon closer examination, it appears the water is leaking from between the ball valve and the lock nut...I taped my threads really well...any other cause for a leak in that location?

TheBrewBros 07-06-2011 09:55 PM

Ok, I got it fixed. I had previously tried taking the outside washer out, but that hadn't worked, so I put it back in. But when I saw the leak coming from the locknut/ball valve, I knew something was up. So, I determined that there weren't enough threads on the 1" threaded nipple for the ball valve to adequately grab onto. I removed the outside washer (the channeled locknut held the o-ring just fine) and retightened everything with some new teflon tape. This time, with that 1 1/2 extra threads I gained, it held tight, not a single leak!

So, bottom line: when following Kal's or anyone else's instructions, make sure the vessel you're using is the same as theirs. I never stopped to think that maybe my sanke keg is a little thicker than Kal's Blichmann pots...

Lesson learned!

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