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Old 08-19-2013, 02:50 PM   #1
thistleglassgirl
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Default Advice on kegerator faucets?

Hope ya'll can help me understand why my faucets keep breaking...

The tower with 3 faucets was purchased with the kegerator as a package deal from beveragefactory.com almost a year ago. I didn't know much about faucet-ology and didn't think to upgrade to Perlick faucets, or stainless steel levers, so I got the basic ones with brass levers.

The first few months we poured draft beer pretty frequently, but eventually our homebrew consumption slowed and we'd only pour a glass a few times a week, sometimes even less.

The faucets began to feel very tight and it became difficult to pull them. We had issues with beer freezing and the fridge being too cold, but it was still a problem after that had been resolved. And then one day a brass lever broke, and then it happened again to a second one.

I called Beverage Factory and they told me that if I'm homebrewing, it is best to upgrade to Perlick faucets cause they don't hold as much gunk. Of course I was upset that I wasn't told to upgrade from the start and simply pay the difference, being as the system was marketed to homebrewers...So we were about to shell out $100 for three new faucets when my husband wondered if the reason they tightened up was because we stopped using them so often and they became sticky? I haven't been soaking them overnight or anything after each use; only cleaning when switching out kegs (which is every few months).

So I have two questions:

1. Could stickiness have caused the levers to break, or was this mostly a gunk issue? Would frequent cleaning have prevented this?

2. Should I replace the faucets with Perlick, or should I buy the basic faucets with stainless steel levers instead? ($35 for Perlick vs $17 for basic)

Thanks a bunch!

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Old 08-19-2013, 03:25 PM   #2
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The answer is yes to both of your questions. Regular faucets will gunk up with any beer (homebrew or not) if you aren't pouring frequently. The design leaves a little bit of beer exposed to the air, as it dries it gets sticky. And the levers will break if it sticks enough, this is a pretty common thing. Bars can get away with the cheaper faucets because they're pouring frequently and cleaning the faucets regularly.

Using the little "faucet condoms" and spraying Star San inside at the end of each drinking night can help, but with Perlick 525 faucets (or similar) the problem will go away. Sometimes I go weeks between pours with no issue.

A few people have experienced their new 525 faucets leaking, and apparently there's some recall going on. But I would still get them without hesitation, many of us use the faucets and only a very small percentage have had them leak.

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Old 08-19-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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Thanks! So how frequently would you say is necessary to clean Perlick 525s?

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Old 08-19-2013, 04:26 PM   #4
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When I swap kegs (unless I'm swapping kegs in the middle of a party) I'll remove the faucet, rinse it really well, do a PWB soak and hit it with a faucet brush. Then rinse it really well again and that's it. I've gone months in between cleanings, and you never have to take them apart. No mold or gunk ever grows in mine, and I've never had them stick. The keezer spent a summer in the garage of my family's lake house where it was hot and humid, and there were flies everywhere since all the trash was stored in the garage. I went a month without pouring and it was fine.

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:08 PM   #5
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I just cleaned mine for the first time since installing them 2 years ago. I pour maybe once a week? And i moved about a year ago and the kegerator sat unused for a few months. The 525's have never had a problem.

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thistleglassgirl View Post
Thanks! So how frequently would you say is necessary to clean Perlick 525s?
As a general rule, running something like Star San through the entire line and faucets when you change kegs is a good practice. Every few kegs, run some BLC through the line followed by Star San so that you get both cleaning *and* sanitation.

I keep a faucet brush and a pickle jar full of Star San near the kegerator. At least once a week or so I'll take the faucet brush, dip it in Star San, and use it to clean out the actual nozzle of the faucets.

BTW Perlick doesn't recommend disassembly when cleaning the faucets. So cleaning them in place is fine. And they absolutely DON'T have the sticking problem of standard faucets.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:22 PM   #7
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Get the Perlick 525SS faucets and don't look back.

I usually clean line and faucet every second keg since I replace an empty with a full one immediately. I just added the faucet nipples even though I probably didn't have to. Just being over-cautious about fruit flies.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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Venti-matics are back Chi company has them for $34.99 all stainless. They're what the Perlick 425's was copied and they seal on a block and o-ring not just the ball on the 525's which replaced them.

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