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Old 11-21-2007, 01:31 AM   #1
BeerCanuck
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Default C02 refill survey

Hi all HBT'ers
I just emptied another 5lb C02 tank today
I believe there must be some sort of leak in my system. This the third tank in under 3 months.
Just wondering if I could get HBTer to chime in on there Refill statistics;

Size of tank in lbs:
serving/force carbonation pressure:
average number of 5 gallon kegs before refill:


Thanks
BeerCanuck

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Old 11-21-2007, 01:34 AM   #2
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Size of tank in lbs: 20
serving/force carbonation pressure: 10-12
average number of 5 gallon kegs before refill: Over a year and a half's worth of beer (including force carbonating most batches). Easily well over 20 cornies. Still going strong.

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Old 11-21-2007, 02:05 AM   #3
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5 lb tank
force carb
serve at 10 psi +-
10, 5 gal kegs / tank +-

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Old 11-21-2007, 02:10 AM   #4
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To address your original lament:

Test every fitting in your system with some solution that will foam if there is a leak. I hear starsan works well for this, but so does a mild unscented dishsoap, water, and Glycerin solution.

At 15# of CO2 in 3 months, you're either running a bar, or you have a leak.

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Old 11-21-2007, 02:13 AM   #5
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5lbs tank, serving only @ 9PSI, 8 or 9 kegs so far.

I second the soap solution test, definitely sounds like you have a leak somewhere if you aren't drinking a couple kegs a week.

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Old 11-21-2007, 02:40 AM   #6
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I figured I might have a leak.
I want to approach this issue systematically.
On my second refill I tested for leaks using Star San spraying all leak points on the new Keg. I also tested potenial leak areas on my C02 input twice.

I was in my local LHBS and a guy had a similiar leak issue....pinpointing a leak is a vexxing issue.

One method I plan on using to pinpoint the leak is cranking up the pressure to 30 psi on initial hookup to force seal/test keg to hopefully identify leaks through an audible hiss.

Chances are that I have a leakey keg seal in the mix I figure.

cheers
BeerCanuck

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Old 11-21-2007, 03:38 AM   #7
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I have never used Starsan, so I don't know how well it works to find leaks, but I work in a busines where pressure testing thousands of feet of piping with hundreds of fittings is a daily fact of life. If you can't find the leak, make some of this:

8 oz unscented dishsoap
4 oz Glycerin (hardware store)
top with water to 1 gallon

mix well and put in sraybottle, apply liberally to all fittings, monitor closely for 1-5 minutes.

If the leak continues to elude you, think like the gas, you are probably missing a fitting or connection

Good Luck!

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Old 11-21-2007, 04:39 AM   #8
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star san is good for significant leaks. for slow leaks, it was still hard for me to determine with star san. the full proof method is the water dunk method. put pressurized fittings in water, and look for bubbles.

you should take the kegs out of the picture by isolating them first. you should never use a keg that you are not sure if it holds pressure or not. you need to determine that before you put beer in.

it is best if you isolate section by section. what i do is see if any part of the regulator is leaking by cutting off everything from the regulator, pressurizing the regulator, turning off the tank, and seeing if the needles drop any overnight. if they do, i need to check the regulator, and test until the needles stay in the same position, then i gradually move on to the different sections of my manifold until i have checked everything, then i check everything all together overnight to make sure i didn't miss anything. then test again with empty kegs if i feel if that is necessary.

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Old 11-21-2007, 01:48 PM   #9
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For slow leaks, commercial leak detection fluids are great. They work as well as soap solutions, but no residue to clean up. Also, they typically have a spout on the bottle that makes aiming the solution easy.

I have extra shutoff valves in my system, so I can isolate portions while testing.

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Old 11-21-2007, 03:02 PM   #10
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gnef knows!!! internal leaks on your regs can be very difficult to find with any kind of solution. Do the reg pressure test and rule that out, then move on down the line in a systematic manner and your leak will rear its ugly head

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