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Old 09-04-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
Skullduggery65
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Default CO2 Leak

So I just finished kegging my 2nd beer, and went to hook it up when I realized the gauge on the regulator indicated my CO2 was very low. I just had my CO2 filled last week and this is a brand new keg connection system (2 keg system).

My first question, is my beer going to go bad since I'm not sure if I'm able to adequately purge the oxygen in the headspace on it? It's almost 8PM at night and there's no where to go to get my CO2 refilled at this point. I'll have to do it first thing in the morning. I did put as much CO2 as I could in the keg and lifted the pressure relief valve and purged what I could, but was only able to do this a few times before I could not purge anymore.

And the 2nd question... trying to find the leak. I will use the soap/water method once I have the CO2 refilled, I tried using Starsan to check for leaks the first time around, but I'm not sure I was checking the right places or the most likely leak points. I did not use keg lube on my first beer I kegged last week, and my other concern is that I took the posts off the keg to sanitize and didn't exactly know what I was doing - just went off some images posted online. I may have screwed up, this is all new to me.

Any help would be most appreciated.

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Old 09-05-2012, 04:40 AM   #2
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The beer will be fine as long as the keg is closed up. There isn't that much head space if you put five gallons in the keg - a couple of liters of CO2 would be plenty to flush most of the oxygen out, and it's not going to be sitting long without a new gas supply, yes?

Anyway...if these are "new to you" kegs, did they come with freshly replaced O-rings - or did you replace them yourself? If they're the original rings, you should replace them, and while you're at that, hit them with some keg lube.

Beyond that, definitely need to hook everything up and start spraying for leaks. Start at the output of the regulator and hit every fitting, manifold and coupler, and spray around the lid O-ring. And try to make a foamy mess around the bottom of the QDs, then give them a gentle wiggle to see if you can cause a leak. Worn/damaged/undersized post O-rings are likely to leak, perhaps only when the gas line is cocked "just so" when you shove everything into your keggerator/keezer and close the door...

Cheers!

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:16 AM   #3
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I'll just add: are you sure you're losing CO2? The tank pressure will drop to 600 psi or so if it's in a 40 degree fridge. Depending on your gauge that might be approaching the red "danger" zone.

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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My fridge should be around 35 degrees but the CO2 tank feels pretty light now, when I adjust the screw on the regulator to adjust the PSI it's unable to do so and if I hit the pressure relief on the tank it sounds like much of nothing is coming out anymore

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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Your tank is most likely empty. I have had two regulators now and both leak through the weep hole on the face of the regulator by the adjustment screw. I just leave the tank off most of the day.

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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So I think I found the problem. I forgot to install the nylon washer between tank and regulator. That was pretty stupid, but I'm not sure if the instructions indicated it needed to be done - so in typical noob fashion, I ignored the washer that was ziptied to the regulator... D'oh!

I've put a new tank of CO2 on, and did the soap/water spray test on all connections and I don't see any bubbles. Does anyone have a picture of what a leak looks like during the soap/water test? I just want to make sure I didn't miss anything. It's hard to check on my tank because it's sitting on the hump and I need to move both kegs to access it, which is partially why I didn't see it was getting low last time. This time around, I'll check every few hours. Wish me luck.

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Old 09-05-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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Disconnect the gas from the kegs and charge the system to 30psi and then listen. IF there are any leaks, charging the system to a high pressure (like 30psi) will have them screaming at you. I do this whenever I change my kegging gas setup. It's a quick way to discover any leaks. I wouldn't charge the system to a high pressure with kegs connected. Mostly because you'll then need to vent the kegs and re-equalize the pressure for carbonating/serving them.

If you spray the posts on the kegs (with StarSan solution) you'll also see small bubbles forming if there's a leak. It might be slow forming, but over 10-15 seconds, you'll see them.

As for your CO2 tank and washer there. If the tank can accept one of the perm ones, I'd install that. I've placed them onto all the CO2 tanks I have that will accept them. Means I don't need to worry about having a washer between them, since it's always on the tank. Since I get the tanks refilled, I worry even less (I get the same tank back, with the washer/spacer intact).

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skullduggery65
So I think I found the problem. I forgot to install the nylon washer between tank and regulator. That was pretty stupid, but I'm not sure if the instructions indicated it needed to be done - so in typical noob fashion, I ignored the washer that was ziptied to the regulator... D'oh!

I've put a new tank of CO2 on, and did the soap/water spray test on all connections and I don't see any bubbles. Does anyone have a picture of what a leak looks like during the soap/water test? I just want to make sure I didn't miss anything. It's hard to check on my tank because it's sitting on the hump and I need to move both kegs to access it, which is partially why I didn't see it was getting low last time. This time around, I'll check every few hours. Wish me luck.
Take the whole set up out of the fridge minus kegs and fluid lines and submerge under pressure in a sink, bucket, or bath tub of water. This will identify all leaks not just higher flow leaks that soap finds. My weep holes leak a bubble every 10 seconds at 10psi so soap wouldnt show it
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Old 09-06-2012, 03:16 AM   #9
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+1 for submerging your set up. I was going through 5lb tanks much much faster than I'd anticipated but wasn't able to find any leaks using the star san or soapy water spray tests. After getting totally frustrated I started submerging parts of my gas system and found a leaky ballvalve on my C02 manifold / distribution block. Wish I'd done this test sooner. Nothing showed up that I could see with the spray test but getting it under water it sure became obvious quickly.

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squintyjay View Post
.......After getting totally frustrated I started submerging parts of my gas system and found a leaky ballvalve on my C02 manifold / distribution block........
This is what worries me. I just came back from having my tank refilled (again). I recently bought a 4 way distributor with 1/4" MFL check valves. If it is a bad valve, do you have to send the whole distributor back or can you just add another ball valve to it? I got mine from Keg Connection.



Good thing is, the dealer let me exchange my 5 pounder for a larger co2 tank.
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