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Old 01-17-2013, 11:02 PM   #11
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I think you DO have a leak. My 5 LBS CO2 tank usually lasts me for about two months if I pressurize beers from the tank or 3 to 6 months if I use only naturally primed and carbonated kegs. I used to have leaks but they stopped after I put all new O'rings and seals on all my kegs and started using the keg lube. USE the KEG LUBE.
BTW, $41 to fill a 5 lbs CO2 tank is ridiculously expensive. I pay $11 a tank. Find a new place to fill your tank.

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Check it with some soapy water or spritzing with StarSan can work.
That's a good idea.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:07 PM   #12
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Also if the tank is filled by someone who has no clue (like most places that sell beer) they do not fill it correctly. The best place to have one filled is a welding shop or a gas supplier like air gas etc. The reason is the tank should not be hot when filling and should really be purged first. The beer places do not weigh it and you almost always end up with just the gas and not the liquid so it does not last nearly as long.

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:21 PM   #13
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I had my tank filled at Praxair...it was the first time it was filled, don't know if that makes a difference in the cost but I agree $41 is expensive. I will check around.

I think I just found a small leak around the poppet on the gas in line on the first keg I tapped. I checked the 2nd keg first thinking that's where the problem would lie but could find not find anything. I disconnected the gas line and checked the gas post as well. I then checked the 1st keg and found at the top of the poppet for the gas there was a very subtle bubbling...very small, hardly noticeable at a glance but was definitely there and different from the other keg, and when I relieved all the pressure from the keg it stopped. I had another spare poppet, not new, which I put on and pressurized the keg to 20psi and there was no bubbling.

So does I sound like I might have caught the culprit? Over the course of all this my regulator now reads just shy of the 400 mark...slightly lower again. I'm getting worried I'm running out so I think I will take it after the weekend and get it refilled, or at least check it every morning and evening to keep an eye on it.

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:45 PM   #14
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I wouldn't suspect a leaky poppet to be the problem. The poppet is going to be pushed in when it's connected to the system anyway. The leak could be somewhere in the disconnect head, around the base of one of the posts, CO2 in or liquid out, the lid seal or somwhere in the line connections or up towards the regulator. There are a lot of options, but a poppet that doesn't seal when nothing is connected to it shouldn't be causing you to lose CO2 like this.

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:32 AM   #15
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So what I did last night was turn off the gas to the kegs at the manifold to rule out leaks beyond that point. Seems the gas dropped slighly over night, I will check again after work.

When connecting the co2 tank to the regulator, is it recommended to use thread tape? I didn't but I can see it was used on all parts of the regulator. Also, when I connected the regulator there was a hard plastic white gasket/washer that I suspected went in between the reguator and the tank nozzle, which I did. Would keg lube on that help. Also, how tight should I put it? I believe I just put it tight by hand, as tight as I could but no wrenches or anything.

Part of me is starting to think that's where I might be losing the gas.

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Old 01-18-2013, 11:53 AM   #16
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Yep no lube needed on the washer but it should be tightened down snug with a wrench. I bought a large cresent wrench for that and another regular wrench that fits the keg posts. I use them a lot when cleaning kegs and switching out tanks.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLBrewer View Post
Also, how tight should I put it? I believe I just put it tight by hand, as tight as I could but no wrenches or anything.

Part of me is starting to think that's where I might be losing the gas.
You want to give it a good snug with a wrench, but don't go overboard or you'll just crush the washer. I think that this is where the leak is coming from.

No thread tape on CGA fittings (save it for NPT), and you don't need to lube the washer.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:23 PM   #18
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Thanks guys, I'll report back tonight when I check things out. Funny, when I received the parts for my kegerator there was a wrench included but I had no idea what it was for so, as it didn't seem to fit anything, I just put it aside and forgot about it. Never thought to try it on the regulator

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Old 01-18-2013, 02:03 PM   #19
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I've blown 2 20# tanks due to loose hoses - if you're using the standard 1/4" soda keg quick disconnect (QD) and a line bigger than 1/4", you may run into problems. Most gas lines i see run between 5/16 and 3/8, and the barbs on the manifolds are about the same size. Those just won't always seal correctly to a 1/4" QD barb. The more kegs you have, the bigger your problem will be.

If that could be your problem, there are two ways to fix it.

#1 - use a 1/4" air line, and heat the end you're connecting to the manifold in boiling water for 20-30 seconds. The line will get soft enough to fit on even a 5/8" barb (wear gloves - if your hand slips it'll hurt).

For illustration purposes only - flare QD: http://morebeer.com/view_product/182...Gas_In_-_Flare
1/4" nut with barb: http://morebeer.com/view_product/18264

#2 - Switch to the 1/4" flare (screw) QDs and a 1/4" nut with a 5/16" or 3/8" barb. Use the "soak in hot water" method to get your hoses on - if you have to heat up your lines to fit them on, then it's going to be really hard to get a leak once they get cold. Just make sure to use a tubing screw clamp on the end as well.

Finally, if you think you'll need o-rings in the future, check out this post from home brew finds. I ended up getting a full set of bulk rings and am very happy I did. Nothing like losing the internal o-ring in your quick disconnect (was cleaning) on kegging day and realizing "oh wait, i have 50 more!"
http://www.homebrewfinds.com/2011/08...-rings-v2.html

Hope that helps, and hopefully your problem is an easier fix. It could just be lose connections to the keg. If it's ball lock, you can pick up cheap deep sockets from an automotive place like Advance auto parts for $3-$5 a piece. Don't pay the $12.00 from a brewing store unless you have to.

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Old 01-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #20
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Well I think I found the leak, or one of the leaks, where the regulator screws onto the tank. I put some soapy water there and had a bubble form on the edge. It couldn't have been a fast leak as you really couldn't hear anything and the bubble did not pop quickly but I guess it's been a slow leak all long. Hopefully I can get through the weekend, if it stays stable I should be good! Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions, hopefully this is the end of the matter.

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