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Old 07-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
scottvin
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Default Do I have a gas leak?

Do I have a leak?

I have my C02 tank in the fridge along with the kegs. When I open the lid to my fridge, I am smelling (or feeling) that sensation you get when you open your primary fermenter for the first time. The burning sensation - which I asusme is C02. The keg has been hooked up to the C02 for 14 days. If I turn the C02 valve off, then turn it back on in the morning, I hear the gas rushing into the keg for about 15 seconds. Is this normal?

How tight should I screw the poppets on? I tried to test it with spraying starsan on all the contact points put I didn't see any bubbles. Any ideas? Thanks!

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Old 07-09-2012, 04:55 PM   #2
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Hi

Indeed you probably have some CO2 leaking somewhere.

On most kegs, the poppets / posts are screwed down *very* tight. How tight? - you need an impact wrench to get them off tight. I don't think they have any need to be that tight, but that's how it's commonly done. You certailly can't over tighten them with a normal little wrench.

Things to check:

1) Tubing to barbs - do you have tight seals on all of them? You should not be able to twist the tube if the hose clamp is tight enough.

2) MFL's to manafolds (if you have them) - same thing with a twist check. You should not be able to rotate the barb portion.

3) Beer nuts to fittings (if you have them) - again same test.

4) Posts and washers on corny's- usually easyest to check with soapy water. CO2 side will blow bubbles, liquid out problems will leave a puddle before you will notice the CO2.

5) Main fitting on the CO2 tank to the regulator - more soapy water.

Past that, you get into things like - do the kegs hold pressure? Pressure relief valves on Corny's are a prime suspect - soapy water time for that. Corny lids can leak if not seated (more soapy water).

There are lots more posibilites, but I'd bet you'll find the problem somewhere on the list above.

A real quick and dirty system test:

Shut off the main valve to the CO2 tank, leaving everything else on. Watch the high pressure gauge (the one that's reading 800 to 1,000 psi). It should stay at that pressure for quite a while. If it drops quickly (minutes) you indeed have a leak or the beer is soaking up CO2.

Lots of fun.

Bob

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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Well, I only hand tightened the poppets/post so I imagine that could be part of the problem but I will go through the checklist as well.

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Old 07-10-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
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Alright, so I sprayed all connections with starsan and didn't see any bubbles. I then got a soapy rag with dish detergent and found a little bubble on the air post where is connects to the keg. I will try tightening that down tonight. Because the leak is very small, I wouldn't necessarily hear the has going into the keg from the tank, correct?

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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If you close the CO2 tank valve, but leave the regulator open to the kegs, that should keep the low pressure reading right? and the High/Tank pressure reading will slowly drop as the little CO2 in the regulator flows through to the kegs.

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Old 07-10-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottvin View Post
Alright, so I sprayed all connections with starsan and didn't see any bubbles. I then got a soapy rag with dish detergent and found a little bubble on the air post where is connects to the keg. I will try tightening that down tonight. Because the leak is very small, I wouldn't necessarily hear the has going into the keg from the tank, correct?
Hi

A small leak is probably what you are looking for. If you have a leak at a post it could either be from tightness or from a bad o-ring. Post o-rings are cheap if you get them from McMaster Carr.

Bob
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnidelyWhiplash View Post
If you close the CO2 tank valve, but leave the regulator open to the kegs, that should keep the low pressure reading right? and the High/Tank pressure reading will slowly drop as the little CO2 in the regulator flows through to the kegs.
Hi

Right.

Bob
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:36 AM   #8
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well, I found the leak (hopefully the only one)... I have an MFL valve coming off the regulator. This picture doesn't show an MFL valve but the arrow points to the spot of the leak.

The nut wasn't tight enough - is it alright to use teflon tape at this connection?

regulator.jpg  
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottvin View Post
[...]The nut wasn't tight enough - is it alright to use teflon tape at this connection?
Never use tape on a flare fitting...

Cheers!
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:45 AM   #10
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If you don't already have one, get a spray bottle and fill it with diluted starsan. Use this for bubble testing a gas leak. The spray bottle is also a great way to sanitize.

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