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Old 04-11-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default How to fix a leaky keg?

I just bought my first kegging setup from LHBS. Ball-lock with regulator and hoses and a set of new O-rings.

I broke the keg down, replaced all the O-rings like it said to.

Put a batch of beer in it, pressurized to 10psi. Tried to shake it a bit and noticed some liquid coming out of the IN valve. When I stopped shaking it didn't seem to leak anymore. I'm no expert but it seemed like the hose didn't have very tight connection with the valve?

I took a pair of vice grips and tightened both valves as tight as I could.

Then I pressurized and let it sit 24 hours in my kegerator. Next day I try some and it's totally flat and my tank is mostly empty!

What the hell! Did I buy a bad keg or what? Do I need to replace the poppets?

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:11 PM   #2
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You could start with the poppets, but if you have the CO2 connected to the in valve the pressure shouldn't allow liquid to come out of it. If the CO2 isn't connected and you have liquid coming out then you definitely need to replace the poppets. You may want to check the relive valve to make sure it isn't leaking as well.

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:13 PM   #3
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Some CO2 may have escaped from your in valve but most of it probably dissolved into solution. I use the connect and wait method to carbonate so my kegs sit for 2 weeks or so at serving pressure in the kegerator. The whole time CO2 is dissolving to form an equilibrium. After a day or two my beer would still be flat too. Many people force carbonate in a few days but they also leave the CO2 connected I think.

A leaky in valve is not a bad thing if the CO2 is always connected.

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Old 04-11-2013, 05:16 PM   #4
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I think he means that his CO2 tank is almost empty which would indicate a leak. When I built my kegging setup, I put some dish soap and warm water in a sprayer and checked every single fitting for a leak. You will see a leak right away if there is one.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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Yeah, that's what I meant. My 10# CO2 tank was almost empty.

I connected the CO2, pressurized to 10 psi, left it connected and started rocking the keg back and forth. That's when the liquid started leaking out of the IN valve. So I disconnected and tightened both valves.

Then I left the CO2 connected at 10 psi and put the whole setup in my kegerator (with the CO2 connected and on). The next day the tank was almost emtpy.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:29 PM   #6
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I would start wth the poppets and relief valve. For what it is worth, I first pressurized my kegs to about 25psi to set the lid o-ring. It has helped me eliminate some small leaks.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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Also, if you are determining the tank as "almost empty" by looking at an indicator gauge, its going to show much lower after you have put the tank in the fridge and it cools off. Take the tank back out of the fridge, let it warm up, and see what the gauge says. +1 also on initially pressurizing at 25-30 psi. I have 1 pin lock that the lid is a little wonky on, and it won't set at anything under 30. Once its set, its fine at lower pressures.

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Old 04-11-2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk0 View Post
I connected the CO2, pressurized to 10 psi, left it connected and started rocking the keg back and forth. That's when the liquid started leaking out of the IN valve.
This does not making any sense. If you have your CO2 disconnect correctly seated on the "in" post (I'm not sure what you are referring to by "valve," but assume you mean "post") with 10psi, I can't see how beer could escape through the gas post. Is it leaking at the base of the gas post where the post seats against the keg itself?
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bk0 View Post
I just bought my first kegging setup from LHBS. Ball-lock with regulator and hoses and a set of new O-rings.

I broke the keg down, replaced all the O-rings like it said to.

Put a batch of beer in it, pressurized to 10psi. Tried to shake it a bit and noticed some liquid coming out of the IN valve. When I stopped shaking it didn't seem to leak anymore. I'm no expert but it seemed like the hose didn't have very tight connection with the valve?

I took a pair of vice grips and tightened both valves as tight as I could.

Then I pressurized and let it sit 24 hours in my kegerator. Next day I try some and it's totally flat and my tank is mostly empty!

What the hell! Did I buy a bad keg or what? Do I need to replace the poppets?
I think it would help if you were a little more specific. There aren't any parts called "valves" on a ball lock keg. There are dip tubes, posts, poppets, quick disconnects, barbs, swivel nuts/MFL fittings, etc. and there are numerous o-rings and washers. So it would help to know exactly what you're talking about, and feel free to post some pictures. Is your quick disconnect threaded or does it have a barb?

This should help to start things off. In the meantime, a couple questions:

1) Did you use keg lube on the o-rings?

2) When you said you tightened the "valves" with vice grips, what exactly are you talking about? You tightened the post? You tightened MFL fittings? You tightened worm-drive screw clamps?

3) Exactly where was the beer leaking around the "in" side? Under the post? Around the poppet? Around a tube on a barb? Through a swivel nut/MFL connection? Was this with the quick disconnect attached or not? A picture might help.

4) As posted above, how are you determining that your CO2 tank is almost empty?
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #10
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I completely misunderstood, I went off on a tangent when I saw flat beer.

Star San in a spray bottle is a good way to find leaks. I would look for leaks at the regulator to bottle interface. Even a small leak on the high pressure side can deplete your bottle pretty quickly.

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