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Old 04-28-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
J2W2
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Default I need advice on a CO2 leak

Hi,

I started kegging this year. I have a new 5lb CO2 tank, new regulator and two reconditioned pin-lock kegs. I actually ordered this equipment during a sale last summer, and the two kegs arrived pressurized and remained that way until December when I took them apart, cleaned them and replaced the o-rings. I filled my first keg on January 6 and my second on March 1.

Everything has been going great until I went to get a beer out of the second keg last night. I pulled the tap handle and - nothing! I opened the kegorator to check the pressure (my CO2 tank and regulator sit inside my kegorator) and all three gauges are on zero. I tried the tap for the first keg and it works, although the beer is foamier than usual. I checked the second keg using the pressure relief valve and there is no pressure in it.

I had beer out of both kegs last week, so I lost the last of the CO2 sometime since. I believe the problem must be a slow leak somewhere in the second keg since the first keg is holding pressure. It has to be a small leak since it took almost two months to drain my CO2.

I need your advice on figuring out where the problem is. I sprayed soapy water on the regulator and the kegs when I first set them up and everything seemed OK. As I mentioned, all the o-rings are new and I used keg lube on them.

I plan to at least take the second keg apart, sanitize everything again, put new keg lube on and make sure everything is sealing properly. I think I'll also pressurize the second keg up to 15psi or so, then turn the regulator off for that keg and make sure it holds the pressure for a week or two. The last thing I want to do is drain my CO2 tank again!

Would it be worth purchasing new poppets and/or posts for the keg? Is it possible on pin-lock kegs to get a bad seal on the gas line? Are there any tricks to make sure the gas and liquid lines are properly attached? Is there anything else that I should be checking?

Thanks as always for your help!

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Old 04-28-2013, 03:26 PM   #2
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The most common issue on pinlocks is the wrong gaskets. Most suppliers sell a Generic corny o ring "kit", but pin
locks use slightly larger o rings on the posts than ball lock kegs. Most of the time the ball lock post o rings stretch over the pin lock posts and seal fine, but sometimes they don't. Make sure you got the proper post o rings for pinlocks. Also if you have both disconnects hooked up, even a bad poppet won't matter since it's open anyway. The other issue could be the integrated pressure release valve in the lid. It can leak from there as well.

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Old 05-04-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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Hi,

I just wanted to provide follow-up on this issue, as I finally had time to work with it today. My 5lb tank is full again, and I attached the regulator and sprayed everything down with soapy water. I even went as far as pressurizing the lines and putting the connectors in water to make sure they weren't leaking.

I got everything set up again and pressurized the keg in question. I immediately heard a "sizzling" sound from it, so I pulled it out to look at it. I spray StarSan into the connectors before I hook them up, and some had ran down around the gas post. It was leaking bad enough to cause the sizzle I heard. I took the post off, threw it in some StarSan for a while, then put more keg lube on all the o-rings and made sure it was nice and tight.

So far so good - hopefully this has solved my issue. I did pressurize the keg to 12psi and then turned off the gas. The regulator dial still shows the keg pressure, so I'm just going to monitor it to make sure it doesn't drop to zero again. I'm guessing the pressure will drop some as the beer absorbs the CO2, but it should still hold pressure.

Hopefully this can save someone a tank of CO2 sometime!

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Old 05-04-2013, 11:41 PM   #4
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You can turn it up to 30 psi to find leaks faster.

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:00 AM   #5
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I would refer back to the post by Jrems noting the fairly common practice of using ball lock post O-rings on pin-lock keg posts. They will not be reliable, even after gooping them up with keg lube.

If you lose gas by rocking a pin lock QD, you have a problem that will cost way more in lost CO2 than a hundred O-rings of the right size. There is a sticky thread that I believe has the Mcmaster-Carr part numbers for the proper size O-rings for pin-locks...

Cheers!

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Old 05-05-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grathan
You can turn it up to 30 psi to find leaks faster.
This, also make sure you hit the kegs with a blast of 30 psi (or higher) to seat the lid, then dial it down to serving pressure after.
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