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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Pin lock vs ball lock question
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default Pin lock vs ball lock question

Yes I know that so far I've done not much else besides post questions here, and offered very little insight (although I'm pretty sure you wouldn't *want* mine yet ) but here I am again, as part of my grand learning process, asking yet another question. Hang in there with me! Anyways...

I've begun to wonder if my kegging woes are simply attributed to the type of keg I currently am using (pin locks). I've reconditioned 3 out of the 4 that I own, and after this didn't solve most of my issues (mostly gas leaks), I've gone to the LHBS and after some initial confusion, he was able to recondition 2 of them after about 45 minutes of trying different poppet valves since the ones that were currently in the posts supposedly weren't the correct ones and they were just cruddy enough to make it difficult to see what type they were (yes, yell at me for lack of cleanliness later ).

He also made me aware of the fact that I have ball lock lids on my kegs, which because of this he suggests would be the first place to check in the event of a leak. I will say however that I do have one keg that leaks on the same spot on the lid every time while <10psi, but since it's in the same spot no matter what position I put the lid on, I would assume this is more of a problem with the lip on the keg, than the wrong lid? (there isn't any debris where the o-ring seats either)

Anyways, my main question is this; since pin locks seem to come in so many varieties, and I seem to have at least 3 of these varieties (Hoover Universal, Firestone, and Cornelius Co.), would pursuing ball lock kegs be a more straightforward option? I haven't much looked into how many different types of ball lock kegs there are, or how many varieties of replacement parts there are for them (poppet valves and such), but are these any less of a pain to look up new parts for? Getting pin lock lids cost $20 apiece, which means I may as well look into investing into buying 4 more used kegs, which in this case would most certainly be ball locks.

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Old 08-09-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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my two kegs are ball lock so I dont have much insight as to which is better, however simple ? for you. If you have lid leak problems(which i did for a time as well) have you tried keg lube on the sealing surface and see if it is able to take care of the leak. This worked for me when my lid was leaking.

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Old 08-09-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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Yeah I've used a "healthy" application of keg lube to the o-ring, and after that wasn't enough, I applied some to the inside where the o-ring seats, and it seemed to help. Didn't fix it... but seems to help. I can get it to about 6-8psi now, but haven't chanced anything due to not wanting to drain my tank. I'll wait until I think of some sort of new plan.

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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Do you run cO2 into the keg AS you're seating the lid, before you clamp it down? I let the gas "push the lid into place", then latch it down, don't know if this helps, but I thought I throw it out there.

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:15 PM   #5
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Hey, it's something I've yet to try. I'll give it a shot.

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:49 PM   #6
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Switching to ball lock isn't going to be any different, except that you might luck out and get kegs that are in better shape than the ones you have now. There are just as many varieties of ball lock kegs as there are pin locks. You might try bending the feet on the lid to give it more clamping pressure. Sometimes kegs that are in rough shape will need higher pressure like 20-30 psi to seat fully, so that's another thing you could try. I have no idea why you were told that the ball lock lids would be any more susceptible to leaks than pin lock lids. The only difference between the lids is the type of pressure relief valve.

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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Yeah I have this keg seated at 10psi now, and sitting until I know more (I currently have brown ale in it, unfortunately), so 20-30psi isn't a good idea I don't think, until I've thoroughly enjoyed its contents anyways

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:56 PM   #8
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Often when a keg holds pressure at 30 psi, but not at <10 psi, it is due to a small dent in the lip around the lid opening. Williams sells some larger o-rings which are said to solve this problem:

http://www.williamsbrewing.com/KEG-L...NG-P58C78.aspx

I haven't used these myself, but I have seen posts here on HBT that say they really work.

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Old 08-09-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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I have pin lock and ball lock kegs and I use the lids interchangeably without problems. Here are a couple of things to try that may help.
Put pennies or even nickels under the feet of the lid so they close tighter. Try putting the lids in very hot water to soften the o-ring just before you put it in the keg.

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Old 08-09-2011, 05:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkybstewart View Post
Put pennies or even nickels under the feet of the lid so they close tighter.
And here my only thought was to bend the feet inward... didn't think of this Thanks, will give it a try when I get home.
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