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Old 05-14-2013, 11:46 PM   #1
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Default Running a keg line through exterior wall to outside

I'm helping some friends out with their new home pub, and they would like to run a keg line outside. It's a fairly short run, probably less than 6 feet, and we are not going to bother with glycol or anything else for cooling at this point. If the first pour is warm and foamy, so be it.

That said, I do need to go through drywall, insulation, and there are certainly plumbing vents and romex electrical cables back there. I'm thinking that the safest thing is to cut a small panel out of the drywall so I can move the insulation and see what is back there, then drill a pilot hole to the outside, and then use a spade bit or small hole saw to make the exterior hole.

I will probably also run a pvc pipe just far enough through the outside wall that it can be capped off. That should make it relatively easy to take the keg line in and out, as it will likely only be in use during the warmer months. I may use foam insulation around the pvc pipe. We are going to start with a picnic tap, so it will not be permanently mounted outside. That said, the place has been christened "The Boot," so we may mount an old ski boot to the outside wall and run the beer line out the toe to the picnic tap.

Specifically, what would be the best way to give the interior wall some type of "finished" look? I could get a small plastic access panel, but I would have to drill through both the door and the back of the access panel. It is behind and below the bar, so it doesn't have to be too finicky.

More generally, I'm open to any ideas on this. Thanks.

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Old 05-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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As a cabling installer in a previous life, one trick I used was to drill a small (1/8-1/4" exploratory hole in the interior drywall.

First do a quick preliminary visual check of the interior and exterior walls to check for obvious issues.

Then drill just deep enough to penetrate the drywall. Use a stiff wire or long skinny screwdriver to poke around inside the wall to see if there are any interior obstacles like wiring, studs, pipes.

If you can't feel anything other than insulation and the exterior wall sheeting, then proceed with a larger hole.

If you find something in the way, you only have a small, easily patched hole in the drywall to fill with drywall patching compound.

You could use a blank electrical plate drilled with an appropriately sized hole, and a pipe nipple to pass through both walls. This could be your conduit for the liquid line.

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:55 PM   #3
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Thanks. I would certainly start with a pilot hole and check it out. I'm thinking with going with something like this for an access door. It looks to be adjustable enough to be pretty forgiving, so I can open up enough wall to work in there.

What would be the advantage of a pipe nipple versus a length of PVC? I think I should probably affix whatever type of conduit I use to at least the outside wall, then let it protrude an inch or two beyond the hole I cut in the panel door, just enough so that the door can be removed fairly easily. Maybe just use a floor flange on the outside wall, but drill out the solid piece to let the beer line pass through. Any thoughts?

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Old 05-17-2013, 02:09 AM   #4
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Since you are using the access door, your plan should probably work out fine.
After you cut the drywall, I think I would add some framing behind the opening to add some strength and give you something to attach the door to.

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Old 05-17-2013, 02:29 AM   #5
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Look for a house vacum cover. They have around a 1.25 hole with a covet. They fit a stand single gang box. On the exterior, I would install a mounting block if it is siding and use a water proof reddot cover. If brick or stone, use silicon, not acrlix caulk. Quad is really good stuff and probably never crack. I would not use spray foam if exposed to the elements. There is pro stuff called percora I think stuff is awesome. When tooling silicon or quad caulk, spray it with windex, it will prevent it from sticking to your hand and you can make it nice and smooth.

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Old 05-17-2013, 09:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by processhead View Post
Since you are using the access door, your plan should probably work out fine.
After you cut the drywall, I think I would add some framing behind the opening to add some strength and give you something to attach the door to.
The access door I linked to looks to have a spring-loaded frame that can expand to fit the cutout, so by design it should not require any framing. What I cannot tell from the sparse information available is whether once the spring is deployed the back is open or closed. If the latter, I would have to drill through it. The other unknown is how much of an angle is required to take the faceplate on and off. It looks like the faceplate has tabs on either side that pressure fit into the frame, and the pipe I extend from the hole I put into the faceplate will certainly interfere with that to some degree. By coincidence, the US distributor is within a few miles of here, so I can likely get some clarification there, or just go to Home Depot and take a look.

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milldoggy View Post
Look for a house vacum cover. They have around a 1.25 hole with a covet. They fit a stand single gang box. On the exterior, I would install a mounting block if it is siding and use a water proof reddot cover. If brick or stone, use silicon, not acrlix caulk. Quad is really good stuff and probably never crack. I would not use spray foam if exposed to the elements. There is pro stuff called percora I think stuff is awesome. When tooling silicon or quad caulk, spray it with windex, it will prevent it from sticking to your hand and you can make it nice and smooth.
Ah, a central vacuum inlet? Interesting idea. My concern would be that if I confine the cutout in the dry wall to the size needed to put in an "old work" single gang box, I would not really have enough room to work inside of the wall.

For the exterior, I will likely drill a hole just large enough to get the PVC pipe through, caulk to seal around it, and allow length to extend so it can be capped when not in use. We plan on eventually mounting a boot on the exterior wall (consistent with the name of the place) that the beverage line will run through, so I should be able to incorporate some type of weather shield into that. That likely precludes a mounting block with a hinged cover.

I do greatly appreciate the input, as it is definitely worth thinking through some different options before cutting or drilling.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:27 PM   #8
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We finally drilled the hole this weekend, and just ran a beer line straight out terminating with a picnic tap, and it worked great.

I built a "Y" assembly to come off of the sanke coupler, with one line going to an inside faucet and the other through a ball valve to the outside faucet. I attached it to the keg sitting in front of the kegerator, tested to make sure both lines were working, then went to put the keg into the kegerator and found that there was not enough clearance with the "Y" assembly coming vertically off of the sanke coupler. Fortunately, I had some spare parts, including a male x male duplex adapator that fits beer nuts, so I was able to make a short beer line jumper that enabled laying the "Y" assembly flat on top of the keg. Nothing is ever easy, lol.

So now my friends have two taps inside that are each convertible between sanke and ball lock, with one tap outside that can either run simultaneously with an inside tap off of a sanke, or by itself with ball lock.

We initiated the new outside tap running simultaneously with an indoor one with a half barrel of Red Hook Pilsner, which was a good choice for a crowd who are not all beer geeks. We initiated the ball lock conversion capability with a keg of my "Brown Boot Ale."

A good time was had by all.

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Old 04-19-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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So this spring's project there is to mount a "permanent" tap outdoors through a boot.

Will be using a 24" stainless wall shank, with a faucet plug that allows us to remove the faucet and plug it for the winter, and a cheap faucet cap between uses.

Thoughts and ideas are welcome.

tap-through-boot.jpg  
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