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-   -   Shank and quick disconnect gaskets... (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/shank-quick-disconnect-gaskets-232473/)

starsailor 03-15-2011 04:54 PM

Shank and quick disconnect gaskets...
I just ran across a couple of very simple low cost fixes for beer side leaks on my kegerator and though I'd share them with you all. When I was just doing some maintenance and cleaning on my kegerator beer side equipment and ran into a couple of gasket problems. Below are the cheap and easy fixes.

Problem #1: I have a 2 tap tower that has screw on 90 elbow barbs that attach the beer lines to the shanks. There's a tiny little gasket that seals the elbow to the shank with a compression style fitting and gland nut. Well when I took these apart to give everything a good cleaning after 2+ years of service, I found those little gaskets pretty much trashed. Although they sealed before disassembly they were very deformed and looked like there's no way they'd seal again. After looking for a replacement gasket for awhile I came to two conclusions. One, if you can, when you're buying a 90 shank for a tower, buy the shank with the elbow brazed on and you'll have a gasket and leak free experience. Two, these little gaskets just aren't readily available anywhere. So, if you aren't that smart like me and didn't buy brazed on elbows, here's what to do. I found a suitable replacement for those tiny little gaskets is #47 o-ring (11/32" OD x 7/32" ID x 1/16" thick) that's readily available a most good hardware stores. This size o-ring fits nice and snug inside the gland nut and seals up beautifully. Problem one solved for less than 50 cents!

Problem #2: When taking the liquid quick disconnects (QD) apart I foung one of the very thin top nut gaskets from the QD, the nut that holds the poppet inside the QD, was all deformed and not likely to seal again either. This has happened to me before twice, one gasket broke and one found it's way down the drain in the sink when I was cleaning it. In both cases I couldn't find a replacement gasket and wound up buying a whole new QD for about $9. Well, inspired by just having had luck with the shank elbow gasket, I went back to the hardware store with a good gasket from the other QD in hand. I found that a #41 o-ring (9/16" OD x 7/16" ID x 1/16" thick) fits perfectly in place of the thin little gasket. The only difference is that the original gasket is about 1/64" think whereas this o-ring is 1/16" think, or 4 times thicker. This really isn't a problem though. Just tighten down the QD top nut a little tighter than normal to squish the o-ring and it seals up nicely and the poppet still seals. Looking at the side of the QD you can see the top nut sits a little higher with the o-ring than the gasket, so the poppet spring tension is a little less. However, the poppet still works leak free. Problem #2 solve for less than 50 cents too!

Both of these easy to find fixes are really inexpensive do. Each o-ring costs about $0.25 to $0.50 at a good hardware store. You won't find these at HD or Lowes though. Check one out next time you need a new gasket and don't feel like spending the $10-$30 for the whole replacement assembly when you find the gaskets aren't available separately.

hipjimmer 12-09-2012 01:56 AM

Starsailer - can you send a picture of that set up (exploded). I have the same issue and want to figure if you've got the same shanks I do.

day_trippr 12-09-2012 02:15 PM

fyi, you can buy oem replacements for those gaskets here...


hipjimmer 12-10-2012 04:36 PM

DT, that link is for problem #2.

I need the part for problem #1. I think I may have found a rubber grommet that works in my local HW store this weekend. We'll see. Also, I think the CHI Company may have them as well.

starsailor 12-11-2012 02:26 AM


Originally Posted by hipjimmer (Post 4664082)
Starsailer - can you send a picture of that set up (exploded). I have the same issue and want to figure if you've got the same shanks I do.

Hipjimmer, haven't been able to get on the forum for several days. Sorry, I didn't take any pics when I had my shanks apart. They're such a pain in the butt to put back together there's now way I'm going to take them apart again just to get some pics. If you're little shank elbow gaskets are similar in size the #47 o-ring I listed in the original post then I'm sure using them will work. If they're a different size then just do like I did and take the original gasket, as mangled or damaged as it may be, to a good hardware store and match it up to the o-ring selection to find the best fit. I'm sure with a half hour investment you can find something that will work reasonably well. Good luck!

starsailor 12-11-2012 02:36 AM


Originally Posted by day_trippr (Post 4664982)
fyi, you can buy oem replacements for those gaskets here...


Hey day_trippr, thans for the link. When I look last time I couldn't find anyone that offered a gasket replacement.

It looks like MoreBeer did basically the same thing I did. That is, find a suitable o-ring to replace the original gaskets that seal up the QD top nut (or top cap) in lieu of the OEM gaskets. All my QD's had either a very thin white or light grey gasket that is made from nylon or similar plastic that was easily damaged or lost, but as it turns out a very thin o-ring works OK too. MoreBeer's price for these is similar to harware stores. You'll probably spend more on gas driving to the hardware store or on shipping from a vendor like MoreBeer anyway.

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