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Old 11-14-2005, 03:17 PM   #1
Darth Konvel
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Default Stopping the leaks

I wondering what folks use in order to prevent / stop CO2 leaks in their kegging setup. My main leak is where the regulator meets the tank. Should I apply anything to the threads? Or should I just torque it down until it stops leaking?

I've read that teflon tape is a no-no, so I was thinking to try some anti-seize lubricant (like the kind you normally put on spark plugs and stuff). Bad idea?

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Old 11-14-2005, 03:30 PM   #2
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There should be a plastic washer between the regulator and the tank. If you don't have one, get one. If you have one, consider replacing it. The place I exchange my tank at gives me a new washer with the exchange. I've found hand tight plus 1/4 turn seals it.

My leakage problems were mainly in the valve manifold, which was constructed of many small parts. I dismantled it and put teflon tape on all screw threads. The next biggest source was hose fittings without clamps.

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Old 11-14-2005, 03:38 PM   #3
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A huge crescent wrench seems to have solved my problems. I really have to tighten the crap out of it where the regulator meets the tank.

I'm sure you know this already, but you can leak-check using some soapy water in a spray bottle. I found leaks around my disconnects....hose clamps took care of that.

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Old 11-14-2005, 09:11 PM   #4
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With a 6 keg system like I have, it seems like I can never get rid of all the leaks. They are very small, and mostly due to the fittings I use to allow quick connecting and disconnecting of gas lines inside the fridge.

There is only one absolute leak free connection in your system, and that is the main valve on the CO2 tank itself. Since I use the "shake" carbonation method, every keg that goes into the fridge is already carbonated, that means I don't have the leave the main valve open. The other thing that helps here is a two gage regulator. Once you connect the keg(s) to the CO2 and leave the valve open until everything is pressurized to the right pressure, just shut the main valve off. The low pressure gage reads the pressure in the kegs and the high pressure gage reads the residual pressure upstream of the regulator. As the small leaks in the system slowly bleed CO2, the high pressure gage slowly falls until it reaches zero (usually several hours), but the low pressure gage will still read the desired pressure, even for several days if you don't draw any beers. After I tap a few beers and the low pressure gage falls a bit, I open the main valve again for 10 seconds or so, charge everything back up, then shut it off again. By systematically shutting off the main valve, it really goes a long way toward conserving CO2. I'll go through about 15 lbs of CO2 for about 20 kegs of beer plus miscellaneous chores, even with the small leaks.

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Old 11-14-2005, 10:13 PM   #5
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I would ues thread tape. As david said the washer is the main problem probably.
Why have you heard that it is a no no?
They make a thicker thread tape for gas lines like natural gas, i think it comes in a yellow roll instead of white or blue.

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Old 11-15-2005, 01:36 PM   #6
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Honestly, I don't recall ever reading any particular reason not to use the teflon tape; I've only read repeatedly that the "right" way to do it was to use a liquid compound.

The good news is that last night I went and cranked on the nut as hard as I could, and while it moved the nut maybe only a hair at the very most, it was enough to stop the leak. Go figure

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Old 11-15-2005, 11:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LupusUmbrus
Honestly, I don't recall ever reading any particular reason not to use the teflon tape; I've only read repeatedly that the "right" way to do it was to use a liquid compound.

The good news is that last night I went and cranked on the nut as hard as I could, and while it moved the nut maybe only a hair at the very most, it was enough to stop the leak. Go figure
The liquid compound is for more permanant fittings, not one that come apart every 2 months. Be careful over torking the nut! Wait that sounds wrong! Check you plastic washer and use teflon tape. You should not have to kill you self to seal the fitting.
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Old 11-22-2005, 10:36 PM   #8
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I have been using teflon tape for while (years) on my tank, why is it bad? If you use the small washer (compressed paper), the CO2 will never touch the tape so why is it bad? All in all I think you will have less headache and less trips to the welding supply for CO2 with the tape.

**edit** sorry just read that you didn't remember the reason, so forget the question, go with tape and the washer

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