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Old 11-06-2012, 11:43 AM   #1
MrChalky
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Default Tube Diameters

I'm building a kegerator, and have most of the parts already, but I still need to buy tubing. The only thing is the barbs in the different parts all have different diameters. I've never worked with PVC tubing, so I don't know what kind of tolerances they have, so I'm not sure what diameter tubing to go for, or if I'll need any additional adapters.

This is what I have so far:
(Diameter has been measured with a digital calipers at the widest part of the barb)

Disconnects (Gas and Beer): 0.277"
Regulator: 0.356"
Gas Manifold (CO2 tank side): 0.297"
Gas Manifold (Keg side): 0.354"
Taps: 0.307"

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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5/16" ID tubing is pretty standard on the gas side, tighten everything down with hose clamps.

For the beer you're likely going to want 3/16" tubing for the resistance, otherwise you might have trouble balancing your system (I need 9-10 ft lines as it is). It's a little of a PITA to get the tubing on the 1/4" barb disconnects, works best to heat the end of the tubing in hot water first then shove it on.

That's why I prefer the flare disconnects for the beer side, then hook the tubing up with these. You'll probably have to use the hot water trick to get the line to go on your tap shanks. At least you shouldn't have to be changing those much once you get your system how you want it.

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
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Would the 5/16" tubing be ok for the manifold (slightly smaller than 5/16")

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #4
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Vinyl tubing can stretch quite a bit if you heat it up (dunk in boiling water or hit it with a heat gun).

I'm not sure if the 5/16" ID tubing (.3125") will be OK on the smaller barbs. But given how cheap gas line is, I'd be tempted to try it. Like chickypad suggested, use hose clamps. You can step it up a little bit and use an Oetiker-style clamp instead of a worm-drive, that might help. Either way, just thoroughly leak test it afterward.

Keep in mind that CO2 hose doesn't have to be food grade, so you could experiment with cheap tubing from a local hardware store.

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Old 11-06-2012, 06:04 PM   #5
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Should be okay, I hook the 5/16" line directly to the 1/4" barbs on the gas disconnects and never have a leak with hose clamps (test all your connections!).

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Old 11-06-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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IF you have a good clamp on the larger ID tubing on the smaller OD barb it could be ok. I would test the F out of those connections though. Otherwise, you could be posting about how you went through the CO2 tank in a matter of a few days.

Personally, all my QD's, manifold connections, and regulator fittings are MFL. I use swivel nuts for all the hoses and secure with Oetiker clamps (far better than worm clamps in almost every way). It's not difficult to get the swivel nut (1/4" OD) onto the 3/16" ID tubing> Just heat up a bit of water (boil it in the kettle, or nuke it) and dip the end of the hose in it for a few moments (15-60 seconds) to let it get softer. Then push the tubing over the barb and secure. The 5/16" OD barbs are an easier fit on the 5/16" ID gas hoses. Just be sure to leave a small gap between the end of the hose and the start of the nut. That way it will turn on it's own, easily.

BTW, Keg Connection has the Oetiker clamps, and tool to crimp (and cut/remove) them. Tool cost aside (some people use side cutters to crimp them) the Oetiker clamps are MUCH less expensive than the worm clamps, per item. You can also get the Oetiker clamps from McMaster-Carr if you want a size not listed on KC's site. I've done that when using larger barbs for my 1/2" ID silicone hoses/tubing.

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Old 11-06-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
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Save yourself the hassle and just use 3/16" beer line and 1/4" swivel nuts (Or their metric equivalent) for everything. There's no reason you need different lines for gas...

One size hose, one size barb = Easy and cheaper

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Old 11-26-2012, 02:33 AM   #8
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Is there any where to buy this stuff locally? I recently picked up a setup which needed new lines. Dirty and had been sitting for a few years. Does it matter what type of tubing you use?
I was at ace and everything said do not use for ice maker. They had a few types that said for food and beverage but nothing in the two diameters needed.
Also, Is it too hard to make a 1-into-2 manifold if (when) I so choose to get another keg? Any plans out there?

Lastly, First post!!!

I have two batches ferementing currently: A pumpkin Ale, and the White House Honey Ale.
Plan to bottle one and keg one.

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Old 11-26-2012, 03:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huskrfj View Post
Is there any where to buy this stuff locally? I recently picked up a setup which needed new lines. Dirty and had been sitting for a few years. Does it matter what type of tubing you use?
I was at ace and everything said do not use for ice maker. They had a few types that said for food and beverage but nothing in the two diameters needed.
Also, Is it too hard to make a 1-into-2 manifold if (when) I so choose to get another keg? Any plans out there?

Lastly, First post!!!

I have two batches ferementing currently: A pumpkin Ale, and the White House Honey Ale.
Plan to bottle one and keg one.
The tubing you want (3/16" ID Bevlex for the beer lines is most important) is found at most LHBS'. If you don't have one in your area, then order enough online to do your current setup, plus some extra (better to have extra on hand). Gas lines are not as important, as long as they'll withstand the pressure and you can clamp them.

As for the manifold. Most 'ghetto' would be a stainless, or brass, 1/4" pipe T fitting, with either a barb, or NPT to MFL fitting on the gas in side. Put the 1/4" NPT to 1/4" MFL shutoff valves (with check valves in them) on the two other ports. Then just use swivel nuts to connect the gas lines up to the shutoff valves (for going to the kegs) and the gas in line (from the regulator). There's a reason why two port manifolds cost what they do. To do it yourself is usually within a few dollars of what the manifolds cost.
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie

The tubing you want (3/16" ID Bevlex for the beer lines is most important) is found at most LHBS'. If you don't have one in your area, then order enough online to do your current setup, plus some extra (better to have extra on hand). Gas lines are not as important, as long as they'll withstand the pressure and you can clamp them.

As for the manifold. Most 'ghetto' would be a stainless, or brass, 1/4" pipe T fitting, with either a barb, or NPT to MFL fitting on the gas in side. Put the 1/4" NPT to 1/4" MFL shutoff valves (with check valves in them) on the two other ports. Then just use swivel nuts to connect the gas lines up to the shutoff valves (for going to the kegs) and the gas in line (from the regulator). There's a reason why two port manifolds cost what they do. To do it yourself is usually within a few dollars of what the manifolds cost.
Awesome! I knew I'd get a straightforward answer and explanation on here!
Thanks a bunch.
That manifold was a fair bit cheaper on that site than I have seen in my limited searching.
Again thanks.
Matt
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