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Old 11-16-2013, 08:10 PM   #1
Gregthespy
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Default Why are my new Ventmatic faucets CRAP????

So flash back to my days when I didn't home brew... I bought a kegerator conversion kit from beverage factory with a simple Krome rear sealing faucet. I ran about 20 half barrel comercial kegs through it without a hitch or a drippy seal, I didn't even have the sticky faucet syndrome.
I then started homebrewing and kegging. I decided it was time for an upgrade, or so I thought... I searched through countless threads on this great site and saw the issues with the pearl faucets and thought id try my luck with the Ventmatic faucets which are now available again from CHI Corp. I bought three of them and expanded my kegerator in preperation for my Oktoberfest.
Upon installation, I noticed that one of the faucets had a habit of a drip or two of beer leak through the threads on top of the faucet, I dissasembled it and cleand it up, added a little keg lube to the O-ring and figured that my problems were behind me. Wrong! The party was a success with one kegerator issue, the same faucet that I had issues with decided it wasint going to seal right for one of my party guests when I was not around, it proceeded to lrak out about 2 pints of hefewizen onto the floor after filling the drip tray completely. I cleaned it up and went about the party.
Flash forward to today and another one of the faucets is now leaking through the top threads of it. Its a slow leak which after a night fills the bottom of my drip tray with a sticky syurp. Now i,'m having concerns I mafe the wrong choice in faucets. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Should I just send them back (if they will even take them back) and get some stainless rear sealing faucets?
I'm about done with this nonsense!

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Old 11-16-2013, 08:44 PM   #2
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Oh boy. Folks were looking at that faucet as the Second Coming.

To add to your dilemma, I just stumbled across this note at the bottom of the ChiCompany page that lists the Vent-Matic "1.1" faucets:

"Perlick is discontinuing the Pearl [sic - it's actually "Perl"] line of faucets due to ongoing leak issues sometime in the 1st quarter of 2014."

Between your problem and the apparent End Of The Perl, this is gonna make many people nervous...

Cheers! (hugging my many years leak-free six pack of 525SS faucets even tighter tonight )

[edit] PS: If the leak is at the "bonnet", the o-ring that seals the lever pivot may have been pinched or distorted due to dry fitting.
I'd take everything apart, clean gently, put a film of keg lube on all the o-rings, and reassemble.
I had to do this to one of my six Perls out of the box, and it joined the other five in leak-free status a couple of years ago.

Thinking of investing in a crate of Perls right now...

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Old 11-16-2013, 11:59 PM   #3
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Looks like I'll have to contact them and get a band aid to the problem. I bought mine in August, thanks for pointing that out to me, that's unnerving that this problem is affecting the Ventmatics as well. I was disappointed with the quality of the Ventmatic the moment I took them out if the box, very notchy, almost like the stainless was galling on the slide.
Oh, and regards to your P.S. I've tried almost everything to get the bonnets to seal better, I was very cautious to get the nylon sleeve to align and used a generous ammount of keg lube as a desperate attempt to take up some clearance. Something I was going to try was making a shim washer to add above the nylon sleeve to allow me to add more tightening pressure. It seems as if when I tighten the bonnet cap down I run out of thread before it feels sufficently tightened onto the O-ring. Just a lsst ditch attempt.

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Old 11-18-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
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Replacement parts are on the way to me. I'll report back with what shows up and how it differs from the original seal. Crossing my fingers but not getting my hopes up.

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Old 11-18-2013, 06:53 PM   #5
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Very interested to hear how this turns out. I am very close to buying the Ventmatics from CHI, so I'd love to hear the outcome and if it solves all of your problems.

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Old 11-18-2013, 07:19 PM   #6
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Never had a problem with my Perlicks. Not sure which model, but they are the Brass colored forward sealing ones. I've taken them apart many times. Basically eveyr time I put a new keg in, I disassemble completely and soak in PBW and starsan before reassembling. They have never failed to go back together easily and leak free.

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Old 11-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Never had a problem with my Perlicks. Not sure which model, but they are the Brass colored forward sealing ones. I've taken them apart many times. Basically eveyr time I put a new keg in, I disassemble completely and soak in PBW and starsan before reassembling. They have never failed to go back together easily and leak free.
This is what makes the whole "leaky Perl" issue so weird to me: aside from straightening out one of the six I installed at the same time a few years ago, they've worked perfectly ever since.

As they're most likely automatically machined castings you'd think dimensional variations would be within tolerance pretty much forever. Yet there was a rash of problem reports with the 525 two summers ago, then reports that there was some kind of change to the 525 design and the "new design" was ok, and now this semi-cryptic message on the ChiCompany site about the Perls being pulled off the market?

I'm tempted to buy at least one new 525SS just to see if there have been any changes since my half dozen were purchased and if so try to understand what they mean - and if they're related to things apparently going south...

Cheers!
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Old 11-18-2013, 11:51 PM   #8
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I don't get it either, I'm a high precision CAD designer and CNC machine programmer and the quality of the cut/ feed rate look good, I believe it's got to do with tolerance and mating of the seals.

I clean my faucets every time I have a keg change and it never posed a problem with my old fwd sealing faucet. But from the start with these Ventmatics I've had problems. The action on the one was so notchy I took the slide out and polished it out to try and get it to cycle better with marginal results.

What's so hard about making a good faucet, maybe I should break into the market???

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Old 11-18-2013, 11:58 PM   #9
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Well, if you go to bottles you won't need to worry about it. LOL!

Got y'all.

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Old 11-19-2013, 12:06 AM   #10
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Bottling is the reason I'm building a mobile kegerator for a christmas party. Even for just "away" events it's worth it to avoid bottling...

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