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Old 07-20-2011, 02:13 PM   #1
JayInJersey
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Default Keezer CO2 leak...or is there?

General Back Story:

I have built a keezer with 5 taps.
I use a 5# bottle.
Primary reg is directly connected to bottle has two gauges: Tank & Line
Primary reg is connected to secondary 6 body reg.
Each body has its own reg.



So right after I built it I got it up and running and was happy...that is until about 2 weeks later when the bottle was empty.
I blew that off as not realizing how much CO2 was needed to carb up the 5 kegs...plus I force carbed a few others.
One bottle swap and another 2 weeks later...another empty bottle.

So now I realize I have a leak somewhere.

Out comes the soapy water sprayer. I find nothing.
Next comes the baby powder and smoke to see if I can see any currents. Nothing.

Anger ensues and time passes.

So I decide over the July 4 holiday to finally get this running.
I get all new hoses as I figure I could have a pinhole leak somewhere in them. I dismount the secondary and take it apart and reassemble.

Now to make sure I have no leaks...I take the entire assembly and submerge it in a big ass tank.

Leak found...it was in one of the pressure relief valves on the secondary.
Replaced and retested...nothing.

Perfect....well maybe.






Here's my concern:

I charged the lines but turned off the tank. The tank gauge says around 55 and the Primary's line gauge says around 52. No problem there.

However I left it charged, with the tank off, and NONE of the keg lines "open" (so no gas dissolving happened there)...come morning the primary's tank gauge only read 30.

I "was" very confident there was no leaks when it was underwater...but if that was the case, why did the gauge change overnight?

I did not however take note of the Primary's line gauge before I recharged the system and went to work (where I'm at now).


Could the tank gauge change like that just by sitting there?

Anyone have any advise they can give me here?


Thanks!
Jay

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Old 07-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #2
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If the 55, 52, and 30 readings are PSI for CO2, then I believe your pressure is too high for the beers. Most serving pressure is 9-12 PSI. Tank pressures are usually read in the hundreds of PSI and will quickly drop off on the low side when the tank is empty. If I have the time to carbonate over several days I'll put the regulator at my desired pressure and let it go. As it carbonates and chills more CO2 goes into solution. Even if your beer is carbonated at room temp, when it chills it will absorb more CO2. Since it is also possible to over carbonate at any given temperature, it sounds like that may be the case. What happens when you pour? Too much foam?

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Old 07-20-2011, 02:43 PM   #3
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You CAN get leaks past the tank valve when it's closed, (it should be fully open to not leak...), so the "shut the tank off and wait" leak detection method is not foolproof.

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Old 07-20-2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post
You CAN get leaks past the tank valve when it's closed, (it should be fully open to not leak...), so the "shut the tank off and wait" leak detection method is not foolproof.
Perfect.
That's what I was hoping for.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:10 PM   #5
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Still not a guarantee one way or the other....but with any luck you could be fine.

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Old 07-20-2011, 03:18 PM   #6
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Was the initial pressure reading before putting your gear back in the keezer?

Example: did you charge the lines when everything was warm and at room temp then move to the keezer and wake up the next morning to find the psi dropped?

I freaked out the first time I put my tank in my keezer to see it drop from 800psi down to 500 psi. I thought I had a major leak but realized the temp change caused the pressure to drop.

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Old 07-20-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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I'm hoping it is just the tank valve leak as I haven't turned my keezer back on yet.

The gauge definitely goes back up to 55-60 (or the green Full area on that one) when I open the value again.

I'm going to pressure up the kegs tonight and I guess I'll see in a week or two if I have to take it all apart again.

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:03 AM   #8
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The regulator could leak. Pressurize the system with 30-40 PSI and close the tank valve, and the valve downstream from the regulator. Wait 6 hours and if the pressure drops on the regulator gauges, there is a leak somewhere in/on the regulator/tank connection. If this passes then repeat the process with the valve from the regulator open, and the tank valve closed (system pressurized to 30+) Wait 6-12 hours and check the gauges. If the pressure of the gauges has dropped, there is a leak downstream from the regulator. It could be anywhere. If that's the case, Check and tighten every fitting, if you're unsure about any then disconnect them and reconnect them with new teflon tape, using 2 wrenches to get the fittings as tight as you can.

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBroonery View Post
The regulator could leak. Pressurize the system with 30-40 PSI and close the tank valve, and the valve downstream from the regulator. Wait 6 hours and if the pressure drops on the regulator gauges, there is a leak somewhere in/on the regulator/tank connection.
As mentioned above, this method of determining whether there's a leak or not isn't reliable. The way that CO2 tank valves are made (double seated), pressure from downstream can leak past the valve when it's closed. This also means that you should open the valve all the way to "back seat" it when in use, as any less than that is a potential risk for a leak past the valve.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore

As mentioned above, this method of determining whether there's a leak or not isn't reliable. The way that CO2 tank valves are made (double seated), pressure from downstream can leak past the valve when it's closed. This also means that you should open the valve all the way to "back seat" it when in use, as any less than that is a potential risk for a leak past the valve.
Are you saying you should fully open (unscrew) the main tank valve? I usually just give it a turn or two to open and leave it at that.
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