Originally Posted by abledsoe
How snug does the valve/nipple fit in that cooler? I just built this a couple of weeks ago using the 3/8" fittings and there is a lot of "play" in the valve assembly. Just sitting full it doesn't leak but just the force it takes to open and close the valve flexes the entire assembly left and right until a little liquid will leak out. I was curious if stepping up to 1/2" would fit better in the factory hole drilled into that cooler.
The 3/8" nipple fits very snug through the rubber gasket that the stock spout ran through so I don't think you would be able to get a 1/2" nipple through it. Now mine does have a little play but not much and def not enough that it leaks. If I were you I would be worried that it is leaking into the cooler wall while holding liquid.
I made 2 more for a LHBS to sell since they were so impressed with mine and those builds went much better since I had some experience. On one of those I used extra zinc plated washers on the outside of the assembly in order to be able to snug the assembly to the cooler better. I didn't have enough washers to do the second in the same way and I had the idea to use O rings between the washers on the outside of the assembly since they are the same thickness (and much cheaper). On that one, from the outside of the cooler to the inside, male threaded barb-->ball valve-->washer-->o-ring-->washer-->o-ring-->washer-->o-ring-->nipple (through the factory grommet)-->washer-->female threaded barb. This assembly was very, very sturdy.
The first one I made does flex a little but not much. The next two I made barely flex. All of them rotate inside the hole if I twist them.
Hope that helps. Let me know if I need to clarify anything or if you have any other questions.