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Old 07-22-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default Calling Accuflex Bev-Seal Ultra (3/16) experts

I am trying to squeeze the 3/16" PET lined hose onto a 1/4" hose barb.
I have searched and read the forums and folks say the following
use a heat gun on low to soften tube
use needle nose pliers to stretch the opening
once you get the tip in bang it on a table or push using a wall

Now none of these are very easy but I have managed to get my barb almost entirely on.
Unfortunately I am not all the way on, and I feel like I have mangled the hose so badly that i now have a few thin spots and what may result in a weird restriction.

Can the experts please chime in with some more tips, pics, or ideas. I just feel like I am doing this wrong. See two pics below



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Old 07-22-2012, 10:36 PM   #2
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I am no expert on this line, but have installed ~50 fittings. The OP requested I add my method to his thread.

I have not tried the heat gun, because boiling water has worked for me. It worked better in Austin than when I tried it in Denver, so the minimum temp needed is very close to ~200F.

In my process, I believe it is key to only heat the immediate area being worked. Heating too much line prevents being able to apply enough force to push it on the barb without the line collapsing.

To get it started on the barb, I dip just the first 1/4" of line or so in boiling water for about 5 seconds, but away from the active boil which can cause water to be pushed far up the line. I then spread out the end. I was lucky in that I found an old metal wine stopper that is a cone almost perfectly sized for this, which I preheat in the water. I grip the cone and tube (around or just above the heated section to provide support) with a towel and push it on without twisting. Others have used various tools including needle nose pliers, nail sets, etc. As long as your restrict the area affected by the spreading tool to the first 1/4", it doesn't really matter if it mangles the line a bit.

After spreading onto the cone, if it looks like it spread far enough, I run cold water over it to set the line. If not, I dip the cone and line back in the water, but only just far enough to heat the part that needs to flare, and push it on the cone a little farther.

After setting the line with cold water (while still on the cone), I pull it off the cone and immediately place it on the barb. The cold water helps to hold the new shape, but it will slowly revert back at least part way to its original shape.

I then put the barb and line back into the boiling water (away from the active boil area as before) for about 5 seconds. Again, only just enough to submerge 1/8" or so of the line that is not on the barb. I then grab the line with a towel around or just above the heated portion, and push against a flat surface until it won't go on anymore for that heat cycle. For swivel nuts, you will need to use a male flare fitting to fix the barb so that you can effectively push on the barb.

Repeat as needed until the hose is seated far enough on the barb. It is possible to get the line all the way to the flange using this method.

The amount of time in the water, and the depth you submerge it, is variable. You know you have gone too far with one of them when the hose collapses when you push. Also, if you can't get any movement, especially in the later stages, you need to increase the time or depth. Try increasing time first, because heating too much line will reduce the amount of force you can apply before the line collapses.

Occasionally I was able to do it in a single push (once it is on the barb after stretching), but it happened less often than the tube collapsing when I tried to repeat it. Now I try to shoot for 3 heat cycles.

I usually finish it off with a final ~10 second heat cycle to form it to the barb, then put it under cold water to set it.

Straightening the tube before starting seems to help.


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Old 07-23-2012, 01:41 AM   #3
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I have 3/16" barbs on my shanks and 1/4" on my keg disconnects I found a supplier online that sells 3/16" barbs that fit the flare nuts for my keg disconnects I plan to upgrade the barbs on the disconnects to 3/16" and switch to bev seal. It will make everything much easier IMO and I'm a big fan of easy.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gartywood View Post
I have 3/16" barbs on my shanks and 1/4" on my keg disconnects I found a supplier online that sells 3/16" barbs that fit the flare nuts for my keg disconnects I plan to upgrade the barbs on the disconnects to 3/16" and switch to bev seal. It will make everything much easier IMO and I'm a big fan of easy.
Be very careful when dealing with barb sizes. The nomenclature, and adherence to it, is a cluster. Generally, for beverage service, they refer to the barb size according the ID of vinyl hose. A 3/16 barb will be ~3/16 ID and ~1/4 OD. A 1/4 barb follows this pattern. There seems to be no standard though, and if you order a 3/16 barb, you may get a 3/16 OD, ~1/8 ID. Some, like Micro-Matic, give hints as to what convention they follow by saying what size soft tubing (vinyl) AND hard tubing (like Bev-Seal) a barb fits.

That being said, you do not want to buy the size spec'd for 3/16 ID hard tube, or barbs that are 3/16 OD (~1/8 ID). The smaller ID of the barb (than the line) will cause a choke point, and usually causes foaming issues. To prevent foaming, you want to keep the ID of your barbs the same as the ID of your line. Yes, the 3/16 OD barbs will slide right into the line, but a few minutes of up front effort to install the correct barb size will save a lot of foam headaches. You will eventually get so fed up that you redo your lines with the correct barb size, anyway.

A word of caution- I tried to make things easy for myself as well, by using swivel nut flare fittings on both ends of all lines, and then using flare tailpiece adapters on the shanks. After a lot of debugging, I found that the flare tailpiece adapters cause foaming issues when used this way, especially on higher carb stuff or cases of borderline line length. They seem to work reasonably well when used on Sankey couplers, but not on shanks. The issue is that they have a funnel shape, which is then compounded by several cavities from the welding/manufacturing process. They are not very well made, at least the ones I have seen.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:03 AM   #5
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I'm no expert either, but I've gotten pretty good after doing ~40-50 of them. I found it to be a huge struggle with just boiling water, but heating the tubing past boiling temps just made it hard to push on without deforming or kinking it. I've found that heating the barb more than the tubing is the key.

I start by putting on some good leather gloves to prevent burning myself. If you have an extra shank to attach the tailpiece to in order to give yourself something to hold onto, it will help greatly. For the corny QD's I screw the MFL tailpiece onto a spare QD for the same reason. I heat the end of the tubing and something to stretch it out with in boiling water. Extra pointy needle nose pliers, or a knot tying awl work very well for stretching the tubing out, but whatever you can find that's the right size should be fine. It may take a few dips in the boiling water, but I try to get the opening of the tubing stretched enough that the tip of the barb almost fits inside. I don't worry how stretched out the tubing is past the very end. Then I heat the barb over a flame for ~15 seconds to get it nice and hot. Once hot, I quickly insert it into the tubing, holding the tubing close to the end to prevent kinking.

If it's not hot enough it won't slide in all the way. If it's too hot it will slide in a little too easily. If this happens, I suggest cutting an inch off the tubing and trying again. I just don't trust the integrity of the tubing or connection once it's been melted too much. With a little practice you should be able to get it just hot enough to make it easy, but without melting the tubing.

And I completely agree with cwi about avoiding restrictions by using barbs with an ID similar to the ID of the tubing.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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CWI, I will try your idea about the cold water for setting the line. From the way you described it sounds like you can "set" it with a bit of a cone shape. This could be helpful, as when my line was air-cooling the cone was shrinking, so i had to rush.

Juan I also will try your method of heating the barb, that makes sense, but unfortunately I do not have an extra shank. The idea of making a handle is great idea.

It seems like patience is required, and to walk the line between temp and time for the perfect flexibility of the hose. Too much heat or too long of time will create kinks.
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Old 07-23-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
I'm no expert either, but I've gotten pretty good after doing ~40-50 of them. I found it to be a huge struggle with just boiling water, but heating the tubing past boiling temps just made it hard to push on without deforming or kinking it. I've found that heating the barb more than the tubing is the key.
Yep, me too. I heat/boil the barb and then slide the end of the heated tubing over the hot barb and push. It's worked pretty darn well for me, but I'm glad I now have fresh 10' lines on all my taps and won't have to do it again for quite a while!
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Yep, me too. I heat/boil the barb and then slide the end of the heated tubing over the hot barb and push. It's worked pretty darn well for me, but I'm glad I now have fresh 10' lines on all my taps and won't have to do it again for quite a while!
Yoop, so you are saying you do no heat treatment of the hose? only the barb end?
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:10 PM   #9
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Yoop, so you are saying you do no heat treatment of the hose? only the barb end?
No, I heated both. I had just a little pot on my stove and stuck the end of the tubing in there as well. But I paid more attention to the barb, and kept that really not.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amishland View Post
CWI, I will try your idea about the cold water for setting the line. From the way you described it sounds like you can "set" it with a bit of a cone shape. This could be helpful, as when my line was air-cooling the cone was shrinking, so i had to rush.
From what I remember, something needs to be supporting the new shape, like the tool being used, when the cold water is applied. If not, the tubing will return to its normal shape, at least partially anyway.


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