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Old 10-12-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
matc
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I bought a bargain fittings weldless valve for my aluminium kettle. Followed the instruction and 2 hours later, I can't get the damn thing properly sealed. There's some water leaking...

I've read many suggestions none of them work so far. I've wrapped 3-4 times the nipple, hand tightened the bulkhead etc. The washer that goes on the inside does not seem flat, that might be the problem. Do you guys have any idea ? I'm brewing tomorrow to make things worse ...

 
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:01 PM   #2
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Go to the hardware store and ask for an appropriate sized rubber "o" ring, gasket that is heat tolerant and put one on the inside and outside of the kettle and see if that helps. Hopefully you did not drill too large a hole
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:01 PM   #3
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put the metal washer on the outside and the gasket on the inside...that's how i did my setup, haven't had a problem yet.

Also, don't over tighten. Make it about hand tight plus a little...if that makes sense.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #4
matc
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well my kit is a different that what most guys use. Here's my kit

http://barleyhaven.com/ball-valve-weldless.html


As you can see, there's only 4 pieces : nipple, vavle, o-ring and a coupler. It would not make sense to put the washer on the outside since the o-ring will then seat unvenly on the coupler. I used a 7/8 bit for the hole and I think it's way too big for the nipple. I shouldn't have followed the instruction I'm beyond pissed.

 
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Yes that's probably slightly too large, but I did the same and I made it work. You say you got the parts at bargainfittings.com? Did you follow their instructions? They show a locknut and washer on the inside, and the washer on the outside.

 
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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In the linked image they show a washer right before the bulkhead. Put that after the o-ring so that you get even pressure against the o-ring. You can also get some more o-rings and washers (from Bargain Fittings for one) and place a set on the outside too.

Personally I don't bother with kits or bulkheads in kettles. IME, better off with just using a npt to compression fitting to the valve. Makes it easier to install a dip tube that way. Plus its less hardware, steps and places for gunk to hide. Brewers Hardware has a couple of top notch fittings that you install through the kettle wall that makes it far easier. Check them out when you can. IMO/IME far better to spend a few dollars more for quality fittings then to try and go the cheap route.
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:29 PM   #7
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I followed the instruction that came in the kit. My kit doesn't have a locknut. Only a coupler, washer, oring, nipple and ball valve. The washer is the only thing that presses the o-ring against the kettle wall so I can't place the washer on the outside and the o ring on the inside.

Another thing, the washed is not even flat so when a screw the coupler on the nipple, there's a very tiny gap between the coupler and washer.

 
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:56 PM   #8
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The seal that matters is the kettle to o-ring seal. The washer is there to provide a flat surface to squish the o-ring. I had to put on a rubber glove and grip the hell out of the coupler, while using a wrench to tighten the valve on the outside. Sorry if I am restating the obvious but just wanted to make sure you were cranking the hell out of it.

Other options are using an o-ring inside and out as someone else stated, and also bargainfittings.com has a better silicon washer now which is improved over the o-ring which would work better for a hole that was cut too large. I know that doesn't help you brew this weekend though.

 
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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If I were you I'd buy a locknut from bargain fittings (here - assuming that ball valve is 1/2" NPT). Then, you'll have the washer on the outside, gasket, locknut and bulkhead on the inside.

is there a need for the bulkhead? I wouldn't bother with it if you aren't using a diptube
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What's Brewing:
Primary: [empty]
Secondary: Chocolate Raspberry Porter
Keg: [empty]
Keg: Tan House Honey Ale
Bottle: [empty]
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Future brews:
Banana Nut Muffin
Stein Bier
Specialty Beer "Series" [Code Name Whiskey]

 
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:43 PM   #10
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You can use this fitting if you're going to use a dip tube, connected directly through the kettle wall into the ball valve.

I use one of these fittings in my current keggle and have one of these standing by for the next one I make. I won't use a standard coupler ever again in my kegs/mash tuns.

BTW, I have noticed (with some fittings) that they leak when you have cold liquid in them. Once it gets closer to boil temperatures, though, the leaks stop. Probably due to the metal expanding and forming a better seal.
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