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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Kegging will be the death of me
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
ja09
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Default Kegging will be the death of me

So my 1st year of kegging has gone like this... awesomeness, awesomeness, drained tank, awesomeness, bad regulator, awesomeness, awesomeness, drained tank, awesomeness, drained tank.

Just opened my fridge this morning to see the tank is again drained for the 4th time, totally out of the blue, and was working/holding pressure fine for the last few weeks. I really thought I had everything fixed this last time.

I'm starting to get pretty frustrated with leaks that seem to spring up out of nowhere. One time it was a weld in my lid that was all of a sudden cracked, 1 bad gas post, 1 bad regulator (co2 coming out of the screw), and this time I'm not sure yet... I might just throw them out the window.

I check almost daily and have never noticed my tank pressure gradually decreasing, it's either full or empty. This leads me to believe there is no slow leak, just a leak that magically appears like clockwork every 5-6 weeks. I've spent a lot of time checking & fixing leaks, and I'm very confident there is no leak when I finish this process.

Pretty effin flustered right now and not quite sure what this post is for...I'm either ranting, looking for words of encouragement, or tips from more experienced users. I don't see what I could be doing wrong?

Thanks HBT.

FYI the kegs are used ball locks from Midwest, all in pretty good shape, all came with new lid seals and some with all new seals. Regulator is brand new dual pressure, the higher end model.


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Old 09-19-2013, 04:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ja09 View Post
I check almost daily and have never noticed my tank pressure gradually decreasing, it's either full or empty. This leads me to believe there is no slow leak, just a leak that magically appears like clockwork every 5-6 weeks.
You have a slow leak. Since CO2 is stored as a liquid (not a gas), the tank pressure will remain constant at a given temperature until the tank is almost empty.

Sorry you've been having all these issues. It can indeed be very frustrating to track down a stubborn leak. But keep at it!

A leaky keg usually is relatively easy to diagnose, but regulator leaks can be very hard to track down for sure. Make sure your gas QDs aren't leaking (submerge them in water), make sure your lid o-ring isn't leaking, make sure your posts aren't leaking around the bottom (with soapy water or star san). Put fresh o-rings on the gas posts, and lube them. Check all the barbed connections, check any MFL fittings, etc.


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Old 09-19-2013, 05:44 PM   #3
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Sounds like you are just having a lot of bad luck with your system. If you went back to bottling you'd probably be happy to deal with this occasional frustration instead.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #4
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Put fresh o-rings on the gas posts, and lube them. Check all the barbed connections, check any MFL fittings, etc.
Thanks for the feedback. Do you put keg lube on the gas dip tube o-ring?

Picked up a new tank, guess I'll start from the beginning checking for leaks!
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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I like to set my pressure for desired carbonation and shake the dickens out of it to bring it up to full carb. Then shut off the CO2 at the tank and disconnect everything if I'm going to be leaving it for a while. I check it periodically to make sure that it is holding full carbonation by turning on the tank and if I don't hear CO2 dumping into the keg, then I know I'm close or at least holding pressure.

One time, one of my regulators had a tendency to creep and I think it creeped up past the regulator pressure relief valve's blow off point and emptied my newly filled tank when I wasn't around. (I was carbonating a soda at room temp, so really high pressure anyway, it's not like it creeped that far.) I found my tank sitting in a puddle of condensation the next morning from freezing up while emptying, so I can only speculate as to what exactly happened. After that happened, I don't leave a keg to force carbonate unattended anymore.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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A very useful technique to help isolate if its the kegs or the regulator/co2 connection is to simply turn on the gas and unplug your QDs going to your kegs, then turn off the gas at tank. If it holds the pressure already in the regulator/hoses over time, then that part is solid. If it loses pressure just sitting there, then you know there's something in that system that is leaking. Dunk it all in a big plastic tub (except for the regulator) and you can see if it's the connection at the tank, or one of the QDs, etc.

It's amazing how many possible points of failure there really is. I lost a tank of gas due to a bad connection from the tank to the regulator. I thought I had completely tightened it down as far as was humanly possible. Finally dunked it into a plastic bin of water and could see tiny bubbles coming up from the nut. A fraction of a crank more with my wrench, and suddenly the bubbles are gone and happiness replaces it.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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I only turn my C02 on when I'm going to draw a beer because of pesky leaks.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
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..... I lost a tank of gas due to a bad connection from the tank to the regulator. I thought I had completely tightened it down as far as was humanly possible. Finally dunked it into a plastic bin of water and could see tiny bubbles coming up from the nut. A fraction of a crank more with my wrench, and suddenly the bubbles are gone and happiness replaces it.
FWIW, there should be a gasket at the regulator to tank valve connection.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
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FWIW, there should be a gasket at the regulator to tank valve connection.
Good idea to check that. Those things can grow wings and disappear when you take your regulator off the tank.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:28 PM   #10
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All my kegs are used, and I had a hell of a time with leaks. If your lids are leaking, which was where mine were, you can put a couple of pennies under the legs on the lid to get them a little tighter. That used to be my trick. Now when I first go to purge the keg, I hit it with co2 at 30psi to get that lid really seated. Then spray some star San around the lid to check for leaks. This works so well that I stopped using the pennies. Star San really bubbles up, that's why it best for this. Then I go ahead and purge the keg. Also, make sure you have hose clamps on all your connections, and use keg lube.

Good luck. Very frustrating. I used to not leave my gas on all the time.


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