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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > ARGHHH! Why can't stuff be just one freakin' size?
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default ARGHHH! Why can't stuff be just one freakin' size?

So I'm trying to get this keezer put together. Today some stuff came from Midwest Supplies. I got some of that red 5/16 inch co2 tubing, two co2 splitters, and 6 barbed ball lock gas fittings. I already have the regulator and co2 bottle.

So all of the barbs...on the regulator and the co2 splitter fit the 5/16 inch co2 tubing just fine. But WTH are the barbs on the BALL LOCK GAS FITTING a freaking different size!?!? These are the ones:

Ball Lock Gas Fitting Barbed :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies

If everything else (all from the same vendor) has gas barbs sized for 5/16 on all connections (and the co2 gas lines they sell are 5/16) why would the BALL LOCK GAS FITTING have a barb of a different size?

I don't get it. And worse, there's nothing in the description that says, "these ball lock gas fittings are barbed, but be warned that the barb size DOESN'T MATCH ALL OF THE OTHER STANDARD CO2 SIZE BARBS.

What should I be using for ball lock fittings that connect properly to a 5/16 inch co2 line?


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Old 09-03-2008, 08:52 PM   #2
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I don't understand. Are the barbs too big to fit into the tube, or is the tubing so big that it doesn't fit snugly?

If it's the former, you can usually soak the end of the tubing in hot water for a few minutes and it'll slide over the next size up. If it's the latter, just get yourself a worm clamp from Lowes and clamp it on.


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Old 09-03-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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I don't understand. Are the barbs too big to fit into the tube, or is the tubing so big that it doesn't fit snugly?

If it's the former, you can usually soak the end of the tubing in hot water for a few minutes and it'll slide over the next size up. If it's the latter, just get yourself a worm clamp from Lowes and clamp it on.
The barb on the ball lock is much smaller. Like way smaller. I've got some metal hose clamps and I can try to tighten the heck out of it and see if it'll make a proper seal. But I don't understand why they'd be a completely different size. As in not even close.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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The hose barbs on the ball lock fittings are 1/4". Why everything else is 5/16" I don't know, I had the same problem. I had to get ball locks with 1/4" flare fittings and pick up 1/4" flare to 5/16" barb swivel nuts... Kinda peaved me since I already had ball locks with 1/4" barbs on them. I just repurposed the barbed ones for liquid to gas jumpers for transfering from one keg to another and portable rigging.

I do agree, they should make it clear that the ball locks with barbs are 1/4" and if you want to use them, you need to use 1/4" hose. You can get 1/4" hose onto 5/16" barbs though. You have to soak the hose in HOT water for a bit to soften it up first, but it works.

Make sure you don't use the cheap clear vinyl hose from the hardware store though. I started off using that stuff and it ballooned in size (about 4x) over 3mo or so. I stripped it all out and replaced it before it had a change to burts. Make sure to use reinforced hose.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:28 PM   #5
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I do agree, they should make it clear that the ball locks with barbs are 1/4" and if you want to use them, you need to use 1/4" hose. You can get 1/4" hose onto 5/16" barbs though. You have to soak the hose in HOT water for a bit to soften it up first, but it works.
Of course, they only sell 5/16 inch gas line. Not that I can't get some somewhere else, but I'm still irritated that they have one oddball size with no indication that it's an oddball size compared to everything alse. I was hoping to have this Keezer flowing this weekend. Now there's no way.

Any chance I can get a seal with a really tight hose clamp?
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:53 PM   #6
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I didn't have any luck getting my 5/16" hose to seal on a 1/4" barb. The cheap clear vinyl hose from the hardware stores works, at least in the short term. You could pick up some 1/4" vinyl hose and use that to get you up and running untill you figure out what you want to do to rectify the situation.

I got my line from the local hose supplier (River Bend Hose in South Bend, IN). It's clear with white and orange fiber reinforcement. It was cheaper than any of the shops online that I found ($.53/ft) and FDA certified for such uses.

Not sure what else to tell ya...
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:46 PM   #7
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Not sure what else to tell ya...
Thanks man. You told me what I needed to know. I just ordered 6 threaded ball lock fittings (1/4 inch threads) and 6 of the 5/16 inch barbed swivel nuts to fit them. Coming from Northern Brewer, but even if they ship tomorrow they won't get here until Monday. Bummer. I'm not going to mess with any temp solutions in the meantime though. I'll just wait it out.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:52 PM   #8
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my understanding is that you should be putting a one way check valve in between the ball lock 1/4 in. and the gas tube to prevent liquid from getting into the hose.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:17 AM   #9
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A one way valve is a good idea, however, it's much easier (and cheaper) to put a single check valve between the regulator and distribution block than one between each ball valve and keg, plus most of the better ball valves on the distribution blocks have an integrated check valve. That doesn't help him get his gas lines hooked to his ball lock connectors though...
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:33 AM   #10
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A one way valve is a good idea, however, it's much easier (and cheaper) to put a single check valve between the regulator and distribution block than one between each ball valve and keg, plus most of the better ball valves on the distribution blocks have an integrated check valve.
These are the distribution blocks that I have. I have two...one 4-way and one 3-way (I have a dual regulator). The description mentions a ball check valve. Do you think this is all I need?

(I'm assuming that the purpose of the valve is to keep the beer from pumping out the co2 line if the tank were to empty and lose pressure.)

What I have:

4 Way CO2 Distributor, 5/16" :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies


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