Barb or Flare?

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fifelee

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SWMBO has given me the green light to keg. I won't buy anything until we return to the States in September, but thought I should start the research now. It looks like most people us the barbed fittings but most vendors also sell flare.

Could I get a roll call on what people use and your opinions on which is better? Cheers.
 

Chris_K

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flare is far and away a better fitting, but it requires extra pieces (read "more money") than using barbs. Barbs are a real pain when you try to disconnect them, and you always need to disconnect something whether to clean or reconfigure.

This webpage has a good synopsis of why not to use barbs
http://sdcollins.home.mindspring.com/Plumbing.html

to quote a small portion of the site

 

abracadabra

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I agree with Chris flare is the way to go. Especially if you go with mutilple kegs or ever think you might do multiple kegs.
 

Drunkensatyr

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I use barbs because hose is CHEAP!!!! I redo all my hoses ever year anyways, so it isn't that big a deal to me to cut off the end of one every couple of batches. But yes, Flare is much easier on a regular basis
 

kornkob

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I, on the other hand, don't think that it matters that much.

When I disassemble my system it is usually to make a significant change and I have to replace the hose anyway so I just cut it off--- takes me just as long to remove the hose at it would for a flare fitting.

As much as the quoted article talks about there 'always being something to change', the reality of the situation is that you rarely have to change anything and when you do, the minor effort of cutting the hose is not that big a deal. A boxcutter is a beautiful thing.
 

Buford

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I'm glad I went with flare. I have short gas lines in my kegerator so they don't take up too much space, but I need to disconnect one of the short lines from the regulator and connect a long line to use my beer gun. Flare makes that simple. There have also been occasions where I needed to use a liquid or gas QD in a different location and all I needed to do is unscrew it from the line with a wrench.
 
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fifelee

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Thanks for the input guys. Having easily removable connections makes sense. When I get back I will have the large CO2 bottles around for welding. Figure I might as well use one for beer, but I would hate to drain a full bottle. What about leaking? Does either connection type have an advantage?
 

Bobby_M

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I just happened to get a great deal on barb style keg connectors but I don't go disconnecting anything that often. If there's any point that gets disconnected often, it gets a QD period. Flare isn't that quick.
 

abracadabra

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I've got both types and don't think it makes much difference as far as leaks.

The LBHS I frequent recommends using the crimp type clamps rather than the screw type to secure the hoses to whatever type fitting you end up using.

But having both is where I developed my preference for flare types.
I've got a beer gun so having the flare type makes clean up easier for me.
And it seems like I am always wanting to change something other folks may not be like that.
 

Ol' Grog

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Once you got your lines made, you shouldn't have to disconnect at the barb. Get some hose clamps and put them on the hose once you get it in the barb. Kind of a backup. I haven't had any leaks at all, and that includes my gas lines as well. I tested them up to 25 psi and all is good.
 
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