Causes of catastrophic CO2 loss overnight

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dontman

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Hello all

Just went to my taps to draw a pint and mon dieu! no gas. Everything read zero. everything was zero. This two system has been on these particularskegs for a couple weeks with only nominal usage. Last week, heck two day ago pressure was fine and there gas to charge up and down each keg.

The meters are both on zero as is the tank meter which was at 6oo lbs on Saturday night. I am wondering all of the co2 including the stuff inmy beer went away. It must be problem with the regulator right? This system has been in use with this original 5 # tank for about month no issues at all.

So it appears that something went wrong yesterday that made my whole system go gooie kablooie. Thing is I did nothing yesterday. I didnt switch out keg or hoses or anything. So th system that didnt leak until Saturday strated for sumf ucked up reason.

What to do here? And I not druk. Must beef fa oxycodones.

Oh I didnt jiggle no hoseson either keg gas lines or

I am sad. I have to pul lout that long arse drinking straws and suck the keg up through a straw and drink it all tonight.

Why would I lose the keg pressure as well.
 

McKBrew

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Maybe a very small pinhole leak or loose connection?

From personal experience.

One day I noticed a small patch of beer in my kegerator. Didn't think much of it, and didn't notice any leaks or pressure changes. About a week later no issues, then one day my tank was at zero. Opened the keezer to a big pool of beer on the bottom. Found that one of my barbed connections was not fully tightened, I had hand tightened, but forgot to go over it with a wrench.

I've also noticed that a hose clamp if tightened too much could potentially weaken the line and cause a small leak depending on the hose.

My guess, small leak somewhere. The lack of beer puddles suggests a gas side problem. Could be lines, loose ball lock connection, or maybe even a leak in the main corny lid.

If you have decent hearing (no offense, some people don't), start by hooking up the system as is, checking all the connections and then get the area quiet and listen for any slight sound of hissing once the pressure is equalized.

Good luck, hope this helps.
 

Yooper

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That happened to me recently. Tank looked fine, but then suddenly was empty. The reason was a leaking corny lid, which was fine before as far as I knew!

The reason it seemed to go overnight, though, is this- the guage really isn't accurate. It'll read 600 psi until it's almost totally empty, and then finally read 0. I think it's because the co2 is a liquid but it's dispensed as a gas.
 

Cactus

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Just had the same issue. My problem was I tightened the regulator too tight. I worked for a week trying to find a leak. Ended up going to LHBS and they hooked it up for me and no problems. Guy tightened it by hand and no problems.
Just an idea if you cant find an actual leak.
 

Dr_Deathweed

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The reason it seemed to go overnight, though, is this- the guage really isn't accurate. It'll read 600 psi until it's almost totally empty, and then finally read 0. I think it's because the co2 is a liquid but it's dispensed as a gas.

Yoop has it right on the nose. If you have been using the tank for a month with no troubles, you could have just used all your gas or have a very small leak. Because CO2 is stored as a liquid, the tank pressure guage is going to stay high/look full until you have used 75-80% of the gas in the tank before it starts to drop. By the time you are noticing your tank pressure dropping its time to think of getting it refilled and not "I still have 3/4 of a tank left."
 

ClutchDude

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Get the tank refilled and hook up everything as it was. Then go over every gas fitting with a spray bottle of soapy water like Baldy said. My leak ended up being a the lack of a nylon gasket in the gas beer nut (I use sankey).

The reason the keg is out is because the system is open from regulator to the beer itself and any external opening allows gas from anywhere within that limit to escape.
 

conpewter

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I've lost a full tank before, make sure to check all your connections as stated. Also spray star-san (or soapy water) on the keg lid, especially in the relief valve holes. I have a couple kegs I can't use since the relief valve leaks.
 

john from dc

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as has been mentioned, the pressure gauge doesn't follow a linear scale. if the pressure gague is down at half its original reading, you're pretty much out of gas.

if you want to know how much you have left in your co2 tank, go by weight. weigh the tank now when it's empty so you can get a baseline. a 5lb tank will weigh 5lbs more than that when full, and will get lighter in proportion to how much co2 has been used.

p.s. definitely also check for leaks.
 

SOB

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In the 1.5 years that I've been kegging I've gone through three 5# tanks, one 2.5# tank and going on two 25# tanks due to various leakages. Each time I thought the leak was fixed but it either wasn't or there was a tiny leak somewhere else. Sometimes they can be VERY tough to find! The soapy water thing didnt work as well for me as the actual gas-leak detector solutions you can buy. Spray that stuff on and you'll see bubbles where the leaks are.

I have all except for one leak fixed right now but I was wondering what everyone uses to secure the lines to the barbed fittings? On every connection I've taken hot water and dipped the CO2 line in it and them put the fitting on (ie quick disconnect) and tightened it down with a hose clamp. After doing this I still have a leak at one of the fittings. Hose clamps cant seem to tighten down enough since I'm using the braided (reinforced) line.
 

camiller

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From watching my dad working on gas lines when I was a kid I seem to recall that "soapy water" was a 50-50 blend of liquid dish detergent and water. In other words not just "soapy water" but "soapy water" It might be more appropriate to call it watery soap. At any rate make it pretty thick.

Edit: I also remember dad using a paint brush to put it on rather than spraying it.
 

McKBrew

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Interesting...can you buy those at most hardware stores? Do they take a special tool to tighten?
I've seen the larger ones at my home depot, I'm sure there are more available depending on where you look. A simple set of nail cutting pliers is all you need to clamp them, they can be bought for under $15.
 

HenryHill

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If the main gauge says below about 1200psi, while inside the cold frig, you are nearly on 'E'. It is safe to assume that you will be out of CO2 very soon. You're gauge may vary, especially with temp, but as soon as you see it off the pressure it was when you installed that tank, when it was full, you are nearly out of CO2.

I use a large spray bottle with a rich mixture of starsan on brewday, to sanitize the stuff that can't fit in my open rectangular container of starsan. I spray outside and inside the equipment before use.

I also use this spray bottle for changing out kegs in my Sanyo. I use a paper towel to catch excess liquid since I spray the posts and orings, and the underside of the corny QD's. After twisting the QD's down on to the posts, and checking that they are seated securely, I open the gas line shutoff valve and then spray all over the entire lid, including the PR valve, the oval of the lid, and the area under the QD's, with a stream, to check for leaks. It never made any sense to me to make up a separate soapy solution since I already have the spray bottle of starsan, and want to sanitize the connections anyway.

I do this with every keg, every time.

I then use the sanitizer-moist paper towel to wipe any excess moisture that may be in the frig.
 
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dontman

dontman

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That happened to me recently. Tank looked fine, but then suddenly was empty. The reason was a leaking corny lid, which was fine before as far as I knew!

The reason it seemed to go overnight, though, is this- the guage really isn't accurate. It'll read 600 psi until it's almost totally empty, and then finally read 0. I think it's because the co2 is a liquid but it's dispensed as a gas.
Thanks for this confirmation. I was wondering why the gauge never moved. Makes the gauge seem kind of useless.

The thing that made me think leak is that all pressure including the pressure in the kegs was gone. With no leak shouldn't the system retain some pressure?
 

Cactus

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The kegs should have still held tight if they were not leaking themselves.
 

GNBrews

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If the main gauge says below about 1200psi, while inside the cold frig, you are nearly on 'E'. It is safe to assume that you will be out of CO2 very soon.
Naw, that's not true at all. The vapor pressure of liquid CO2 at fridge temps is usually 600PSI or less. However, the rest of your advice is good. If the temperature remains the same (which it should with a good fridge), if the gauge pressure starts to drop from where it has been previously, you are basically out of gas (for the reason that Yooper wrote).

As far as the OP's problem goes, I'd be willing to bet that you have a defective relief valve on one or more of your kegs. Once you get a new fill on your tank, hook everything back up and spray the soap solution mentioned by Camiller into the relief valve ports. The rubber seal at the bottom of the relief valve assembly loses pliability as it ages and eventually won't seal. I spray mine with food grade silicone every time I clean my kegs.
 

SOB

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What I did to narrow down where the leak was (if it's tiny and you cant find it with soapy water or a leak-detection solution) was to put pressure on things and start isolating the leak points. For example, I have a 3-way distribution block and if I'm worried a certain keg or disconnect is leaking, put 10 psi on then shut of the valve to isolate that "leg" of the distribution block. If I come back the next day and open the valve up and the regulator has to fill that "section" back up to 10 psi then there is obviously a leak there.
 

kirscp

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The kegs should have still held tight if they were not leaking themselves.
Only if there is a one way check valve, otherwise the pressure will release back to the leak.
 
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