CO2 regulator problem?

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JDNCT

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I had gotten away from brewing over the last couple of years, but thought a kegerator might get me back into since it would cut out my least favorite part--bottling.

I just bought a used 2 tap Edgestar kegerator from craigslist. It needed some major cleanup, I replaced the lines, swapped out the Sanke coupler for ball lock connections and cleaned everything up. The regulator seems to be pretty basic, no high pressure gauge and only one low pressure gauge for the two kegs.

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I attached the two lines to corny keg of a pale ale I brewed and an corny keg of water to make some seltzer. I've had a bunch of issues since then and am trying to figure out if the regulator is faulty and needs to be replaced-- or if I'm just doing something wrong.

Here's what I'm finding:
  • The pressure adjustment valve does not seem to be doing anything. Regardless of how I adjust it, the only way that I can control the pressure is by barely opening the CO2 tank valve.
  • As I understand it, the CO2 tank valve should be completely opened (kind of like a propane tank on a gas grill). If I open it more than a little bit, the pressure relief valve on the regulator will release.
  • I have been able to carbonate the beer by getting bursts of CO2 into the system by opening the CO2 tank briefly, allowing it build up maybe 30 psi (before the relief valve pops) and shutting the tank off. After doing this a couple of times over the course of a couple of days, it is carbonated and I can pour by opening the tank enough to push some beer out. While it's nice to be getting some draft beer, I know this is not the way it's supposed to be working!
Any thoughts on what might be going on? While I'd prefer to save some money right now and get this one working, I'm thinking about upgrading to a regulator that has the high pressure gauge as well as two low pressures ones for each keg.
 
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The two low pressure gauges would be good for dispensing two liquids at different PSI. the high pressure gauge is virtually useless as it will read high pressure up until the end of the tank and it will lose pressure quickly. I’ve found them to be not very useful in tracking when I’m low on co2. Definitely sounds like you either need a new regulator or a rebuild kit for the one you have.
 
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JDNCT

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The two low pressure gauges would be good for dispensing two liquids at different PSI. the high pressure gauge is virtually useless as it will read high pressure up until the end of the tank and it will lose pressure quickly. I’ve found them to be not very useful in tracking when I’m low on co2. Definitely sounds like you either need a new regulator or a rebuild kit for the one you have.
Thank you, GilSwillBasementBrews.
 
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