Cooler Mash Tun Leaking From Ball Valve

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adpostel

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The ball valve on my Igloo Cooler MT is screwed in with the recommended Orings and washer kit. But everytime I go to open the ball valve it is kind of tight and its starts leaking water from where it goes through the cooler. Has anyone found out a way to make the ball valve thru connection a little sturdier at that point, or am I doing something wrong? Thanks.
 

Bobby_M

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Generally those leak because the shop selling the bulkhead doesn't know what the heck they are doing. The only way to provide some help is if you link us to the product you purchased or post some pictures of the install, both inside and out.
 
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adpostel

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This is the setup I have on the cooler... it has a small o-ring on the outside of the opening and the thicker larger o-ring with large washer on the inside of the cooler... when I’m trying to operate my ball valve it flexes so much and starts leaking...
 

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Bobby_M

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Indeed, that is a corrupt design for a bulkhead. Anyone selling that crap should be ashamed. The real flaw is that liquid can easily seep between the coupling and the SS washer, gain access to the threads and just spiral right inside that oring. In other words, that oring cannot stop liquid in the valleys of the nipple.

You never want to use a gasket on the outside of a cooler because if that's stopping liquid at that location, it means liquid is then able to fill the cavity between the two shells soaking the insulation. That's bad for heat retention but also disgusting.

Aside from buying a properly designed bulkhead like this one: True Weldless Bulkhead - With Large BARB
1620401106991.png


You may try reconfiguring the one you have. Remove the external oring (for reasons above and the fact that it adds unnecessary flex). Then get some aquarium repair silicone and goop it up everywhere on the inside parts.
 

RufusBrewer

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I had an igloo plus bulkhead mash tun that leaked. One trick that helped the leak is I packed the thru hole on the cooler with saran wrap. It helped reinforce the loose and spongy insulation that allowed outside and inside plastic walls to flex under the pressure of tightening down the nut. Pack in more than you think you need, the bulkhead will compress it.

That may not apply to the design of your particular cooler.

I was fortunate to work at a place with a machine shop. I got some scrap stainless steel plate. I cut it to size and drilled a hole to fit the bulkhead. I used food grade RTV to hold the plate in place. I made up some aluminum shims for the outside and ask as a a washer for the nut. Make the shims as large as us practical to spread force of the nut across more of the plastic.

This design served me for 15 years and I am glad I went the extra mile.

If you have to, try a local machine shop. A nice drawing and a six pack of home brew might sort you out.
 

TenaCJed

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Have you tried to tighten the bulkhead more? I would take the barb off on the inside so you can use plyers to grip the coupling piece better and then tighten from the outside. It does not look to me like the oring on the inside is being compressed enough by the washer.
 
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adpostel

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Indeed, that is a corrupt design for a bulkhead. Anyone selling that crap should be ashamed. The real flaw is that liquid can easily seep between the coupling and the SS washer, gain access to the threads and just spiral right inside that oring. In other words, that oring cannot stop liquid in the valleys of the nipple.

You never want to use a gasket on the outside of a cooler because if that's stopping liquid at that location, it means liquid is then able to fill the cavity between the two shells soaking the insulation. That's bad for heat retention but also disgusting.

Aside from buying a properly designed bulkhead like this one: True Weldless Bulkhead - With Large BARB
View attachment 728497

You may try reconfiguring the one you have. Remove the external oring (for reasons above and the fact that it adds unnecessary flex). Then get some aquarium repair silicone and goop it up everywhere on the inside parts.

Perfect! Ordered! Thanks, Bobby!
 
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