Duotight gas leak indicator?

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cactusgarrett

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I just converted my gas side over to 4mm EVAbarrier and DuoTight fittings, and I'm hoping someone can lend some insight as to whether or not I have a leak.

I hit the system with pressure, and with quick disconnects off the kegs, shut off valves (before the in-line regulators) and let it sit overnight. When I come back to it the next morning, there's a noticeable pressure drop on the gauges, and when I charge the lines again (turn on valves before the regulators) the gauges jump back up to the set pressure. Disconnected from kegs and isolated from the gas tank, should these lines hold/maintain pressure? Is this indicative of a leak? I tested the QDs by submerging in a glass of water (no leaks there), but obviously I can't do that to the in-line check valve or in-line regulator junctions.

Overall, the setup is similar to this (including the blue clips). After the gas tank and regulator, there are 5 independent lines, so I'll illustrate just one for simplicity:
Gas tank/regulator -> DuoTight in-line ball valve -> DuoTight in-line regulator -> DuoTight check valve -> DuoTight low profile ball lock gas QD
 

Bobby_M

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Back all the way up. If your primary regulator has a shutoff valve, shut that. Set the pressure to 20psi and then shut off the tank. Does the 20psi still hold for an hour? If not, you have a leak in the regulator or between the tank and reg.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Back all the way up. If your primary regulator has a shutoff valve, shut that. Set the pressure to 20psi and then shut off the tank. Does the 20psi still hold for an hour? If not, you have a leak in the regulator or between the tank and reg.
It does, and I have been shutting it off after charging the lines. So basically the closed line that I'm monitoring is ball valve + Duotight regulator + check valve + QD. THAT closed system isn't maintaining the initial pressure over a handful of hours.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Yeah, I tried resetting all the fittings, but no dice. I'll try again with some lube and a twist. Is this tubing good for only so many inserts before needing to be snipped for a fresh sidewall?
 

BongoYodeler

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Also make sure you have good, 90° cuts on all your tubing. I had one that I could not stop from leaking, even though it looked fine. I changed Duotight fittings and it still leaked. I ended up cutting an inch or so off and re-seating it into the fitting and that fixed it. Yours is not exactly the same situation as mine, but it wouldn't hurt to check all your cuts.
 

DuncB

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Duotights and EVA barrier do not like tight bends. Make sure that keezer lids etc when shut aren't bending something.
If you get the correct sized allan key you can judge the depth of penetration for the tube. Measure the distance and then mark the tubes with pen before ramming a good straight cut end in. I've never had to twist or lube my connectors to fit them together. Have about 35 or more push fit joins on my system but I did have a leak when I first set up and did empty a tank so it's worth looking and finding the problem.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Yeah, no tight bends or anything - this is a standup fridge through-wall run, so it's all sweeping turns. I've been using a duotight snipping tool, so i'm confident in the cuts. I've also marked every insertion with a sharpie to confirm I'm pushing each one in fully, but I'll re-cut each connection as a last resort, as well as lube and turn the tubing.
 

TenaCJed

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Check for micro cracks on the duotight fittings themselves. I had nothing but issues with the fittings on the gas side, to the point where I went back to standard swivel fittings on gas. I have no issues on liquid side, but I found several fittings had micro cracks, even the elbow on the flow stopper keg filler cracked on me. Now that is not something I use much and definitely put no strain on it.

It is easy to overtighten the fittings that thread onto something else, those cracks tend to be easier to see. The micro cracks I am talking about is just below where the tubing goes in where it gets thinner.

Maybe I just got unlucky, but I gave it a try and replaced some pieces just to see those replacements also get small cracks in them. I have seen plenty of others that have not had issues, no idea why I had issues.
 

bartichex

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Also, keep in mind that after you insert the tubing into the duotight fitting, you must firmly pull the tubing outward in order to seat the compression collet and engage the metal teeth.
3F55CD4D-08DA-46E5-B1D3-453683209513.jpeg
 

DuncB

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@bartichex
Good reminder but he's using the blue clips under that collet so must have it pulled out for the clip to fit on.
I don't use those clips just push pull and hope!
Which has been fine so far.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I have almost 50 ptc connectors in service, mostly JG by far, then some DMfit (beer shank connectors), and just five Duotights (regulator outputs), and never pulled back on the EVABarrier tubing with any of them. I don't think it's necessary: similar to Sharkbite connectors the "tooth" angle on these fittings pretty much guarantees they positively engage just by stuffing the tubing to the stops...

Cheers!
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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I removed the check valves from the circuit, so it's basically:
( Ball valve / Duotight regulator / ball lock QD )

I'm still seeing a pressure drop (from 15 psi) overnight in all five lines after re-cutting, lubing, reconnecting (w/ twists). Just to confirm - when charged and disconnected, this closed circuit should maintain pressure, right? I'm running out of options on what to test. Next will be replacing the line between the shutoff ball valves and the Duotight regulators, then I don't know what to do.
 

Yesfan

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Can you swap out the ball lock QD? Do you have a spare regulator you can swap out to confirm the Duotight one is not the culprit? If you have some of the Kegland carb caps, you could put one on an empty 16oz Coke bottle, hit it with 15psi to make sure it isn't the line to the keg that's leaking too.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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All five lines (including QDs and regulators) are behaving the same, which is suggesting either these closed circuit lines don't hold pressure when disconnected from a keg overnight, or I have leaks in all 5 lines at the ball valves or regulators. I'm more apt to believe the former.

I have carb caps, so I suppose I could hook one up and see if it behaves when attached. I've dunked the QDs in a glass of water with the line charged and I don't see any bubbles, so IF it's leaking there, it's pretty slow. No one has explicitly stated that these QDs are supposed to hold pressure when disconnected from a keg, though, so that is still a wildcard to me.
 

Deadalus

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That the five branches all leak is indicative of one of the pieces in the branch not working for all five branches, which you have noted. It could be the tubing, I was reading the reviews for the ball valves at Morebeer and one reviewer noted the following when asked if the ball valve could be used as a CO2 shutoff.
BEST ANSWER: Yes it can, as long as you are connecting it to 8mm tubing. The tubing needs to be very round and free of defects. Tubing that is slightly oval in the cross section may leak and you will lose all of your CO2. This happens a lot when the tubing is coiled too tightly and stored or shipped in that state.

Do you have rigid pieces installed between some of the pieces? If you do try making a branch using just those between fittings and not the flexible tubing. And for fun, make a branch using just flexible tubing.
 

DuncB

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How about just building it up one part at a time ie reg to ball lock. THen reg to elbow and inline reg to the ball lock already tested. Then add in a T etc.

But as it's all assembled can't you just dunk that whole board in water? Put the pressure up to 35 psi and open up each component one by one?
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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So from submersion in water at 40 psi, I found that one of the ball valves has a slight leak at the knob when turned to one position. However, testing the other four valves (and check valves) separately shows those are all okay. Why would the other four lines be dropping pressure if they're isolated from the one bad ball valve by four good ball valves?
 

jdauria

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I wound up with a leak with my DuoTight connections on gas side myself yesterday. Have DuoTight fittings on my manifold with one of the gas lines a longer line for when I am filling kegs via closed transfer. After filling the keg, I used that line to attach the keg since my other two lines are in use and gas was coming out on manifold side. Somehow the tubing had slid out and was no longer connected to the 2nd inner o-ring. Not sure how that happened, but once I pushed it back in, all was good.
 

sibelman

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The ease of use for these fittings is somewhat compelling, at least on the beer side where one might occasionally change out tubing (to adjust length, or due to age). And beer side leaks are easily seen.

But on the gas side, leak chasing threads like this make me wonder whether PTC is worth it, given that EVAbarrier tubing can work with barbs without huge difficulty. What am I missing?

(yes, I know I'm being something of a curmudgeon)
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Barbs don't avoid the issue when I'm wanting to use EVAbarrier check valves and individual in-line regulators. The crux is that where i would use a barb, I'm pretty confident I'm not leaking from (tank regulator, ball lock disconnect).
 

TenaCJed

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Yes, the draw is the individual in-line regulators. The funny part is the gauges are so small you cannot read them, so you have to use blowtie or something else with a larger gauge to reliably set your pressure.

I do still use the regulator and check valves, but everything else is barb to include 4 port gas distribution. I did not use the EVA barrier ball valves.
 

day_trippr

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To me the primary draw of PTCs is enabling a simplified tubing architecture compared to the old school barbs, swivel nuts and band clamps, plus tail pieces, etc.
Secondary consideration is the ease of reconfiguration, eg the fermentation gas keg purging system I use that is shared between two chamber fridges, either or both of which may have a batch bubbling away...

Cheers!
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Update:

I took the regulator manifold board down, isolated each line separately and recut, refit, etc. until each line held pressure through the whole thing overnight. Reassembled the board, put all circuits in place, held fine. Once each line was confirmed to be holding, I put the blue collar clip in place to indicate each joint was kosher. Last night I re-installed the board onto the side of the upright fridge and all five lines dropped 15 psi overnight after the shutoff valve. CO2 tank to shutoff valve held fast, though.

Re-twisted the lines at the regulators to ensure hanging the board isn't torquing the lines. Gonna re-submerge the check valves and QDs in water, again, if it loses pressure over today.
 

McMullan

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I'm really leaning back towards old-school swivel nuts and barbs, tbh. Much better and more reliable, especially on the gas side. I'm not a fan of too many push fittings on the liquid side either, when you notice how much gunk builds up in them. Tubes need to be recut to tidy them up before reconnecting after cleaning and push-fit systems just aren't designed to be dis-/connected indefinitely. Eventually it's going to fail. All over the floor 😱 I quite like the EVA barrier tubing, though. The Duotight compatible secondary regulators need to be supplied with regular 1/4" female threads. In the meantime, a compatible stem to AN4 male (to receive a barbed swivel nut) is the way to go.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Update:

I took the regulator manifold board down, isolated each line separately and recut, refit, etc. until each line held pressure through the whole thing overnight. Reassembled the board, put all circuits in place, held fine. Once each line was confirmed to be holding, I put the blue collar clip in place to indicate each joint was kosher. Last night I re-installed the board onto the side of the upright fridge and all five lines dropped 15 psi overnight after the shutoff valve. CO2 tank to shutoff valve held fast, though.

Re-twisted the lines at the regulators to ensure hanging the board isn't torquing the lines. Gonna re-submerge the check valves and QDs in water, again, if it loses pressure over today.

Currently looking like this. I just heat-gunned the lines out after the regulators for a 90 bend downward to try and minimize torque at the collar, but even with the blue clips, I'm not sure if that's kosher. If it loses pressure again I suppose i can pull down the entire assembly and see if it leaks without the weight of the lines pulling on itself.

1650393493883.png
 

Deadalus

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Currently looking like this. I just heat-gunned the lines out after the regulators for a 90 bend downward to try and minimize torque at the collar, but even with the blue clips, I'm not sure if that's kosher. If it loses pressure again I suppose i can pull down the entire assembly and see if it leaks without the weight of the lines pulling on itself.

View attachment 766559
This isn't what it looked like after you lost the 15 psi on each line correct? When you say " Reassembled the board, put all circuits in place, held fine. " what did it look like? Originally you mentioned ball valves and check valves.

One common part you did mention is that you installed the blue clips. Are you getting them installed all the way in? Maybe they aren't manufactured correctly (too thin/too thick)? You could try without them or even split them and use them on 2-3 circuits.

I suspect you could find small clamps to support the connection after the fitting and before the bend if you wanted to.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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This isn't what it looked like after you lost the 15 psi on each line correct? When you say " Reassembled the board, put all circuits in place, held fine. " what did it look like? Originally you mentioned ball valves and check valves.

Right. This is an earlier pic (before installing the ball valves), but the orientation is the same. Ball valves are installed between the Ts and the regulators, and check valves are inside the fridge. I'm questioning if the weight of the lines themselves is pulling down too much on the ball valve/regulator connection or the regulator-tube-out interface. It's the only thing I can think of, considering it all worked when it wasn't put up onto the fridge.
 

Deadalus

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Were there lines inside the fridge while testing with the fridge on? Maybe the air in the lines is being cooled causing a pressure drop.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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On day one they were, but I thought that the cooling might be an issue so all subsequent testing was done without them in it. The current status (even though my drawing has them in the fridge) has them outside the fridge.
 

Deadalus

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Aw too bad, thought that might be a possibility. I was wondering if there was a pressure differential around the check valve that the end might be dropping temperature/pressure so then CO2 might move past the check valve. The room is unheated potentially based on the insulation showing, but I am not inclined to think that might happen. I think it would require something like the line from the regulator to the check valve to stay warmer than past the check valve. You could take a check valve out of 2-3 circuits to test that. If you tested it overnight before hanging it and everything was stable you could mostly likely rule that out.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Could someone please confirm for me that when disconnected from a keg, a complete line (ball valve/regulator/check valve/QD) should not drop in pressure over, say, 5 hours? I've been over all fittings 10x, recut all new line, submerged everything, done everything, and I'm still getting the same result. No one, though, has explicitly said that a disconnected line will hold pressure overnight, and that's what I'm using for my indicator of "no leak".

If this isn't the case, I'll at least feel a little better about this situation, but I'm at my wit's end on finding out why these lines don't stay charged when submersion isn't showing any leaks.
 

seatazzz

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Forgive me for possibly missing something, but are you absolutely sure it isn't the regulator itself? Another easily overlooked leak point is the connection to the tank itself; even with the valve completely closed and you are losing pressure, possibly changing out the gasket where the tank connects to the regulator might be it. I got burned there once, as well as with a faulty cheap regulator. I've got duotights on both the gas and liquid sides (except at the regulator to the manifold, standard barb/hose clamps on both ends) and have not had one leak since installing duotights and evabarrier line late last year.

Again, forgive me if this wasn't suggested above, but what I would try is shutting all the valves on the manifold and turning up the regulator to 15psi, then shutting the valve on the tank. If you are still losing pressure, it has to be the 1) connection at the tank, 2) regulator, or 3) connection at the manifold.
 

TenaCJed

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Another possibility is a slow leak on the duotight inline regulator. The gauge on the regulator is removable. I had a leak at that point on the blowtie that was very slow, but became obvious when left on a keg for 24 hours. You can take the gauge off and apply some keg lube on the connection point and then put it back on and see if that might help.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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Just to put a bow on this:

I finally got to a place where I'm comfortable keeping the gas line open to the system. Here's what I settled on:
  • Instead of installing the blue clips after confirming a line was secure, I did so before, with the idea that doing so after could have compromised the hookup. Illogical, but I was grasping at straws, and it worked, so I proceeded.
  • I left the blue clips off the check valve connections. I had to really work to get them in, which led me to think that this finagling possibly compromised the interface. Again, doesn't make sense, but whatevs.
  • Considering, early on in my attempts, I thought I had this good when the manifold assembly was loose on the floor, but then not good once raised and installed onto the fridge wall, I thought the torque on the regulator interfaces might be impacting things (despite the blue clips). As a result, I installed some additional brackets to support the lines onto the fridge and prevent torsion and support the lines better. Pics to follow for closure.
  • Finally, the lines I was most comfortable in were the ones the ball lock QD was hooked up to an empty 1L soda bottle via carb cap. When one line was hooked up and the other four weren't, that one maintained pressure, where the others didn't. Once I established one line was good and moved to the next, when I left the good line's QD disconnected, it lost pressure overnight. So ultimately, the answer to the question I kept posing is: no, do NOT trust a disconnected ball lock QD to hold pressure. Again, they didn't show to leak when submerged in water, but.... results.
Now, onto the liquid side!
 

Deadalus

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Just to put a bow on this:

I finally got to a place where I'm comfortable keeping the gas line open to the system. Here's what I settled on:
  • Instead of installing the blue clips after confirming a line was secure, I did so before, with the idea that doing so after could have compromised the hookup. Illogical, but I was grasping at straws, and it worked, so I proceeded.
  • I left the blue clips off the check valve connections. I had to really work to get them in, which led me to think that this finagling possibly compromised the interface. Again, doesn't make sense, but whatevs.
  • Considering, early on in my attempts, I thought I had this good when the manifold assembly was loose on the floor, but then not good once raised and installed onto the fridge wall, I thought the torque on the regulator interfaces might be impacting things (despite the blue clips). As a result, I installed some additional brackets to support the lines onto the fridge and prevent torsion and support the lines better. Pics to follow for closure.
  • Finally, the lines I was most comfortable in were the ones the ball lock QD was hooked up to an empty 1L soda bottle via carb cap. When one line was hooked up and the other four weren't, that one maintained pressure, where the others didn't. Once I established one line was good and moved to the next, when I left the good line's QD disconnected, it lost pressure overnight. So ultimately, the answer to the question I kept posing is: no, do NOT trust a disconnected ball lock QD to hold pressure. Again, they didn't show to leak when submerged in water, but.... results.
Now, onto the liquid side!
Glad you got it fixed!

Second bullet-Those blue clips can be difficult to get in and perhaps when doing so on the check valves, the ring got pulled too far out.
Fourth bullet- For the pressure to hold on the soda bottle along the isolated ball valve/regulator/check valve/QD when disconnected, that would imply to me that the internal poppet on the QD can't hold pressure. Not a problem connected as it is depressed. I feel bad because I generally make a point to turn off the shutoff valves for each line on the manifold because I have been uneasy about the QDs. I didn't have secondary regulators in the past.

I actually just decided to go with the more traditional secondary regs because I was reading this thread! I caught some good deals on ebay for a set of Taprites. Good to know that you have conquered the issue, your perseverance is noteworthy! Having just installed them, I think part of the issue diagnosing that fourth bullet is that with the metal secondary regs, the CO2 comes in the side and out the bottom. Then a shutoff/check valve is usually used so perhaps difficult to see that the QD is dropping pressure. And if the QD is connected to the keg, all those other connections could be suspect (but multiple kegs dropping would have been odd.) I didn't quite follow the idea to put the soda bottle on at first but now it makes sense so that was a good idea to troubleshoot.
 
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cactusgarrett

cactusgarrett

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I feel bad because I generally make a point to turn off the shutoff valves for each line on the manifold
This is going to be my MO moving forward, as a result of all this, for sure. And it's nice having the ball/shutoff valves before the secondary DuoTight regulators, just to see what the lines are doing at any given time.

I actually just decided to go with the more traditional secondary regs
I spent 10+ years having 3 lines, teed off one/main regulator, servicing 5 to 6 kegs. I've now got flow control NukaTaps and am putting soda on tap for the kids, so I figured it's time to do it up right by having each line capable of its own, independent pressure.
 

Yesfan

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Two things.

1 Can you explain to me what the blue clips are for? I clicked the link and they look to be something for an RO setup. I don't have RO, so trying to make the connection of that to a kegerator setup.

2) Are those Duotight ball lock disconnects bad about leaking gas/beer if they are pressurized but unhoooked from a keg?

On your drawing, it looks like there may be a strain issue on your lines from the regulators going into the fridge. I know you figured your leak issue, but do you think that would help prevent another leak from happening?


FWIW......I came home one day last week to pull a pint only to get a couple of dribbles in the glass. My worst fears were realized when I saw the gauges on my CO2 tank at zero. I have a duotight setup, but my leak is due to a faulty poppit valve on one of my kegs. Luckily, I have a spare tank so I've been making an effort to shut the tank off after each pour until my lazy ass can transfer the beer to another keg.

I love the PTC setup I have but I liked have disconnects that can shut off each line that wasn't in use. I still have my distributors from my old keezer. I may try to incorporate it in my new setup.

Glad you got it fixed. :mug:
 
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cactusgarrett

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Can you explain to me what the blue clips are for?
The way these push to fit fittings work is that to disengage, you have to push the external collar in before pulling out on the hose. The clips prevent that collar from being pushed in, preventing an accidental disengagement of the hose.

Are those Duotight ball lock disconnects bad about leaking gas/beer if they are pressurized but unhoooked from a keg?
This is the point of my post (#35). I was judging the integrity of the closed system by how well the closed circuit (unhooked from a keg/bottle) held pressure overnight. Ultimately no one could tell me they should hold pressure, and I found they don't.

it looks like there may be a strain issue on your lines from the regulators going into the fridge.
I suspected this was the case (third bullet point in my post #35) when it worked on the ground then leaked when installed. Again, though: i was judging based on a disconnected ball lock QD, so it might have been a false positive. To hedge my bets, in the updated pic you can see I secured the tubing onto the fridge to reduce that torque.
 
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