Flare Washers

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A quick question about the flare fittings for my kegs:

I just took the dive into kegging (hooray no more bottling!!:ban:) and I got the ball lock QDs with the flare fitting, plus a shut-off valve with a flare fitting for the regulator. When I went to buy them at my LHBS, the guy told me that I needed a flare washer for the fitting on the regulator, and my question is why?

I use AN flare (37* flare) fittings all the time at work and I've used them on a number of cars that I've worked on, and the whole purpose of a flare fitting is that the flare provides a positive sealing surface (as opposed to NPT, where the seal is in the threads). Why are homebrew flares different?
 

P-J

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A flare fitting seal counts on the deformation of the 2 metal surfaces to provide a good and proper seal. (copper tube to brass fitting) With the things that we deal with, the metals are generally Stainless Steel. So - given that - the two surfaces that provide the seal are really difficult to deform in order to provide a proper and leak proof seal. Liquids are really more forgiving - however with a CO² line the seal has to be perfect. Hence the flare washer to provide the seal with the harder metals that we use and deal with in brewing.

BTW: The flare fitting is the only threaded fitting that is designed for repeated connect/disconnect. Compression fittings? Not a chance. NPT fittings? No way.

Sorry, really long explanation. But, you asked.

P-J

Edit - Note: The Corny flare disconnects have a built in washer on the flare fitting of the disconnect. Take a look at them.

Second Edit - I just realized this is your first post on the forum. I wish to welcome you and hope that your participation here is an enjoyable experience. Welcome aboard.
 
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facialhairtuesday
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With the things that we deal with, the metals are generally Stainless Steel.
That's true, but I've run steel brake lines with flare fittings, again with no washer. I agree that the metals deform with softer metals (like aluminum/brass/etc.), but for high pressure hydraulics, you can't use materials like that, and you can still use flare fittings

The guy at my LHBS did point out the built in washers to me though

Thanks for the welcome too! I've been forum haunting for a while, and figured I might as well finally post a question
 
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