Kegerator will randomly stop pumping beer

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uvajrl

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Hello forum,

I just got my first kegerator, a Kegco K209SS. Great model by the way. Anyway, I have kegged some 420 with a sanke tap, and it will pump great with the perfect amount of foam, but after an hour or two, nothing will come out when pulling on the tap. It's definitely not empty.

I've taken the tap off, re-tapped it, made sure there's no gas leak, and usually after bouncing it around a bit or turning up the gas to above 10-12 psi (which is is usually at).. it starts again. But it has happened twice so far and I have no idea what's going on.

In terms of the tap, I don't know what the two plastic parts I removed in it were, but one looked like a stopper on the gas portion which seemed pointless because with it, gas couldn't get into the keg; and the other is a plastic ball with a plastic net-like web keeping the ball inside.

Since this has happened twice, I removed the ball to see if that was the problem. Theoretically, it seems like if the gas wedges the ball against the bottom of the tap, beer couldn't get up and into the lines? I don't know if this is the correct logic.

What is going on? Any ideas? No issues with my home brew, so it must be something with the sanke tap I think.

Thanks for all the help.
 

Shooter

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The plastic "stopper" is probably the one way valve that keeps beer from backing up into the gas line. I'm not sure removing the float ball is going to solve you issue and I suspect it will lead to other issues you do not want. Do you have any hop materials or sediment in the bottom of the keg that might be blocking it up?
 
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uvajrl

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It's a commercial keg (sweetwater 420) so I wouldn't expect any issues in that regard. It's so strange that it will go perfectly and then when I come back an hour or two later, nothing is working. The gas is on, no leaks, but no beer is coming out of the tap. And I haven't changed anything.

One other thing I forgot to mention was that I put rubber washers on both the gas in and beer out connections because both were leaking when I initially set it up (instructions would have been nice)... do you think these could be affecting it if they are freezing or blocking the inflow/outflow?
 

Shooter

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It almost sounds like it's not taking in CO2 and you are able to pour for a little while utilizing the headspace pressure and then, when the pressure reduces with no refill of CO2, it pulls a vacuum and you need to up the PSI to push more gas into the headspace. Can you hear gas running through the regulator when you open the tap to pour a pint? If not, you might want to just verify that the "stopper" in the gas side is a check valve of some kind. Mine looks like a plug, but, if you look closely, there' s a split at the end which opens up with enough gas pressure. Maybe you're is stuck, or didn't get the split cut into it?!!? I run a Sanke on one of my taps and 10 psi is plenty.
 
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uvajrl

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Damn.. I threw those pieces away. I had worked on setting it up for over 30 minutes, couldn't understand why it would not work with gas at 12 psi. Then found these pieces, wrote them off as packaging plugs, and threw them away. If this is the problem, I wonder how I can order these pieces again....

But again, I wonder why it would be a crucial piece. Even without them, it should maintain the pressure in the keg, right?
 

Shooter

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I think it should still work without the gas side valve. I would listen to make sure you can hear gas flowing. Maybe vent the keg with the pressure relief valve and listen to see if the CO2 is flowing through the regulator. Once it's filled, pull a pint or two and see if you can still hear gas flowing in.
 
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uvajrl

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I did make sure that when the problem occurred, pulling the gas release valve showed that it was properly filling with air. So I have no idea what was going on.

24 hours into removing the plastic ball, has not happened again. I will update if it does in case anyone has any other ideas... thanks for the responses!
 
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