Keggle weldless valve still leaking

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bdaddy

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Tried to find my other post about this from a few weeks back, but it's not showing up (edit: I see it now after I posted this one...was in the DIY section)

Anyways, my keggle is still leaking and need some input. I'm using the bargain fittings weldless kit. As far as I can tell, there's nothing wrong with the fittings itself...same stuff I'd buy at lowes or home depot. I've tightened it as tight as I can physically get it, I've tried new o-rings, I've tried double o-rings, had my father who is more handy than me try his hand at it, teflon tape out the wazoo, etc...but it still leaks. Not major leaks, but still leaks.

Couple of questions/comments
- Is it supposed to tighten so much that the o-ring physically expands out of the washer? (I've tried both ways, but just curious whether you're supposed to actually squish the o-ring so tight such that it bubbles out from behind the washer)
- other options I can try? i.e. silicon around the outside?
- Anybody that doesn't get there's completely leak free but still uses it anyways? Any issues other than a little messy?
 

CodeRage

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No, you shouldn't have to tighten the nut much more than hand tight.
That oring is probably shot, IRC silicone isn't very abrasion resistant.
Here is what I use, and have had 100% results with it so far. I'll try to adapt what you have to work.

First, get rid of the washers. they arent necessary.
That looks to be a fully threaded nipple, correct?
You do need to put a few rounds of tape on both ends of the nipple.
put a new oring on the nipple, followed by the locknut.
Then thread the fpt coupler on loosely behind the lock nut.
thread your pick up into the fpt coupler
then run the nipple from the inside of the keg out so the o ring is inside the keg.
then thread the ball valve on the outside so it is snug against the keg wall.
Once you get everything oriented they way you want then tighten the locknut inside the keg till hand tight. no more than a quarter turn with a wrench if needed.

fill er up and cross your fingers.

The points where you need to focus on sealing is the thread on the locknut and the oring between the nut and interior keg wall. By placing the o ring inside you are using the head pressure from the water to help maintain the seal. So having the threads and wall to nut sealed on the same side is best. if you put the orings outside the pressure from the water in the keg is working against you.
 

McKBrew

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Looks like you've tried just about everything.

Did the original hole get drilled too big maybe? Have you looked at your valve, o ring, etc... for any imperfections?

You should only have to go slightly more than hand tight. Maybe some high temperature silicone sealant is the next step.
 

Sawdustguy

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If you have access to an oxy- acetylene torch you could Silver Solder a coupler to your Keggle and never have to worry about it again.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV0aLDxlvXk]YouTube - How to Solder Stainless Steel[/ame]
 

BargainFittings

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I think the suggestions are good.

If the nipple wobbles in the hole then its a little too big. If its tight and still leaks then follow the suggestions above.

If you can't seal it I've got silicone gaskets available.

Wayne.
 
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bdaddy

bdaddy

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If the nipple wobbles in the hole then its a little too big.
I think this is my problem, as my hole is not a perfect circle due to my drilling issues. :mad:

Anyways, I'll try the other suggestions on here, but if this the case, what are my options? I can't "undo" my hole, but is the only option left to have it done with a welded option? Or will silicone gaskets or even silicone sealant help?
 

JVD_X

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I think this is my problem, as my hole is not a perfect circle due to my drilling issues. :mad:

Anyways, I'll try the other suggestions on here, but if this the case, what are my options? I can't "undo" my hole, but is the only option left to have it done with a welded option? Or will silicone gaskets or even silicone sealant help?
Your should use a grinder inside and out to make sure the hole doesn't have any burrs. The silver solder trick might work but I had a lot of trouble getting the keg wall and the coupling equally hot. It's more difficult than it looks. I ended up preheating the coupling before putting it in the hole, then heating the hole and coupling together to solder temp.
 

RighteousFire

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Try a rubber washer instead of an o-ring. It will have much more surface area to contact the side of the keg.

Edit: Come to think of it, a Nylon Washer would be better as it is more resistant to extreme temperatures.
 
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bdaddy

bdaddy

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OK, I tried CodeRage's suggestions and it's definitely better, but still a mild drip. Probably mild enough where I could live with it, worse comes to worse.

Regarding the silicone gaskets..what should I be looking for here (is it similar to an o-ring?) Is there a particular size I need? And where does it go on the fittings chain? Inside of the keg or out?

Regarding the rubber washer, I had a lot of success with that in getting my MLT cooler to stop leaking. I was thinking of the same here, but as you mention was worried about the heat. I'll look into a Nylon washer as well.

Thanks for all the tips!
 

springer

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Nother suggestion ... Get a small silicone cookie sheet should have them in just about any large box store. Cut a gasket that fits tight to the bulk head use the washer and just tighten very lightly remember the idea is seat the gasket not crush it ..I did this in my MLT worked better than any o ring
 

fartingdog

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I had a similar issue with a weldless thermometer. I found some food-grade silicone adhesive at the local Ace (3 or 4 bucks, IIRC). I pulled the thermometer off and applied some on the outside o-ring and fit it back together and it works great- no more drips.
 

samc

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I had a similar issue with a weldless thermometer. I found some food-grade silicone adhesive at the local Ace (3 or 4 bucks, IIRC). I pulled the thermometer off and applied some on the outside o-ring and fit it back together and it works great- no more drips.
Can you tell us the exact name of the silicone? I have looked in ACE and never found one that actually said "food grade".

TIA
 
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bdaddy

bdaddy

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big thanks to all who posted...finally got it to stop leaking (just hope it holds up).

I ended up applying some silicon to the outside (first around the nipple where there was gaps, then around the outer o-ring once it was in place). I'm not sure how well that silicon will hold up to heat is my big concern (and hope it doesn't impart any flavors, but since it's mostly on the outside I doubt it?)

The silicon itself I got is from Ace Hardware. I think it's made for Aquariums for a waterproof seal, but says it's safe for food contact and is microwave safe (which I hope means it can take some heat) :)

Thanks again. So I have my Keggle, MLT, and IC completed. I think that's all I need to start my first all grain batch, possibly this weekend!
 

dale1038

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This is completely ridiculous. Building a keggle. I bought the weldless fitting from weldlessfittings.com.

We were very careful. Our hole is perfect. Right at 13/16th's. Worked on it all afternoon. Leaks!

Needless to say I've been pissed. I said 10 times, "should have just had it welded."

The only thing I can think is the midpoint of the nipple is bigger than the threads. Our midpoint gets put on one side of the keg wall or the other. This makes adjusting it INSANE!

If you put the midpoint of the nipple to the inside.......the coupling won't screw all the way to the midpoint of the nipple, PERIOD!

Almost seems like it's machined incorrectly. Is this normal?

Could our hole be too small?

Should the nipple pass freely through the hole?

My partner seems to think that the HUGE o-rings are to blame. We didn't get to mess with it a ton because it was getting dark. We are very competent do-it-your-selfers. Suggestions? Thank you!
 

CodeRage

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Well, I have had to take a bastard file to know down the threads some so the middle would pass. Slowly drag and rotate the middle of the nipple down the file. Test fit frequently.

The other thing that comes to mind is if you use a step bit, some time it will bite hard into the keg (usually on the last step you need) and about twist your damn hands off at the wrist. It also torques the metal, pulling it in on one side and out on the other. A little cautious hammering will get it back into shape. Otherwise it will never seal.

I don't know what size Oring you were provided. The only experience I have are the ones from bargain fittings.

Yeah, it isn't uncommon for the fitting to get jammed before the midpoint, in fact this is what helps keep a water tight seal.

Here is something else to try, the exterior O-ring isn't needed to get a good seal and could make getting a good seal a little more difficult. It allows a little more slop and movement in the fitting. with some tape, thread the female side onto the nipple as far as it will go. Next put the washer on. If the nipple passes through the hole but the washer won't go over the middle, open up the washer a bit with a dremel or file.

tape up the other end of the nipple and slide it through the keg wall. Place the o-ring on the nipple from the inside and then the nut over it, Get the nut hand tight. If the nut gets jammed on the threads before compressing the o-ring to the keg wall then you need to add another washer onto the exterior. Sometimes getting the torque just right on the nut to stop the very slow leaks is tough. After hand tight, fill half way with water and tighten the inner nut an eighth of a turn with a wrench until it stops weeping.

This is the most successful method I've come across, and I have 7 weldless ports on my rig.

Hopefully you didn't over torque the O-rings cause it doesn't take much marring to make them ineffective.

Hang in there bud, you'll get it.
 

BargainFittings

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I use size 211 silicone o-rings in my set. This is a common size. Some sets use a bigger o-ring. I personally find a bigger o-ring is not better.

The lock nut I supply has a groove to seat the o-ring and prevent it from distorting.

CodeRage's method will work. You want the nipple to be tight in the hole. If you open the hole up just big enough so the nipple will center in the middle of the hole you can put the locknut inside or out. I put the locknut on my sets inside the keg or kettle.

I use the washer on the outside if needed (thin kettles) and finish up with the valve.

I only use one o-ring with the locknut. The other is a spare. I agree with CodeRage that adding the second one to the outside will make for looser fit and can cause more problems.

Some tips to getting a leak free seal:

Clean round hole - no burrs
Teflon tape in the direction of the thread. - Hold nipple so you are looking at the end. Wrap clockwise.
Be sure bit has not distorted the hole (as stated by CodeRage)
Double check the nipple threads to be sure it does not have any burrs from the machining.
Check your o-ring for tears (bright light and manipulation of the o-ring)
Be sure the o-ring seats - if it pops out it will not seal properly.

If you buy one of my sets and have an issue PM or email me. I would be glad to help.
 
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Looks like this post is over 6 years old now but I figured I would give my thoughts anyway!

I had a small leak from the hole I drilled for the ball valve. After messing around with different gasket and washer combos I ended up using a VERY generous amount of Teflon tape on both sides of the nipple. I think it could easily come down to just how much tape you use. Make sure to use enough Teflon tape so that the silicone gasket and washer are SNUG against the nipple afterwards.


BALL VALVE >> KEG WALL >> SILICONE GASKET >> WASHER >> LOCK NUT


That's how mine is setup. I did leak tests last night with different temperature water and I'm good to go.
 
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