Leaking system question

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storytyme

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Hello everyone and happy almost weekend. I have a leak somewhere in my 8 tap system. I use pin lock fittings (researching switching to ball lock) I have gone through and done all the initial tests (sprayed foaming agent each connect) and have found nothing. Since then I have done the following:

1) Pressurized system to 10PSI.
2) Closed valve from regulator going to my manifold.
3) Turned off CO2 tank at the tank.
4) Checked after 30+ min. Regulator held the 10PSI pressure.
5) I eliminated regulator as a suspect in the leak.

So I moved on and did the following to all 8 lines in the manifold:

1) Turned off all 8 valves in manifold. Valve from regulator to manifold is open.
2) Pressurized system to 10PSI.
3) Open valve #1 in manifold. Waited for pressure to settle for that keg/valve.
4) Turned off CO2 at the tank.
5) Checked back 30 min+. If PSI was still at 10 I moved on.
6) I continued this until I hit valve #4. After a few hours the PSI dropped to about 5PSI. I sprayed everywhere and got no bubbles. I still feel a leak is present here.
7) A few other valves PSI dropped slightly after a few hours.

So through this tedious process I am a bit frustrated. What is everyone's thoughts, experiences, suggestions on what I am doing?

I thank everyone in advance. Very much appreciated.
 

Golddiggie

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Leak test with the kegs NOT connected. That will tell you if it's the gas distribution system or one of the kegs. If no leaks (let it go at least overnight) then charge the kegs, disconnect, and see if they retain pressure. This is best done with empty kegs. If the kegs are filled, then don't go above the carbonation level already established for the beer (psi at temp).

You can also inspect the o-rings on all of the kegs to ensure they're not degrading, or have something on them preventing them from doing their job.

If you put the manifold together (or even if you didn't) it's possible that valve 4 wasn't tightened enough. If you put it together, did you use Teflon tape or something else? I've found that you need to use a lot of the Teflon tape on the threads in order to get a solid seal. Once done, you don't change things.

BTW, what clamps are you using for the tubing to all connections? If worm clamps (tightened with a screw) that could be your source. IME, they suck for sealing reliably. I switched to oetiker clamps ages ago (when I built up my first kegging system) and haven't looked back. I use those for all tubing connections that need clamps in place.
 
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storytyme

storytyme

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Leak test with the kegs NOT connected. That will tell you if it's the gas distribution system or one of the kegs. If no leaks (let it go at least overnight) then charge the kegs, disconnect, and see if they retain pressure. This is best done with empty kegs. If the kegs are filled, then don't go above the carbonation level already established for the beer (psi at temp).

You can also inspect the o-rings on all of the kegs to ensure they're not degrading, or have something on them preventing them from doing their job.

If you put the manifold together (or even if you didn't) it's possible that valve 4 wasn't tightened enough. If you put it together, did you use Teflon tape or something else? I've found that you need to use a lot of the Teflon tape on the threads in order to get a solid seal. Once done, you don't change things.

BTW, what clamps are you using for the tubing to all connections? If worm clamps (tightened with a screw) that could be your source. IME, they suck for sealing reliably. I switched to oetiker clamps ages ago (when I built up my first kegging system) and haven't looked back. I use those for all tubing connections that need clamps in place.
Awesome. Thank you for the reply.

When checking the disconnects for leaks could I just turn up pressure to 20+ and dip them in water?

With kegs disconnected would they gradually loose pressure even without a leak? That sounds crazy as I ask it, but curious.

I did put the manifold together with plenty of tefelon but I need to double check the tightness.

I do use the worm clamps and have looked into getting the oetiker clamps as they look solid.
 
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storytyme

storytyme

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Leak test with the kegs NOT connected. That will tell you if it's the gas distribution system or one of the kegs. If no leaks (let it go at least overnight) then charge the kegs, disconnect, and see if they retain pressure. This is best done with empty kegs. If the kegs are filled, then don't go above the carbonation level already established for the beer (psi at temp).

You can also inspect the o-rings on all of the kegs to ensure they're not degrading, or have something on them preventing them from doing their job.

If you put the manifold together (or even if you didn't) it's possible that valve 4 wasn't tightened enough. If you put it together, did you use Teflon tape or something else? I've found that you need to use a lot of the Teflon tape on the threads in order to get a solid seal. Once done, you don't change things.

BTW, what clamps are you using for the tubing to all connections? If worm clamps (tightened with a screw) that could be your source. IME, they suck for sealing reliably. I switched to oetiker clamps ages ago (when I built up my first kegging system) and haven't looked back. I use those for all tubing connections that need clamps in place.
Also, my pin lock disconnects seem to wiggle side to side which I think could be an issue as well.
 

Golddiggie

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The gas system, with kegs disconnected, should hold pressure overnight (at least). If the system loses pressure when no kegs are connected, you have a leak.

I don't know about pin lock kegs since I have all ball lock, but mine don't 'wiggle side to side' when on the keg. If yours do, then I'd look to either rebuild the posts, change the o-rings (at the very least) or convert them to ball lock (or just replace them with ball lock). I didn't go with pin lock kegs when I started kegging, in 2011, due to how you needed a special socket/tool to take the posts off. Ball locks use a standard wrench, or deep socket, to take them apart. Easily obtained and many of us had those sizes already in our tool set.

For the tape, I wrap enough so that it looks like it's too much. I then wrench them until snug/tight and then a bit more. You just need to be careful to not wrench so far that you split the manifold, or valve. I'd start with snug/tight + 1/4 turn and test. If good, then no worries. If not, then do another 1/4 turn. I'd also test with the valves turned off to see if it's the clamps/hose connections.

Oetiker clamps seal a full 360 degrees around the connection. Worm clamps have a gap where they do not seal fully. Plus if you try to go too tight on the worm clamps, they slip and are pretty much useless. With the oetiker clamps, they are crimped on and you don't need to worry. I use a ratcheting tool for installing the clamps here. Good side cutters are all you need to remove them. Make sure you get the stainless steel ones. Then they won't care what you put them into, or anything else. Another advantage over most of the worm clamps out there (most are not stainless).
 
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storytyme

storytyme

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The gas system, with kegs disconnected, should hold pressure overnight (at least). If the system loses pressure when no kegs are connected, you have a leak.

I don't know about pin lock kegs since I have all ball lock, but mine don't 'wiggle side to side' when on the keg. If yours do, then I'd look to either rebuild the posts, change the o-rings (at the very least) or convert them to ball lock (or just replace them with ball lock). I didn't go with pin lock kegs when I started kegging, in 2011, due to how you needed a special socket/tool to take the posts off. Ball locks use a standard wrench, or deep socket, to take them apart. Easily obtained and many of us had those sizes already in our tool set.

For the tape, I wrap enough so that it looks like it's too much. I then wrench them until snug/tight and then a bit more. You just need to be careful to not wrench so far that you split the manifold, or valve. I'd start with snug/tight + 1/4 turn and test. If good, then no worries. If not, then do another 1/4 turn. I'd also test with the valves turned off to see if it's the clamps/hose connections.

Oetiker clamps seal a full 360 degrees around the connection. Worm clamps have a gap where they do not seal fully. Plus if you try to go too tight on the worm clamps, they slip and are pretty much useless. With the oetiker clamps, they are crimped on and you don't need to worry. I use a ratcheting tool for installing the clamps here. Good side cutters are all you need to remove them. Make sure you get the stainless steel ones. Then they won't care what you put them into, or anything else. Another advantage over most of the worm clamps out there (most are not stainless).
Thank you for all your help. Much appreciated.
 

day_trippr

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Also, my pin lock disconnects seem to wiggle side to side which I think could be an issue as well.
This typically indicates the use of keg post O-rings meant for ball lock kegs, not pin lock kegs, which require slightly "fatter" O-rings to be in spec. Many retailers are not aware of the difference and just sell ball lock post O-rings...



Cheers!
 
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storytyme

storytyme

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This typically indicates the use of keg post O-rings meant for ball lock kegs, not pin lock kegs, which require slightly "fatter" O-rings to be in spec. Many retailers are not aware of the difference and just sell ball lock post O-rings...



Cheers!
Shoot. I never knew that and I've had my pin locks for 8 years! I would usually put a second one on at the bottom of the post to firm it up. Thank you!
 

day_trippr

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Don't feel bad, I have encountered long established lhbs's that did not know there was a difference...

Cheers!
 

Riggs401

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Was your system in the fridge before you set it? CO2 changes pressure in different temps. I had my tank filled to 1500 psi room temp. I put tank in the fridge and pressure dropped significantly. Thought mine leaked, but it was fine.
 

micraftbeer

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When checking the disconnects for leaks could I just turn up pressure to 20+ and dip them in water?
If you have the ability (hose long enough) to pressurize to a higher pressure and hold under water, that is a great method to look for leaks. It has the added bonus of showing you exactly where it's leaking from. Of course you are limited in that it will only be able to check what you can get under water. So you're not going to be able to submerge your wiggly disconnect to keg post interface. But you're probably on to something with the o-ring size difference. That seems pretty subtle to spot from the o-ring itself, and the looseness is a good clue.
 
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