Leaky weld on keggle

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SixFoFalcon

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OK, so I bought a keggle on eBay a while ago, and I just got around to cleaning it up and checking it for leaks. Upon close inspection, the welding job they did on the 1/2" bung fitting is not very good. There is virtually no penetration on the interior weld (very spotty) and the exterior weld is not that great either. I'm thinking they should have pre-heated the fitting with a torch prior to laying the beads, since it's so much thicker than the keg sheet metal.

At any rate, I'd be willing to forgive the crappy welds if the thing was at least water-tight, but it's not. There is a void in the weld and water seeps right through. I'm trying to contact the eBay seller to try to come up with some sort of solution (either a replacement keggle or at least a partial refund).

My main question is how hard is it going to be to repair this thing? Is it even possible to just lay a nice bead over the existing mess? Grinding off the old welds is going to be labor intensive, and it will be difficult to keep from gouging the keg in the process. And I don't really know anyone who can weld stainless of differing thickness with any confidence. Perhaps I am best off trying for a full refund and buying a better keggle elsewhere?
 

Lil' Sparky

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You might be able to just fill it in with silver solder. I think some people use it instead of a regular weld. It might be a cheap solution to try if you've already got some solder and a torch.
 
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SixFoFalcon

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I had considered using JB-Weld™ on the outside to stop the leaking but solder sounds like a better solution. It seems that the existing welds are strong enough to handle the stresses of wrenching on the fittings and whatnot--they just need to be cleaned up and sealed. Silver solder should do the job.

I have a propane torch but I think I'll upgrade to MAPP gas before attempting the repair work. I already have some appropriate silver solder. Anyone know where I can get a good hydrochloric acid based flux?
 

Dr Vorlauf

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Lil' Sparky said:
You might be able to just fill it in with silver solder. I think some people use it instead of a regular weld. It might be a cheap solution to try if you've already got some solder and a torch.
I am the worlds wost solder person. But I think you could seal it with a sweat solder session.
 

KwaiLo

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If you can get access to an arc-air setup, it will remove the existing weld.

http://www.lascentrum.com/en/gouging+electrodes/ (that is a random Google search for carbon electrode gouging, not definitive site.)

This does a really good job of removing a weld, even on stainless.

I would strongly recommend against laying a bead over another bead that has no fusion. There is no way that you will burn through the existing weld without also burning through the keg wall.

If you can't get an arc-air, perhaps you could remove the current setup, and weld in a larger coupling. You could then put a reducer on, then your ball valve.
 
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SixFoFalcon

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Well it was a bit trickier than soldering copper plumbing, but I managed to seal it up. :rockin: A bit of heat from the propane torch, some hydrochloric acid flux, and a smidge of silver-bearing plumbing solder and all is well. :)

Thanks for the suggestions. :mug:
 
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