Maybe a Gas leak?

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IslandLizard

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Didn't use teflon tape on the bottle to regulator connection but I'll go take it off the rest, at least on the gas side.
I actually put 2 turns of thin (white) teflon tape around the threaded tank nozzle. It reduces friction when tightening the regulator nut. Those threads are wide, that tiny bit of tape won't prevent a seal, it actually helps getting a better one, and makes it much easier to wrench.
 
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Michele Craft

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5/16” = 0.313” = 7.95 mm
Close enough to 8 mm.
Was just going to ask since I didn't think 5/16" and 8mm OD were the same but apparently it's as you said, "close enough".

Yes, you should lubricate those exposed outer rings/washers.
When reassembling, lubricate the 3 o-rings around the probe, inside the coupler, too.

Just use only a little, enough to make them slick. You don't want the lube oozing everywhere.
What kind of lubricant to be used? Food grade? Something like the lubricant you'd use to pull wires through conduit (which I have a quart of)? This is what I have, says safe for humans but...
 

IslandLizard

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Michele Craft

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Put it all back together EXCEPT tapping the kegs. Took all the teflon tape off but there are some fittings I was NOT comfortable wrenching an extra 180deg after hand tight and only went 120 (2 sides of the hexagon vs 3). I also checked the ball lock posts ON the keg coupler themselves and wrench tightened them and they had a fair amount to so so I'm really wondering if that was my problem. Don't have a great way to get a scale in there because while I can just clear the regulator gauge with the lid, I have copper piping extending from the tower legs down into the tower to act as a heat sink for cooling (has been working great, no fan needed and I'm pouring within 4 to 5 of 38F setting and that was in an non air conditioned garage, the basement at a steady 66 should be even better). I'd like not to cut the pipes off so we may just slip the bathroom scale in there periodically until we trust things. Also didn't have a good way to sink things in water so we sprayed all connections, shut the room fans off and watched and listened.

Going to pick up another sixtel now and letting the gas bottle get cold to check output pressures (set each about 2psi below desired 10 and 14 targets) and then will tap all 3 kegs at the same time after a starsan spray and swipe with vaseline.

Fingers crossed!
 

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@IslandLizard
Yes, you should lubricate those exposed outer rings/washers.
When reassembling, lubricate the 3 o-rings around the probe, inside the coupler, too.
Thanks, you mention reassembling, I haven't taken the probe end of the coupler apart should I be doing this? and if so how often. I've just given the whole thing a soak in pbw and then starsan and then fitted it. I don't take the probe in the keg apart either ( only used them for 2 kegs worth so far so not much experience
 
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Michele Craft

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Well the kegs are tapped. Found one of the keg coupler to ball lock posts had a wonky o ring in it but it was making a LOT of noise so I don't think that was the original problem but I swapped that out. One other thing we noticed that MAY actually have been the problem, it seems that when you have a little pressure say from coiled up lines on those duotight fittings on the press in side, they're prone to leaking. Really starting to wonder if one of the gas lines at the coupler was getting pushed on when we closed the lid and that did it. They're pressed in hard has heck and I tugged back on them but still if they get pushed, they seem prone to a leak. Think I'll pick up a couple John Guest fittings to have them handy.

Also going to get that Plaato scale for the co2 tank. Probably won't spend the money for under the kegs since (weird to say) that's not as critical to me since we kind of know by pours how much would be left. I'm also going to get a backup co2 tank to keep on hand.
 

DuncB

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I thought it was a simple scale and the plaato was for kegs.
I had a duotight leak with a sharp bend on the pipe. They do like straight or gentle curves. Allegedly duotight have two orings to reduce leaks not sure about john guest, I would measure how far the tubes go in with that pen line rather than just rammed in hard as hell it also lets you know if they move ( with open and closing).
 
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Michele Craft

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I thought it was a simple scale and the plaato was for kegs.
I had a duotight leak with a sharp bend on the pipe. They do like straight or gentle curves. Allegedly duotight have two orings to reduce leaks not sure about john guest, I would measure how far the tubes go in with that pen line rather than just rammed in hard as hell it also lets you know if they move ( with open and closing).
You can put the plaato under the co2 tanks too. I like that I don't have to lift the lid to read a scale output
 

DuncB

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you need digital.

acurate to the tenth ounce, and stays on when pluged into a wall socket....


and i'd imagine being the read out is on a wire, could rig up something that works if the tank was in the fridge with the kegs? i keep mine outside though, love it!

The above can be read outside freezer.

Lot cheaper as well plaato keg 120 dollars , those scales 24
 
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Michele Craft

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It can yes, and I'm considering it BUT, our kegerator is being built into a bar so the cord on it didn't look long enough to sit up on a counter and I don't know if I WANT something sitting on the counter, that's the debate right now. Also, I don't have the clearance I don't believe because of my heat sink copper pipping that comes down from the tower, it'd interfere with the gauges IF they'd even clear the lid jacked up 3"
 
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Michele Craft

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I went and remeasured and 3 added inches definitely won't work. It might clear the top of the tank shut off but the gauges sit higher and definitely won't clear, plus the copper piping from the tower would be tied up in the gauge set.
 
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Michele Craft

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Reviving this for some follow up and further discussion. Got a plaato scale and have it under the co2 bottle. I don't have an empty weight of bottle and gauges so just took starting weight. Gauges lean a bit on back of chest to hold bottle up and I may make a sleeve for the bottle to sit in but this works well enough.

Inkbird is set at 38 with a +/-2f shift and probe is in a sealed bottle of water. Interesting to see air temp reading from chest VS water bottle being almost 20f different. Seems really odd actually but the graph shows the temp up, then when compressor kicks on and temp coming down. Verified by watching Inkbird that it indeed is kicking on at peak in graph. Somewhat surprised how often it runs (about every 3 hours apparently)

One thing I have a question on is does co2 liquid get heavier as it cools? It must based on my weight readings but I just never realized that. I thought I had a leak again since it was down to 19.0lb at the Temps warmest but as the freezer got colder the weight on the scale got heavier.
 

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Michele Craft

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In thinking about this, I suppose it does make sense that it's heavier when colder because I guess as it warms it's going from liquid to gas a bit in the headspace? I won't swear to this theory but I suppose it makes sense. I just didn't think there'd be such a swing in weight (i.e about 0.2 - 0.3lb) over a 20F temp change
 

IslandLizard

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does co2 liquid get heavier as it cools? It must based on my weight readings [...]
In thinking about this, I suppose it does make sense that it's heavier when colder because I guess as it warms it's going from liquid to gas a bit in the headspace? I won't swear to this theory but I suppose it makes sense. I just didn't think there'd be such a swing in weight (i.e about 0.2 - 0.3lb) over a 20F temp change
Of course the mass ("weight") stays the same...

It doesn't matter whether the CO2 is in solid, liquid or (pressurized) gas form, or at which temperature it is, it's in a closed bottle. It's not going anywhere or anything gets added to it.
 

day_trippr

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There's no mass change in a gas bottle from temperature changes. Even if there is a phase change the mass is maintained...

Cheers!
 
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Michele Craft

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Yeah that's what we initially thought too (long time since high-school Chem class) but the data says otherwise. Several cycles now show temp down, weight up. So the only other factor is the scale itself. It's set up as a co2 bottle not beer so I didn't have to put in abv, specific gravity etc but it consistently shows the same type of readings so I'd like to figure out what could cause it. Chest hasn't been opened so no jostling of lines etc or anything like that.

I also am surprised at the bifference in air VS bottle of water temp (assuming the plaato plate reads the air correctly, I have to get a fridge temp dial gauge to sit in there for comparison)
 

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Got a plaato scale and have it under the co2 bottle.

i hate to sound like a newb....but what is a plaato scale, and how does it work with a co2 canister? i googled it, and i only see keg stuff?


my scale varies with the rotation of the sun 0.3ozs, between moprning, noon and night

edit: i see now....but i'd point out the plaato only has a resolution of 0.33oz....so it might not be temp and gravity you're noticing.....
 
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Michele Craft

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i hate to sound like a newb....but what is a plaato scale, and how does it work with a co2 canister? i googled it, and i only see keg stuff?


my scale varies with the rotation of the sun 0.3ozs, between moprning, noon and night

edit: i see now....but i'd point out the plaato only has a resolution of 0.33oz....so it might not be temp and gravity you're noticing.....
Not sure what you mean by resolution of 0.33oz? My CO2 bottle is in the freezer on the hump so no sun impact. On the detail page in the app right now it shows 19.026lb, on the main screen it shows 19.03lb and I have the scale sensitivity set to "medium" tho I have no idea what changing from very low/low/medium/high actually do. It's just very odd how extremely consistent the temp/weight is in relation to each other and still weird how air temp in keezer and water temp in keezer a mere 6" apart (sealed bottle of water sitting on the hump too).
 

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My CO2 bottle is in the freezer on the hump so no sun impact.

gravity still will affect a scale this accurate....mine is accurate to .2oz, and guesses to the nearest 0.1oz.....and my scale was at 33lbs0.8oz this morning, last pour it was down to 33lbs0.7oz, and it's only ~10-11am, so i've come to expect it'll drop and 0.1-0.2oz, by noon 1pm, then when the sun starts pulling down on my tank again, it will go back up...weird phenom i've noticed at first i kept panicking, but i've gotten used to it.....

and i lose about 0.1oz per 6 pack poured.....
 

IslandLizard

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Modern day scales use strain gauges, and thus need temperature corrections. So a local temp sensor must be included too.

Relatively small deviations are to be expected, and (internal) calculations may be rounded on the display. The order of .33 oz (~9.36 grams) precision in the readout sounds a bit high, but may be reasonable given the measured object is in the 50# range, while looking at deltas (drafts) from an oz to a pint or more.
 
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Michele Craft

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Modern day scales use strain gauges, and thus need temperature corrections. So a local temp sensor must be included too.

Relatively small deviations are to be expected, and (internal) calculations may be rounded on the display. The order of .33 oz (~9.36 grams) precision in the readout sounds a bit high, but may be reasonable given the measured object is in the 50# range, while looking at deltas (drafts) from an oz to a pint or more.
ok so it sounds like the weight readings I'm seeing that CLEARLY change with temp do make sense and I should just expect them. I think given that leak problem above, I might also be over thinking things and can just except that the up and down will happen.

Now do I worry about the freezer cycling on and off about every 3 hours? Is that more often than should be expected? And is air vs liquid expected to be THAT different in temp (about 20F)? I have the collar siliconed well and have pink foam board, plus an RV seal on the top of the collar at the lid. No real sweating inside and my EVA dry has been in there for weeks without having to be recharged.
 

IslandLizard

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And is air vs liquid expected to be THAT different in temp (about 20F)?
Air is the carrier of the cold (negative heat). It takes a while for the jar with water to chill down. So yeah, there is a sizeable delay factor.

Now do I worry about the freezer cycling on and off about every 3 hours?
Not too crazy short. My upright keezer comes on like that, or even more frequently.
How long is the on-cycle?

Are you chilling (recirc fan) your tap tower all the time?
 
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Michele Craft

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Air is the carrier of the cold (negative heat). It takes a while for the jar with water to chill down. So yeah, there is a sizeable delay factor.
Just so I'm clear, this isn't just the original setup with the chill down of the water jar but now the chest has been closed for 24 hours straight and we see the scale reading about 20F more than the water bottle consistently. Scale temp reading goes up about 20, water goes up about 2, triggers freezer to run but scale never gets down to the 38 - 40 range that the water bottle does. Air goes from 48 - 58F based on graph where inkbird goes from 37 - 40. Honestly, I think I might trust the inkbird readings more but expected the air reading to be somewhat closer to water reading when things are closed up.

Not too crazy short. My upright keezer comes on like that, or even more frequently.
How long is the on-cycle?
That's good to know, I didn't know what to expect going into this. As for the length of cycle, I'm not sure since I don't have inkbird wifi but I can now anticipate when it will kick on based on plaato temp so I can keep an eye out tonite for a cycle time.

Are you chilling (recirc fan) your tap tower all the time?
Nope. I bought a small fan to put on the collar but I've found I don't need it. I haven't temped the pour since we moved the unit to the basement (its final home will be there with a full bar around it) but when it was in the non air conditioned garage with temps way warmer (75'ish) than in the basement (65ish), I was pouring at no more than 44, sometimes 42, with the inkbird set at 38 and a 2deg differential so I didn't feel the fan was needed. To compensate, when we built the tower using 2" black iron pipe (2 legs up to elbows, bunch of Ts for the 4 taps), I put 1" copper pipe up into the legs of the tower on both sides and extended them about 10" down into the chest freezer and then put pool noodle looking pipe insultation up in the legs cut flush at the floor flange on the top of the lid and then 2 lines to the taps up each side through the cooper pipe. The theory was the copper would act as a heat sink and given my pour temps, I think it's working as planned (or it's just dumb luck :) )
 
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Gozie Boy

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It can yes, and I'm considering it BUT, our kegerator is being built into a bar so the cord on it didn't look long enough to sit up on a counter and I don't know if I WANT something sitting on the counter, that's the debate right now. Also, I don't have the clearance I don't believe because of my heat sink copper pipping that comes down from the tower, it'd interfere with the gauges IF they'd even clear the lid jacked up 3"
I also needed a longer cable between the scale and readout unit. Here is what you need:


This is a slim-style 4-conductor phone line. Make sure your get the 'straight' connector version, and not the reversed one. They are cheap and available in whatever length you need. Of course you can also get a longer USB power cable if you need one.

This scale stays on for as long as you keep the power adapter plugged in ... and you don't get a power outage. In the latter case, you will need to get someone to re-tare the scale as you lift your tank or keg off of it. Sadly, my power has a lot of glitches, hopefully yours is better!
 

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Just so I'm clear, this isn't just the original setup with the chill down of the water jar but now the chest has been closed for 24 hours straight and we see the scale reading about 20F more than the water bottle consistently. Scale temp reading goes up about 20, water goes up about 2, triggers freezer to run but scale never gets down to the 38 - 40 range that the water bottle does. Air goes from 48 - 58F based on graph where inkbird goes from 37 - 40. Honestly, I think I might trust the inkbird readings more but expected the air reading to be somewhat closer to water reading when things are closed up.



That's good to know, I didn't know what to expect going into this. As for the length of cycle, I'm not sure since I don't have inkbird wifi but I can now anticipate when it will kick on based on plaato temp so I can keep an eye out tonite for a cycle time.


Nope. I bought a small fan to put on the collar but I've found I don't need it. I haven't temped the pour since we moved the unit to the basement (its final home will be there with a full bar around it) but when it was in the non air conditioned garage with temps way warmer (75'ish) than in the basement (65ish), I was pouring at no more than 44, sometimes 42, with the inkbird set at 38 and a 2deg differential so I didn't feel the fan was needed. To compensate, when we built the tower using 2" black iron pipe (2 legs up to elbows, bunch of Ts for the 4 taps), I put 1" copper pipe up into the legs of the tower on both sides and extended them about 10" down into the chest freezer and then put pool noodle looking pipe insultation up in the legs cut flush at the floor flange on the top of the lid and then 2 lines to the taps up each side through the cooper pipe. The theory was the copper would act as a heat sink and given my pour temps, I think it's working as planned (or it's just dumb luck :) )
You may want to put in a fan anyhow, as the temperature stratifies without any movement of the air. The coldest sits at the bottom where the beer is drawn from anyhow, but it will flow through lines going to the top. This would explain why your air temps never drop to your measured liquid temps.

If you get good pour temps without excessive foaming, then RDWHAHB, but a fan could help with final tweaks to dial
it in.
 
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