New Keezer - Do I have a leak?

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Langerz

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I just finished a keezer build and not sure if I’m being paranoid so looking for advice.

A little background I started kegging and first batch I just put in the chest freezer with a picnic tap while finishing getting stuff for a collar etc. At one point I added a second keg with my eventual keezer manifold and had a five pound CO2 bottle go flat pretty quickly. I was also playing with purging, closed transfers etc around that same time and at least a portion of running out of CO2 was related to learning curve on purging and closed transfers. That said I think I also had issues in the keezer. I’m not sure the manifold connections were all good. The manifold was also laying in there and could have been against a PRV. Summary lots of potential reasons I drained the 5 lb tank. With the final setup I got a 20 lb tank (still have the 5 as a backup and for misc tasks)

So now my keezer is all set up. Still two kegs atm (third coming soon). I got everything hooked up. Sprayed everything with Star San and see no bubbles. Thought I was good. But after a bit I could hear a hissing noise. There’s lots of noises but unplugged the freezer and certainly seemed like it was coming from the lid area of one of the kegs. I sprayed it with Star San and no bubbles. Looking at it though it seemed like kind of a fuzzy/cloudy look kind of like looking into a keg full of CO2. I thought maybe the Star San was just too thin so tried dish soap and water. Still no bubbles. At one point I cranked pressure up to 25 to see if it would seat the lid. Still heard the noise. I had to go to something for a kid and just shut off the tank so I wasn’t wasting CO2. I came back and the regulator read zero but that could just be gas going into the beer. The keg I heard the hissing has been on gas quiet a while (2 weeks) but the other one only a few days. So I would assume one is carbed but one may not be.

After getting back home I turned gas on and poured myself a beer. Didn’t hear anything and tried Star San and no bubbles. I’m paranoid about leaving the gas on though since I didn’t really find a root cause. Thought? Am I just being paranoid?

Also a side question are the PRVs on corny kegs always super sensitive? I feel like if I bump one at all it hisses and I have to fiddle with it a bit to get it to stop.
 
It sounds like a leak, literally. I don't think you're being paranoid.

And no, I usually have to pull a PRV pretty hard to get it to open.

What hose and fittings are you using to hook things up?
 
This picture is a messy in progress version. On the gas side vinyl hoses and barb connections to the manifold and the ball locks.

Hindsight I would have done something differently but like a lot of things in my brewing experience so far I bought the manifold and the noticed something I liked better.

The sound really seems to be coming from the area of the keg lid. I could try swapping that lid out. I did turn the gas on this morning and didn’t hear anything so left it on. I’ll check it out at lunch time
 

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If you're closing the stem valve on the CO2 tank and the regular runs down pretty quickly, troubleshoot that problem until it goes away.

You can isolate the problem by closing all the manifold valves, then opening them one at a time, either with the quick-disconnect disconnected or connected.

Are the hose barbs large compared to the hose ID? Ideally, it will be quite difficult to get the hose onto the barb, requiring hot water and a fair amount of force.
 
Basic troubleshooting is to turn off the tank, pop stuff off the kegs, and see if the lines (alone) hold pressure by watching the gauge. If the gauge holds overnight you are good to go. If not, then something is up.
 
I’ve walked through isolating as much of the circuit like described above and I think all the lines are leak free. But I’ll admit that I could have been more systematic in my isolating the different parts so I’ll go through that again.

I had a break in meetings so ran home quick from work and disconnected the gas ball locks, increased pressure to 20 psi and then shut off the co2 tank. If I have a leak in the hoses/manifold etc I would expect the pressure to drop pretty quickly since there isn’t much volume there. I’ll see how that looks after work and report back.
 
All right you all were right. I really thought I had everything good on the tubing side but I got home and the gauges read 0. I'm just going to replace the manifold with duotight connections which is where I wish I had started and be confident in it. Ordered everything and should be here on Friday. I guess I can wait until the weekend to enjoy a good draft homebrew. (unless I just direct connect one of the kegs to the CO2 - that will likely happen)
 
If you're closing the stem valve on the CO2 tank and the regular runs down pretty quickly, troubleshoot that problem until it goes away.

You can isolate the problem by closing all the manifold valves, then opening them one at a time, either with the quick-disconnect disconnected or connected.

Are the hose barbs large compared to the hose ID? Ideally, it will be quite difficult to get the hose onto the barb, requiring hot water and a fair amount of force.
How quickly is quickly for the regulator? I was going to just direct connect my two tanks to my two kegs for now until the parts arrive to redo the gas lines but thought I better leak test that set up as well. I put a 2-3 foot hose connected to a ball lock on the tank and turned off the stem valve. The regulator pressure dropped about 100 psi over night like that.

Also what’s the right size tubing for barbs? I have 5/16 barbs so assumed 5/16 ID tubing. They slipped onto the barb pretty easy. I didn’t have to use warm water like some other connections I’ve done for like autosiphons etc. I’m planning to eliminate most of my barb connections but still have a regulator with a 5/16 barb that is loctited in so would rather not replace.
 
I have 5/16 barbs so assumed 5/16 ID tubing.
Should be OK. I will say that if you plan to keep this connection type that Oetiker clamps are much better than the normal house clamps. They'll be a much more uniform distribution of the squeezing force.

Another recommendation is for the NPT connections to have some pipe dope in them. I find this to seal far better than the teflon tape.
 
These leaks are so annoying. I had some and got really tired of refilling tanks… so I installed a gas blender. It looks like one of the old medical types where the ball rises in the site glass when there is flow. It works well with all but the smallest leaks. I also made a bubble meter with bypass valves to find the minute leaks. So I can use either one and turn manifolds on or off in the keezer and watch the flows to isolate the leak.
 
These leaks are so annoying. I had some and got really tired of refilling tanks… so I installed a gas blender. It looks like one of the old medical types where the ball rises in the site glass when there is flow. It works well with all but the smallest leaks. I also made a bubble meter with bypass valves to find the minute leaks. So I can use either one and turn manifolds on or off in the keezer and watch the flows to isolate the leak.
As an old hydraulics engineer I’m smiling about all the additional leak points you created to find jean leaks but I also get it.

Temporarily I went the route of hooking up a single gas line to each tank. Pressurizing that portion and monitoring over night and saw no change in pressure so connected one to each keg. I have a third keg coming but also have Duotight connections coming to redo gas side.

Both kegs still had pressure in them after being disconnected from gas a couple days. Not sure how much but plenty based on pulling the PRV. So I would assume that means they are leak free (right?).

Note I did also get a PLAATO keg scale to also monitor the CO2 tank as a leak monitor
 

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