Quantcast

No gas - AGAIN!

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Jester369

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
164
Location
Vermont
I thought I had found all the leaks in my manifold - pressure holding for well over a month, no bubbles when sprayed. Then I go to keg up some brew last night, and when I go to grab some CO2 to purge headspace - nada, zero, zip for pressure. Dead CO2 bottle. DAMN!!!!
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
Maybe you're just drinking too much...

Pisser, that's such a nice manifold you have.

I bought some of this stuff to check for leaks.



What I like about it is that it's nice and thick and viscous, so that if you've got a slow leak, it'll stay on the connection for longer. Makes it a little more obvious when you've got a problem.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
25,056
Reaction score
3,911
Location
Whitehouse Station
Have you pressurized your whole secondary system with all your disconnects off the kegs, then closed the tank valve? If your high pressure guage starts dropping, you know something is up in the delivery system. If you don't do this, you can never tell if it's one of the kegs.
 

Glibbidy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
2,371
Reaction score
15
Location
Sunny Southern Vermont
That truly sucks. I found that plumbers tape is very helpful all around in preventing leaks. I also got into a habit of dating my CO2 tanks to get a handle on my consumption (of the CO2 that is).
The PITA is that you need to be really diligent about making sure all the connections are sealed.
 

conpewter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
5,081
Reaction score
57
Location
East Dundee, Illinois
I bought a 20 lb tank recently and this is making me nervous to hook it into the system, I think I have a bad keg but I'll need to check everything really well before putting the 20 pounder into service.

I hope you get the Co2 figured out Jester, that is really frustrating
 

chefjosh

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
One of my C02 disconnects leaks when it's not connected to a keg. Took me a while to figure that out.
 

abracadabra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2006
Messages
1,923
Reaction score
10
Location
Newnan
Turn the gas off !

Unless you are carbonating your beer there absolutely no reason to keep the gas turned on all the time! If you don't have any leaks then the pressure should stay up. If you do have a leak the worse that can happen is your beer goes flat, and you have to recarbonate.

Even if you are carbonating the beer you can turn the gas on let it reach pressure then turn it back off, do this several times a day and it'll carb in about the same amount of time as if you've left the pressure on continuously, maybe it might takes an extra day if you carbonate at approx 30 PSI.

A 1/2 turn valve with a built in check valve makes this quick and easy.

Keep a spray bottle of Star-San or soapy water handy to always check for leaks.

Bird won't a thick concentration of regular dish washing soap do just as well? Or just brush on a little fully concentrated Star-San if you suspect a slow leak somewhere.
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
5,902
Reaction score
59
Location
Eastern Colorado
I stoped dateing my co2 tank cause the bitch never put out.



+1 we are talking about the same stuff right
Very Funny!

I actually prefer Teflon Tape for threads on gas systems. I am also a fan of having 2 tanks, one bigg'en and one smaller one in the keezer.

Bummer for your loss....I'd gladly lend you a tank...If you weren't like 5 bogillion miles away! :mug:
 

King of Cascade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
656
Reaction score
7
Sorry about the stupid jokes earlier I was in a mood... my bet would be on the keg leaking. If you checked your system and the only difference is the keg then check your kegs.
 
OP
Jester369

Jester369

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
164
Location
Vermont
Have you pressurized your whole secondary system with all your disconnects off the kegs, then closed the tank valve? If your high pressure guage starts dropping, you know something is up in the delivery system. If you don't do this, you can never tell if it's one of the kegs.
I did when I was troubleshooting the first time - have to do it again, it would seem.

So why not just turn off the gas between pulls?
Turn the gas off !

Unless you are carbonating your beer there absolutely no reason to keep the gas turned on all the time!
I disagree - if it is working properly, there is no reason to turn it off between uses. I would rather find and solve the problem than live with a kludge. Besides, lifting that heavy top would be a PITA if it was a daily activity :D
 
OP
Jester369

Jester369

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
164
Location
Vermont
Maybe you're just drinking too much...
Ya know, now that I think about it, that's a possibility. I carbed up several kegs at the same time, then had a party where the taps were open quite a lot (there might be some party photos for fightclub from that night! ;) )
 

pen25

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
972
Reaction score
3
Location
tulsa, ok
Very Funny!

I actually prefer Teflon Tape for threads on gas systems. I am also a fan of having 2 tanks, one bigg'en and one smaller one in the keezer.

Bummer for your loss....I'd gladly lend you a tank...If you weren't like 5 bogillion miles away! :mug:
for those flare fittings it is not needed to use tape or dope. that in itself can cause problems. also over tighting.

http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=7945

those threads are meant to self seal if properly tightened.
 

malkore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2007
Messages
6,924
Reaction score
51
Location
Nebraska
So why not just turn off the gas between pulls?
Because if the keg is the point of leaking, the keg goes flat overnight, so you then waste more gas re-carbonating it.

Best to find the leak by testing every conceivable location where it may not be perfectly sealed.

spraying star-san on your connections works too if you don't wanna buy official gas leak finding solution.
 

Sea

Green Flash IPA on tap
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
1,470
Reaction score
6
Location
Southern Oregon
Don't overlook the regulator. I had a leak that drove me crazy for a spell, till I realized the reg. was constantly leaking through the bleed hole.
 

the_bird

10th-Level Beer Nerd
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
20,968
Reaction score
594
Location
Adams, MA
Ya know, now that I think about it, that's a possibility. I carbed up several kegs at the same time, then had a party where the taps were open quite a lot (there might be some party photos for fightclub from that night! ;) )
Maybe I better bring a spare along for YI VIII!
 

tentacles

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
0
Don't overlook the regulator. I had a leak that drove me crazy for a spell, till I realized the reg. was constantly leaking through the bleed hole.
+1 on that... Also, check your valve stem seal on the tank valve. A lot of people make the mistake of not turning it on all the way until it is tight in the fully open position - this ensures a positive seal on the valve stem. Keep up the fight, you'll figure it out sooner or later. You DO have those nylon flare fitting washers on all your flare fittings, right? They should be replaced after disconnecting the fitting once or twice, depending on how hard you tighten them down.
 

Sea

Green Flash IPA on tap
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
1,470
Reaction score
6
Location
Southern Oregon
You DO have those nylon flare fitting washers on all your flare fittings, right? They should be replaced after disconnecting the fitting once or twice, depending on how hard you tighten them down.


You mean the coupling between the tank and reg right?

Flare fittings should not be used in conjuction with any washer, tape, or dope. All they need is the proper torque when tightened.
 

Rhino17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
Messages
88
Reaction score
5
Location
Ontario, Canada
Don't overlook the regulator. I had a leak that drove me crazy for a spell, till I realized the reg. was constantly leaking through the bleed hole.
+ 1,000,000 on this one. When I first built my keggerator, I lost 2 - 20lbs tanks - even after submerging my manifold and tubing in a full bathtub to check for leaks.

The eventual leak was where the high-pressure guage screwed in to the regulator body. It was defective from the factory.

Since that leak was fixed, my 20lb tank has been connected to 5 cornie kegs for the last 6 months - never turned off.

There is no reason to have to turn the gas off if you have a 100% sealed system.

And I have had two big keggerator parties in the last couple of months, and have lots of CO2 left. There is a tonne of CO2 in a 20lb tank.

Rhino
 
OP
Jester369

Jester369

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
164
Location
Vermont
Ok, so it's definitely in the manifold, not the kegs. There is no sign of leaking on any of the connections when giving the soap test, so indeed maybe it's one of the regs. If so, how the hell do I find/fix it?
 

Sherpa FE

The < 1% Club
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
815
Reaction score
19
Location
Blairsville
Ok, so it's definitely in the manifold, not the kegs. There is no sign of leaking on any of the connections when giving the soap test, so indeed maybe it's one of the regs. If so, how the hell do I find/fix it?

I had to go through 3 manifolds before I found one that didnt majorly leak. Even then I had to take it apart, re tape the threads, submerge it under water, apply pressure to it and I found that after I fixed one leak, another would pop up, then another. I have a 4 valve manifold, and I took it apart about 7 times including the end caps before it was rock solid. I pressurized it at 60 psi, just to make sure.

I leave my CO2 on all the time and I dont have any problems.
My 20 gallon tank lasted me about 110 gallons before I had to replace it, and thats not including the force carbing, cleaning, purging, and all the other maintenance that goes along with it.
 

ChrisS

I like cold beverages
Joined
Apr 21, 2007
Messages
227
Reaction score
1
Location
Harrisburg, PA
I just went to pull a pint from the keg and there was no beer from the tap. I look at the regulators and sure enough all systems zero. It was working so good for two weeks and holding pressure. I guess I should have not assumed that everything was ok.

I guess i can assume that because the beer did not flow from the keg that my leak my be somewhere at the keg? I am going to pull the pressure valve to see if there is anything in the keg, but I am not expecting much.

Anyone near Harrisburg, PA know where I can get a co2 tank filled on a Saturday?

Thanks,
Chris
 

D2T

Brew Monkey
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
3
Location
Morristown, NJ
I only skimmed the responses so far, so if I'm repeating please forgive me.

To troubleshoot my system I tried to isolate as many different areas as possible. I have a 4-way manifold split coming off my regulator, with valves on each line. So first I pressurize the whole thing, with no kegs connected. then I close all the valves on the manifold, close the tank valve, the valve at the output of my regulator. Then I wait a day or two.

I then go through each quick disconnected and open it with my finger. If it has pressure, that means that section is okay. So I can check each leg of the air lines from maniforld down to the disconnects for leaks.

Then once that is done, I open one of the manifold valves. if I hear the air hiss of pressure equalization then I know I'm ok up to the valve on the output of my regulator because the manifold was still pressurized. Then I open the regulator output valve. If I hear another hiss, then the regulator itself is okay.

For kegs I just pressurize and disconnect. Burp them the next day to see if they're still good.

YMMV, but I've had pretty good success with this method. At first I tried soapy water, but that just made a mess inside my keezer and didn't find my leak.
 

D2T

Brew Monkey
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
3
Location
Morristown, NJ
I guess i can assume that because the beer did not flow from the keg that my leak my be somewhere at the keg? I am going to pull the pressure valve to see if there is anything in the keg, but I am not expecting much.
I think you can only assume this if you have check valves on your air lines between the keg and your manifold/regulator.
 

rollinred

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
327
Reaction score
11
Location
Traverse City, MI
You guys might all want to check with a fire saftey supply company about renting or borrowing a co2 leak detector. I just called on of them up and they let me basically rent it. I had to give them the value of it in cash and gave it back to me when I brought the leak detector back. Welding supply companies may also let you do this.
 
OP
Jester369

Jester369

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
164
Location
Vermont
Ok, is it going to f*ck anything up if I dunk the regs? As you can see, I can't really submerge my rig without dunking them.

 

johnsma22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
104
Location
Taunton, MA
I dunked mine to eliminate them as a possible source of a leak I was chasing when I first put my system together. Water will get into the weep holes on the bonnets, in front of the diaphragms, and it will get into the gauges. After I determined that my leak was not related to the regulators, I opened them up, the gauges as well, and blew them out gently with compressed air. They've been in service for several years now with no issues.
 

Qdog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Location
York
could you just mix up a mix of soap and water and spray on the fittings and see if any bubbles pop up. That should tell you where a leak could be.
 

skydelta34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2008
Messages
47
Reaction score
0
Location
Indiana
I lost a 5lb tank my first time kegging because I didnt have the nylon washer between the tank outlet and the regulator. Check that. Since putting one in, no problems.
 
OP
Jester369

Jester369

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
164
Location
Vermont
could you just mix up a mix of soap and water and spray on the fittings and see if any bubbles pop up. That should tell you where a leak could be.
Trust me - done that, done that and done that :) It's either slow enough that the bubbles are not forming, or it's not in those connections.
 

johnsma22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
1,978
Reaction score
104
Location
Taunton, MA
Jester, in my HVAC training I've learned that homemade soap bubble solution is next to useless in finding very small leaks. Go to a plumbing supply store and get some gas leak detection solution. It has a very high viscosity to hold itself in place and will bubble like snake spit in seconds in the presence of even the most minute leak.
 
OP
Jester369

Jester369

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
164
Location
Vermont
Ok, so I got some gas leak detection solution and there was the tiniest of leaks from the pc fitting from the primary reg to the supply line - looks like the tubing wasn't cut perfectly square so it wasn't fully seating in the fitting.

HOWEVER, after pressurizing it and shutting off the gas overnight, two of the gauges are reading 0 while the others are still showing the proper level. Am I right that this means dead regs?

:confused:
 

ChrisS

I like cold beverages
Joined
Apr 21, 2007
Messages
227
Reaction score
1
Location
Harrisburg, PA
Do you have a brand name or product name for when I am looking for the same stuff? Where did you find it?

Thanks.
 
Top