Why is my auto-siphon f***ed up?

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Pendragon524

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My auto-siphon has recently gone screwy on me. Though it will still transfer wine from carboy to carboy, it has started leaking air over the entirety of the racking process. I have no idea how or why. I think the racking cane that goes into the tube isn't sealing 100%, allowing air in. I don't know why it would be doing that, though, or how to fix it. Please, dear friends, help me fix my auto-siphon so that I can rack without so blatantly oxidizing my wine.
 

Coookies58

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Yeah, I’ve had a few over the years. It just takes a small crack or nick in the plastic around the inner tube piece to pull in air constantly. Time for a new one likely.
 

Garfield43

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I have one I bought brand new I can't get to work right.
I say that, I may just not know how they work.
Mine won't work if you just casually give it a few pumps.
You have to hammer away at it like a chimpanzee feverishly pleasuring himself.
I don't think that's how they should work but since it is my first one I don't know.
 

Maylar

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There are 2 places where you can get an air leak - at the rubber seal on the "plunger" cane and at the hose connection to the cane. The rubber seal isn't replaceable, when that doesn't seal any more the siphon is trash. Store the siphon disassembled so the rubber doesn't take a set. And dip the rubber end in Star San to wet it before using it.
 

dwhite60

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I used mine for about six minutes and badly oxidized four bottles of beer. Could not stop it suckling air. Got all kinds of suggestions from people but they all sounded like more work. It's now resting comfortably in the local landfill.

My thirty year old home made copper racking cane still works fine. Bought the auto-siphon to see what the hype was about. Wasn't impressed.
 

Culinarytracker

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I have one I bought brand new I can't get to work right.
I say that, I may just not know how they work.
Mine won't work if you just casually give it a few pumps.
You have to hammer away at it like a chimpanzee feverishly pleasuring himself.
I don't think that's how they should work but since it is my first one I don't know.
I had one with that problem. I started putting a couple inches of starsan in the outer tube. That fixed that problem, but I still hated siphoning so I bought Speidel fermenters and won't go back to anything without a spigot at the bottom again.
 

bkboiler

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gonna take it apart when u store or the o-ring wears very quickly.
I fixed my old one for a little while by pouring 1 oz of star san in the upper part of the autosiphon before use...
I'm sure some keg lube may also help but I didn't need it.
I bought one once and was getting into my car in a fairly small parking place and the door closed on it and the top snapped off...
moral: it's a very brittle plastic...which usually is scratch resistant, but can be easily cracked...and susceptible to chemical attack on the surface finish.
I still use mine, but only because I have less $$$ on the line (beer is much cheaper than wine)...if I were you I'd get a self-priming transfer pump. It drove me crazy the one time I ruined a batch of beer that I oxidized this way while racking...led me to research it well enough to know all the failure modes of the autosiphon!
 
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Pendragon524

Pendragon524

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Thank you for the feedback, everyone! I may invest in a higher-end auto-siphon, because I bought this one only a month ago.
 
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