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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: Bret on April 06, 2011, 11:26:30 am

Title: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Bret on April 06, 2011, 11:26:30 am
A friend gave me a corny that needs reconditioning.  Obviously, I will replace all of the o rings with a kit.  Is it necessary to replace the poppet valves?  Or does anyone know where to find the orings that seal the poppets? any other thoughts?
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: euge on April 06, 2011, 11:31:02 am
A friend gave me a corny that needs reconditioning.  Obviously, I will replace all of the o rings with a kit.  Is it necessary to replace the poppet valves?  Or does anyone know where to find the orings that seal the poppets? any other thoughts?

http://stores.kegconnection.com/Categories.bok?category=*Homebrew+Kegs%3AParts+for+Kegs (http://stores.kegconnection.com/Categories.bok?category=*Homebrew+Kegs%3AParts+for+Kegs)
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: theDarkSide on April 06, 2011, 11:35:05 am
If you're just looking for the o-rings, you can buy in bulk from McMaster-Carr

* Dip Tube O-rings $1.96/100 - 9452K172
* Dip Tube O-rings Quad Sealing $4.46/100 - 90025K368 (I prefer these as they require significantly less force to get a good seal)
* Post O-rings Buna-N $2.15/100 - 9452K23 (I use these for liquid)
* Post O-rings Silicone $10.71/100 - 9396K24 (I use these for gas)
* Lid O-rings Buna-N $12.69/10 - 9452K218
* Lid O-rings Silicone $7.88/5 - 9396K926
* Internal Quick Disconnect O-rings Silicone $6.11/100 - 9396K18

Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Bret on April 06, 2011, 11:40:21 am
Thanks Euge and Darkside.  I knew about both of the suppliers, just wondering about the poppets.  I guess from the five places I checked (2 with your help)  ;) the poppets need to be replaced since their o rings don't seem to be available. Cheap insurance, I guess.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: euge on April 06, 2011, 11:45:25 am
Bret, take a close look at the posts. If the seat where the poppit seals against the interior of the post is worn- e.g. "scalloped" then you'll need to replace the post and the poppit.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: gordonstrong on April 06, 2011, 11:49:56 am
I don't know that I've seen just the tiny o-rings on the poppets; I just usually replace the whole thing.  You should have some of these on hand anyway if you keg.  If you develop a leak, you don't want to be ordering supplies.  You want to be able to fix it from your stock.  I keep some of those around along with the pressure relief valves for the top.  Save one batch of beer from going off and you more than paid for your supplies.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Bret on April 06, 2011, 11:53:31 am
Bret, take a close look at the posts. If the seat where the poppit seals against the interior of the post is worn- e.g. "scalloped" then you'll need to replace the post and the poppit.
Will do, that's good advice.  I bought the rest of my kegs already reconditioned, so this is new for me.  As a handyman by trade, I am not afraid of projects.  This one sat in the woods for (?) after a bar went to bladder bags, so I have no way of knowing how old it is.  It did have pressure and about an inch of diet soda in it.  The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning toward replacing everything.
I do have spares for my pin locks, Gordon, but this one is a ball.  This "free" keg is getting expensive ;D
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Pinski on April 06, 2011, 12:25:29 pm
I don't know that I've seen just the tiny o-rings on the poppets; I just usually replace the whole thing.  You should have some of these on hand anyway if you keg.  If you develop a leak, you don't want to be ordering supplies.  You want to be able to fix it from your stock.  I keep some of those around along with the pressure relief valves for the top.  Save one batch of beer from going off and you more than paid for your supplies.

++1 on that!
Last weekend we had a batch ready to keg and I had just picked up a couple of new Cornies that were holding pressure from the HBS test. Well, post cleaning/sanitizing the one I wanted to use wouldn't seal on the outpost and I had to frankenstein parts from the other keg to get it to work. Tragedy narrowly averted. Needless to say this week one Corny is going back to the shop and Pinski is coming home with at least a couple of each spare parts for future repairs and maintenance.  I had extra gaskets, but like you I had a cracked and broken poppet gasket and the threads of the out-post were fouled so I would not seat fully.  Pain in the ass but good practice I suppose.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: gordonstrong on April 06, 2011, 12:29:17 pm
I think a lot of people don't realize they're skating by on the keg maintenance until something crashes and burns and they don't have the goods to deal with it.  It's a cautionary tale. 
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: tumarkin on April 06, 2011, 12:39:47 pm
another cautionary tale..... keep in mind that there are many varieties/manufacturers of kegs and many parts are not interchangeable. this is especially true of poppets. so don't stock up too much until you confirm that all your kegs are the same (unlikely).
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: gordonstrong on April 06, 2011, 12:44:39 pm
another cautionary tale..... keep in mind that there are many varieties/manufacturers of kegs and many parts are not interchangeable. this is especially true of poppets. so don't stock up too much until you confirm that all your kegs are the same (unlikely).

Damn good point!  (I think that's better than a "+1")

And when you have everything torn apart, it's a good time to check your threads and other bits and pieces for gunk.  Soak in PBW, scrub with little wire brushes, etc. to clean them up.  Sometimes you have more than one problem (worn poppet, plus the gunk still stuck to the posts that caused the wear).
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 06, 2011, 12:45:15 pm
Darkside - Why the silicone o-ring on the gas side?  Is it simply to distinguish by color?  Or do you feel there's a performance difference?
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: hamiltont on April 06, 2011, 12:49:23 pm
another cautionary tale..... keep in mind that there are many varieties/manufacturers of kegs and many parts are not interchangeable. this is especially true of poppets. so don't stock up too much until you confirm that all your kegs are the same (unlikely).

Damn good point!  (I think that's better than a "+1")

And when you have everything torn apart, it's a good time to check your threads and other bits and pieces for gunk.  Soak in PBW, scrub with little wire brushes, etc. to clean them up.  Sometimes you have more than one problem (worn poppet, plus the gunk still stuck to the posts that caused the wear).
Just wanted to add one more point.  Be sure to clean the inside of the dip tubes, especially the liquid/out tube. A dip tube brush does wonders.. Keg lube has saved my tail a time or two also.  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: gordonstrong on April 06, 2011, 12:56:46 pm
You acquire a set of specialized tools and such for dealing with kegs.  Just like building your tool set when you buy a house.  Always good to have around.  The dip tube brush is a good call.  I have a couple different sockets that fit on a socket driver to remove the posts.  They look sort of like spark plug sockets.  Got tired of mashing my fingers every so often with a bigass crescent wrench.  Box wrenches work too, usually.  Depends on the kegs.  There are so many different styles.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: tom on April 06, 2011, 01:00:08 pm
another cautionary tale..... keep in mind that there are many varieties/manufacturers of kegs and many parts are not interchangeable. this is especially true of poppets. so don't stock up too much until you confirm that all your kegs are the same (unlikely).
and the reason that I now take kegs apart one at a time so the parts don't get mixed up.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: theDarkSide on April 06, 2011, 07:26:35 pm
Darkside - Why the silicone o-ring on the gas side?  Is it simply to distinguish by color?  Or do you feel there's a performance difference?


You know I copied this from another forum post and didn't realize the person had that in there.  I use the same o-rings for the liquid and gas posts, so I have no idea why that person uses the silicone.  Sorry 'bout that.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 06, 2011, 08:09:42 pm
No sweat.  I use the buna-n on both sides myself.  Was just curious.

Color coding would be nice, but I don't really need another hundred o-rings...
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: oscarvan on April 07, 2011, 07:08:17 pm
Most kegs have "in" and "out" on the black rubber..... For the ones that don't I labeled the outside with permanent marker.

Parts help, a spare keg is better. A quick transfer from one to the other is better than messing with parts pieces while the beer is in there. An "out" to "out" hose does the trick, push it over with CO2.

Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Pinski on April 07, 2011, 07:26:23 pm
another cautionary tale..... keep in mind that there are many varieties/manufacturers of kegs and many parts are not interchangeable. this is especially true of poppets. so don't stock up too much until you confirm that all your kegs are the same (unlikely).
Interesting, I was under the impression that with Cornies, you either had pin-lock or ball-lock and that either of those types determined what kind of posts and poppets to reconditions with.  Are you saying there are various designs for both pin-lock and ball-lock type assemblies? Does it depend on the manufacturer? 
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: tygo on April 07, 2011, 07:39:00 pm
Are you saying there are various designs for both pin-lock and ball-lock type assemblies? Does it depend on the manufacturer?  

Yes, there are different designs, as I have recently discovered.  Just with ball locks there are a couple of different types of posts and up to four different types of poppets.  

Out of the four ball lock kegs I currently have three use the standard Type B poppet and one is strange.  I have progressively tried Types A and C  with no success.  After pulling off the post and comparing it to some online sources I believe I have one of the older type kegs.  I have the somewhat rare Type D poppets in the mail.  Hopefully I've got the right ones this time.  It's starting to annoy me.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Mark G on April 08, 2011, 05:24:45 am
Has anyone tried the universal poppets yet? http://www.midwestsupplies.com/universal-poppet-fits-most-kegs.html (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/universal-poppet-fits-most-kegs.html)
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: bluesman on April 08, 2011, 05:34:45 am
One of the things that I like do on a regular basis is take the fittings apart for inspection (o-rings, posts, dip tube, etc...) and clean the parts with a hot rinse then a hot soak in PBW solution after use. The keg should then be sanitized, pressurized and pressure tested. When ready to keg the next batch the keg should still be holding pressure.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: oscarvan on April 08, 2011, 05:44:03 am
One of the things that I like do on a regular basis is take the fittings apart for inspection (o-rings, posts, dip tube, etc...) and clean the parts with a hot rinse then a hot soak in PBW solution after use. The keg should then be sanitized, pressurized and pressure tested. When ready to keg the next batch the keg should still be holding pressure.

Although I don't disassemble quite often I do something similar. When the keg kicks I rinse and then fill halfway with sanitizer. I have two pieces of hose, one with a pressure connector, one with a liquid connector. I hook an airhose to the pressure side and blow a good amount of sanitizer through the out port, this rinses/sanitizes the pickup tube. Then I store it with air pressure on the sanitizer. When it's kegging time I check to see that it held pressure. Also, I believe storing under pressure keeps everything nice and seated.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: bluesman on April 08, 2011, 06:23:54 am
One of the things that I like do on a regular basis is take the fittings apart for inspection (o-rings, posts, dip tube, etc...) and clean the parts with a hot rinse then a hot soak in PBW solution after use. The keg should then be sanitized, pressurized and pressure tested. When ready to keg the next batch the keg should still be holding pressure.

Although I don't disassemble quite often I do something similar. When the keg kicks I rinse and then fill halfway with sanitizer. I have two pieces of hose, one with a pressure connector, one with a liquid connector. I hook an airhose to the pressure side and blow a good amount of sanitizer through the out port, this rinses/sanitizes the pickup tube. Then I store it with air pressure on the sanitizer. When it's kegging time I check to see that it held pressure. Also, I believe storing under pressure keeps everything nice and seated.

This^^^^^^^ is my method of choice.

A clean and sanitized keg is a happy keg.  8)
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: beersk on April 08, 2011, 08:38:50 am
Man, I have a keg that doesn't seal.  It sucks because I basically don't want to use that keg.  It's around the lid; kinda bums me out. 
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 08, 2011, 08:56:45 am
beersk - here's a previous discussion of a similar situation: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=6345.0

I don't think we found a bulk source for the wider softer lid o-ring, but there's a link in here to both kegworks and Williams who sell o-rings that are supposed to help seal older, leaky kegs.
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: beersk on April 08, 2011, 09:32:08 am
Sweet, thanks d00d.  For that O-ring, I need about tree fiddy...
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: oscarvan on April 09, 2011, 02:48:59 am
Man, I have a keg that doesn't seal.  It sucks because I basically don't want to use that keg.  It's around the lid; kinda bums me out. 

1 Turn the lid 180ยบ (I have one that will only seal in one position.... there's a black arrow on it now)
if that doesn't help:
2 Check the seal and the lid for obvious defects. Lubricate.
if that doesn't help:
3 Pressurize the keg to 100 psi and let sit for a while to force the seal
Title: Re: Keg reconditioning
Post by: BarleynYeast on April 10, 2011, 12:10:30 am
Has anyone tried the universal poppets yet? http://www.midwestsupplies.com/universal-poppet-fits-most-kegs.html (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/universal-poppet-fits-most-kegs.html)

Here is some good info on them. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/poppet-valves-228223/