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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: Wheat_Brewer on June 03, 2011, 06:16:27 pm

Title: So frustrated
Post by: Wheat_Brewer on June 03, 2011, 06:16:27 pm
That high pitched muffled scream you just heard states away was me in frustration with my kegging system!  Despite reading the various posts about kegging I just can't get this right!  I replaced the O-Rings, checked for leaks, and carefully filled my keg with beer.  Here I am 5 days later with flat beer, a once full but now bone dry CO2 tank, and nothing but frustration.  Since the wife doesn't seem to understand the frustration I'm venting to you all.  Thanks for having a sympathetic ear. 
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: MDixon on June 03, 2011, 06:19:09 pm
Probably a dumb question, but do you have a washer on your regulator...if you don't know - check, if you are sure you do - look for leaks elsewhere, if you do not - voila, problem solved...
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: tschmidlin on June 03, 2011, 06:21:35 pm
Bummer.  Replace the CO2 tank, put pressure on the beer, then turn off the tank and spray everything down with starsan and look for tiny tiny tiny bubbles.   It's a total PITA to track down leaks, but in the end it's worth it.  At least you know what you can work on this weekend, right?   Bright side. :)
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: dbeechum on June 03, 2011, 06:21:50 pm
Get the tank refilled.

Make a nice soapy solution (or use Star San or buy the leak detector stuff at your supply store)

Swab everything with the solution and fire up the gas.

By everything I mean:
any junction (regulator -> tank, valve -> tank, hose->regulator, hose->gas fitting, slather the whole gas fitting, the post and base of the gas and liquid posts, the lid junction, the relief valve)

Start with the pressure low and watch. Keep a wrench and screw driver handy to tighten everything.

If the leak is in the lid, crank the pressure to 15 psi and see if it stops. If it does, consider getting fat o-rings.

Lastly, no leak? disconnect the gas and watch the posts on the newly charged keg.
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: richardt on June 03, 2011, 06:22:29 pm
Been there when I first started kegging.  It probably isn't your keg if your tank is going bone dry with flat beer.  My guess is the regulator isn't hooked up properly to your tank.  It has to have a special flat cardboard/paper-like washer and it has to be tightened with a wrench (and not just hand-tightened).  Check all the other connections for an air-tight fit, as well.  Spraying with starsan doesn't always help you find the leak.
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on June 03, 2011, 06:27:33 pm
And recheck that tank connection periodically, especially shortly after first connecting it.  That washer can compress a bit and what was once nice and tight can be loose.

Easy way to check that connection is to close the valve at the outlet of the regulator and watch the high side gage.  If it drops to nothing (may take a minute or 3) then you have a leak between the tank and that valve.
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: tschmidlin on June 03, 2011, 06:29:30 pm
Also, watch how you position the gauges on the tank.  If I put mine at an angle so it's easier to read, the weight is sometimes sufficient to slowly unscrew the gauges from the tank.  I've emptied a couple of tanks that way.  ::)
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: Kit B on June 03, 2011, 06:32:30 pm
I had a similar problem, once & later, realized that the dude who refilled my tank had removed this, & not reattached it...

It goes into your tank outlet, before attaching the large nut from your regulator assembly.
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: EHall on June 03, 2011, 06:41:44 pm
You could also dunk it down in a swimming pool if you have one, or fill up the tub with water and dunk while being pressurized.
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: majorvices on June 03, 2011, 06:43:28 pm
A friend of mine always turned his gas on when serving, but turned it off when not. When I asked him why he said because his tank always went dry. Quick inspection found he wasn't using a teflon washer (tiny, white bowl shaped washer with whole in center) where metal connector met another metal connector, for instance: where the gas line screws onto regulator. Also, torque all those connections down with a quarter turn past hand tight. Follow the advice on checking for leaks and you should solve the problem.
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: tygo on June 03, 2011, 11:09:54 pm
This stuff makes it easier to see a leak than starsan.  Kinda messy to use but works great:

Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: jaybeerman on June 03, 2011, 11:34:52 pm
There's only one other issue that I can think of and it's one that can occur but doesn't that often.  When you open the valve on the tank make sure that you open it all the way.  The seats/seals on the valve work best when the valve is all open or all closed.  Like I said, it's just another possibility.  good luck
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: gordonstrong on June 04, 2011, 04:25:38 am
Do you have more than one keg?  It would be helpful to isolate it to the keg or to the CO2 tank.  If you find a faulty part, don't try to fiddle with it.  Replace it.

If you keg, you will have these problems.  Get used to troubleshooting them.  It goes with the territory.  But if this is your first time, yeah, we feel your pain.
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: Wheat_Brewer on June 04, 2011, 05:31:56 am
Thanks all for the suggestions!  I've tightened the regulator for the night and tomorrow I'll fill it up again then start my troubleshooting.  Since I have two kegs and they both have had the same problem separate of each other, I'm going to assume the problem is with the tank/regulator/lines.  I have to admit to feeling much better and less stupid knowing that I'm not the only one with this problem. 
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: dbeechum on June 04, 2011, 07:42:57 pm
I have to admit to feeling much better and less stupid knowing that I'm not the only one with this problem. 

Trust me, in this community one of the surest things I can tell you is that we've all made the mistake before you. :)
Title: Re: So frustrated
Post by: bluesman on June 07, 2011, 06:48:49 pm
Some regulators have a rubber o-ring and others don't. If you don't have a rubber o-ring you'll need a teflon washer. When you tighten down the regulator, start by hand tightening, then an additional one-half turn with a wrench will do the trick as overtightening is a recipe for more leakage.

I also pressurize my kegs to 30 psi immediately upon cleaning and sanitizing. This practice will test for leaks. If the keg is still holding pressure when you go to fill it a week or two later you can be assured it's not leaking.