General Category > Kegging and Bottling

Check Valves on Gas Distributor

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monk:
I just got a gas distributor that has shut-off valves, but no check valves.  I was told that the check valves are usually for the coupler so that beer doesn't get into the gas lines.  What coupler are they talking about?  And can I put simple plastic check valves (like in the pic) in the gas lines to keep it from flowing back up into the distributor?
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23369&clickid=redirect

enso:
What is your distributor (manifold) like?  Or are you talking about the regulator? Are you certain the shut-off valves do not have internal check valves. 

Mostly you do not want to risk the chance that beer will back up into the regulator which could damage it.  The other concern would be cross conantamination from one keg to another if beer flowed up one line and down another.  If you are concerned and do have the potential for that to happen then those would work inline from the manifold to the QD's and are cheap insurance. 

monk:
It's the distributor/manifold and, unfortunately, I am sure there's no check valves.  I think the guy who answered my question on the phone was thinking that I have a commercial keg with a fancy coupler, rather than a homebrew keg with a QD.  I think I'll be picking these check valves up just to make sure I don't run one beer into the next.  Thanks for the info.

rabid_dingo:
I recently found the same. I asked if the manifold had check valves in it and I was told yes. But it seems that
the check valve is for the whole manifold. Not individual lines. So, beer did shoot up one line but never out to the
gas tank...I'm going to get some.

nyakavt:
I've heard at least one reliable forum member over at NB claim that he got aroma contamination from one beer to another when they were hooked up with no check valves (without any beer backflow), something like a Helles and an IPA on the same gas connection.

As for the manifold, if it's made for a commercial system (sounds like it) then there will be no check valves at each connection because commercial couplers have a built in check valve.  

If you're looking for a DIY, I built a 3-way splitter coming out of each regulator all with check valves for pretty cheap.  The 'manifold' is a 4 port 1/4" FPT air tool splitter from harbor freight, $2 each.  Into each FPT port I screwed in a 1/4" MPT to 1/4" MFL check ball valve ($2.50 each at NB, item K125), then used the standard 1/4" FFL swivel nuts and barbs to connect to the gas lines with a nylon flare washer (item K127, $0.10 each).  Pretty cheap way to go, but there are no shutoffs to each line so you have to do some thorough leak checking.  You could put as many of these air tool splitters in line as you like with a 1/4" MPT to MPT nipple.

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