Author Topic: Co2 tank randomly empty  (Read 1116 times)

Offline mattybrass

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Co2 tank randomly empty
« on: September 04, 2014, 01:36:47 PM »
I got a dual secondary regulator last weekend and a second 4-way manifold. I hooked everything up and it has been holding pressure steadily and not dropping at all. I looked yesterday and the tank is empty.

Has this ever happened to anyone before?

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 01:39:00 PM »
Yep. You have a gas leak. Best to get a new fill and check every single connection.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 01:45:46 PM »
Keg lube on connections helps. Then fill a spray bottle with soapy water (star san works too, anything that foams). Spray all of the connections and look for bubbles.
 
To avoid wasting CO2 I hooked everything up and turned the tank on. Note the pressures and turn the tank off. Let it all sit for a day and check the pressures again (tank still off). In a well sealed system, the regulator will still show the same high and low pressure.
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Offline mattybrass

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 01:50:24 PM »
Yeah obviously there is a leak somewhere since it went from full to empty. I think its just odd that it went with no visible leak pressure wise for 3 days and then right down to empty. Ill get a re-fill this weekend and check everything.

Offline ultravista

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 01:52:10 PM »
I have a 4 way manifold from Keg Cowboy and found defects in the ball valves. Probably Chinese, the ball valves were two piece where the threads were actually sleeves threaded into the valve body (top and bottom). The sleeves were sealed with some sort of hard glue like substance. Over time, the sealant began to flake and crumble leaving small pinholes. Gas was escaping through the threads.

There was no way for me to remove the sleeve, seal w/tape, and rethread. The valve was machined this way and probably meant for something other than gas under pressure.

It took me a while to find this nonsense. I replaced the valves.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 01:56:17 PM »
I assume the regulator has a high pressure dial and it indicated no pressure drop for three days? If so, either the dial was stuck or something that is normally sealed was pushed so as to open a leak - like when closing a door? I've seen disconnects with bad O-rings that would seal, but if you pushed on the tubing you'd hear gas leaking.
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Offline mattybrass

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2014, 02:06:24 PM »
my primary has a high and low, and the secondary has a low for each regulator. hmm yeah maybe ill submerge my tubing and stuff and see where its leaking from.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2014, 02:14:50 PM »
Yeah obviously there is a leak somewhere since it went from full to empty. I think its just odd that it went with no visible leak pressure wise for 3 days and then right down to empty. Ill get a re-fill this weekend and check everything.

CO2 tanks are gas over liquid CO2. The pressure will stay high on a tank pressure gauge until the liquid has evaporated, then it goes down fast. Your time line says slow leak.

In addition to the soap or SS spray, as a last step crank the pressure up to 30 PSI, as you might hear the leak at that pressure.

For a distribution manifold or kegs under pressure you can also submerse in water and look for the trail of bubbles.
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Offline mattybrass

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2014, 02:16:34 PM »
my primary is set at 35, and i listened at the reg, no leaks that i could hear. my secondarys are set at 10 and 13 currently. Ill check all of the other connections when i get my new tank. ugh so many connections haha.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 02:31:14 PM »
Yeah obviously there is a leak somewhere since it went from full to empty. I think its just odd that it went with no visible leak pressure wise for 3 days and then right down to empty. Ill get a re-fill this weekend and check everything.

CO2 tanks are gas over liquid CO2. The pressure will stay high on a tank pressure gauge until the liquid has evaporated, then it goes down fast. Your time line says slow leak.

In addition to the soap or SS spray, as a last step crank the pressure up to 30 PSI, as you might hear the leak at that pressure.

For a distribution manifold or kegs under pressure you can also submerse in water and look for the trail of bubbles.

Good advice on all counts.
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Offline bengelbrau

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 02:52:14 PM »
When I had this experience, I finally found the leak at the tubing to quick disconnect junction. The hose clamp seemed tight when using a screwdriver, but the worm drive threads tend to give higher resistance at some point, leading me to think I had tightened it farther than it really had been. Since then, I use a ratchet and socket to tighten these connections.

Offline mattybrass

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 03:18:01 PM »
I really wish they made ball lock connectors with 3/8" barbs... do they?

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2014, 05:02:24 PM »
CO2 tanks are gas over liquid CO2. The pressure will stay high on a tank pressure gauge until the liquid has evaporated, then it goes down fast.

To be specific, the pressure won't start dropping until the tank is 10% full.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2014, 06:30:21 PM »
When I had this experience, I finally found the leak at the tubing to quick disconnect junction. The hose clamp seemed tight when using a screwdriver, but the worm drive threads tend to give higher resistance at some point, leading me to think I had tightened it farther than it really had been. Since then, I use a ratchet and socket to tighten these connections.

Worm gear clamps are usually the culprit IME of "slow" gas leaks. You can think that you have a tight, perfectly circular seal that doesn't change when you move a hose but won't know until the tank is empty. I'll be switching to the clamp style oetiker fittings when I get some time for this specific reason.
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Offline bernman

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Re: Co2 tank randomly empty
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2014, 01:46:00 AM »
I am in the same boat. I recently built a keezer and have a gas leak that I have not been able to find. I think I have at least narrowed it down to 1 or 2 of the 4 kegs but still not positive.