Author Topic: A warning on universal poppets  (Read 923 times)

Offline Stevie

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A warning on universal poppets
« on: December 06, 2015, 07:26:24 PM »
NEVER buy universal poppets unless you know what you are getting. Buy from a reputable source.

I bought a couple of universal poppets from my lhbs a while back and have been happy with their performance. I saw a deal on Homebrewfinds for packs of 5 @ $10. Figured can't be much difference and I didn't fully remember what the poppets from the lhbs looked like as they were in the keg. The poppets were delivered and they are complete garbage. The wire is thin and I can easily see where the spring favors flexing verses compression. I ended up buying more from the lhbs for $3 each. Pics below.

Junk on the left. Notice how it is already bent. That is how they were delivered. They don't even stand on their own.


Junk compressed. Note how it naturally wants to flex out when compressed. This causes the stopper to get wedged in preventing a seal.


Quality poppet. Compresses down without flex.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2015, 07:29:34 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2015, 07:36:29 PM »
Good info, thanks man. Obviously not all created equal.
Jon H.

Offline coolman26

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 03:25:22 PM »
I've had the same issues. I added a few to my order at K Connection. They were so strong I was worried that they might be too strong.
Jeff B

Offline Phil_M

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2015, 12:25:33 PM »
I had brand new kegs show up with universal poppets, and neither would dispense beer. Being new to kegging, it took me forever to find out the poppets were the problem.

Ditched them for the correct poppets and I haven't had an issue since.

Don't buy kegco kegs.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline beersk

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 03:18:08 PM »
Thanks for the info. I love universal poppets, have them in all my kegs. I must have the quality ones (also purchased from LHS) as they seal very well and are robust.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 03:38:09 PM »
I had brand new kegs show up with universal poppets, and neither would dispense beer. Being new to kegging, it took me forever to find out the poppets were the problem.

Ditched them for the correct poppets and I haven't had an issue since.

Don't buy kegco kegs.

I've seen where there are different lengths to the springs.  Your issue may have been that the spring wasn't compressing enough.  Not sure quite how that could be, though, if the disconnect was securely on.

I have some where it's REALLY hard to get the disconnect on, and I figure it's the pressure of the spring.

I'm slowly replacing my poppets with universals.  I like the simplicity of not needing a bunch of different poppets for each type of keg.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Phil_M

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2015, 03:46:56 PM »
I think the height the dip tube sat at compressed the spring too much, making the tap unable to press it down enough to get beer out. You could press the poppet with a screwdriver, but it was difficult.

Customer service was nonexistent, always ended up getting redirected to another department. One of the kegs ended up having a rusted draw tube as well.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 04:10:09 PM »
I think the height the dip tube sat at compressed the spring too much, making the tap unable to press it down enough to get beer out. You could press the poppet with a screwdriver, but it was difficult.

I've read about people cutting the springs to make them shorter.  That might help.

Sounds like bum kegs though.  And bad customer service.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Stevie

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2015, 04:31:32 PM »
The poppets I got from the lhbs would need an angle grinder or bolt cutters to shorten. I don't have a pair of calipers, but they appear to be 20 awg, possibly 18. The junk poppets appear to be 22 awg, but are also made of less ridged material.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2015, 04:44:57 PM »
Dremel with a cutting wheel should do it.  I've cut many many things with my dremel.

Angle grinder would seem to be too big.

You might also be able to find shorter springs at the LHBS or on-line.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Stevie

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 04:45:42 PM »
I should have added a ;)

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 04:52:47 PM »
Well, I guess the larger point would be that if you need to customize them they're not really universal, are they?
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Stevie

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2015, 05:01:21 PM »

Well, I guess the larger point would be that if you need to customize them they're not really universal, are they?
I see what you mean, but compared to figuring out what type of poppet can be a bit of a PIA.

Offline coolman26

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Re: A warning on universal poppets
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2015, 08:13:40 PM »
No doubt, thought I had my poppets figured out and ordered new ones for 6 kegs. Only half were correct and I said screw it.  Universal poppets from now on. I just found a guy that wanted to sell 10 kegs for $40 each.  I'll take it, universal poppet order coming up.
Jeff B