Author Topic: CO2 tank empty!!  (Read 682 times)

Offline Jacob Ortiz

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CO2 tank empty!!
« on: January 12, 2021, 11:11:16 PM »
Recently my buddy and I switched from using priming sugar to carbonate our home brew to carbonating with CO2. We just hooked up our 5 gallon CO2 tank to two kegs (1-5 gallon, 1-3 gallon) in less than 1 week, our tank was empty! This is the second time this has happened to us and we don't even have fully carbonated beer. Many people say they can carbonate up to 15 pony kegs, and we can't even do two. What is going on? Is this normal? Do we need a bigger tank?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 11:19:08 PM by Jacob Ortiz »

Offline RC

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 11:28:28 PM »
You have a leak somewhere. You need to spray a foaming liquid (I use a saniclean solution) on every potential leak point where CO2 might escape and look for bubbles. Also listen for hissing. Don't forget the keg--the lid seal and connectors can also be leak points. I've never kept track but a 5lb tank should let you carbonate in the neighborhood of 8-10 kegs (+/-) at least.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 11:47:06 PM »
+1. Start from one end (either tank or keg) and check everything. Also, just because you find one, don’t stop. Check everything end to end. There can be more than one leak point.


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Offline ravenwater

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 03:45:10 PM »
Yep for sure you have a leak somewhere. I've had the same saddening and expensive experience more than once. Going over your connections thoroughly as described above will help you nail it down and as suggested don't assume there is only one leak. Check all connections from the tank to your terminal points, including the possibility that you're leaking CO2 from a poorly sealed post/poppet assembly. Washers/gaskets get worn and over-crimped and can leak.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 08:31:21 PM »
Even the regulator can leak CO2, so check absolutely all points.  The kegs can have a pin leak that just is tough to find, but spray it down with Star San and find that leak, apply lube or tighten, as needed and keep up the regular maintenance and re-checking.  My last leak was from a slightly loose connection at the threaded QCD connection to the supply line.  Tightened it up and stopped the problem.  Good luck with your search.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2021, 11:10:49 PM »
Make sure you have a gasket between the regulator and the co2 tank. As mentioned above, check all points with solution. If using a manifold, check that too. Been there.done that. Frustrating!

Offline majorvices

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2021, 03:08:09 AM »
I've gone through this and it is painful. Check all the metal on metal connections in the gas lines. You should have a nylon washer between them (they look like tiny bowls with a hole) and also a nylon washer between your regulator and your tank. Go around and give ever connection a 1/4 turn but not too tight. Also check the gaskets on the gas "IN" post. Disconnect form the keg if you aren't sure If the keg loses pressure the next day that is where your leak is.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2021, 02:19:24 PM »
It helps to crank the pressure up to 30 PSI when looking for leaks.
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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2021, 02:48:13 PM »
Sometimes it can be easier to check one keg at a time too.  Hook one keg up and check your regulator and keg connections with Star San as everyone has described.  If it looks good, leave that keg under pressure by itself for a few days and make sure your tank doesn't go empty.  If that one is okay after a while, hook up the second keg and check it.

I used this method once to find a bad gas disconnect.  The leak was so slow that I wasn't able to find by spraying Star San on the connections.  And I lost two tanks of CO2 while looking for the problem.

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 07:07:13 PM »
So you used to sugar prime your kegs and things were fine or are you knew to kegging all together? If you had no issues before when sugar priming your kegs, I would certainly suspect a leak at your regulator, manifolds, fittings, connections, disconnects...etc. I used to burn a lot of co2, it would be every few kegs. Never exactly pin pointed the leak(s) but ended up replacing all my o rings, small and large and tightened every connection along the way. Now it seems I get a refill once a year.

If you do suspect your kegs, crank up the pressure and fill an empty keg, say 30 psi. Disconnect it, spray it down to check for leaks and leave it, try adding some co2 later and see where you are at. Go though all the kegs, but I suspect a leak somewhere else. By chance are they Pin Lock kegs? I had a disconnect on my Pin Lock that would fit lose, if it had and side pull tension on it, it would hiss and leak co2. I got rid of my 2 Pin Locks, went all ball lock.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2021, 09:38:02 PM »
It helps to crank the pressure up to 30 PSI when looking for leaks.

As well as use soapy water on all connections

Offline scrap iron

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Re: CO2 tank empty!!
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2021, 02:11:02 PM »
It looks like good advice above. I will just add use a little keg lube on all rubber parts, o-rings and a dab on the PRV if you have one. This helps a lot for parts that don't fit as well.
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