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Uggh! Keg Leak!

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by pweis909, Apr 2, 2013.

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  1. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,609) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    10 lb CO2 tank drained in ~2 weeks.:angry:
  2. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    Drink faster?:grimacing:
    inchrisin and pweis909 like this.
  3. sarcastro

    sarcastro Disciple (335) Sep 20, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Been there. I feel your pain.
    pweis909 likes this.
  4. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    Bummer. Those are the worst kind because the leak is so slow it makes it a bitch to find where it is.
    pweis909 likes this.
  5. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,307) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You can check the kegs with some star san spray. Bubbles will show the leak.

    I have had leaks at the regulator to keg interface, and at all of the regulator connections. Tighten those if in doubt.

    Anything that can be put under water to look for bubbles should be.
    pweis909 likes this.
  6. palmdalethriller

    palmdalethriller Initiate (0) Dec 26, 2007 California

    I live my life in perpetual fear of keg leaks.
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,345) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This happened to me (5 lb tank) with my very first tank. Turned out to be a brand spanking new leaking regulator. After that, I bought micromatic regulators and everything has been good.
    pweis909 likes this.
  8. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,609) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    This is one solution.:rolling_eyes:

    I'll definitely tighten anything that can be tightened. I'll probably just mix up some soap solution for the leak test. Putting the kegs underwater would be the follow up step, I guess.

    I'm betting this leak is on a keg, as the regulator has held before. I'll consider the micromatic if I need to get a new regulator. The one I have ( http://www.midwestsupplies.com/double-co2-regulator.html ) seems pretty cheaply made compared to the ones I've used in research. And yet, at $130, it is maybe the most expensive piece of homebrew equipment I have ever bought.

    Time to go exchange my tank:slight_frown:
  9. OddNotion

    OddNotion Devotee (478) Nov 1, 2009 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    If by any chance it is a regulator problem I would recommend kegconnection.com

    They worked with me to assemble a custom regulator at what I found to be a decent price fwiw.
    carteravebrew and pweis909 like this.
  10. jchoffman

    jchoffman Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2012 Georgia

    I've had the same issue recently, and it was the regulator... but definitely do the soap solution test to see where you may be leaking
    pweis909 likes this.
  11. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (297) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    I've found the best way to check for leaks is to crank the pressure up to, say, 50 psi. Even the tiniest leaks will announce themselves with an audible hiss at this pressure. Tighten or repair anything that makes noise. Then spray with StarSan to find any that you can't hear (actually, anything that doesn't hiss at this pressure likely won't leak at serving pressure, but why ask for trouble?)

    FWIW, space considerations notwithstanding, this is the only advantage of a smal CO2 tank over a bigger one. With a full 5# tank, your loss is limited to about $20. With a 20# tank, you can lose as much as $25!!! (obviously, this varies with your supplier)
    GreenKrusty101 and pweis909 like this.
  12. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (470) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    When a molecule of CO2 leaves my tank until it escapes from my tap there are 14 connections. Multiply that by 5 lines and the trauma of finding a leak is pretty serious.

    I am in the middle of a keezer build. Here's my home-made solution for checking the integrity of connections:


    This is a spare gauge for about 10 bucks, threaded into a 1/4" female npt fitting with a 1/4" MFL output (Home Depot, $2). A short length of gas line is clamped onto two swivel nuts. I leave it hooked up to a spare gas quick disconnect.

    Whenever I pressurize any new connections/fittings, I apply the test gauge, shut off or isolate the main tank, and leave it for at least 48 hours. This shows if you have a leak and gives you a starting point.
    hopfenunmaltz and pweis909 like this.
  13. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,609) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Supporter Subscriber

    Problem solved? Fingers crossed.

    I used mikehartigan's approach and cranked the pressure up.

    Easy to hear and feel leaks at high pressure. Gas expansion cooling apparently can be detected by skin even in a 35 deg F cooler. There were two leaks at the regulator-gas-out connection: the threaded connection that attaches the hose barb to the regulator and the hose clamp both needed to be tightened.After tightening, no audible hisses, and the repair seemed to pass the soap test.

    Perhaps I inadvertently bumped the regulator and lossened the connections? Maybe there is some value to those regulator cage thingees?
    jchoffman likes this.
  14. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    check check and recheck :slight_frown:
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