Co2 Leaking - Had Enough

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Klosey

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I don’t think my problem is with the seal on the right photo. But rather the black seal on the top. When I removed the coupler gas leaked from the top which wasn’t happening before hand. Trust this makes sense.
 

zoigl

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I only brew ales and heffeweizens.
I had problems with a 4 way gas splitter. I put in a water trough, it was easy to see the leak, I would not use them now.
I use spunding valves, be warned these leak as well. I have replaced the grey PRV's with red PRV's which should??? release the pressure around 2 bar. I use 150 gms of dextrose as a primer in each keg which ferments at room temp for 14 days. I release the fermenting pressure manually with the spunding valves1 or 2 times a day. Then put the kegs into my fridge set at 7c until I am ready to tap it, usually about 8-10 weeks.
 

Grmblz

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Have checked out sites on U tube but can’t find much information on how to disassemble an A Type keg spear to replace seals
OK, I'll assume you've never taken one apart, commercial kegs have an anti tamper device that prevents the removal of the spear, this vid shows you how to remove the spear and then grind off the tab so that next time you need to remove it, it's a simple matter of just unscrewing it.
For christs sake if you do follow this method make sure you depressurise the keg in future before unscrewing the spear, there's a couple of other things you need to be aware of, PM sent.
 

Klosey

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Thanks Grmbiz,

Have seen this one. Had my two kegs given to me from my son who had removed the anti tampering device before giving them to me. I have no idea how old they are. Could be years and years so have decided to replace them completely. Thanks for your PM advice taken.
 

MHB

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This might help. There is a better picture in the attachment.
There are only two serviceable parts in the keg. The CO2 Valve and a gasket between the spear and the keg body.
If the CO2 valve is at issue you will find it easily enough by pressurising the keg and putting some soapy water on the top of the valve.
The Gasket requires removal of the spear which isn't all that hard if you think ahead and get the right tools together first. No doubt there are lots of YouTube vids out there. This one isn't too bad How to open "A" type stainless steel keg for homebrew!! One tip, remove the gasket before you cut the safety tag off, a grinder or the sparks from it can stuff the rubber gasket pretty quickly. Funny enough I to have a pair of pliers with a bit of grinding done to them just for pressing down the CO2 Gasket and grabbing the spear.
I find the gasket is rarely a problem unless you are removing the spear regularly, if you are get some spare Gaskets opening and closing kegs will use them up a lot faster.
I just spoke to Linkon at Keg Services, he has them in stock and is willing to supply home brewers. Looks like you would be paying about $1 each plus postage, probably a minimum of 10 to make it worth their time. Must say the guys at Keg Services are doing some great work and are very good to deal with.
Mark
1614127260087.png

That's the same Tube as I linked to (slower than Grumblez).
M
 

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JDW81

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Hey Darren,

Losing CO2 is frustrating and expensive, particularly if finances are a bit tight. The leaks can also be hard to track down.

When I had to solve my leaks I looked from the gas bottle all the way to the keg (including a good interrogation of the lines).

Soapy solution or starsan (which is what I used) is a good way to test your lines. The other way is connect your gas disconnects and pressurise it (they shouldn’t let gas escape unless attached to the gas post on the keg) and submerge in water. You can do the same with all of yoUr connections as well. I wouldn’t submerge your regulator though (but it’s also a place where leaks can occur).

Also make sure your disconnects are connected properly and aren’t loose. They can be “sealed” when you test them, but if they spin/move when you close the fridge then they can leak (which is where my leak was happening). If they’re ball lock, they should be universal, but don’t always fit snugly.

Also like others have said, replace your seals/O-rings/make sure your PRV’s aren’t leaking, lubricate everything well with food grade lubricant and turn off your gas between sessions to be sure (if your kegs are sealed they will hold pressure).

Is there someone locally who can help you? I’m not in Geelong any more so won’t be much use, but there might be another Geelong based kegger who’s willing to help out.

Good luck mate.

JD
 
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Klosey

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Thanks Grmbiz,

Have seen this one. Had my two kegs given to me from my son who had removed the anti tampering device before giving them to me. I have no idea how old they are. Could be years and years so have decided to replace them completely. Thanks for your PM advice taken.
This might help. There is a better picture in the attachment.
There are only two serviceable parts in the keg. The CO2 Valve and a gasket between the spear and the keg body.
If the CO2 valve is at issue you will find it easily enough by pressurising the keg and putting some soapy water on the top of the valve.
The Gasket requires removal of the spear which isn't all that hard if you think ahead and get the right tools together first. No doubt there are lots of YouTube vids out there. This one isn't too bad How to open "A" type stainless steel keg for homebrew!! One tip, remove the gasket before you cut the safety tag off, a grinder or the sparks from it can stuff the rubber gasket pretty quickly. Funny enough I to have a pair of pliers with a bit of grinding done to them just for pressing down the CO2 Gasket and grabbing the spear.
I find the gasket is rarely a problem unless you are removing the spear regularly, if you are get some spare Gaskets opening and closing kegs will use them up a lot faster.
I just spoke to Linkon at Keg Services, he has them in stock and is willing to supply home brewers. Looks like you would be paying about $1 each plus postage, probably a minimum of 10 to make it worth their time. Must say the guys at Keg Services are doing some great work and are very good to deal with.
Mark
View attachment 120012
That's the same Tube as I linked to (slower than Grumblez).
M
thanks Mark
 

DarrenTheDrunk

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Good morning Darren, it looks like you have most of it covered in terms of leak detection. You haven't talked about the regulator in your system. It may be worth trying a borrowed reg and see if that resolves the problem.

Thanks Razz. I will add a comment down below. cheers
 

DarrenTheDrunk

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Gidday Darren,

I have posted on this forum my frustration with leaking gas and in my situation using a commercial keg with an A coupler. Have gone through 3 x 6 kg gas bottles in very quick time. I have used all the soapy water tricks with nothing to show. I even bought another A coupler to try and solve the problem. Went back to basics and retighten all the connections, even though the soapy spray bottles yielded no clues. I am thinking there might be a problem with the actual spear in the commercial keg. Not sure how to tell or fix it.

appreciate your frustration 🍻🍻🍻

It aint bloody easy Klosey... I just want to brew and drink. Philosophically it should be ever so easy but....
 

DarrenTheDrunk

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Hi Klosey, have you replaced the seals in the keg? No seal lasts forever.
I used these things for years back in my Landlord days and never had a problem, it's one of the reasons I've switched from ball locks.
hey me ol mate. When you say "ball locks", do you mean the ones that are often used on commercial kegs
 

DarrenTheDrunk

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Well thanks so much for the replies. I had young Zak from the Geelong Home Brew shop (who is not on this site) come around today once I said I am going to get rid of those bloody push connectors. Like a true "customer service" bloke he came to my place, checked it all for me and we are on a bit of a mission to see WTF is going on. As a side issue, this is why it gets up my nose when people buy on ebay or where ever to save a few dollars when you get this type of service from local business. I started my own pet and aquarium business 25 years ago and you would not believe the front of some people who waste hours of my time getting advice on, say a filter...then buying it on line. GRRrrrr I am out of it now but... SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS. Thanks young Zak. Between my fellow AHB colleagues and I, I still do not have faith in those push fittings but as respect for Zak, I most certainly and going to go through the process. My God...I got in to this hobby because I love the act of making beer and other drinks myself as I just love the varying flavours etc etc . No need to convince any of you. OMG isnt it so much more complicated but apart from the cost of losing so much gas (30kg thus far), the challenge is pretty cool I must say. Anyway...thats where it is and will no doubt update you when there is something useful to tell you. Thanks again all
 

Grmblz

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hey me ol mate. When you say "ball locks", do you mean the ones that are often used on commercial kegs
HeyHo, long story short, Landlord back in the day, started to homebrew with bottles, commercial stuff just not available, came to Oz in 85, and discovered "hb kegs" paid $350 EACH for second hand coke cornies, commercial stuff in 20L just not available, 2004 went to PNG for 10yrs (that's a whole different story) came back and BOOM! the whole Chinese thing had taken off, got back into it and after 5/6 yrs of pissin around with Chinese HB gear (leaks, poor QC etc) suddenly remembered my old days of just hooking up a keg, and having it work. If nothing else the Chinese have provided competition in what was a closed market with ridiculous prices, so now you can get a commercial 20L keg made in Germany for about 20% more than a Chinese one, and 80% less than what it would have cost 20yrs ago (if you could buy just 4 or 5) It's the only reason I didn't look into it earlier.
So commercial it is, superior system designed to be abused, and idiot proof (hands up who hasn't tried to put a gas disconnect on a liquid out post or vice versa) no more sticking disconnects/gas leaks whatever, just hook it up and away you go.
NOW! my old coke cornies and stainless disconnects (from memory the disconnects were about $50 each) are still 100% reliable given proper maintenance, and user error taken out of the equation, BUT! my new stuff, kegs, disconnects whatever are the items that give me grief, I'm not knocking Chinese stuff out of hand, I have a bespoke Chinese still that is fabulous, but I paid a lot of coin for it, ya gets what ya pays for.
So I'm back to the good old days of commercial stuff made in Germany, cost approx 20% more than the Chinese gear but no QC issues.
To my mind the old US made kegs and components never had the issues we see today, just a pity they have all gone.
If you consider going down this road just remember that cheap Chinese commercial kegs and couplers may suffer from the same issues as cheap Chinese cornies and disconnects.
So much for the short answer LMAO, No mate, "ball locks are what you are using (and I was/am)
Search for A-type coupler/keg (the other common one is D-type but that's not a great idea for HBer's)
For a "proper" commercial keg check out "keg services" all round good guys and happy to supply small numbers and remove the tamper devices on the spears.
Or give us a bell, it's been a while.
Cheers G
 

MHB

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Just two quick points
Quote
So commercial it is, superior system designed to be abused, and idiot proof (hands up who hasn't tried to put a gas disconnect on a liquid out post or vice versa) no more sticking disconnects/gas leaks whatever, just hook it up and away you go.
Only when pissed.

Quote
For a "proper" commercial keg check out "keg services" all round good guys and happy to supply small numbers and remove the tamper devices on the spears.
Agree about Keg Services - good guys
The "tamper devices" are in fact a safety feature, it stops the spear getting ejected into your face if you try to unscrew it while there is pressure in the keg. I remove them from all the kegs we use. Just be careful unscrewing the spear, some have a gas vent cut into the thread (good) some don't (not so good).

Commercial equipment tends to be way better quality, true it costs a bit more and until recently smaller than 50L was very hard/expensive to get, these days not so much.
I know people south of here tend to think all kegs have Sanky well type tops (Carlton et al), but the type A slider is really the best for small/home brewing.
Mark
 

DarrenTheDrunk

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Be Geezus Graham. While I quickly glanced at your post where you said " 5/6 years pissin". I thought you were saying your spent 5/6 years is "prison". Thank christ I read your post in detail...!!!

While I am posting, an update on the leaking Co2. I disconnected all gas lines from the kegs and left the system under 40psi over night without any loss of gas. Lowered the gas and connected the gas but checked every connect first and voila ... a buggered 'o' ring on one of the kegs. Replaced this and no more leaks. I learned a better way and a 'routine' to check for leaks from Zak from Geelong Home Brew so hopefully you will NEVER see a post from me about leaks...yeh...sure...
 

duncbrewer

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I followed this thread with smug satisfaction and there but for the grace of god go I and sympathised with Darrens' woes.

Then looked at my CO2 cylinder and realised it had a big drop in pressure on the cylinder side.

Could I have a leak I thought? Took all the tubes and lines out checked thru as advised above, immersed in water for bubble check and might have found the leak . I changed the tube into a T splitter ( duotight) and have reconnected and I think all is well with a less floppy arrangement of the five T tubes and connections for five kegs.
Not so smug now!
 

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