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Gas Leak - Regulator HELP

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lastdrinks

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Short Question (not that short)
I think i have narrowed down my kegging setup gas leak to loose outlet on my gas manifold after buying a new regulator a few days ago. So just to be safe i thought i would test my regulator to make sure there is no leaks one step back from the manifold. So i googled quite a bit as other than high and low pressure vales on regulators i am unsure exactly how they work. So i turned it on at the tank and set to 40psi on on the low pressure end then turned it off at the tank and bled the regulator so it still showed 40psi at the low pressure end but 0 psi at the high pressure end. OK i thought now i go away for 1 hour come back and both gauges are 0psi.

My question is: is what i saw happen to the pressure on the regulator normal, if the regulator was working and there were no leaks? And is a better test just to fill the bath with water and put the whole tank in with the regulator on at 40 psi and look for bubbles?



A bit more background
I had a great functioning two tap setup for a few years but about two years ago i thought an upgrade was needed to add one extra tap and an extra line out to force carb or clean. Then i could run a lager, an ale and one speciality beer. So bought secondhand fridge, manifold, lines etc. Spent time building it up over months and the end product for my skills i thought was great, it improved on the previous model in the areas i planned to. A proper 2.0 upgrade. Then the keg ran out, no big deal i hadnt been monitoring exactly the kegs it done but seemed about right. So i get a refill, then 2 or 3 kegs in and the new keg is empty too. So now even i know there is a leak. Out comes the soapy water spray bottle to test, and i found nothing but i did not remove parts from the fridge to get at every crack and crevice. O-rings are purchased and installed on kegs.

Around this time i had my first kid so spending hours on the keg machine is a little hard, so i just start turning off the new gas bottle to be safe when not pouring (something i have never had to do). Over time I drink my 6 kegs i filled in the lead up to my baby being born about June last year and after a few failed attempts to refreash a keg I havent been back in a serious way until now. So lifes getting back to normal which means the beer hobby can start back up and last week i found the leak (soapy water test) in the manifold after i took it out of the fridge, the leak was on a side not accessible when the manifold was in the fridge.
 

freek

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lastdrinks said:


My question is: is what i saw happen to the pressure on the regulator normal, if the regulator was working and there were no leaks?
No I don't believe it to be normal, it does not happen that way with my set up. I have a slow leak on my type 30 nut (HP- the one that connects to the bottle) so I turn the bottle off whenever it is not in use. The HP pressure bleeds off slowly and the LP pressure lasts indefinitely. I believe it should maintain LP pressure if there is no leak on the LP side.

If you want a better idea of how a reg works it is explained pretty well on wikipedia. I would be surprised if there was an internal bypass through your reg from LP to HP side (this would be dangerous), however it is not to say there is not a leak somewhere else internally in the reg (for example out the stem on the pressure adjuster).

There are heaps of potential leak points in any system. You have to start eliminating the one by one. On the LP gas side alone you have:
  • The bleed valve on the kegs- mine has a rubber seat
  • The lid o-ring
  • Where the posts are fitted to the keg.
  • The o-ring seal between the posts and the disconnects
  • Where the disconnects attach to the hose
  • Where the manifold connects to the hose and all connections on the manifold
  • Where the LP hose connection is threaded into the regulator
  • Where the LP gauge is threaded into the regulator
  • Internally in the LP gauge could have a bypass
  • Somewhere internally in the regulator.
Are you running this test with minimal attached to the LP side? I would run same test you have described and start with just the reg attached to 1 x hose with a shut off valve (or a disconnect if you don't have a valve). Soapy water every connection. Add items individually if all is well.

Edit: I definitely would not put my regulator and bottle in a bath of water.

Good luck,
Freek
 

lastdrinks

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Thanks for the response Freek.

I ran the test with only have the regulator connected to the gas bottle and a new disconnect as the regulator didnt have a cutoff valve. If all went well the plan was to do as you said and add extra sections of my keg setup as they showed no leaks every hour or two but obviously the first section with the regulator seems to have failed.

I plan to give the guys i purchased the regulator off and see what they think monday. They have been pretty good in the past with advice.
 

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