Leaking CO2 in Draft System

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Mendenhall Brewing, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Nagging Wife Brewery

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    I've been losing CO2 rather quickly since I started kegging my homebrew this past summer. Prior to that, I used my kegerator for several years using only commercial kegs. My 5lb CO2 tank lasted more than 2 pony kegs on a single fill during that time. Since then, I've not been able to force carb and drink a full, 5 gallon keg without having to get my tank refilled. I tried to diagnose the problem on my own and several times I had the problem figured out. The way I've usually found the following problems is by spraying star san on these areas and watching for bubbles. Normally, I've been able to detect the faint hiss of leaking air as well.

    There was first a leaking seal on the lid - a little keg lube did the trick.
    Then a leaking relief valve on the keg - again keg lube did it but I also now have a backup relief valve on deck
    Leaking 500 series Perlick faucets - upgraded one to the 600 series and the other has gone back to my original standard faucet for now.
    Hose Barbs on air hoses - Never detected a leak but was using 1/4" hose barbs in the 5/16" air lines at the connection to the air tap. These are now upgraded to 5/16"

    Most recently (mid-February?) I tried to start at my tank and put on component by component looking for a leak. I upended my tank in a bucket of water and looked for bubbles - none. Then I attached the regulator with the pressure turned all the way down and sprayed star san on the connection to the tank and the body of the regulator (specifically the relieve valve on the back) - no bubbles. Next one air line with starsan on all the connections and fitting, then the other - nothing. Next I attach to both my kegs and check all over them for leaks - none. Finally the beer connections... you see where this is going. I did give all the hose clamps an extra 1/4 turn and that sort of thing and hoped this would do something.

    My system is a 5 lb tank with a standard beverage factory regulator and a y splitter. Currently one side goes to a 5 gal keg and the other to a 2.5 gallon keg. I filled my tank on 2-23-16 and at the time my 5 gallon tank was already carbed so gas has just been used for serving since (maybe 5 pints). I did force carb the 2.5 gallon tank and have only served one pint out of it so far. There was just a little bit of loss in testing component by component as well but still, very little. I can tell by my gauge, I'll be out in just several days so let's say 3-15-16 - it will last just 3 weeks.

    I'm almost at the point of giving up on kegging completely. This has been a long and expensive experience in trying to diagnose the problem and getting the tank filled about 8 times now since this past summer when it went on one fill for over 2 years prior to that. The only thing I can think at the point is the regulator as I was hesitant to really coat it in star san as I didn't want to mess it up by getting the interior wet.

    Any help would get greatly appreciated!
     
  2. bilhelm96

    bilhelm96 Member

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    I once had a gauge leaking on a brand new secondary regulator. I had to dunk it in water to find it. After replacing that gauge my system has been fine.
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    when you force carb it leaks out of the hose connections slowly, if you can twist the connection it seems to leak over 20 pounds but not under
     
  4. Nagging Wife Brewery

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    I've got the owner of the local homebrew shop coming by tomorrow to take a look. I'm suspecting the regulator is involved in this somehow.

    Are you saying check the connections again at higher pressure? Or that I might just be losing gas when moving the keg and twisting the connection at higher pressure?

    I generally just leave things alone once pressure is good and I'm still seeing pressure slowly leaking.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    check the connections again at higher pressure, use soapy water with dish soap at the highest pressure you force carb at and test all connections including the regulator
     
  6. Nagging Wife Brewery

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    I think I found it. At least I found a leak, hopefully the only one.

    It was a hose barb on the air line comming off one side of the Y splitter on the regulator. It wasn't the barbed side though. It was the male threaded end. It was rather slow so it was harder to find but a little more clear at higher pressure.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I use Teflon tape for all threaded connections, I buy 5 rolls every time Im at lowes
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    You must have Teflon tape coming out of your eyeballs! I only buy it when I lose my roll, which is every time. Then they all rematerialize until I need some again.
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I have a large set up using many many stainless fittings and changing things every month so tear off and re wrap is second nature to me

    spare parts anyone lol
     

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