From the HBD Archive
From: hsfmsh!hsfdjs!suurb@sfsun.West.Sun.COM (Dave Suurballe)
Subject: Soda kegs
Date: 1990-01-18 21:55:35 GMT

Florian says he is having problems keeping soda tanks pressurized.

I have a lot of experience with soda tanks, and I don't have this problem.
Many amateur brewers here in San Francisco use soda tanks, and I haven't
heard of this problem from them, either.

Are the tanks connected to something that might be leaking and leading you
to believe that the tanks themselves are leaking when they are not?

If the tanks are new, I'm at a loss to explain this. I have used dozens
of new tanks and never had this problem. I assume they are used tanks.

Have the five o-rings been replaced with new ones? If not, you have no
idea how old, how worn, or how inflexible the rubber is. I routinely
replace the o-rings on every used tank I get. (It's better for the
beer, too; rubber holds the flavor of the previous contents.)

Not all lids fit all tanks, even if they look like they should. If you
had to bend something, you clearly have the wrong lid/tank combination.
Maybe the seller jumbled up the tanks and the lids in the cleaning process.

If the tanks are used, who cleaned them and how? I've "overcleaned" two
tanks in my time, corroding the weld and creating tiny leaks.

Have the tanks been disassembled for cleaning and then reassembled loosely?
Specifically the pressure-relief valve in the lid and the two disconnect
stems on top? It doesn't seem likely that the stems are too loose, because
on several occasions I have forgotten to tighten them on a tank I was
reassembling after cleaning, left them finger tight, and didn't notice until
I disassembled it after the next (successful) use. Apparently they still
work only finger tight. I don't rely on this, however, and I still use the
wrench, except when I forget.

Oh yeah, I also routinely replace the "poppets" in the disconnect stems on
used tanks. There may be a tiny leak between the rubber in the poppet and
the steel in the stem. (The poppet is the spring thing which seals the hole
in the disconnect stem.)

This kind of question sounds stupid, but it sometimes helps discover the
problem: are you sure the tanks are leaking? Maybe your pressure guage
is failing. Or maybe your gas system isn't really filling the tanks.

Soda keg systems get a lot of praise because they deserve it. Don't give
up on them just because your first attempt is not yet successful.

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