Kegerator Leak Detection
If your draught beer dispenser is leaking at some point in the system, you are going to have a bad beer day! Whether it is either the beer or pressure, please do not walk away until you are certain that they are both intact and not seeping out somewhere. Foam issues, beer spills, and excess gas use will result—no need to bother with fine-tuning your system until you fix all leaks.
Not knowing if the beer is leaking, the entire keg can empty! Possibly ending up into a crack or crevice outside of the kegerator that may be difficult to get to for clean up. You do not want to know what grows in the presence of warm beer and air.
Always visually inspect every beer connection throughout the entire dispense system. Be certain that you have washers and they are intact above and below the coupler. Check for damaged or missing seals at the faucet and assure that all beer line clamps are secure. Evaluate the beer line for punctures.
Unlike beer leaks, which can be visually detected, pressure leaks are not that obvious. These leaks will drive you to the funny farm since it will be difficult to adjust your regulator accurately. To determine if the pressure system is intact, turn off the cylinder valve while all other valves from the regulator are open and the keg coupler is on. Do not dispense beer. Watch the regulator's high-pressure gauge. If the pointer does not move, you are in great shape. When it drops, you have a leak.
Turn the cylinder back on to begin isolating a leak. With the pressure adjustment backed out all the way, turn the cylinder off. If the pointer drops, your leak is somewhere in the high-pressure side of the regulator—possibly the seat capsule assembly or the connection to the cylinder itself.
If the pointer holds the position, turn the cylinder back on and adjust the regulator to your desired setting but keep the regulator shut-off valve in the off position. Again, turn the cylinder valve wheel off. If the pointer drops, possibly the diaphragm is damaged, or the bonnet is loose. If the pointer does not move, the leak is further downstream.
Repeat procedure with the regulator shut-off valve on and keg uncoupled. Eventually, you will isolate where the leak resides. A common culprit is the coupler's pressure connection. Do not rule out the keg itself. Although rare, keg valves have been known to leak. Inspect the pressure line. Use a soapy water solution at a suspect area. The soap bubbles will pinpoint the leak.
Good luck hunting for your leak. Let us know if this has helped you solve problems.
Raise a Glass to Draft Beer Sales!
For over 60 years, Micro Matic has been recognized as one of the world’s leading suppliers of draft beer equipment. Specializing in keg-to-glass technology, we offer a total solution for meeting your draft beer equipment needs. Our dedication to customer service is supported by four regional sales and distribution centers, the Micro Matic Dispense Institute for training and education, and a Certified Installer Network for draft beer installations. Want to speak with a “perfect pour” expert? Contact Micro Matic today.