To avoid keg leaks, all you really need is vigilance throughout your keg cleaning, filling and distribution process. A small misalignment in a filling line, or an undetected scratch can spell disaster for your keg management.
Continuous cleaning of the machine
- Immediate repair of leakages
- Control of walking beams and rubber
- Keep wear and tear under control
- Check the stroke of the piston
- Need to constantly watch for misalignment
- Remember to continuously check the spears as well
Top leak spots
The No. 1 trouble area for keg leaks, according to Ken Grantham from Micro Matic during a vendor demonstration at the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America, is a sliced, cut or perforated CO2 valve. And the No. 1 reason this happens is a misalignment in a filling line. You must constantly check for misalignments.
Also, check the centercone. As the centercone wears, it starts to create slack for the neck of the keg, and then contributes to misalignment issues and sliced rubber components.
Couplers can be another enemy of the CO2 gasket. Any scratches here can damage the spear itself or cut the rubber on the gasket, leading to a leak.
A scratched ball causes problems too, as it rests on the spring inside. The ball will spin as it is compressed and released. If a scratch lands on the mating surface of the CO2 valve, it can leak.