Ball lock connector issues

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Wingeezer
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Ball lock connector issues

Post by Wingeezer »

I wonder if anyone else has problems as I do with these connectors.

Quite often I have difficulty getting them on or off. (No, I'm not trying to put them on the wrong posts!)

I have quite a few kegs and also several CO2 bottles, each with their own regulators and dual connectors and have not really isolated the problem down to any particular keg or connector - My feeling is it is happening mostly with gas connectors than beer line connectors though.

I do always squirt sanitizer onto the connectors and onto the posts and also noble the posts with keglube.

But sometimes the connector just won't push on and I need to resort to a block of wood to give it a (gentle!) tap. The I have a bugger of a time getting it off and several times have to resort to channel lock pliers in the release ring to pull the connector up!

That can't be right!

I have no idea what is happening but have thought

- maybe I have some bum connectors that are just not quite right in dimensions?

- maybe the balls are sticking in the sockets?

- some of the posts have "universal" poppets I bought from OBK. seems to me I have read that some people found the springs too strong and have cut off a turn or so - could that somehow be causing a problem?


Really I need to look at this more systematically to try to see if it is limited to certain kegs or connectors, but just wondered if anyone else has experienced this and if there is a simple fix!!!

It is getting to the point that I'm thinking of making some sort of slide hammer puller to get stuck connectors off so as not to mangle them up as I tend to do when using the channel lock pliers!

Thanks ......... Brian.
Save the whales ...................................... collect the whole set.

Dave
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by Dave »

If these are on used kegs, it's possible that the wrong posts were put on, before you owned them.
Check the markings:gas/liquid.

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Wingeezer
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by Wingeezer »

Dave wrote:If these are on used kegs, it's possible that the wrong posts were put on, before you owned them.
Check the markings:gas/liquid.

Hi Dave, Good thought - but I think they are all correct. Whenever I have had the problem I have always double checked that I have not in error reversed the connectors. I have seven ball lock kegs, three I got new, and the rest were bought used.

On some, the base of the gas post has that sort of "serrated" edge with which you must use a box end wrench on, others have a regular hex base, but with horizontal slits cut the edges of the wrench area, which I think is to identify them as gas posts as opposed to the "liquid out" posts that have the normal hex base for a wrench, but no slits cut at the corners.

I know the posts are different in both configuration and also a slight difference in diameter. When first getting into kegging, I did once manage to make the mistake of forcing the wrong connector on. If memory serves, I think I destroyed the connecter getting it off again!

Unless anyone has experienced similar problems and knows what the issue is, I'd better just take more time to try to understand what is happening - I am a bit suspicious it might be those universal spring poppet things I have been using in several of my posts! If I can narrow the problem down to such posts I will try shortening the spring a little to see if that helps.

The only thing about shortening the springs is that at present, the last coils at top and bottom if the springs are flat to seat well and if I cut one end, I will lose the flat coils. Don't know if that presents any problem, just doesn't seem quite right to do though!

If it doesn't work it will only have cost me one spring to find out!

Thanks again! ............ Brian.
Save the whales ...................................... collect the whole set.

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ben58
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by ben58 »

Using keg lube is the culprit. The O-rings are made of nitrile rubber and the lube causes them to swell up. Check one of your kegs, and you will find it is kind of loose, id of the ring to the post.

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Wingeezer
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by Wingeezer »

ben58 wrote:Using keg lube is the culprit. The O-rings are made of nitrile rubber and the lube causes them to swell up. Check one of your kegs, and you will find it is kind of loose, id of the ring to the post.

Hmm that's a great tip, thanks! I think I have a bunch of spares - will experiment!


Brian.
Save the whales ...................................... collect the whole set.

Lead Loader
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Location: Woodstock Ontario

Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by Lead Loader »

I have used a ton of keg lube before and never any issue with sticking. Posts cant be switched as the gas is always a reverse thread.
Beer, Beer, Beer, Bed, Bed, Bed

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Reignman
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by Reignman »

I have had issues in the past with cheap Chinese made ball locks. I had to hammer it on and pull the hell up to get it off. I bought US made ones and they are fine. I don't remember who was selling them here in Canada, but they switched back to US made ones.

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Wingeezer
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by Wingeezer »

Reignman wrote:I have had issues in the past with cheap Chinese made ball locks. I had to hammer it on and pull the hell up to get it off. I bought US made ones and they are fine. I don't remember who was selling them here in Canada, but they switched back to US made ones.

Well, that exactly describes the problem I have been experiencing - maybe I'd better go through my assortment of connectors and see if I can single out which ones are causing the problem. I don't recall seeing any manufacturing info stamped on any of them though. Maybe I will just order a few new ones and hope they are the US made variety. I think I have aways bought my connectors from OBK - maybe it was Patrick that had the Chinese ones and now sells the US type?

Thanks for the info Reignman,

Brian.
Save the whales ...................................... collect the whole set.

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Reignman
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by Reignman »

The one I bought was gas in and it was white, not gray like all my other ones I have used through the years.

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bellybuster
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Re: Ball lock connector issues

Post by bellybuster »

I have a few that are quite tight. I've never really thought anything of it though. Keg lube is not a bad thing, I've been using it for years.
I can say that every time I do a solid cleaning (take apart) the connectors go on noticeably easier the first time.
The universal poppets are garbage though. You should be able to just pop them in but noooooooo. I have some that won't even pass gas at 60 psi

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