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Thread: Line Chiller leak fix

  1. #1
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    Line Chiller leak fix

    Does any one know of something I can run through a long glycol chiller line to fill pinhole leak instead of taking apart the trunk line or replacing it?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster 2011 View Post
    Does any one know of something I can run through a long glycol chiller line to fill pinhole leak instead of taking apart the trunk line or replacing it?
    I wouldn’t want anything that would fill a hole in my trunk line also running through my chillers HX. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    Can’t you just JB weld or flex tape the outside if its just a pinhole leak? Full disclosure I don’t recommend that. I would say fix it proper and never revisit it again.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    I wouldn’t want anything that would fill a hole in my trunk line also running through my chillers HX. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    Can’t you just JB weld or flex tape the outside if its just a pinhole leak? Full disclosure I don’t recommend that. I would say fix it proper and never revisit it again.
    I would if i knew where the leak exactly was it would require me to undo about 30' of trunk insulation.

  4. #4
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    Well, the leak is almost certainly at a fitting. That should reduce the amount of insulation you need to strip.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  5. #5
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    10-4 Timm

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    Well, the leak is almost certainly at a fitting. That should reduce the amount of insulation you need to strip.
    The leak is just about 100% at a fitting. The likelihood of having a leak somewhere randomly in the run is next to zero.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  6. #6
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    Put some dye in your glycol and look for the color leaking out. The glycol has to be dripping out somewhere, at least you will have a better idea of the area. I agree with Timm 99% of the time the leak will be at a fitting.
    Joel Halbleib
    Partner / Zymurgist
    Hive and Barrel Meadery
    6302 Old La Grange Rd
    Crestwood, KY
    www.hiveandbarrel.com

  7. #7
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    As BrewinLou wrote, some marker dye in the glycol is a great aide to finding leaks. It's too easy to mistake condensation for a glycol leak without the dye. We had an old fermenter develop an interior leak from the glycol jacket into the fermenter when it was brewing. If it had not been for the blue dye I use, we might not have noticed that the beer was contaminated with glycol until too late. We caught it on the first sampling from the zwiggle--bright green beer is obvious.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  8. #8
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    Color Indicator

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    As BrewinLou wrote, some marker dye in the glycol is a great aide to finding leaks. It's too easy to mistake condensation for a glycol leak without the dye. We had an old fermenter develop an interior leak from the glycol jacket into the fermenter when it was brewing. If it had not been for the blue dye I use, we might not have noticed that the beer was contaminated with glycol until too late. We caught it on the first sampling from the zwiggle--bright green beer is obvious.
    Having flourescent dye in your glycol is an absolute MUST. Its should appear just like automotive fluid when colored correctly. This makes it easy to spot even when mixed in with whatever water is on the floor. Glycol is a next to impossible animal to keep contained compared to water because of the molecular surface tension, and will leak right through thraded fittings that are " water tight." Working with it is a fine art that is perfected over time. This is especially true when integrating plastic and metallic pipe systems, and hoses etc.

    Star
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  9. #9
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    the leak only happens when i clean that draft line when it warms up. all the line are wrapped in insulation so i would have to cut it all back to find the leak.

  10. #10
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    Correct

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster 2011 View Post
    the leak only happens when i clean that draft line when it warms up. all the line are wrapped in insulation so i would have to cut it all back to find the leak.
    Correct, you DO have to open it all up to repair the leak.
    The correct way to insulate fitting junctions is with armaflex sheet or tube cut down one side and split lengthwise. Wrap the spliced area and cinch it down with some large zip ties. This makes it servicable, and iif done correctly works very well. If you are the type who likes to use massive loads of tape all over everything, this is not the correct way to do it.
    It needs to be clam shelled and accessible. Much of the matter depends on how cleanly it was originally assembled. You always have to put things together with the for sure idea that they will have to be taken back apart at some time, and possibly sooner than anyone thinks.

    Star
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewmaster 2011 View Post
    the leak only happens when i clean that draft line when it warms up. all the line are wrapped in insulation so i would have to cut it all back to find the leak.
    This tells me It might not be glycol - could be ice melt or condensation. Dye your glycol but DONT "make it look like auto refrigerant", If I saw that id assume it was not food grade and would have to be dumped and replaced. Red or Blue is a better color, and food coloring works fine.
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  12. #12
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    Yes cutting a truck open is a pain but insulation is dirt cheap, buy the armaflex glue as well it is worth its weight in gold. Sets in seconds when applied to both sides and let sit for 20-30 seconds. All of that is cheaper than glycol. Any good plumbers supply house should carry both the insulation and glue.
    Joel Halbleib
    Partner / Zymurgist
    Hive and Barrel Meadery
    6302 Old La Grange Rd
    Crestwood, KY
    www.hiveandbarrel.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Briggs View Post
    This tells me It might not be glycol - could be ice melt or condensation. Dye your glycol but DONT "make it look like auto refrigerant", If I saw that id assume it was not food grade and would have to be dumped and replaced. Red or Blue is a better color, and food coloring works fine.
    There is a leak because i had to refill the reservoir with glycol that last time i clean the draft lines. it was full before i clean the draft lines

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