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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

  14. #14
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    Negative Ghostryder

    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.

    The Dye used for PPG should be Flourescent Green and look just like automtive fluid, because its the easiest to see in low lighting levels often found a the dark corners of breweries. This is especially the case on grey epoxy floors.You'll simply be able to spot it quicker. This is what is used in Industry and its time tested and effective. if you feel like someone is sneaking in and spiking your system with EG, then better call out the glycol police.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

  15. #15
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    Lol, my only worry about neon green dye in the glycol would be the enviro-nazi that would inevitably see it leaking on the floor, ten minutes before I did. They would be super concerned that the dog they don't own, or the child they don't have could run over there and lick up some ethylene glycol (behind the line they aren't supposed to cross). It would be propylene inhibited, but that is just another big scary word. It can't be less dangerous, obviously. I mean its a chemical!

    I would have a blast explaining to them that I need to feed their dog/child a box of Arm & Hammer and shots of pure grain alcohol in order to neutralize the ethylene! Meanwhile, they would puff another cloud of that same glycol into their lungs (but at least they regulated the Diacetyl in it), while watching a news story about people dying of it.

    I may sound crazy, but I literally had a lady stop in one month ago to warn me that we were leaking some sort of green liquid across the sidewalk. She was going to call the city to warn them about something dangerous. Of course it was in front of the neighbor, not us, and it was simply algae growing on the sidewalk from a sprinkler system leak. She thought it was nuclear waste because we have shiny stainless tanks inside that she could see from the window and she had never heard of us. Seriously, lol.

    I have used a fluorescent blue dye that worked super well. I choose to use no dye currently, simply because it is noticeable on the floor if it leaks. I have a habit of feeling condensate or puddles off the floor to check for caustic, acid, or glycol, so I haven't found the lack of dye problematic. I just mark my chiller reservoir and monitor that as well. Not too worried about leaking into the beer since I religiously measure gravity and chech the chiller reservoir. After all, it is food grade, and therefore if a tiny bit leaks into the beer it may not be a deal breaker depending on your personal standards. If its neon green, you could market it that way!
    Last edited by UnFermentable; 11-21-2019 at 06:48 PM.

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