Keg Lid Geometry & Adjustment
All images are thumbnails. Click to enlarge.
Getting Your Keg Lid To Seal
There are several things
that you need to look at so that you can evaluate the problem.
1st: Inspect the opening in the keg and look for any bent, dinged or deformed spots. Most times these problems can be resolved by carefully reworking the damaged area. Use small tools (punch, chisel, hammer, block of wood - etc.) to correct any deformity. Scratches can be removed with emery cloth.
2nd: Remove the lid o-ring and place the lid in the keg in the normal manner. Pull up on the lid and note that the rim of the lid should conform to the mating lip of the keg. There should be no variation in the 'gap' between the two mating surfaces (The actual keg opening & the lid). If you see some variation, you can readjust the fit so that you have an even and continuous gap around the rim.
3rd: Again fit the lid without the o-ring. Pull up on the lid and note the 2 surfaces where the o-ring seats. There should be no visible variation in the sealing surfaces. The two surfaces should contact each other all the way around the lid. (BTW - very close is good enough.!) This can also be adjusted with careful use of tools. Trust me, it is fairly easy if you take it slow.
4th: Take a look below on this page for an explanation on how to adjust the keg lid tension. When you close and lock the lid with the o-ring in place, it should take a fair amount of force on the lid handle to lock it into place. Keg lube also helps provide a good sealing surface. Don't over do the keg lube though.
Most lid seal problems are caused by bent and deformed keg openings. The lid itself is normally ok, in my experience. The only lid problems I've encountered are the tension arm adjustments (see below) and loose pressure vent valves (just tighten those).
I hope this helps & I hope you have great success in your new adventure.
There are as many lid styles as there are keg types. Each performs the task of providing entry and a means of sealing the keg.
This is a typical Cornelius Keg lid shown with the closure bail in the open position. Please note that the ends with the plastic feet (red) are nearly vertical.
Same lid with the bail placed in the closed position. Please note that the feet are below the bottom edge of the o-ring seat. This projection below the bottom of the lid, I believe to be a critical part of having your keg seal properly.
A side view of the lid with the bail open. The geometry of the lid bail is very specific. It is designed to provide good sealing pressure when the lid is in place and the bail is closed. The lid seal tension comes from two factors. One being the height of the foot and the second being the torque applied by the bail. The bail is made of a spring type material.
This picture is a close-up of the bail foot. Notice that it is nearly vertical. If the feet on your lid are splayed, it is an easy matter to straighten them. Use a pair of pliers and bent them to a more upright position. Form the 2 feet towards each other and be careful that you don't mess up the plastic feet. Remove them before you start bending stuff.
By doing this procedure, you are readjusting the position and the tension in the torsion arm. (More below.)
Close-up of the torsion arm portion of the keg lid. Strong spring tension is provided by this portion of the bail that extends from the pivot point to the handle area. As the bail is being closed, The feet press down on the keg top and the dimensions are such that the legs will tend to splay outward. The torque provided by this area of the bail is what gives the strong sealing capability of the lid. The force is a rotational resistance (torque).
When your lid is properly set-up and the keg sealing lip is not deformed and in good condition (no nicks or bent areas) your kegs should seal without any problems. A lite coat of keg lube on the lid O-ring also helps to insure a good seal.
Date Page Created:
March 10, 2003 8:48 AM
Last Edited: November 06, 2006 08:01 AM