Black Lab Bar

Archive for the 'Repairs' category

Defrost, Cleaning, Co2 refill, change lines…

November 23, 2010 10:16 pm

Wow, that was a lot of work.  Two and a half hours later and the kegerator is back up and running.  Here’s a list of the maintenance performed;

  • Ice Defrosted – this was the majority of the time.  There was also ice behind the back metal panel that I made the mistake of removing.  It’s held on by four screws and it looks like so much ice had accumulated behind it that it popped one of the rubber washers.  Note to self: don’t let the ice build up so much!  I’ll need to monitor this and possibly defrost on intervals closer to 4 months.
  • Co2 Replaced – coincidentally, there was a very small shot of co2 left in the old tank, so this timing was great.  It looks like the last recorded co2 switch was in July of 2009, nearly a year and a half ago… or 1,300 beers.  My brother generously fills up the co2 since he works in the city in exchange for all he can drink.
  • Beer Lines Cleaned – They were surprisingly clear, even though it’s been probably close to a year.  The biggest hassle was taking off the couplers and spouts to clean, which were the problem areas.  I’ll probably save time next round by doing these more frequently than the full lines.
  • Co2 Lines Replaced – years ago some beer got in one of the c02 lines.  There was a little gross areas inside the line (size of a quarter maybe).  I doubt it impacted any flavor but bothered me enough to replace both of the lines with brand new ones.

I think that’s it.  It was a lot of work but it’s back up and running for another few months in the least.

Co2 Kicked & Circulatory Fan Broken?

July 4, 2009 11:35 am

First, the Co2 tank was kicked this week.  I can’t even remember the last time I changed it, but I suspect it was around 6+ months ago.  No problems here, just a $25 fill at Modern Brew in Cambridge.  I also have a 2nd co2 tank, just for this occasion, so there’s no shortage of flow on the 4th of July!

dead_ipodI also suspect the secondary fan has crapped out. I’m calling it the secondary fan since the kegerator is still keeping the beer cold around 45°.  I believe the fan that broke was an additional fan unique to “under counter” models that circulates the warm air behind the kegerator to keep it from over heating (via air cooling the compressor).  About 3-4 months ago it started working intermittently and sounded like something small had gotten caught in it, potentially a piece of styrophoam that had been used to insulate the top of the keg.

The disadvantage to this is that a) it’s potentially technically broken (which will annoy me), and b) there’s a potential for the added heat to cause additional strain on the refridgeration unit and hurt performance (increased electrical cost?) or to fully break it.  All bad things.  The pro to this situation is that the secondary fan made a lot of noise – enough for everyone to question what it was.  Now that it’s gone the kegerator operates virtually silently.