The McDantim In-Line Leak Indicator can tell you in seconds if you have leaks in your beer system and how big those leaks are no matter what gas source you use or how complicated your system is. A small leak of one-half cubic foot an hour wastes more gas each day than you would use to dispense two kegs of beer. One glance before you pour your first beer or after pouring your last beer assures you that you have no problem or that you need to call a service person. As you repair leaks, it serves as your scorecard, letting you know how much of the problem is resolved and if all leaks are fixed. Our In-Line Leak Indicators are especially valuable in systems with Nitrogen generators. Leaks in these systems not only waste gas and electricity but also kill off compressors. Rebuilding or replacing compressors is expensive and troublesome.
Gas Supply Nonsense
I want to turn the whole thing upside down
For so long, people have been using “detector” for the nomenclature, which is patently wrong. This device shows gas flow, regardless of the gas flowing through the tubes. Detectors sometimes act more like sniffers, which just makes me think of a cartoon bloodhound, and can be purchased at your local hardware store. But for leak detection in draught beverage systems, we like to use our Pressure Degradation test (on our YouTube, shameless plug) or soapy water. Now, if you have a massive system, drenching the whole thing in soapy water in hopes of seeing bubbles can be a bit laborious. Installing an ILLI at a vital point can help you determine, when no gas is intentionally being used, if you have gas flowing.
The numbers next to the tube don’t explain the liters per minute or cubic feet per hour you’re losing. The levels on the ILLI, shown here, indicate the severity of the gas flow. And there are some cute little screens to inhibit any debris from getting into said tubes that could make the ball stick. Making sure the ILLI is installed correctly for the gas supply flow is vitally important. Gas Flow + Plastic Ball = Float. Gas Flow – Plastic Ball + Gravity = Drop. Gravity + Plastic Ball + Upside Down ILLI = Stuck & No Flow. (Dan says it can flow to a point, but if the system is pressurized suddenly, the ball can lodge and get stuck, thus No Flow.)
As a certified human dum-dum, I have installed stuff upside down more than I would like to admit. I have also forgotten about gravity, and how heartless it can be: what do you mean I can’t carry a glass of beer and bend over at the waist to pick something up and NOT spill beer all over my shoes?! Fortunately, reconnecting the tubing for the ILLI to ensure proper gas flow is much easier than trying to explain to my friends that I am NOT a hot mess who has the grace of a newborn giraffe.
The ILLI is a marvelous addition to your gas supply system, and, when installed correctly, can help you identify the gas flow so you can find and fix leaks as soon as they appear. If only I could find something to help me not spill my beer…
Written by Kayla Mann; June 2019