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Accidental valve ejection - Keg and valve analysis

Accidental valve ejection - Keg and valve analysis

A customer in North America recently had a D System valve shoot out of a keg and injure a worker. We have prepared a document to help brewery employees and other field personnel identify this problem and avoid further injuries.

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OVERVIEW

  • The purpose of this document is to help field personnel who handle kegs to identify kegs that may present a safety hazard to brewery employees or consumers.
  • Kegs that show evidence of tampering or are potentially hazardous should be set aside and quarantined until the keg can be inspected by a qualified technician.
  • If a keg is identified in which tampering is suspected, please contact Franke Beverage Systems at (615) 462-4335.


VALVES AND VALVE SAFETY

Kegs in North America have a specifically designed 304 stainless steel neck that aligns with a specially designed valve.

The valve and neck have two safety features:

  • A 304 stainless steel lock ring that fits into a channel of the neck and prevents the valve from ejecting under pressure.
  • Valves have 2 lugs, or “ears”, on the top that fit into two channels and prevent the valve from ejecting


VALVE EJECTION

In order for the valve to be ejected from the keg, three things need to occur at the same time:

  • Lock ring compromised or no longer in place
  • Keg still under pressure with O-ring and CO2 valve maintaining their seal
  • The 2-ear valve body aligns with the ear channels in the neck


The valve will only eject if all three circumstances occur simultaneously.

LOCK RING REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION

Proper Lock Ring Installation
The end of the lock ring should always be located approximately 45 degrees from the ear channels. This prevents the lock ring from becoming accidentally dislodged when the coupler is being installed or removed

Lock Ring Damage
When removed from the neck, the lock ring becomes damaged and unsafe for future use. The end of the lock ring will usually bend up, which makes the lock ring more likely to come out of its channel with frequent use.