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My Danby 5.2 cu ft nightmare.

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  • My Danby 5.2 cu ft nightmare.

    Bought the Danby 5.2 Cu Ft Kegerator model DKC146SLDB from Costco for $369.99 over the weekend. I set everything up and plugged it in on Saturday. Since I live in a pretty small county, there was no facility open until monday to fill my CO2 tank, so I just had to patiently wait it out.

    Today, I got it filled, purchased a 5.2 gallon keg of Firestone Walker Double Barrel Ale, bought a Tap Handle from them, got home and eagerly connected everything.

    It turns out my Danby missing the CO2 Molded Inlet Washer, so a friend let me have one of his spare black washers that are usually used for the beer line to the coupler. It seems to work, no leaks, etc.... I THINK.

    The reason I say I THINK is because no beer is coming out of the tap when I try to pour.

    Now, also on Saturday, I had kept a glass of water in the Kegerator and used a digital thermometer in the water to test it. It was 38.5 degrees.

    -I tested the CO2 tank itself bare... BIG burst of air comes out when cranking it
    -I tested the regulator... nice steady stream of air comes out when set to 12-14.
    -No leaks are coming from the CO2 hose or the beer line.
    -It's a nice tight snug fit on the keg w/ the coupler.

    When I try to pour the beer, there's a small sound of a quick burst of air, and about 1 oz of beer drips into a glass, then after the 1 oz, just foam oooooozes out. It doesn't stop, just keeps oozing as long as you want, which results in you having to wait about 10 mins for it to settle to get a flat 1/2 glass of beer.

    I searched the forums here, and one poster said he had a problem that sounded identical to mine. I figured it was because I was missing that CO2 Molded Inlet washer, but that black washer my friend gave to me seems to work fine, and air is flowing. There's just seemingly something clogging the flow.

    I read a bit more, and one person pointed out to that poster I saw, that it sounds like he was missing the plastic ball retainer or check ball retainer. I looked online at what it was, and found this:

    keg beer Dispense Heads draft kegerator Ball Retai

    Now, I have nothing that looks like that in my coupler. The only thing I have is the plastic ball that went in the hole of the coupler and seems to slide in that long shaft under where the beer line attaches. The checklist of items with the Danby paperwork was not very accurate, as it didn't mention any washers at all, or any ball or ball coupler, but it at least came with 1 washer and 1 ball.

    So at this point, I kept reading that post in which the person pointed out to the poster - if they can't find their ball check retainer, no beer will flow, so just take the whole ball out, the only problem is the beer will flow a bit faster.

    Well, that advice was right on. It flowed ... FAST. Fast enough to fill a pint glass in about 6 to 7 seconds, strong, but not absurd. However, there was just a crazy amount of foam at the time, and so I measured the beer temp with the digital thermometer I had - it was a terrible 51 degrees lol... naturally, as I had the keg door open and the Keg half out of it for 2 hours troubleshooting what in the world was wrong, so I guess I'm going to have to wait until the morning for it to get cold again.

    My question is:

    -If I pour a beer in the morning, and the temperature of the beer isn't 38 degrees or under, am I right in wanting to throw in the towel and return it to Costco if I don't want to deal with soldering pieces and parts and voiding the warranty?
    -If I pour a beer in the morning and the beer is 38 degrees or under, but still has crazy foam, would that likely be due to either no ball check and ball retainer?
    -Additionally, would using that black washer intended for the beer line / coupler connection as the washer for my CO2 / coupler connection, since my Danby left out the CO2 Molded Inlet Washer? (... and the ball check retainer?)

    **Sigh** It's been a rough 5 hours tonight, and it sounds as long as my Danby pours 38 degrees or under in the morning, it may be just a matter of getting a ball check retainer and possibly a proper CO2 Molded Inlet Washer?

    I'm learning fast that the kegerator industry is a bit to be desired when going for a kegerator under $700 :/ eechk! Is it worth keeping this frustrating machine, or should I return it while I can? Seems Danby's name isn't the most well thought of on this site lol.
    Last edited by lonlonmilklover; 07-18-2011, 10:51 PM.

  • #2
    Not sure exactly what the deal is, but after high pressure beer pouring with lots of foam last night...

    I woke up this morning at 7am, and poured 1/2 a pint into a chilled glass, (foamy as I'm told should be expected, since I have no tower cooler) Chugged it instantly (couldn't bring myself to dump it lol)... and then poured a 2nd glass.

    It's perfect.

    What the heck.

    Sure, it pours faster w/ no ball, but it's beautiful. About 6 seconds for a full pint pour, and it has about 1/4 inch head. Measured w/ my digital thermometer and it's 38.7 degrees.

    **twitch** It's .... so beautiful...

    My only guess is that the keg settling and - of course now that it's not 51 degrees - made all the difference from hopeless to beautiful.

    In the meantime - should I order a replacement CO2 Molded Inlet Washer to be proper?


    • #3
      Check ball is really not needed, it prevents the beer from flowing back when changing kegs, so your good there. Couple of other things:

      When pouring beer for temperature it should be a room temperature glass, that's why you pour 1 chug, then 2nd pour, 1st pour acclimates glass to temperature of beer, by using a chilled glass your artificially altering the temperature reading of beer (so your beer is probably closer to 40 then 38).

      And the new regulators don't need "CO2 Molded Inlet Washer", new ones have built-in rubber gasket, by adding a washer or gasket you might leak CO2.

      Yes, it probably was un-acclimated beer that caused the foam, keg should be allowed to settle for 24-48 hours before pouring beer.


      • #4
        Thanks very much ! This puts my mind at ease.


        • #5
          I see most of the Danby refrigerators are with good performance. However, it depends on the model you are using in a rate case.