Congratulations on adding this essential item to your brewery! The Gladiator Keg Washer can dramatically cut down on time being spent cleaning out all your kegs and give you more time to focus on other important tasks - such as making beer, having time to innovate new flavors, attending to customers, and keeping up with your distribution channels.
Before you flip the switch on your new keg washer, let's go over some of the basics to ensure that you can clean your kegs not only quickly, but efficiently.
First, make sure the red emergency button is in the off position. If the emergency button is on, it will stop the keg washer from fully operating. If there is an alarm message on the operation page (highlighted in yellow), press the RESET button on the top right hand side of the screen.
Confirm the following PSI ratings of your kegs with your supplier. Water, air, and CO2 pressure all need to be set accordingly to avoid failures.
WATER: 1” NPT delivering 50 – 60 PSI to the keg washer. Then have it adjusted down with a water pressure regulator at the keg washer water connection. Set to or just below air pressure, based on keg max working pressure. Delivering water pressure should be in between 50-60 PSI BEFORE coming in line with the recommended use of a water regulator. The water pressure regulator should be adjusted to a MAXIMUM of 30- 35 PSI and in line right before the water check valve. Any over pressure in water can counterbalance the air and push water all the way to the FESTO air filter regulator installed on the keg washer manifold, leading to damage/corrosion of its components and even cause other pressure imbalances throughout the system.
*You want good flow and pressure to the keg washer. This is the recommended configuration for the plumbing feed but other setups will work, it just may be less efficient. The larger the pipe or hose the better flow you will have when running the machine. Some municipalities require a back flow preventer on your water supply to avoid any potential issues with chemicals getting into the water supply, follow local municipality requirements when connecting keg washer to services.
AIR: ½” NPT delivering 75-125 PSI (15 SCFM minimum). An alternative to running a compressor capable of producing 15cfm of air is to use two compressors. A larger compressor would be used for the purging and a small compressor would be used for the pneumatic controls. Check out the following models and sizes from California Air Tools. Refer to the keg washer manual or troubleshooting guide regarding how to set up for single air compressor or double compressor use.
*Be sure to configure all settings based on the information in the manual and the MAX KEG WORKING PRESSURE rating stamped on the keg you are using. Most kegs have a working pressure rating of between 40-50 PSI – BE SURE TO CHECK THE RATING WITH YOUR KEG SUPPLIER if it is not clearly marked on the keg. Max working pressure is different than burst pressure. This is the pressure that the manufacturer says the keg can be used at during normal usage. Meaning, if it said 45 PSI, then it can safely be used with an input pressure of 45 PSI or less. If the keg inlet pressures are set to near this number, it should never be able to get to the realm of burst pressure inside the keg. The keg washer OVER PRESSURE LIMIT can be adjusted to better suit the kegs being used (with a max of 60 PSI) and will signal an alarm and halt all operations if the set value is seen. If using multiple kegs from different manufacturers with different max pressures, it would be best to set the keg washer up for the lowest value to avoid having issues when cleaning those kegs.
CO2: ½” NPT delivering 30 PSI minimum. Lower pressures can be used depending on the final sanitizer purge settings. It’s recommended to set pressure at or just below air pressure.
* It is recommended to install check valves to protect the air compressor and CO2 tank from water back flow. The manual will have an example configuration.
SANITIZER: Calculate the concentration of the sanitizer mixture with this downloadable table. Refer to pages 9-13 in your manual to calculate the proper sanitizer ratio.
Final Note: Review your connections. Make sure your hose connections are nice and tight. Listen for any leaks. Double check that the ball valve is in the closed position at the bottom of the caustic tank before filling it up.
Check out our full troubleshooting guide for more helpful pointers: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bviynoz9g532ofw/Keg%20Washer%20Troubleshooting%20Guide.pdf?dl=0