HOWTO: repair pinlock poppet valves

I ran into a problem with a pinlock liquid post on a keg of mine. The Poppet wasn't rising up squarely and sealing properly when a quick disconnect was removed. Some coaxing with a fingernail would normally work, but that's not fun when beer is spraying all over the ceiling. :)

Apparently on ball lock kegs, the poppet is a separate piece, and you just have to make sure that it's legs aren't bent, or perhaps put a washer under it to lift it higher if the spring is weakening. For pin locks, that's not possible, it's all one piece. So what do you do? Follow this quick little how to! (Click on any picture to see it bigger)


Here's a picture showing what your post might look like.

Problem poppet

Fix it!

Flip the post over, and have a look at its guts. You can see that the legs for the poppet spring are just sort of jammed in the guts of the post. Basically, these legs have slid down (towards us in the pictures) unevenly, or evenly, but too far, so they don't push the poppet back up squarely, or simply not far enough.

Here's a picture showing the inside guts, with the poppet legs marked

Problem poppet

Get a screwdriver, or any hard point object, and push on those poppet legs til you get some semblance of even. Before you know it, all your problems will be.....


Here's our shiny happy new poppet, happily seated in the post.

poppet fixed!

There, that wasn't so hard!

Things I've skipped over

You need to get the post off the keg to do this. You are meant to use a special socket for this, but I actually got mine off faster with just an adjustable spanner. YMMV

This howto written by Karl Palsson, 2008