Bad spigot experience...

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Rocky

Chronologically Gifted Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
8,603
Reaction score
16,730
Location
Central Ohio
I know that most of you don't use spigots on your fermenters or plastic carboys, but I do. I am beginning to re-think this position. Recently, I noticed leaking around spigots I had mounted on carboys. Examination of the spigots revealed a weakness in the design as the three that I have that have failed all did so at the same place.100_2092.JPG
In operation, when one swings the arm to close the spigot, there is a "stop" molded into the body of the spigot. I don't think that I put a great amount of force behind closing the spigot, but in the photo of the spigot on the left, it can be seen that the entire stop and the part of the body on which it is located, are gone. In the other two spigots, a crack is developing at the "stop." Even the crack is enough to create a leak.

I like these spigots because there is an insertion tool that allows one to mount them on carboys. I have other spigots but no tool to mount them. These items are sold under the description "Vintage Shop 1/2" Bottling Spigot." I plan to contact the supplier to see if this problem has been identified by others. It could be that my bionic arm is out of adjustment!
 
Last edited:
How old are they? Plastic often gets brittle with age.
Hey Bryan. They are not more that a year or two old. I thought about brittleness which would be a consideration if they are nylon. I have about 10 of them which were purchased at different times but all within the past 2 years.

The major concern that I have is that they all failed in the same place which indicates to me a design issue. I am thinking it is cooling issue in the molding process relative to the design, i.e. the marked difference in thickness in the body and the stop or it could be a weakness that develops when the arm assembly is mounted to the body. I don't think I over torqued the arm.

I have contacted both suppliers from whom I purchased the spigots and I am awaiting their replies.
 
I use spigots on my bottling bucket. My LHBS has two types, one that I didn’t find to be good for bottling purposes, so it’s been relegated to the garage, for rain barrel purposes.

I also keep a spare, shown here. It looks like the the only difference is the handle shape. I’m not understanding why you need a tool to insert the spigot into the carboy. Wouldn’t the ones in this picture work? I’m suggesting your LHBS would have a replacement.
950D5857-7F55-4193-8DBA-874CDA78063D.jpeg
 
I use spigots on my bottling bucket. My LHBS has two types, one that I didn’t find to be good for bottling purposes, so it’s been relegated to the garage, for rain barrel purposes.

I also keep a spare, shown here. It looks like the the only difference is the handle shape. I’m not understanding why you need a tool to insert the spigot into the carboy. Wouldn’t the ones in this picture work? I’m suggesting your LHBS would have a replacement.
View attachment 107946
Hey Bob. Yes, I have some of that type also. I use them on my fermenters because I can reach down into the fermenter to attached the mounting nut. The reason I need a tool is for mounting the spigots on plastic carboys (Better Bottles for example). The tool holds the nut and I run the tool through the mouth of the carboy and hold the nut against the hole in the carboy, insert the spigot and tighten by turning the spigot.
 
Last edited:
Understood. So your stuck with the original design of spigots.

A few more suggestions, based on my nearly 40 years as a mechanical engineer, working various times designing nylon parts. You might try annealing the spigot by dunking the spigot in nearly boiling water. It might take minutes, also depends on the temperature of the water. The spigot looks like a two-piece interference fit. So the downside is too much annealing reduces the amount of interference fit and you end up getting leaks that way.

Another option is to cut off that stop. It seems that engaging the handle against the stop is creating a very localized high stress point that creates the crack. Without the stop you will have to get the feel for knowing where to position the handle. In my spigot I’ve learned where the full flow position is and where I can position it to throttle down the flow. A very useful feature for hand filling bottles and getting the ullage just right.
 
I have the same spigot on my fermonster, and the same problem. I thought it was because I was putting too much pressure on the pieces getting them apart to clean. Thank you for asking the question!
 
UPDATE: I had another (the fourth) spigot failure and exactly in the same place:

100_2105.JPG

I have not counted the number of plastic jugs that I have that are drilled with a 1" hole for these spigots but I want to try to save them if possible. My remedy is a #5 stopper, inserted from the inside (to obviate the effect of pressure on the stopper when the carboy is full), sealed with a food grade sealant and trimmed so that it does not protrude too far, and lessening the chance of pushing the stopper back into the carboy.

100_2106.JPG

Here is my "Beta" model, being tested with water to see if there are leaks. Fingers crossed.

100_2107.JPG

This is definitely a design flaw in these spigots. Four failures, all in the same place is enough to convince me. I would like to say that I reported this to both suppliers from whom I purchased the spigots, Label Peelers and Home Brew Ohio. I have heard back from Label Peelers, who offered to replace the spigots with the Italian model, but, while I appreciated Matt's offer, I declined. I have yet to receive a response from Home Brew Ohio.
 
It’s regrettable that Better Bottle went out of business (or whatever happened to them) because they made a very well designed, but relatively expensive, valve and bulkhead/bucket fitting. Their Simple-Flow valve is very durable and reliable. I’m fortunate that I bit the bullet in my brewing days and bought several.
Ive looked many times and it seems any New Old Stock is depleted or I’d buy more! I’m always on the lookout for certain used Better Bottle products
 
It’s regrettable that Better Bottle went out of business (or whatever happened to them) because they made a very well designed, but relatively expensive, valve and bulkhead/bucket fitting. Their Simple-Flow valve is very durable and reliable. I’m fortunate that I bit the bullet in my brewing days and bought several.
Ive looked many times and it seems any New Old Stock is depleted or I’d buy more! I’m always on the lookout for certain used Better Bottle products
Jim, I was unaware that Better Bottle has gone of business and I note that Label Peelers has replaced them with a couple of alternatives. Do you know why the company failed? I am concerned because I have a number of the carboys 3, 5 and 6 gallon units and if the company's demise was due to product failures, I need to take action.

Thanks.
 
Jim, I was unaware that Better Bottle has gone of business and I note that Label Peelers has replaced them with a couple of alternatives. Do you know why the company failed? I am concerned because I have a number of the carboys 3, 5 and 6 gallon units and if the company's demise was due to product failures, I need to take action.

Thanks.
On the brewing forums several years ago I read a post in a thread about the then scarcity of some type of BB product where the poster stated that he’d talked to the owner recently and the mold machine malfunctioned that resulted in damage to the machine that was in the 6 figures to be repaired. The poster closed by saying after his conversation “it didn’t look good”.
They make a great produce imo, and when it came out it was cutting edge kinda for brewers , home brewers like me at least. But by the time that happened there were a lot of other options available.
It wasn’t because of product failure, I have about 10 of them. 6 of them are 6 gal ported versions and they work great for bright tank/finishing tank for 6 gal kits. I have several of the bucket fittings and with the grapes in mesh they work great draining my Brute primaries. Some of these components are 15 or so years old now, not exactly sure of the top of my head.
 
On the brewing forums several years ago I read a post in a thread about the then scarcity of some type of BB product where the poster stated that he’d talked to the owner recently and the mold machine malfunctioned that resulted in damage to the machine that was in the 6 figures to be repaired. The poster closed by saying after his conversation “it didn’t look good”.
They make a great produce imo, and when it came out it was cutting edge kinda for brewers , home brewers like me at least. But by the time that happened there were a lot of other options available.
It wasn’t because of product failure, I have about 10 of them. 6 of them are 6 gal ported versions and they work great for bright tank/finishing tank for 6 gal kits. I have several of the bucket fittings and with the grapes in mesh they work great draining my Brute primaries. Some of these components are 15 or so years old now, not exactly sure of the top of my head.
Thanks, Jim. I was worried there was a manufacturing defect. I have used them for years and never had an issue.

I might try to rig my own insertion tool for the Italian spigots. They also have an inside rubber washer/gasket that I would need to address. Or, I might just punt the idea and seal the carboys with a stopper and sealant. Always something to do!
 
Jim, I was unaware that Better Bottle has gone of business and I note that Label Peelers has replaced them with a couple of alternatives. Do you know why the company failed? I am concerned because I have a number of the carboys 3, 5 and 6 gallon units and if the company's demise was due to product failures, I need to take action.

Thanks.
Regrettably, I had to toss a five gallon carboy manufactured by Owens Illinois glass company in 1970. I found a three inch crack just below the neck and didn’t want to take a chance.
 
So I’m trying to find a way to just plug the hole on my Fermonsters. I’ve searched off and on all day for a variety of products that would work as a threaded bulkhead plug to fit the 1” hole. My head is swimming with all the potential options that are just not close enough to work. I’m considering filling the spigot with silicone since I really don’t use it at all as it consistently clogs. @Rocky how did your solution work?
 
So I’m trying to find a way to just plug the hole on my Fermonsters. I’ve searched off and on all day for a variety of products that would work as a threaded bulkhead plug to fit the 1” hole. My head is swimming with all the potential options that are just not close enough to work. I’m considering filling the spigot with silicone since I really don’t use it at all as it consistently clogs. @Rocky how did your solution work?
Dave, so far so good. I have only done one and have it on extended test filled above the hole with water and have had no leaks. I just took these pix and still holding well. I plan to do a "destructive" test and see how much force is required to push the stopper into the carboy. I will let everyone know how that turns out.
100_2124.JPG100_2125.JPG100_2126.JPG
A thought just popped into my head when I posted these pix. I might try running a SS finishing nail through the diameter of the stopper right up against the side of the carboy to ensure against the stopper being pushed into the carboy before adding the sealant. This is a work in progress, as you can see.
 
Dave, so far so good. I have only done one and have it on extended test filled above the hole with water and have had no leaks. I just took these pix and still holding well. I plan to do a "destructive" test and see how much force is required to push the stopper into the carboy. I will let everyone know how that turns out.
View attachment 110334View attachment 110335View attachment 110336
A thought just popped into my head when I posted these pix. I might try running a SS finishing nail through the diameter of the stopper right up against the side of the carboy to ensure against the stopper being pushed into the carboy before adding the sealant. This is a work in progress, as you can see.
Are those pictures of a glass carboy?
 
Cool thank you for the follow up… I imagine that since you placed it from the inside with the large end of the taper, more pressure on the inside would tend to ensure a better seal. Interesting idea with the SS finishing nail. I was looking for a threaded plug and will post my findings if/when I hear back from a few suppliers.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top