Cylinder Specifications Markings:

The first group of characters indicate the responsible regulatory agency (e.g. DOT, TC, ICC, CTC).
The second group of characters identify the container specification or exemption number (e.g. 3AA, 4DS, E8162).
The third group identifies the rated service pressure of the container (e.g. 1800 psi, 700 psi).

Hydrostatic Test Markings:

Cylinders that have been hydrostatically tested and re-qualified must be marked by the retest facility with the facility retester identification number (RIN), and the retest date. Depending on the age of the container, it may contain none or many sets of retest markings. The oldest date marked on the container is the date of the original hydrostatic test carried out by the manufacturer, and is considered the manufacturing date. Any subsequent dates marked on the container are a record of the hydrostatic tests that the container has undergone.

The manner in which the markings are applied, and the required format for the markings are defined by the applicable regulations.


11 D096 02

11 – indicates the month of the retest (Nov.)
D069 – indicates the DOT approved facility RIN
01 – indicates the year of the retest (2001)

The markings on a cylinder include information regarding the date of manufacture, the manufacturers name or registered mark, the serial number of the unit and the specification or exemption to which the container complies. For cylinders that have been re-qualified one or more times, additional markings indicate the date(s) of any previous hydrostatic retests and identification markings of the retest facility.

On steel cylinders, these markings are stamped into the shoulders of the cylinder. On spheres, the markings are stamped into the mounting brackets or the gauge guard, or they may be electro-etched onto the sphere itself. The markings for fiber-wound cylinders are found on a nameplate and retest labels embedded in the epoxy of the cylinder body. The markings on low pressure cylinders are usually found on a label or nameplate.

The following will help pro-long the life of your cylinder.
Please note: Testing is still required by regulation.

* Always keep your cylinders standing up-right restrained to a wall.
* Always keep the protective cover on unused cylinders.
* Always keep the cylinders away from sources of heat ( including direct sunlight ).
* Have a visual inspection completed every year ( we do this each time we fill a cylinder ).
* Make sure your tank is “in test” ( we check this each time we fill a cylinder ).
* When storing cylinders always leave at least 500 psi in the tank to prevent water from entering the tank.
* Never drain/empty a cylinder before storage.

The cylinder is condemned.
In the trade, this is called a “failed hydro”, and is one reason that buying used equipment is not always the most economical choice.
If the cylinder fails, it may not be refilled.
When a cylinder is condemned by a hydro inspector, the DOT markings are stamped out and/or the cylinder is destroyed.

Simply bring the cylinder(s) in to our Levitt Street location and we will take a quick look at them for you.
If the tank(s) are out of test we can tell you within 30 seconds of looking.

All cylinders must be tested.
Some cylinders are tested every 3 years others are tested every 5.
Prior to filling any cylinders the last test date is checked, if the tank is past or due for its test then the cylinder must pass a hydrostatic test prior to being refilled.

Hydrostatic testing is the most common procedure used to qualify cylinders used for the transportation of dangerous goods.
Hydrostatic testing is also required periodically to re-qualify these pressure vessels for continued service.

During a hydrostatic test, a pressure vessel is placed inside a closed system, usually a test jacket filled with water, and a specified internal water pressure is applied to the container inside this closed system. The applied internal pressure causes an expansion of the container being tested, and the total and permanent expansion that the container undergoes are measured. These volumetric expansion measurements, in conjunction with an internal and external visual inspection of the container, are used to determine if a pressure vessel is safe for continued use, or has suffered from a degradation in its structural integrity and must be condemned.

Some pressure vessels may be re-qualified by means of a proof-pressure test. This method, also known as a modified hydrostatic test, consists of subjecting a pressure vessel to a specified internal pressure and inspecting the pressurized container for leaks, bulges or other defects. This method is permitted only when the applicable regulations do not require the determination of volumetric expansion measurements (e.g. for certain types of low pressure cylinders such as those used on many portable fire extinguishers).

Possible Causes/Items to check

* Frozen beer lines.
* CO2 cylinder is empty.
* Keg is empty.
* Valves may be shut-off.
* Beer line or gas line may be kinked.
* Possible obstruction in beer line or tap assembly.

Possible Causes/Items to check

* Frozen or nearly frozen beer.
* Beer that has been un-refrigerated for long periods of time.
* Old beer.
* Dirty faucet, beer line, and/or keg coupler.
* Dirty glassware.

Possible Causes/Items to check

* Beer temperature is too cold.
* CO2 pressure is set too low.
* Dirty glassware.

Possible Causes/Items to check

* Beer temperature is too warm.
* CO2 pressure is set too high.
* Faucet in bad, dirty, or worn condition.
* Kinks, twists or other obstructions in the beer line.
* Beer drawn improperly.

To retain the taste the breweries intended, nitrogenous beers need to be dispensed with a stout type faucet, a 25% CO2 / 75% Nitrogen gas blend, and a dispense pressure of 30-40 Lbs.
The stout faucet has a built in stainless steel restrictor plate that the beer is forced through creating the distinctive cascading head with these type of beers. This plate breaks the nitrogen out of the beer creating a cascading head on the poured beer. This plate must be left in place and cleaned frequently to remove any buildup that may clog the tiny holes in the plate.
The gas is a 25% CO2 / 75% Nitrogen gas blend and is commonly referred to as Beer Mix. This gas blend is inappropriate for ales and lagers, as it will change the CO2 content and thus the flavor of these beers.

Regular cleaning of the faucet, beer hose, and keg coupler is extremely important. If this is not performed, the beer will foam. Additionally bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stone will build up and quickly degrade the quality of draft beer.

The simple process of cleaning takes only a few minutes and is easily accomplished by use of either a hand pumped cleaning bottle or pressurized cleaning bottle. This process involves pumping water mixed with cleaning chemical into the beer hose and letting it soak for the time prescribed by the chemical manufacturer. Then thoroughly flushing the beer hose with water to remove all traces of the cleaning chemical. The last and most often overlooked step is to soak the keg coupler and faucet in water with cleaning chemical then brush them clean with a cleaning brush and rinse them clean with water.

As a maintenance issue, after cleaning it is always a good time to make sure the probe o-rings and bottom seal on the keg coupler are in good condition. As well as the friction washer, coupling washer, and shaft seat on the faucet are in good condition. You should also make sure the probe o-rings on the keg coupler are properly lubricated (with a food grade lubricant) to allow the keg coupler to work freely and prevent wear and tear that can occur when the keg coupler is tapped and untapped to the keg.

For residential applications, cleaning should be performed after every keg or at a minimum of every two weeks. Routine cleaning is essential to maintain quality and fresh taste.

For commercial applications, cleaning should be performed at least every two weeks or following brewery recommendations and/or state guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE: Only use cleaning chemicals specifically manufactured for beer line cleaning. Only chemicals specifically manufactured for beer line cleaning will dissolve the buildups of bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stone that occur with draft beer. And for safety it is very important that all directions on these cleaning chemicals be followed completely.

During transit, the kegs beer temperature will rise slightly and the beer will be agitated. Allow the keg to acclimate to refrigeration (CO2 application) or on ice (party dispensing application) for 2-4 hours prior to dispensing to prevent foamy beer.

CO2 (or mixed gas) cylinders do not have to be kept in the refrigerator. Cylinders are often located outside of the refrigerator to allow maximum use of the refrigerator interior space. All that is needed is a small hole in the side or back of the refrigerator for the gas line to go from the regulator to the keg coupler.
But for safety reasons, keep in mind that cylinders must always be kept upright, away from sources of heat, and be secured with a chain or heavy cord to prevent it from falling over.
Should the gas cylinder be exposed to a source of heat, the gas inside the cylinder will expand resulting in over pressurizing the cylinder. This may cause the pressure relief valve on the cylinder to burst, which makes an incredibly loud boom.

For the American “D” system, European “S” system, and “U” system keg couplers:

1. Ensure the keg coupler handle is in the upright (OFF) position.
2. Align the two coupler lugs with the corresponding openings in the keg valve.
3. Insert the keg coupler and turn clockwise to engage into position (about 90 degrees).
4. Press the handle downward (ON) this will allow gas to enter the keg and beer to flow out of the keg.

For the Grundy “G” system keg coupler:

1. Ensure the keg coupler handle is in the upright (OFF) position.
2. Align the triangular coupler opening with the keg valve.
3. Place keg coupler onto the valve and turn clockwise to engage into position (about 90 degrees).
4. Press the handle downward (ON) this will allow gas to enter the keg and beer to flow out of the keg.

For the German Slider “A” & “M” system keg coupler:

1. Ensure the keg coupler handle is in the upright (OFF) position.
2. Align the base of coupler with the side of the keg valve.
3. Slide keg coupler onto the keg valve.
4. Press the handle downward (ON) this will allow gas to enter the keg and beer to flow out of the keg.

For the Twin Probe keg coupler:

1. Align the two coupler probes with the corresponding openings in the keg valve.
2. Push keg coupler into the valve.
3. Tighten the threaded coupler to the valve.
4. Turn on CO2 source.

As a general rule of thumb, it takes about a ¼ Lb of CO2 to dispense a ¼ barrel of beer and a ½ Lb of CO2 to dispense a ½ barrel of beer.

A single gauge regulator has a 0-60 lb. pressure gauge showing the gas output pressure.
A dual gauge regulator has a 0-60 lb. pressure gauge showing the gas output pressure and a pressure gauge showing the amount of gas remaining in the cylinder.

Once the regulator is securely attached to the gas cylinder:

1. Close the shut-off valve on output port of the regulator.
2. Open the valve on the gas cylinder completely.
3. Turn the regulator adjustment screw clockwise until the desired pressure is shown on the output pressure gauge.
4. Lastly, open the shut-off valve on output port of the regulator.

When dispensing draft beer, the goal is to keep the CO2 level prescribed by the brewer.
Any change in the CO2 level can alter the taste characteristics and appearance of the product.
For a keg refrigerator, the recommended CO2 pressure is between 12-14 Lbs for most domestic beers.
This pressure will maintain the level of carbonation that the breweries specify.
If the beers is dispensed with too low of a pressure, over time the CO2 that is dissolved in the beer will break out.
This will result in flat beer. If the beer is dispensed with to high of a pressure, over time more CO2 will be absorbed into the beer and the result will be off-taste and foamy beer.
Stout beers such as Guinness, require a mixed gas and a higher dispense pressure for proper dispensing.

Possible problems/Solutions

Check that syrup container is not empty.
Check that syrup line is not kinked or constricted.
Check that connection is secure and fully seated.
Adjust water / CO2 / syrup mix to taste.

Run the system for a while pushing out about 2 cups worth of product, if the problem does not go away check the following:

CO2 pressure level
CO2 tank is full
Syrup or CO2 lines are not kinked

Check Gas
Check Valves

When you request that we repair or replace equipment that was not provided by or owned by NFC.

The average lifespan of an ice-maker can be up to 10 years with good maintenance, poorly maintained equipment has a tendency to break down much sooner. Be sure to review your owners manual for instructions on how to properly maintain your ice-maker.

Local orders are usually delivered within 1 to 2 business days of the order. Outlaying areas may require slightly more time.