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I recently built a kegerator out of a vintage freezer. I've added one tap handle to the door with two more coming soon. The freezer has a latching handle and pretty strong closing action, which pops the tap open dumping beer on the floor...

Can I add a spring to the internals of my cheap faucet to make it close automatically? Does anyone know which one is a good size and strength?

An overview of the parts and assembled version of my taps:

Overview of tap parts

This is the fitting, which I imagine is more or less universal to most shanks:

Tap fitting

I'm going to hunt for a food safe compression spring that will fit in between the shank and the inside portion of the fitting that attaches to it. Hopefully it will provide enough tension to close the tap cleanly, or at least keep them from pouring out when the door slams.

It seems like most self closing taps listed online have a screw where the little "button" is on the front of the tap so possibly the plug(?) could be machined or replaced to allow for an external spring (avoiding the need for food safety).

  • with out knowing the specifics of your Taps, I couldn’t even tell you where to begin. Your best bet is finding a tap that’s harder to turn on or if your current tap has screw on the handle/hinge to make it harder to turn on. – jsolarski Mar 8 '15 at 13:40
  • Good point, attached photos. Is the first screw/nut on the handle portion supposed to adjust tension? – owenfi Mar 9 '15 at 8:38
  • How big is that wooden tap handle? If it's large enough (especially if it's particularly tall), it could add a whole bunch of weight that will both encourage the tap to fall open when you don't want it to and discourage a spring from closing it when it's sprung itself open. – Franklin P Combs Mar 9 '15 at 12:19
  • I believe so, that first nut under the handle looks like it could adjust it, to make it harder to open. but you may have to play around with it to see. -- edit -- franklin has a good point, the handle may add a lot of weight to the top of it making it easier to open when you close the latch on the freezer. – jsolarski Mar 9 '15 at 13:32
  • Thanks both of you. The handle is about 6 inches and fairly light, but could definitely be leveraged enough to be the problem. I'll give it a try with plastic handle and see if tightening the nut gives more tension (there is a small plastic washer and a rubber washer inside of it). – owenfi Mar 9 '15 at 21:26
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Update: I've made my standard taps self closing with the S-1098 Compression Spring from Century Spring.

It's a stainless steel spring with the following measurements:

Force: 102lbs/inch (179 N/cm)
Free length: .560"
Solid height: .350"
Outer Diameter: .453"
Inner Diameter: .325"

This strength adds a fair bit of resistance to pulling the tap open, but it's not a problem. The tap closes quickly and cleanly (just a couple drips, about like a normal hand-closing) on its own after being let go, provided the spring is seated well in between the faucet and shaft. Sometimes it takes a couple tries to sit properly. I just set it in and attach it like normal.

The one question that remains is if the springs will hold up (I've installed two in beer taps and one in sparkling water). While they are made of stainless steel, they are not polished, so I will report back in a while with how they continue to perform.


Research below

Okay, I've found a spring that roughly works, but is not of an acceptable material (and sadly I don't know it's exact strength because it was in a sampler pack).

The packaged spring C-632 (7/16 x 1-1/16 x .041) from Century Spring felt pretty responsive when it was alone in the tap (quick clean closing action) but didn't close all the way. In the sample pack I found one that is about the same length and slightly stronger tension (12mm x 28mm x 1.25mm) and it closes nearly as cleanly as just shutting off the tap by hand, and solves the problem of leaks when the door slams shut.

The problem is that carbonated water sitting on it for a day or two led to a lot of corrosion. Both of the springs were probably too long for this purpose (I measured the inner length to be about .35" when open and .45" when closed) and likely not a food safe material. I've ordered a handful of stainless springs and will update the answer when I find a suitable size.

Tap faucet and shaft with spring arrangement and details

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  • Just FYI from CSC: Generally the gold springs in the assortments are gold iridite plated spring steel. – owenfi Mar 13 '15 at 8:57
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Yes, you can add a spring to the internals of your cheap faucet to make it close automatically. You can use the self closing tap springs for Intertap faucets, but you will have to cut them down to fit. You should also consider grinding the cut ends smooth to avoid scratching the insides of your taps. I did this and it worked for me. Of course, finding a spring that is manufactured to the appropriate length, diameter, and strength and from a food-safe material would be preferred. I do not know the size and strength required.

I purchased self closing tap springs for Intertap faucets with the hope that they would work in my faucets. I purchased my keezer used and cannot find identifying marks of any kind on the faucets, so I don't know what brand they are. They are chrome plated, not stainless, so I assume a basic "economy" faucet that came with a keezer kit purchased by a previous owner. The Intertap springs were WAY too long. After some trial and error I cut them down to about 1/4 of their original length and ground the cut end smooth. They now fit and appear to close the tap. I don't have any beverages in the system right now, so further testing to come.

UPDATE: I have been using the keezer for about one year with the springs in place. With the "standard" black plastic tap handles the springs close the taps very effectively. With larger, heavier tap handles the springs still work, but, as you would expect, there is less "snap". I always give the taps an extra small push just to make sure they are completely closed.

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  • Please edit the answer to coincide with the question, The answer how it currently looks, is more of a comment or commentary on a similar situation. If you are looking for advise please ask a new question. – jsolarski Sep 10 '18 at 15:36

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