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I currently own a dual regulator and use two kegs with it. I want to expand to four kegs can therefore face two options:

  1. Purchase a quad regulator
  2. Add a splitter to each of the outputs on the dual regulator

What are all the negatives involved in using a splitter instead of a dual/quad/multi regulator?

For example, when using a splitter, both kegs must have the same level of carbonation.

Would it take longer to carbonate two kegs that are being carbonated via a splitter?

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You only need multiple line regulators if you want different beers at different pressures. I think 90+% of people just dispense their beers at the same pressure. Hence, they only use one regulator. If having a very bubbly Belgian Tripel and a softly carbonated English Mild on draft side is something you MUST have then two different line regulators becomes important.

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I have a similar setup: 4 kegs/taps, one dual regulator with a T to split the gas lines.

The positives/negatives are either obvious (cost of 4 regulators, having 4 independent controls vs. 2) or as you describe. One other negative is that pressure differences in the head space of (overfilled) kegs make it possible to suck liquid into the gas lines.

It won't take any longer to carbonate via split lines vs. separate regulators. All that matters is the pressure/temperature, and the gas side can easily supply 2 kegs at once. Think about how easy it is to overcarbonate kegs with the wrong pressure setting, for instance.

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    "One other negative is that pressure differences in the head space of (overfilled) kegs make it possible to suck liquid into the gas lines" -- would you please expand on this? I typically fill my kegs to the very top, just below the gas in tube. So if I have a half empty keg, and put a full keg on the T, liquid from the full keg would suck into the gas line? – Matthew Moisen Apr 21 '16 at 18:49
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    If you're below the gas tube this shouldn't be a problem. – brewchez Apr 21 '16 at 18:51
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    Yeah, it's only an issue if liquid is touching the bottom of the gas tube. I seem to do this not infrequently. :/ YMMV. – jsled Apr 23 '16 at 22:58
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Along with different beer styles having different carbonation levels.

It's useful for abreviating force carbonation time. You can set the fresh keg to 30 PSI for a couple days to carbonate, instead of the plug and forget at serving pressure for a few days. While still having other beers at serving pressure.

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