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I have a simple (only on gauge, from 0 to 60 psi) regulator that came with my kegerator. It worked fine for 5 years, but recently it's getting stuck.

I have to open the adjustment dial a lot to get the needle to move. When I do so, the needle is not responsive at all, it takes minutes to react.

After I had opened it very wide, it showed 30 psi. I turned it all the way back, but the needle stayed at 28 psi. Even when I disconnected the co2 tank, the needle stayed at ~25 psi.

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Somewhere online I read that some people manage to freeze their lines, but I don't think that's the case here. My kegerator is set to 5 degrees Celsius, and when I left the regulator out for a few hours on a piece of paper, no water spots (from thawing ice) appeared.

I hooked up a different regulator, and that one's needle reacts instantly to me changing the dial, both when I increase and decrease pressure. That second regulator also has a 2nd gauge showing the pressure left in the keg, and that needle was at around 600 or 700 psi, so I don't think it's a problem with the co2 tank.

How can I fix the first regulator? Is this a matter or oiling it? (Is WD40 food save?)

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  • At 5c you're not in any danger of freezing, not even close. I've probably dealt with at least 3 of these gauges being busted, probably mostly due to just not being careful when moving the tank around and banging it up against stuff. It really doesn't take much to make those gauges sticky or get them off kilter. Oiling might help. Honestly- I just replace the gauges. You can usually get them for around ~15$ USD (or less). Getting them off requires some elbow grease- but some vice grips, pliers and a little effort and they'll screw right off.
    – rob
    Aug 11 '21 at 13:02
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Yep, replacing the guage as @rob mentions is really the only way to go. Not sure I'd oil anything though (note the red lettering).

I've been told by the guy that fills my CO2 tanks that sometimes beer can get sucked back into the CO2 tank if you don't have a reverse flow check valve on the line. When the tank gets near empty, it'll sputter the accumulated beer into CO2 lines and make things sticky. If that's your case, you may want to investigate how to go about cleaning out the regulator/tank before re-assembling with a new guage.

I tightened the lock nut on my regulator knob up against the body and then put it in a bench vise (not tight, just snug!) with one jaw against the back, and another against the front of the knob. Then, cut a right-sized block of wood to put between the jaw and the supply line, right next to the regulator body, to help keep things from turning in the vise. It was tricky but worked without damaging anything.

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