A Guide to Maintaining your Dispense Equipment


It can feel like the end of the world when your dispense equipment stops working because you cannot serve your customers with their favourite brand of beer, nor can you have that pint that you have been yearning for all afternoon in your home bar. Sometimes faults can be a simple fix, and you can be serving again in no time. However, it may be time to give an expert a call to solve your issue. We aim to inform you about what you can do yourself and what you need to do if a more serious problem occurs.

The faults you often encounter range from having no dispense at all through to the beer being flat or looking like ice cream, most of which can be easily solved by carrying out a few basic checks.

NOTE: If you have any doubt whatsoever, don’t hesitate to call out a qualified expert to resolve these issues for you as the cellar can be a dangerous place.

Keg Coupler/Spear

The first place you should check is your keg coupler and keg spear. If you have any debris within the keg coupler or spear, this could impact your ability to dispense correctly. If you come across any debris, please remove and discard it. More often than not, a small piece of plastic can fall into the spear whilst you are removing the plastic cap from the top of a new keg. Inspect the keg coupler and make sure that the probe isn’t damaged as this is the point that engages into the keg; ensure that the seal is in place and that it isn’t damaged in any way. Check your Beer outlet and Gas inlet fittings on the top of the coupler to ensure that they are both slightly beyond hand tight.

A side profile image of a keg coupler.
An image of a mixed gas primary regulator.

Primary & Secondary Gas Valves

A couple of straightforward checks that can be made are around the gas primary and secondary valves. Has the gas bottle got some gas in it? Checking your contents gauge will show you how much you have left. If there is gas within the bottle has the valve been opened to allow gas into the system? If everything is ok, then check the secondary valve. This valve has an on/off lever. Make sure that the lever is in the on position, thus allowing gas into your keg.

Beer Lines

Another check that can be done is the product lines; this carries the beer from the keg through to the tap. Check as much of this line as possible to ensure that it isn’t kinked/bent/split anywhere, as this will restrict the flow of beer and cause issues.

The Cooler

The cooler can also be a source of problems when dispensing beer. It’s worth checking on a remote cooler to see if the cooler has got an ice-bank. An access panel on the top of the cooler allows you to see inside the cooler, and the ice bank will be visible. Alternatively, if you have a thermometer, you can see what the water bath temperature is. You are looking for about 0°c/1°c. The same can be done on the small under-counter/flash coolers, although the access panel is a lot smaller, so you would be better to use a thermometer. Another common fault on the remote and under-counter cooler is the top pump not working. The purpose of the top pump is to re-circulate the cold water from the water bath around the python tubing so that the product is kept cold up to the dispense point. The top pump on the remote cooler is fitted into the lid pack, so you can generally see the little white fan on top of the pump spinning around or if you gently put your hand on top of it (making sure the guard is in place) you can feeling it buzzing. The top pump isn’t visible on the under-counter coolers, so the best course of action is to check the return pipe on the cooler to see if you can see the water returning to the cooler. If you can see it flowing back, then everything is fine.

A picture of a shelf cooler.

Again if you are in any doubt or are still struggling after carrying out some checks or don’t feel comfortable carrying out some of the discussed checks, then please call your service provider, who will happily provide you with some guidance or send a technician to solve your problem.

If you need parts to carry out a repair please visit the Drinksflow Catalogue or equally get in touch with us at drinksflow@tvsscs.com for more information on the equipment you need to make a repair.

Equally, if your coolers, couplers or gas regulators are faulty or looking like they need a new lease of life, we offer a full repair and refurbishment service to support your equipment and get it back into use as soon as possible, all refurbished or repaired equipment is supplied with a 12-month warranty to give you peace of mind when your equipment is back in service.